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 Language Learning Forum : Learning Techniques, Methods & Strategies Post Reply
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maxb
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 Message 57 of 90
10 April 2007 at 3:51am | IP Logged 
Thought I'd jump in and give my two cents. Having tried both the listening approach and the chorus method (albeit with a chorus consisting of only me and a computer) I think that if you want both good listening skills and native like pronunciation you should use the chorus method. Just listening does not automatically lead to good pronunciation. I have heard stories that this is actually the case even with children. Many children who grow up in bilingual households stop speaking the non-community language after a while. When spoken to in it they will answer in the community language. I have heard that when these children are forced to speak in the non-community language (for instance when meeting a relative) they will have an accent.
I think the same goes for adult learners. Just listening doesn't help, you have to repeat as well and as far as I know the chorus method is the only method which virtually guarantees a native or near-native accent.
Also the chorus method also helps with listening comprehension, since it allows you to get used to the rhythm of the language. When you have grasped the rhythm of the language it becomes much easier to hear word-boundaries and also to pick up new words by listening alone.

Edited by maxb on 10 April 2007 at 3:53am

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leosmith
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United States
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 Message 58 of 90
10 April 2007 at 9:29am | IP Logged 
maxb wrote:
Having tried both the listening approach and the chorus method (albeit with a chorus consisting of only me and a computer) I think that if you want both good listening skills and native like pronunciation you should use the chorus method.

Have you compared chorusing (a sentence or less, no reading) with shadowing (a paragraph or more while reading)? I'd be curious to hear how these stack up.

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slucido
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Spain
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 Message 59 of 90
10 April 2007 at 10:17am | IP Logged 
leosmith wrote:
maxb wrote:
Having tried both the listening approach and the chorus method (albeit with a chorus consisting of only me and a computer) I think that if you want both good listening skills and native like pronunciation you should use the chorus method.

Have you compared chorusing (a sentence or less, no reading) with shadowing (a paragraph or more while reading)? I'd be curious to hear how these stack up.


Maybe the best is doing what wrote in the first thread about shadowing with Assimil:

http://how-to-learn-any-language.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?T ID=22&KW=shadowing

Ardaschir wrote:
   First and foremost, I edit the tapes by getting rid of all the gaps so that I obtain at least two hours of solid and continuous narrative in the target language only. I then shadow this tape repeatedly until I begin to grow familiar with the pronunciation and intonation, and until I have figured out as much as I can of what is being said on my own. Then I turn to the book and shadow while reading the teaching language so that I understand globally what I have been saying. Slowly I switch to shadowing while reading the target language so that I learn to read it. .


That is to say:

1-Shadow this tape repeatedly until I begin to grow familiar with the pronunciation and intonation.

2-Then turn to the book and shadow while reading the teaching language so that I understand globally what I have been saying.

3-Slowly switch to shadowing while reading the target language so that I learn to read it.


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Ari
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 Message 60 of 90
10 April 2007 at 1:23pm | IP Logged 
slucido wrote:


1-Shadow this tape repeatedly until I begin to grow familiar with the pronunciation and intonation.

2-Then turn to the book and shadow while reading the teaching language so that I understand globally what I have been saying.

3-Slowly switch to shadowing while reading the target language so that I learn to read it.



This quote ought to prove that Ardaschir's shadowing doesn't mean "speaking simultaneously with the speaker". That's just not possible if you're not reading the text at the same time, unless you cut the audio into small snippets, in which case going through two hours of audio material would take half a century. It would seem it means "speaking just after the speaker", that is, not after the speaker is finished (echoing), but as soon as you can, something like pronouncing each syllable just after the speaker said it. Am I right?

As a contrast to this, as I've come to understand chorusing the way it's referred to on this forum, it means taking a small snippet of audio (a few seconds up to a few minutes) and looping it, until you know just what the speakers are going to say. Then you speak exactly in tune with the speaker (like singing along with a song), thus hearing both of your voices at the same time, correcting the disharmony until you both sound alike. This way you might work for hours with an audio clip of ten seconds.
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jeff_lindqvist
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 Message 61 of 90
10 April 2007 at 1:47pm | IP Logged 
Yes. From what I've read shadowing couldn't be anything else than speaking a split-second after (as I mentioned at the bottom of page 6).
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slucido
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 Message 62 of 90
10 April 2007 at 2:27pm | IP Logged 
Ari wrote:
slucido wrote:


1-Shadow this tape repeatedly until I begin to grow familiar with the pronunciation and intonation.

2-Then turn to the book and shadow while reading the teaching language so that I understand globally what I have been saying.

3-Slowly switch to shadowing while reading the target language so that I learn to read it.



This quote ought to prove that Ardaschir's shadowing doesn't mean "speaking simultaneously with the speaker". That's just not possible if you're not reading the text at the same time, unless you cut the audio into small snippets, in which case going through two hours of audio material would take half a century. It would seem it means "speaking just after the speaker", that is, not after the speaker is finished (echoing), but as soon as you can, something like pronouncing each syllable just after the speaker said it. Am I right?



It will be better to ask Ardaschir about his shadowing, but if you read his posts it's clear what he means about shadowing. If you want to change the meaning, because you think it's impossible, that's right.

Actually I did this method for one month with the Assimil audio and my mp3 recorder, without the book. Sometimes I shadowed the two hours in one day. It's hard, but possible.

At first you are not shadowing, but following, but in progressively deeper layers you will shadow perfectly. You will be aware that you are saying what you hear instantaneously rather than in a split-second thereafter. I am not talking about doing perfect shadowing since the beginning. You will need to do it again and again.

And it's not necessary to start with the audio. Maybe it's easy to shadow while reading several times and afterwards you can shadow without reading.

It's a matter of practice, but it works very very well.









Edited by slucido on 10 April 2007 at 2:28pm

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Ari
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Norway
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 Message 63 of 90
10 April 2007 at 3:15pm | IP Logged 
Well, I stand corrected. It does feel impossible at least for me to do it, but maybe it's easier than it seems, or maybe I'm just not very good. I have problems remembering what the speaker said a second ago when doing the FSI drills.

slucido wrote:
It will be better to ask Ardaschir about his shadowing, but if you read his posts it's clear what he means about shadowing. If you want to change the meaning, because you think it's impossible, that's right.

Actually, I do. I'd like to rename what Ardashir calls shadowing "chorusing", and what I just referred to "shadowing". Or make "chorusing" strictly mean what people do in classrooms, and invent a new term for what I just mentioned (following, like you said, maybe?). Since Ardaschir is so frequently quoted, the latter option might be better, to avoid confusion.

Whatever the terms, I'd very much like to see an official forum glossary for terms like these. There's just too much confusion.
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reineke
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 Message 64 of 90
10 April 2007 at 3:36pm | IP Logged 
maxb wrote:
Thought I'd jump in and give my two cents. Having tried both the listening approach and the chorus method (albeit with a chorus consisting of only me and a computer) I think that if you want both good listening skills and native like pronunciation you should use the chorus method. Just listening does not automatically lead to good pronunciation. I have heard stories that this is actually the case even with children. Many children who grow up in bilingual households stop speaking the non-community language after a while. When spoken to in it they will answer in the community language. I have heard that when these children are forced to speak in the non-community language (for instance when meeting a relative) they will have an accent.
I think the same goes for adult learners. Just listening doesn't help, you have to repeat as well and as far as I know the chorus method is the only method which virtually guarantees a native or near-native accent.
Also the chorus method also helps with listening comprehension, since it allows you to get used to the rhythm of the language. When you have grasped the rhythm of the language it becomes much easier to hear word-boundaries and also to pick up new words by listening alone.


The listening approach requires a lot of listening. You cannot really "try it" to see if it works, you have to finish it. I wouldn't use children as the only guideline for language learning. The problems with bilingual children are complex. Often kids will refuse to speak in the "inferior" language as it makes no sense talking to daddy in Polish when he perfectly well understands English. Such children are overwhelmingly more exposed to English (TV, mom, school, friends) than the other language (dad). Often they're embarrassed to speak in the language. I am not sure that the chorus method is the only method to guarantee a native accent. I am not sure that any method "guarantees" a native accent for adult learners. If you keep at it long enough and under favorable circumstances it might. So could the listening method or a combination thereof. What are the disadvantages of the chorus method? I see one of practicality.   


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