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Listening-Reading system

 Language Learning Forum : Learning Techniques, Methods & Strategies (Topic Closed Topic Closed) Post Reply
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sergiu
Diglot
Senior Member
Romania
freewebs.com/invata_
Joined 4599 days ago

105 posts - 108 votes 
Speaks: Romanian*, English
Studies: German

 
 Message 97 of 489
16 July 2007 at 2:34am | IP Logged 
You could find a pretty good source for foreign music at www.lastfm.com
Just type Japanese in the tags and you'll get the Japanese radio station.
1 person has voted this message useful



FSI
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4519 days ago

550 posts - 590 votes 
Speaks: English*

 
 Message 98 of 489
16 July 2007 at 2:57am | IP Logged 
Volte wrote:
Would you mind describing how you've modified it / how you're currently doing it, and what variations you've tried?


Certainly! It's still under construction, but here's the idea of it:

Thanks to siomotteikiru, it involves a novel, an audiobook reading of the novel, and a translation of the novel.

Each time I read the novel, I listen to it simultaneously via the audiobook in the target language. The first time, I read the translation. The second time, read the l2. The third time, I reread the translation…

I alternate among the two until I can understand more or less everything when reading the natural (untranslated) novel. As stated earlier, each reading, whether in the target language or in the teaching language, is accompanied by the audiobook.

After reaching this point, I will begin orally shadowing the audiobook by reading the novel aloud and following the prosody, pronunciation, and accent of the reader.

Schematically, it looks like this:

1x read l1 + listen l2
1x read l2 + listen l2
1x read l1 + listen l2
1x read l2 + listen l2
3x read l2 + listen l2 + echo l2

The book is read 7x. 2x in the teaching language (l1), 5x in the target language (l2). It is listened to 7x in the l2. It is orally shadowed (echoed) 3x in the l2.

If it is successful, I hope to be able to read, understand, and express most elements of the language without difficulty.

I am not sure how many times I will need to go back and forth between the l1 and l2 readings, but I'm experimenting with 2x for each before moving solely to the l2. Ditto for the shadowing, where I'll experiment with 3x to start. I am curious to see how all three (reading/listening/speaking) will be after the 7 total readings.

My primary modifications from the method described on page 1 here are: first, in doing away with creating bilingual texts, and simply reading the novels/stories top to bottom in each language until both are equally intelligible. In addition, I clarified - for myself, at least - step 4, by deciding to do it while reading the l2.

Second, I also removed steps 1 and 2. Step 1 because I wished to read from the start while listening to the l2 via the audiobook. Every time I sweep through the book, whether while reading the l1 or the l2, I wanted the l2 audio to be a fixture, in order to constantly build aural comprehension, and have the language, pronunciation, prosody, etc, always in my head.

Step 2 I removed because I found it more useful to begin in English, to understand the story, so by the time I got to my first reading in the l2, I'd already not only have gone through the story once, but would also have heard it (via audio) once in the l2, and would be capable of distinguishing sentences in the audio when reading the l2 on the second sweep.

Volte wrote:
I agree entirely that the source being enjoyable is absolutely vital. I don't have a fixed opinion on how important length is yet, beyond thinking that extremely short stories or songs are probably too short, and that something like Kafka's "The Hunger Artist" or "In the Penal Colony", at over a half hour but under an hour is ok but probably bit short. "Animal Farm", at 4 hours, seems better lengthwise, but I've found that I'm not very excited about it. "The Master and Margarita" is significantly longer, and thus far, I really like it; I'm still doing a first pass just reading English, with no audio, for it.


Yes, I'm not sure what the upper limit is, but the lower limit seems to be at least somewhat longer than a short story. And with regards to interest, certainly. Whether it's a 10 hour book or a 3 hour book, if it keeps your interest, you'll definitely get more from it. Personally, I tremendously enjoyed Alice in Wonderland (there's a gorgeously-read version in Spanish on Leerescuchando), but being unable to find a matching translation for it, I had to find something else. Currently, in French, I'm reading Around the World in 80 Days. In Spanish, it's A Christmas Carol, and in Italian, it's The Adventures of Pinocchio.

Volte wrote:
Yes, it's an amazing, addictive feeling. I'm having an absolute blast using this method for Polish, which I was previously very, very close to entirely unfamiliar with (I'd overheard a few words of it a couple of times in my life; the most I'd seen it written previous to trying this approach was probably on Peterlin's page, on the parts where he has the same text in Polish and English).

It seemed extremely useful for German too, but I decided to try to do a previously unknown-to-me language, in a branch of Indo-European I have no experience with, for the sake of experimenting. I'll stick to Polish for at least a week before seriously considering branching out and using this method for other languages.


Nice! I'm glad it's working out well for you too. If and when you try it in German, it's almost certain that you won't be disappointed. I'm quite interested in using it to learn languages from scratch. At the moment, the language I'm least familiar with (with which I'm trying out the technique) is Italian, for which I've solely used the beginning Michel Thomas Course, plus a Learn in your car course. If the method can teach me to read and understand a good part of the language, if not speak it somewhat, I will be quite happy.

Progress-wise, in French, I've just started my 4th reading of the Verne novel (2nd in French), and look forward to starting orally shadowing in the 5th sweep. In Spanish, I'm about to start the 3rd reading (2nd in English), and I'm still on my first reading of Italian, to which I'm devoting (deliberately) solely 30 minutes per day, in order to see how the method might increase in effectivity if spread over months, a la Assimil.

On a thoroughly unrelated note, it also gives me a reason/opportunity to read random books I might not have read otherwise. Everything on the menu is material in the public domain, simply to save money. The audiobooks are from Gutenberg and Librivox, the ebooks are from Gutenberg, Wikisource, and google searches.

More than anything, I must agree with siomotteikiru that the method truly turns one into a reader. I enjoy reading lots of fiction in English, but before this method, I had never seriously attempted literary material in other languages. I now believe that after one or two novels in this fashion, I will be able to start picking up works in these languages, and reading them for pleasure (and without consulting translations, as siomotteikiru noted).

Despite having spent almost all of 2007 so far seriously studying Spanish (with the exception of Februrary, where I did nothing), I had not read a single extended work (things longer than 3 pages) in the language before reading A Christmas Carol (Cuento de Navidad) over the past couple of days. The same for French - I never thought I'd read a French novel, what with my unrelenting focus on learning to speak/listen, and disdain for the language's messy spelling system. But there it goes!

Unlike with Spanish, where FSI had already taught me the grammar, and reading is primarily a question of vocabulary (and patience), with French, before proceeding through this method, I could not tell any of the tenses apart on print, which, as you can imagine, made it very difficult to read novel (as in new, or as in long) material. Now, after three sweeps in the manner described above, I can unequivocally tell the tenses apart while reading - with the exception of the subjunctive tenses, which will undoubtedly become clearer upon further sweeps. Simply put, thanks to the method, I can now read French.

Certainly, this has come after reading the translation multiple times, but it's undeniable that the language has become infinitely more legible over the past week than it has ever been. I am sure this will occur in Italian as well, and I am eager to watch all three languages develop.

Wow. This post ended up a lot longer than I thought it would be. Hopefully there's something of use in it!

Edited by FSI on 16 July 2007 at 3:06am

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siomotteikiru
Senior Member
Zaire
Joined 4521 days ago

102 posts - 242 votes 

 
 Message 99 of 489
16 July 2007 at 7:10am | IP Logged 
Only the best is good enough.


Grasshoppers, don't jump here and there, otherwise you'll get lost in a pool of tears, like poor Alice.

A word of caution:
If you read in L2 before you have mastered the proper pronunciation, you might end up never mastering it properly.
You should not read anything in L2 before you have reached the stage of "natural listening".

Nor should you repeat anything after the recording before you have reached that stage and done some amount of phonetic listening: phonemes, minimal pairs, intonation.

Nothing should be done at the expense of EXPOSURE:
NEW, NEW, NEW TEXTS divided by (minute times hours times days).

If you still wonder why long texts are so important, I'm sure you haven't read anything about idiolect, text statistics, discourse analysis or the curves of learning and forgetting, and overlearning.

IF you don't have parallel texts, do the following:
1. read a page (or a paragraph) in L1
2. listen and look at the text in L2, trying to attach some meaning to it
3. listen and look at the text in L1, trying to attach some meaning to what you're hearing.

If you don't have the written text in L2, skip step 2, try to do Step 3 from the beginning to the end, but perhaps more times.


If you want to benefit fully from the "l-r"-ing, you must have exposure to 20-30 hours of NEW, NEW, NEW texts, at least.
When you've done 40-60 hours of listening-reading, you probably won't have to learn how to speak, long sentences will pop up from your head themselves.
But all of the above must be done in one go, stopping only for eating and sleeping.


Of course, working with recorded novels, even in a far from perfect way, is MUCH BETTER THAN USING TEXTBOOKS, or only reading without listening.


Edited by siomotteikiru on 16 July 2007 at 7:13am

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JasonChoi
Diglot
Senior Member
Korea, South
Joined 4519 days ago

274 posts - 298 votes 
Speaks: English*, Korean
Studies: Mandarin, Cantonese, Latin

 
 Message 100 of 489
16 July 2007 at 10:06am | IP Logged 
FSI,

This is fascinating! Thank you so much for sharing.

FSI wrote:
Each time I read the novel, I listen to it simultaneously via the audiobook in the target language. The first time, I read the translation. The second time, read the l2. The third time, I reread the translation…


How long does it take to read the entire book? (also how many pages?)

When you read, do you read the entire book in one sitting? I imagine it must take a considerably long time.

-Jason
1 person has voted this message useful



sergiu
Diglot
Senior Member
Romania
freewebs.com/invata_
Joined 4599 days ago

105 posts - 108 votes 
Speaks: Romanian*, English
Studies: German

 
 Message 101 of 489
16 July 2007 at 10:31am | IP Logged 
siomotteikiru wrote:
But all of the above must be done in one go, stopping only for eating and sleeping.

Isn't this extreme?Or maybe it was just a joke.
People should abandon work and any other activity for this "l-r-ing"?
I thought that the best way to learn a language is to do a little of it each day .
siomotteikiru wrote:

When you've done 40-60 hours of listening-reading, you probably won't have to learn how to speak, long sentences will pop up from your head themselves.

Probably?
A marathon like this should have its uses,or are we supposed to see what happens?
The only thing that I would imagine popping out of my head would be my brain right now.
In the end I'd really like to know if this method alone can make me fluent after all the hard work,or is it all about passive fluency (no thanks)?
3 persons have voted this message useful



Volte
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Switzerland
Joined 4599 days ago

4474 posts - 6724 votes 
Speaks: English*, Esperanto, German, Italian
Studies: French, Finnish, Mandarin, Japanese

 
 Message 102 of 489
16 July 2007 at 10:47am | IP Logged 
siomotteikiru wrote:

A word of caution:
If you read in L2 before you have mastered the proper pronunciation, you might end up never mastering it properly.
You should not read anything in L2 before you have reached the stage of "natural listening".


Do you mean reading out loud, or just trying to use the written L2 as the main focus instead of L1?

siomotteikiru wrote:

Nor should you repeat anything after the recording before you have reached that stage and done some amount of phonetic listening: phonemes, minimal pairs, intonation.


Using audiobooks and trying to figure it out, or using other resources that explain it explicitly for the L2?

siomotteikiru wrote:

Nothing should be done at the expense of EXPOSURE:
NEW, NEW, NEW TEXTS divided by (minute times hours times days).


How do you recommend deciding whether to go through a text a second time, or go on to a new one? What are the major factors?

siomotteikiru wrote:

IF you don't have parallel texts, do the following:
1. read a page (or a paragraph) in L1
2. listen and look at the text in L2, trying to attach some meaning to it
3. listen and look at the text in L1, trying to attach some meaning to what you're hearing.

If you don't have the written text in L2, skip step 2, try to do Step 3 from the beginning to the end, but perhaps more times.


How do you manage to divide your attention effectively with the parallel texts? I find it a lot easier to read L1 and correspond clauses, and after ~3 hours, words, than to constantly flick back and forth between reading L1 and L2 and trying to keep a correspondence between exactly where in the L1 text, the L2 text, and the audio I am. How much do you recommend looking at L1 vs L2, assuming parallel texts?

siomotteikiru wrote:

If you want to benefit fully from the "l-r"-ing, you must have exposure to 20-30 hours of NEW, NEW, NEW texts, at least.
When you've done 40-60 hours of listening-reading, you probably won't have to learn how to speak, long sentences will pop up from your head themselves.
But all of the above must be done in one go, stopping only for eating and sleeping.


So, do you recommend gathering all the texts and audio ahead of time, and doing the L1 reading of each text ahead of time? Otherwise, this ideal seems really hard to reach.

siomotteikiru wrote:

Of course, working with recorded novels, even in a far from perfect way, is MUCH BETTER THAN USING TEXTBOOKS, or only reading without listening.


Agreed!

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reineke
Senior Member
United States
https://learnalangua
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851 posts - 1007 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 103 of 489
16 July 2007 at 10:55am | IP Logged 
Hi FSI

Thanks for sharing. I have a few questions if you please.
What was your previous knowledge of French? Italian? How many hours did you roughly spend on it? How long did you study Spanish? You say you were not able to tell the French tenses apart. Major ones? You have swept the book some 3 times. How many hours did you spend on Verne?
I'd like to differentiate between finding out that reading and listening to audiobooks is good for you (something we kinda knew) vs. this particular method - reading/following translations intensively for a short period of time. This method was supposed to create amazing results after some 50-60 hours for absolute beginners. I understand you had a bit of an advantage as you were not an absolute beginner in French and you had been learning Spanish for a year and you've been stabbing at Italian. You have to do some 4 more sweeps so it's early to tell. You're taking long breaks and doing too many other things at the same time and from what I read here you're not really supposed to do that.

Edited by reineke on 16 July 2007 at 10:59am

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FSI
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4519 days ago

550 posts - 590 votes 
Speaks: English*

 
 Message 104 of 489
16 July 2007 at 11:09am | IP Logged 
JasonChoi wrote:
FSI,

This is fascinating! Thank you so much for sharing.

FSI wrote:
Each time I read the novel, I listen to it simultaneously via the audiobook in the target language. The first time, I read the translation. The second time, read the l2. The third time, I reread the translation…


How long does it take to read the entire book? (also how many pages?)

When you read, do you read the entire book in one sitting? I imagine it must take a considerably long time.

-Jason


Hi Jason, no problem. As each work is from Gutenberg, I don't have a page count as such, but copy-pasted into Microsoft Word, here's how it all looks:

Around the World in 80 Days - 67,000 words and 176 pages in French. 63,000 words and 141 pages in English. The audio time is 8h6m.

A Christmas Carol - 28,000 words and 78 pages in Spanish. 29,000 words and 63 pages in English. The audio time is 3h26m.

The Adventures of Pinocchio - 40,000 words and 111 pages in English. Slightly longer in Italian. The audio time is 4h46m.

As for reading, I definitely don't do that in one step! I don't have the time, or desire, to condense it that much. Rather, I typically read in chapters - one or two at a time, before taking breaks. My plan as of late has been to cover the Verne novel every 3 days, the Dickens novella every 2, and the Collodi novel for however long it takes me to read it at 30 minutes per day. This comes out to about 2h30m/d in French, 1h45m/d in Spanish, and, of course, 30m/d in Italian.

However, as of today, I'm cutting each down to about an hour to an hour and a half per day, maximum. Why? Simply to leave room for fun in other things (I am quite fond of music, for example). I believe *half* an hour to an hour a day is more than enough time per day to learn from this method, and I just started out at much larger values in Fr/Sp in order to jump-start myself in the method, and determine if the method could work for me. Seeing it certainly worked in French, I started in Spanish, but lowered the daily reading time. Seeing it worked there, I reduced the time further in Italian.

This is also partly based on reading lots of fanatic and Ardaschir's posts in the Assimil threads from years ago. Both fellows certainly know what they're doing, and fanatic in particular notes he rarely spends more than 30 min - 1hr a day on individual languages, yet has certainly made great progress in the field. Without beating himself over the head with language courses for hours a day. So I'm moving in the same direction - away from drilling for hours a day in FSI, and into more user-friendly, user-directed modes of study. That's part of why I believe modifying the method to fit your personal style is most important - it is the best way to get the most out of whichever method one uses.


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