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Listening-Reading system

 Language Learning Forum : Learning Techniques, Methods & Strategies (Topic Closed Topic Closed) Post Reply
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frenkeld
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 5105 days ago

2042 posts - 2719 votes 
Speaks: Russian*, English
Studies: German

 
 Message 129 of 489
17 July 2007 at 6:05pm | IP Logged 
luke,

I would also like to bring the following quote from Ardaschir to your attention. This is the one I was actually thinking of when talking about reading the translation first, in the context of dual-language reading of literature, while the part your quoted was exactly the one I had in mind with regard to how he used Assimil courses.

Ardaschir wrote:
Since you find this helpful, I will give some more details of the way that I have gone about learning to read literature in Russian and other foreign languages.

The first step is to use actual bilingual texts, with the target language on one page and a translation on the facing page. I keep one index finger under one sentence, the other under its counterpart, and I slowly and carefully compare everything. I am not really "reading" at this point, but rather analyzing the language using interesting reading matter.

The second step is to use "readers," i.e., books that contain annotated excerpts of literature with explanatory notes and, most importantly, vocabulary and an index that is specially keyed to these texts so that finding the meaning of unknown words is much easier than it is by using a regular dictionary. I usually make enlarged photocopies of the text first and then write the meaning of all new words directly in the space underneath them. I then read and reread these texts many times.

The third step is begin reading "easy" literature unaided, i.e., material for native children or adolescents.

The fourth step is what I described in an earlier post, namely using not bilingual texts but an original text and a translation in tandem, reading first a portion of the translation, then the original itself. What portion? If all I can handle is a paragraph or a page at a time, then it is better to keep working with actual bilingual texts. At this stage, as I wrote before, it is initially best to read a full chapter at a time. At first I may have to read them back to back, but I find that it is better not to do so, but rather to read the original later in the day.   Eventually, I read the entire translated work first, then the original. I never use a dictionary at this stage, but just keep on reading. With Russian, I went through most of Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Turgenev, and Checkov this way, as well as some Oblomov and Gogol. I then passed the "airplane test," as I call it, taking a novel that I had not read in translation before with me as my sole companion on an intercontinental flight, and reading it with interest, enjoyment, and understanding the whole time.

I cannot stress strongly enough how important it is to avoid using a dictionary until you have gotten past these stages. Doing so harms you more than it helps you, for it slows you down too much and breaks your concentration. I have always found that using a dictionary is only profitable after I have gotten past this fourth step. Again, I generally try to look up only "known unknowns," i.e., words that I have seen often enough to recognize them ("there's that damn word again--what the hell does it mean?") or even better actually remember them and say to myself, not necessarily while reading, but simply while ruminating, "I know that I don't know what X means--it seems like it means such and such, but I wonder..." When I finally look it up, I never forget it, whereas if I use a dictionary too early, I find myself looking up the same word repeatedly.


I wasn't, by the way, suggesting that we use Assimil instead of audiobooks. I was merely pointing out that the way Ardaschir "read-listened" Assimil had striking similarities to the "reading-listening" approach, even though it was not done on a work of literature.

Otherwise, yes, differences can be important. If the fusion is indeed to be more than the sum of its parts, some of them probably are.

I am certainly very receptive to siomotteikiru's inistence that full-length novels be used, I myself stated on several occasions that I prefer a properly selected novel to newspaper articles and short stories when I am new to a language, because one stands a much better chance of figuring out what's going on from context when you have one single long story line, where one can miss many details and still have an idea of what's going on. And you have a single author, with his or her own favorite vocabulary and expressions repeating themselves over several hundred pages. Novels aren't graded, of course, unlike Assimil, so they may not work for everyone as the first introduction to a language, as John Farley has observed, and even the intrepid siomotteikiru talks about selecting the level of the first novel based on the proximity of the language to the ones one already knows, and even acknowledges the possibility of needing to read through a grammar summary of the target language.

luke wrote:
Have you figured out what the LSD1/LSD2 acronyms are?


Without the attached digits, I think I have. With the digits, I assumed one meant the target language and the other the base language, and figured out from context which of those "1" and "2" corresponded to. (I then promptly forgot which is which, that's why I am only only providing the "instructions".)


Edited by frenkeld on 17 July 2007 at 7:02pm

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leosmith
Senior Member
United States
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Speaks: English*
Studies: Tagalog

 
 Message 130 of 489
17 July 2007 at 8:32pm | IP Logged 
luke wrote:
Have you figured out what the LSD1/LSD2 acronyms are?

Maybe it's this. Make any trips to the psychodelic pussycat club?
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luke
Diglot
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United States
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 Message 131 of 489
17 July 2007 at 8:52pm | IP Logged 
leosmith wrote:
luke wrote:
Have you figured out what the LSD1/LSD2 acronyms are?

Maybe it's this. Make any trips to the psychodelic pussycat club?

It's probably something in that clitty-titty language that I've heard such good things about.
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siomotteikiru
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Zaire
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 Message 132 of 489
17 July 2007 at 10:12pm | IP Logged 
Volte wrote (in an e-mail to me)

By the way, I've asked a couple more questions about the method on the forum (on how to effectively use -parallel- texts, stopping vs not stopping the audio, spending large amounts of time per day but also doing other mental work, and about whether it's better to repeat a -long- text once or twice, or go for entirely new material, and on what 'phonetic listening' is).


My answer:
xxx
JOY and EXPOSURE
If you stop or not depends entirely on you, experiment and see what happens.
If you feel like doing something else, do it.

Phases in acquiring language skills:
PERCEPTION: partial – full
RECOGNITION: partial – full
REPRODUCTION: partial – full
PRODUCTION: your own, based on what you’ve learned, in “artificial” envirenment
COMMUNICATION: using your language skills in real life situations

If you understand a lot while “listening-reading” (it doesn’t matter if ony for a while), say 50% to 70%, it would be much better to go to new texts (if you have any).
If you understand not so much, it’s better to do it more times. But if you feel you don’t like it any more, do new texts. That’s why, among other reasons, you should have plenty of materials to learn. Learning a language means exposure to sounds, words, sentences (grammar), discourse (= rules of making texts). You don’t need to understand everything in one particular text, you’re sure to come across the same sounds, phrases, grammar and discourse rules in new texts, they will recur time and again, the longer the text, the more often you’ll hear and see them, sooner or later you’ll remember them and be able to use them without any cramming.
JOY should be your ultimate guide.

As to phonetic listening:
It means exposure to phonemes (=sounds differentiating the meaning of words in a given language), stress, rythm, tones, intonation patterns, and careful comparison with similar phonomena in your mother tongue.
It is the only area in language learning where some sound previous knowledge would be extremely useful.
You should do it using both special recordings and the texts you’re “listening-reading” to.

Don’t believe anybody (including yourself), they might cheat, experiment and see what really works.



To luke,
I'm glad you figured out what LSD is.
It was meant as a joke (that's my way of being beautiful). It might mean someting else, as well.





Edited by siomotteikiru on 17 July 2007 at 10:37pm

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Zhuangzi
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Language Program Publisher
Senior Member
Canada
lingq.com
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Speaks: English*, French, Japanese, Swedish, Mandarin, Cantonese, German, Italian, Spanish
Studies: Russian

 
 Message 133 of 489
19 July 2007 at 1:00pm | IP Logged 
A very interesting thread. My opinion is as follows.

We all have somewhat different approaches to language learning although there are, I believe certain constants,
many of which are included in siomotteikiru's method.

1) Enjoy the language, even love the language.
2) Choose your own content, content which is familiar and interesting.
3) Listen and read a lot. Exposure, massive exposure of interesting and pleasant content, yes! Audio books and books are more intensive than movies, yes! Listen more than you speak. Listen while you speak.
4) Study in a concentrated fashion. 8 hours a day if you can maintain the interest.

Now here is where I differ.

1) I am studying Russian. I emphasize listening because I need to fit my learning into whatever free time I have, running, driving, doing the dishes.I started from scratch with shorter content. I find that as I improve I can go from units of 30 seconds to 1 minute to 5 minutes to 30 minutes etc.
I used a variety of systems including Assimil. I generally ignore grammar explanations and focus on content.Most of all I need to learn words. All of these systems only give you very little in the way of words, compared to what you need to learn.
2) As soon as I was able to I went to literature, with audio books. I did short stories because it is tiring to read and listen to a foreign language for too long. Then I moved on to shorter novels, Kreutzer Sonata, Fathers and Sons, again with L1 text, L2 text and audio book.Now I am doing Anna Karenina.
3) I use our LingQ system to read the first time because in reading bi-lingual books I do not remember the words and phrases. I then read again from a normal book. In LingQ I access online dictionaries, capture the phrases where the words are used, and see any word that I have saved alredy highlighted in new texts. I also get a variety of lists of these words for review in many different ways.( You can find Demos on www.thelinguist.blogs.com/lingqcentral/
Lingq tells me that I have learned 19000 Russian words. I still find a lot of words that I do not know. I also listen often, many times. The quality of the audio book production is important.
4) As I improved in the language I quickly became less and less interested in reading the English translations.It spoiled the pleasure. And interest is key.
5) Not everyone is interested in classical literature, where it is easiest to find audio books and free e-text. I find many podcasts from Russia particularly interesting. At The Linguist we found that our learners preferred natural conversations (transcribed) to literature, by a wide margin. I might add that Dickens or other 19th century authors were of almost no interest. (I like 19th century writers, but the key is the interest of the learner.)
So I feel that the approach that we have taken, with an emphasis on listening to and reading content of interest but spending some time on a systematic review of newly encountered words and phrases is a practical solution for most people.
We expect to have much of our functionality in LingQ available free of charge starting next month. We will also make it attractive to people to contribute content. since LingQ will be offering many languages we are hoping to see quite a corpus accumulate. I hope some of you will come to take a look.

www.thelinguist.blogs.com
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frenkeld
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 5105 days ago

2042 posts - 2719 votes 
Speaks: Russian*, English
Studies: German

 
 Message 134 of 489
19 July 2007 at 1:37pm | IP Logged 
Zhuangzi wrote:
2) As soon as I was able to I went to literature, with audio books ... with L1 text, L2 text and audio book.

...

4) As I improved in the language I quickly became less and less interested in reading the English translations.It spoiled the pleasure. And interest is key.


Steve,

How do you phase out the translations as you progress? More generally, what are the specifics of how you use audiobooks?

P.S. I am glad to hear lingq is near the finish line. I chickened out of asking to be a beta tester back when you first mentioned it in this forum, but have been wondering about it ever since.

P.P.S. Oh, yes, and where do you get all those high quality Russian audiobooks?


Edited by frenkeld on 19 July 2007 at 1:42pm

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Zhuangzi
Nonaglot
Language Program Publisher
Senior Member
Canada
lingq.com
Joined 5190 days ago

646 posts - 687 votes 
Speaks: English*, French, Japanese, Swedish, Mandarin, Cantonese, German, Italian, Spanish
Studies: Russian

 
 Message 135 of 489
19 July 2007 at 1:59pm | IP Logged 
I import the text into LingQ and read it there looking up and saving words as I go. Then I listen to the audio book again and again.

I was recently in Riga, Latvia on business and bought a bunch of Russian books and audio books.

Re LingQ we were delayed because we tried to make an off line system which did not work out. We hope we are near the finish line for version 1 of the online system. If you want I could set up a Beta account for you. I just need a desired username and password. Email me if you are interested. steve at thelinguist.com
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siomotteikiru
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 Message 136 of 489
20 July 2007 at 7:52am | IP Logged 
Quote:
This post is intended for the use of the individual addressee(s) and may contain information that is confidential, privileged or unsuitable for overly sensitive persons with low self-esteem, no sense of humor or irrational religious beliefs. If you are not the intended recipient, any dissemination, distribution or copying of this post is not authorized (either explicitly or implicitly) and constitutes an irritating social faux pas. If you don't like it, ACT like you do.
Warnin: Speling erors in thes mesage are the produck of a pour scholl sistem. Pay teachures morr then athileets.


Quote:
Mais il remarqua avec sagesse: – Les baobabs, avant de grandir, ça commence par être petit.
– C'est exact! Mais pourquoi veux-tu que tes moutons mangent les petits baobabs?
Il me répondit: "Ben! Voyons!" comme s’il s'agissait là d'une évidence.
Et il me fallut un grand effort d'intelligence pour comprendre à moi seul ce problème.


As to 'listening-reading", it's a SYSTEM. Joy and exposure: LOVE and TIME. You cannot struggle with it. IF you don't love it, you'd better stop. There are so many other beautiful things under the sun, why waste your time?
People should think and act for themsleves, that's what I like and do. EXPERIMENT AND SEE WAHT HAPPENS. And read a lot of GOOD literature - it really makes you think and see the world and yourslef in a more clear way. Not only science fiction, because it's crap. Have you read Dostoyevky, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Solzhenitsyn, Platonov, Hemingway, Steinbeck, Conrad, James Joyce, Bertrand Russell, Kral Popper, Erich Fromm, Garcia Marquez, Vargas Llosa, Guimaraes Rosa, Alejo Carpentier, Camus, Proust, Abe Kobo? What about poetry?

最大のものは愛です。 外国語を会得するのは時間がかかります。




A goodbye gift:
www.stultorum.pochta.ru\aaaa\owari.wav

Rosa
www.stultorum.pochta.ru\aaaa\Rosa.doc



Radosne nic
bez granic
poezJA

Edited by siomotteikiru on 22 July 2007 at 4:01am



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