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Listening-Reading system

 Language Learning Forum : Learning Techniques, Methods & Strategies (Topic Closed Topic Closed) Post Reply
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Volte
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Switzerland
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4475 posts - 6725 votes 
Speaks: English*, Esperanto, German, Italian
Studies: French, Finnish, Mandarin, Japanese

 
 Message 169 of 489
26 July 2007 at 2:58am | IP Logged 
siomotteikiru wrote:

When you read without first mastering the proper pronunciation of the foreign language, you’ll pronounce words and sentences in your native way.


I'll second the general point - my French and Italian accents definitely suffered a lot from this.

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Iversen
Super Polyglot
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Denmark
berejst.dk
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 Message 170 of 489
26 July 2007 at 4:12am | IP Logged 
Zhuangzi wrote:
Iversen,
The test of different ways of learning is how long you continue to find them useful.Initial enthusiasm can sometimes peter out as one finds little return in terms of learning. I tried interlaced bilingual texts for easy Russian content when I started Russian. I eventually found them annoying and discontinued.


Very true, - a technique that you find boring or otherwise irritating automatically loses its 'punch'. However I don't expect to produce these interlaced texts forever. I use them as an easier alternative to making ultra-literal translations myself, which is one of my preferred techniques at the stage where I still can't read anything fluently. That is, I find them relevant in the situation where I don't need to laboriously write ultra-literal translations to understand the general structure of the foreign text, but still can benefit from a close comparison between the two versions.

When I have learnt enough words and expressions to read the foreign version directly with just a limited amount of dictionary use (mostly through my word lists and other methods that are quite out of line with the general tenor of this thread) I normally stop using translations altogether, - at that point I would only find them relevant if there are passages that I simply can't understand even after consulting my dictionaries, and I don't need interlaced versions at that stage.


Edited by Iversen on 26 July 2007 at 4:13am

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siomotteikiru
Senior Member
Zaire
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102 posts - 240 votes 

 
 Message 171 of 489
26 July 2007 at 9:10am | IP Logged 
What’s in a word?

When you look at, say, 頭 or голова, you might say it’s a symbol or a string of symbols. They are there, they don’t disappear, you can look at them time and again, as many times as you feel like it. It doesn’t matter who has written them, they will look the same all the time. You may wonder how they sound like and what they mean.

When you hear them, however, everything changes. First, they disappear almost immediately, second, it does matter who says them: depending on the intonation and the sounds, you can tell a number of things: if it’s a child, a woman, a man, old, young, native speaker or not, happy, sarcastic etc. They will sound differently each time they are pronounced. You might wonder if they are words or a group of words or what they actually mean and how they might look when written down.

To be able to recognize them you must have their image in your own brain. Both acoustic and graphic.

They have something in common: the meaning. How to covey it? You might use an actual object and say pointing: This is頭, it means голова. Then you might guess the meaning, but will you remember it and recognize it the next time you hear or see it?
Will you recognize them in ломать голову or 頭が悪い – you might if you see them, but when you hear them? And not on their own but in a (con)text?

And what about using them yourself?

And if it’s not only one word but thousands of them?


One of the solutions might be to learn some pairs by heart, a word or a phrase and their meaning(s) in your mother tongue.
It is the most common way of tackling the problem.

Some questions arise:
Do the meanings in both languages really correspond to each other?
Do you use a dictionary to find out the meaning? Which meaning(s) do you choose and why and which ones do you discard and why? How much time does it take to find them and write them down?
What do you actually do while revising?
Do you listen to them or/and look at them and/or say them aloud? Do you write them?
How can you be sure you pronounce them correctly? Will others understand you? Will they be puzzled? Laugh at you? (native speakers)
How much time does it take? Is it enjoyable?
Do you learn something interesting as well or just the words?

What about forgetting?

Is it possible to learn language skills (listening, speaking, reading, writing) that way? How well?

Won't you have to unlearn what you've "learned" but are unaware of it?


Edited by siomotteikiru on 26 July 2007 at 9:48am

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Zhuangzi
Nonaglot
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 172 of 489
26 July 2007 at 11:49am | IP Logged 
In response to siomotteikiru

1) I am in favour of an initial silent period in learning a language. This period consists of a lot of listening, repetitive listening, and reading, as well as word study. This conditions you to the language, including its pronunciation.

2)When it comes to a second language, learning it and using it are part of the same process. You do not first learn a language and then use it. It is one continuum. You never achieve perfection and you are constantly improving.

I use the language when I first start listening and reading. I am still learning when I listen to audio books and read novels in the language later.I use it when I listen and read, I use when I speak.

3)You do not "master" the pronunciation, you gradually improve. Some people have an easier time than others at imitating pronunciation.Some people are very fluent and have a pronounced accent, and some pronounce well and use the language poorly.

A lot of listening, especially at the beginning can help. But I certainly favour combining listening and reading, right from the beginning.Reading helps you understand what you are listening to. Reading will not corrupt your pronunciation. In the early stage, any text I read, I will listen to many times.I try not to attempt to pronounce the words until I have had a lot of listening input. I am not even concerned about it.

As to my own Russian pronunciation, I doubt if it has suffered from reading, nor would I delay reading until I "master" Russian pronunciation. It will gradually improve, as long as I do not fret about it. I do not pronounce much and this does not prevent my enjoyment of the language. When I have enough words I will start to speak and my pronunciation will improve. Anyway here is a sample from the opening paragraphs of Anna Karenina. I notice that I got the stress wrong on a few words, but I do not care. I know I will get better naturally.


http://www.thelinguist.com/media/av/podcast/2007/07/ann.mp3

4) Words are key. It is the pursuit of words, through listening and reading, that will enrich your language.And if you can choose content of interest and at your level, you will enjoy the process.

I read at LingQ, where I can also listen. I click on a word to see a translation. Yes a translation into my language. That gives me the quickest point of reference. I choose one or more of the translated words and use this as a "hint" of the meaning. I can change the "hint" later as I encounter the word again and again in different contexts and the range of meaning and usage of the words is better and better understood. The initial information about the word is saved along with the "chunk" or 9 word segment where the word was first found. I can edit this segment into a "phrase" before I save it. I can also tag this as 'adverb" or "motion" or "food" or whatever I want before I save it. I can also see the importance of this word in terms of frequency. I continue reading, and any word I have ever saved is highlighted in yellow to remind me that I have already saved it. I can click to see more information on it, or to edit information.

Soon I have 50 or more words saved for one 4 minute text. I can review a list of the words, with hint and phrase. I can use Flash Cards to look at the same information. After a while I have thousands of words saved. I can review, or use Flash Cards to look at them in many ways. The highest priority words appear on my screen when I go to write.I can click on any word to see the phrase I saved, or any other phrase that I have ever come across that has this word in it.I can change the phrase that I have attached to this word.

Yes I constantly forget words. That is why we highlight previously saved words in yellow.That is why I need to review the words in many different ways , A-Z, Importance, tags etc., all of which I find enjoyable, and even addictive. Although I prefer just listening and reading.

I do not "unlearn" anything.As my grasp of the language grows, as my vocabulary increases, I start to want to speak. But I am in no hurry to speak. I prefer to start by writing and having my writing corrected. In our system the corrected writing is returned with all corrected phrases highlighted, and with a recording from the native speaker tutor. I can listen a few times and even read this out loud a few times like Schliemann. When the opportunity arises I speak, but I am in no hurry.
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siomotteikiru
Senior Member
Zaire
Joined 4408 days ago

102 posts - 240 votes 

 
 Message 173 of 489
26 July 2007 at 1:00pm | IP Logged 
To Zhuangzi
How you learn is up to you, of course, but your reading is a complete disaster. In my humble opinion it is exactly how it should not be done.
By the way, I have made parallet English-Russian texts of Anna Karenina. The recording is unabridged, in English and Russian.


Zhuangzi’s Russian:
http://www.thelinguist.com/media/av/podcast/2007/07/ann.mp3

A native speaker (speaks slowly), the same passage as above.
www.stultorum.pochta.ru\AK_Eng_R\A_K_Russian_native_speaker. MP3

And here are the texts: English and Russian.
Anna Karenina
by LeoTolstoy
PART I
CHAPTER I
ALL HAPPY FAMILIES resemble one another, but each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.
Everything was upset in the Oblonskys' house. The wife had discovered an intrigue between her husband and their former French governess, and declared that she would not continue to live under the same roof with him. This state of things had now lasted for three days, and not only the husband and wife but the rest of the family and the whole household suffered from it.


Лев Тoлстой
Анна Каренина

ЧАСТЬ ПЕРВАЯ
Глава первая

Все счастливые семьи похожи друг на друга, каждая несчастливая семья несчастлива по-своему.
Все смешалось в доме Облонских. Жена узнала, что муж был в связи с бывшею в их доме француженкою-гувернанткой, и объявила мужу, что не может жить с ним в одном доме. Положение это продолжалось уже третий день и мучительно чувствовалось и самими супругами, и всеми членами семьи, и домочадцами.



Edited by siomotteikiru on 26 July 2007 at 1:14pm

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Zhuangzi
Nonaglot
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 174 of 489
26 July 2007 at 1:45pm | IP Logged 
siomotteikiru

One of the most important things we do in our language program is to try to encourage our learners. Whatever the level of their performance we encourage them. We are convinced that continued involvement with the language through a range of activities, as much as possible chosen by the learner, will lead to improvement and will maintain interest and enjoyment.

I do not normally read out loud in Russian, nor have I worked on my pronunciation. I intend to do that in a few months after much more listening and reading. I freely admit that my reading was full of mistakes, however, I can pronounce Russian well enough that Russians have no trouble understanding me. That is all I want at this stage.

To call my reading of Russian a "complete disaster" is not accurate and reflects the dogmatism that permeate your approach to language learning, and therefore makes it suspect in my mind.
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siomotteikiru
Senior Member
Zaire
Joined 4408 days ago

102 posts - 240 votes 

 
 Message 175 of 489
26 July 2007 at 2:24pm | IP Logged 
To Zhuangzi

Why should I encourage you? Are you a child?
I’ve never expected anybody to agree with me, on the contrary, when I see that everybody seems to begin to agree with me, I’m sure I’m going to disagree with THEM.

What I like is a job well done. Yours is far from perfect, to put it mildly – I mean your Russian of course.
In your passage you mispronounce every single word, and you say some words that are not there at all.
I do not mean to hurt your feelings, I do not know you, you might be a perfect person, but your Russian is a complete disaster.
A teacher ought to know much more and set an example. You’re THE linguist, after all.
And a polyglot.
I am neither. I’m a learner. And I happen to know Russian.

As to my being dogmatic. A matter of opinion, as usual.
As I said before: some are wise, some are otherwise. I’m otherwise.



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tpiz
Diglot
Groupie
United States
cvillepayne.blogspot
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Studies: Portuguese, English*, French
Studies: Mandarin, Japanese

 
 Message 176 of 489
26 July 2007 at 2:44pm | IP Logged 
siomotteikiru wrote:
To Zhuangzi

Why should I encourage you? Are you a child?
I’ve never expected anybody to agree with me, on the contrary, when I see that everybody seems to begin to agree with me, I’m sure I’m going to disagree with THEM.

What I like is a job well done. Yours is far from perfect, to put it mildly – I mean your Russian of course.
In your passage you mispronounce every single word, and you say some words that are not there at all.
I do not mean to hurt your feelings, I do not know you, you might be a perfect person, but your Russian is a complete disaster.
A teacher ought to know much more and set an example. You’re THE linguist, after all.
And a polyglot.
I am neither. I’m a learner. And I happen to know Russian.

As to my being dogmatic. A matter of opinion, as usual.
As I said before: some are wise, some are otherwise. I’m otherwise.




I do not want to join in an argument here, but teacher or not, everyone has to start somewhere when they learn a language, you can't be expected to be fluent in a language just immediately. As you know and everyone here does too, you have to develop your language skills over time, because he is a teacher doesn't mean he can buy a book, look at it, and be able to speak the language and teach others to speak it, that's asking for the impossible and I think that statement was more for bringing down Zhuangzi than trying to help his Russian just to do it. He may be a teacher, but he is also a learner just like you say you are yourself, and learners have to progress through a language, and I believe this board if for helping people who have a passion for learning languages and helping others, not useless posts like yours.


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