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Listening-Reading system

 Language Learning Forum : Learning Techniques, Methods & Strategies (Topic Closed Topic Closed) Post Reply
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siomotteikiru
Senior Member
Zaire
Joined 4404 days ago

102 posts - 240 votes 

 
 Message 225 of 489
27 July 2007 at 1:48pm | IP Logged 
It all seems so cryptographic, I don't think I get it. Maybe because I'm drunk. Two many beers, you see.
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frenkeld
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4986 days ago

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

 
 Message 226 of 489
27 July 2007 at 2:14pm | IP Logged 
FSI wrote:
My general method has been to alternate between L1-L2 and L2-L2 until reading in the L2 was as easy as reading in the L1, and I could understand the aural L2 easily as well.


FSI,

I noticed your previous post about your technique, namely, not just do L2-L2 once and then L1-L2 several times, but alternate between the two. This is what I started on last night with a German audiobook, and I find it much more agreeable, for several reasons.

First of all, it increases the amount of L2-only exposure, and the excessive reliance on L1 is what has generally kept me from bilingual editions, the original LR approach, etc.

Secondly, I find your modified LR helpful for dealing with uneven spots in the translation, since one gets to look at the original more than once instead of being lulled into complacency by a faulty passage in L1.

And it just seems to work better for me.

I will combine any LR variant with going through the text with a dictionary, perhaps looking at the translation as needed, and recording some of the new words on flashcards - I don't believe anything can fully replace that.

A couple of comments on your approach. First of all, have you actually tested your knowledge yet? By testing, I mean opening a new book and seeing if it is easier to read now - this would be a check against your having nearly memorized the "learning" book after many LR passes, as opposed to having improved your new language.

Secondly, with Dickens verus Jules Verne, translations are often simpler than the original, and this may account for the difficulty level. Finally, you can slow down any recording in Audacity. Ten percent can make a noticeable difference in comprehension level without the unnaturalness you will start seeing at higher degrees of tempo change.


Edited by frenkeld on 27 July 2007 at 2:24pm

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frenkeld
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4986 days ago

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

 
 Message 227 of 489
27 July 2007 at 2:40pm | IP Logged 
My, hopefully final, question to siomotteikiru.

Where do side-by-side bilingual texts actually come into your approach?

It seems like one can just as well listen while looking at the monolingual version in one or the other language, but why both? Is it something additional one does with the bilingual text, or is one, while listening, supposed to sneak a glance to the "other side" as needed, even while primarily focusing on either the base or target language reading?


Edited by frenkeld on 27 July 2007 at 2:43pm

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HTale
Bilingual Diglot
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 4421 days ago

164 posts - 167 votes 
Speaks: English*, Arabic (Written)*
Studies: French

 
 Message 228 of 489
27 July 2007 at 3:03pm | IP Logged 
siomotteikiru wrote:
PRONUNCIATION

www.stultorum.pochta.ru\AK_Eng_R\The_Italian_man_who_went_to _Malta.mp3


www.antimoon.com/other/myths-foraccent.htm
Myth #5:
"You are a foreigner, therefore you will always have a foreign accent"


Do I think that Zhuangzi's Russian is a disaster? I do. Major Disaster. General Consternation.
Why? Because it's a fact. Should I talk about it? I did not raise the subject. He did.


Do I get enraged when somebody tells me MY Eglish sucks? No, I don't.

Why do teachers say pronunciation is not (so) important?
1. Their own pronunciation sucks.
2. They have no idea how to teach it.
3. They are lazy, they do not care.

Everybody who is incapable of learning has taken to teaching.
Oscar Wilde


I must agree. At my university, there are many foreign students, some of which have thick accents, some of which have slight. However, there are some students that have absolutley perfect English. In fact, I thought an acquaintance of mine was from London for a semester, until he told me "I'm going back home to Copenhagen for Christmas".

It can be done, and, in my opinion, should be done. However, it should never hinder anybody from speaking, and nobody should be embarassed by having an accent, although they should work on it whenever they can.

EDIT: Zhuangzi, posting your Russian reading was extremely brave, and something which I'd never do. I commend you for it, and wish you all the best in your Russian studies.

PS: To my untrained ear, it sounded quite Russian :D

Edited by HTale on 27 July 2007 at 3:21pm

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FSI
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4402 days ago

550 posts - 590 votes 
Speaks: English*

 
 Message 229 of 489
27 July 2007 at 4:02pm | IP Logged 
Hi frenkeld, I'm glad the method's working for you. I agree a dictionary can also come in handy for clarifying points, if desired. If you're studying French, Spanish, or Italian, the WordReference dictionaries are a great resource for entering words, viewing conjugations, and so forth.

Quote:
A couple of comments on your approach. First of all, have you actually tested your knowledge yet? By testing, I mean opening a new book and seeing if it is easier to read now - this would be a check against your having nearly memorized the "learning" book after many LR passes, as opposed to having improved your new language.


Yes - I've opened up new (previously unread) novels in French via Gutenberg, and articles via Google France. They are unquestionably easier to read now. Remember - I could not read novels at all in French before this. Nor could I make out articles beyond a general idea of what they concerned. Now, in contrast, I can open a new novel - say 20,000 Leagues under the Sea and follow it quite easily, with the exception of words I have not yet learned. However, that is an issue of vocabulary, and not of grammar. To improve here, I can simply read more novels with translations, or look words up as necessary through a dictionary. Similarly, news articles (which are almost always easier than novels) are straightforward now.

Aurally, I test the method every day with the music I listen to. I'm currently listening to Coralie Clément, and am not just listening, but *understanding* (not everything, but a lot more than before). It's not just due to a larger vocabulary or a better understanding of grammatical patterns, but rather, to having grown accustomed to *hearing* those structures aurally, and having grown accustomed to understanding them after repeated sweeps through the text.

In Spanish, it's like this, but turbocharged, due to previous study with FSI. There, I could already read, but not without a deal of effort. Now? It's a lot smoother to pick something up and just read it. Aurally, I could already understand most of what I heard on the radio, but now, the music (which I've always found harder than radio) is clearer.

Basically, it's like this: L-Ring a book, and seeing (for example) "il/elle etait" several times through the book (in a variety of contexts), and "it/he/she was" several times in the translation, will naturally ingrain in your memory the meaning of "il/elle etait" whenever you come across it in a new work.

Thanks to the simultaneous listening, you're also more than equipped to deal with it (to understand it) when hearing it spoken, as well. You not only know how to read it, but how to hear it. In addition, you know how to spell it, which leads to knowing how to write it with further practice. The shadowing teaches you to pronounce it, and now, you can use the phrase in any context you desire (thanks to seeing it in a variety of contexts within the text), recognize it by sight and by sound, and produce it orally, or on paper.

Expand that to include every French word and grammatical pattern in a book repeatedly swept via the method, and you suddenly have a comprehensive understanding of most things you're likely to come across in the language on paper, or in speech.

Quote:
Secondly, with Dickens verus Jules Verne, translations are often simpler than the original, and this may account for the difficulty level. Finally, you can slow down any recording in Audacity. Ten percent can make a noticeable difference in comprehension level without the unnaturalness you will start seeing at higher degrees of tempo change.


I agree that translations may be simpler than the originals, but after having gone through both works (Verne and Dickens) several times in both their natural languages (French and English, respectively) and their translations (English and Spanish, respectively), I'd rate the language in both to be similar. The French is mostly word-for-word translated into the English, and the English is mostly word-for-word translated into the Spanish.

I might try this slowing down technique you describe, however. The speed definitely seems to be a factor. When the man who reads the first few chapters of Verne reads, I can shadow him easily. However, the woman who reads the majority of the novel goes at a faster clip, and my tongue gets tied trying to keep up with her. In addition, the male has a deeper voice, which means I can directly mimic his prosody (the same with the male reader of the Dickens story).

The female's voice is higher, but not high enough for me to drop an octave and shadow from below without straining my voice. So that's an extra complication. In addition, one person reads the entire Dickens novel, which I think makes it easier to learn his voice, and learn to follow him through the story.

Thanks to one of the links on the audiobook thread, I've found a copy of Journey to the Center of the Earth which appears to have one reader (a male) throughout the story. I will likely start this book soon.

I cannot comment on shadowing in Portuguese yet, as I have not finished working through the book in English, but the entire story is read by one (male) reader, so I'm hopeful it'll work.
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HTale
Bilingual Diglot
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 4421 days ago

164 posts - 167 votes 
Speaks: English*, Arabic (Written)*
Studies: French

 
 Message 230 of 489
27 July 2007 at 4:28pm | IP Logged 
A Question about L-R to anybody that has used it thus far;

Do you think that L-R promotes English to be the dominant language in ones brain more so than any other method? That is, are you in a process of thinking of the English (or your native tongue for that matter) translation, as you read new texts (a newspaper say)?

I am using the method, but I haven't had enough hours under my belt to know for sure. I've found that if a word appears more than once, it has its own meaning. However, for newer words (or words that occur infrequently in that text), I sometimes have to think about its translation. I was just wondering what your thoughts were.
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FSI
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4402 days ago

550 posts - 590 votes 
Speaks: English*

 
 Message 231 of 489
27 July 2007 at 4:59pm | IP Logged 
HTale wrote:
A Question about L-R to anybody that has used it thus far;

Do you think that L-R promotes English to be the dominant language in ones brain more so than any other method? That is, are you in a process of thinking of the English (or your native tongue for that matter) translation, as you read new texts (a newspaper say)?

I am using the method, but I haven't had enough hours under my belt to know for sure. I've found that if a word appears more than once, it has its own meaning. However, for newer words (or words that occur infrequently in that text), I sometimes have to think about its translation. I was just wondering what your thoughts were.


I think it actually reduces the chances of English being dominant, more than most methods I've seen so far. This is because it (or at least the way I use it) is designed to use the L1 (English in this case) solely as a guide in the initial stages. That's why I advocate alternating, but only until you no longer need the L1 text to understand the L2 text. From there, you learn completely in the L2 - whether in the text, which you now read only in the L2, or in the audio, which you've been listening to from the start in the L2.

As to personal experience, when I read this article via Google News France, I understand it without "translating" to English except in cases where the meaning isn't automatically apparent - in which case I stop, and try to find an English equivalent to the word, and divulge meaning from the French. If I can, so much the better. If I can't, I move on (if desired, you may employ a flashcard or dictionary method here). Often, with numbers, I do have to stop and translate them - but not into English, but rather into French.

For example, in the article, "il y a 450 millions de jeunes Africains qui ont moins de 17 ans, tous ne pourront pas venir en Europe". "There are 450 million young Africans below the age of 17; all of them can't come to Europe." Here, I had to stop to translate the 450 million into French, because I read it in English, and not in French. In contrast, when reading numbers written out in French (this occurs frequently in the Verne novel), I often do have to translate them into English, but again, this is something that will improve with time. Number familiarity is a challenge in any language.

But in general, when listening to Axelle Red (as I am now), I don't translate what she's singing in my head into English, as I don't need to. I just listen. If I miss something she says, I don't translate it into any language - I just hear something in French that I don't understand. And that's okay. Because I'll understand it sooner or later if I keep learning the language.

If you find yourself translating, it's usually a sign that you haven't internalized whatever you're reading/listening to deeply enough. Or it might be because you're thinking too much of/in your L1 to focus on your L2. One of the things I do when reading or listening is to try to relax, to do it at the speed I'd do it in my L1.

If you read at quarter-speed, or constantly rewind audio, you're going to naturally start trying to work whatever you hear into a more familiar language. But if you listen or read normally, you'll be far less likely to translate. Not understanding something will simply mean you don't understand it.

I do credit the method with getting me to think more in the L2, and to that effect, I also credit fanatic, as it was reading his posts on old Assimil discussions that got me thinking about what an advantage it was to study a language solely *in* the language, and not through a training language, once it was no longer needed.

When I read Cuento de Navidad (A Christmas Carol) while listening to it, that's 3h36m of solid audio in Spanish - without a word of English. These are 3.5 solid hours where I'm hearing Spanish and learning the meanings of what I'm hearing, whether by reading the meaning in the L1, or by reading it in the L2, or simply by knowing, once I've absorbed both L1 and L2 definitions.

So the method encourages you to do everything in the L2 once you have absorbed all you need from the L1. From there, you continue in the L2 in both audio and text. Later, when you read or hear something new in the L2, you don't reach for the L1 if you already know what it means in the L2 - because you don't need to. You're already used to it, without translation.


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PuYi
Bilingual Tetraglot
Newbie
Australia
Joined 4832 days ago

13 posts - 15 votes
Speaks: English, Mandarin*, Cantonese*, Korean

 
 Message 232 of 489
27 July 2007 at 9:28pm | IP Logged 
frenkeld wrote:

The only question is whether this leaves some permanent "damage" to one's ability to acquire proper pronunciation later.


Frenkeld,

I know a few Asian friends who have reversed the "permanent damage". Prior to coming to Australia they spoke good English with poor pronounciation and thick accent for many years. Within 6 months to 1 year of living in Australia, they sounded just like they were born here.

But having said that there are many more that I know who seem to have permenant damage done. All I know is that it's really up to the learner to be willing to absorb the new information and be willing to change, rather than fossilizing old habits. Motivation to succeed is another factor since those friends who changed their prnounciations are all doctors, it seemed like the hospital enviroment they were working in demanded high communication skills - and so they changed.

I believe that a poor start in pronounciation does not lead to some permanent damage like some "Natural Approach" linguists have claimed. It will improve over time given a certain amount of motivation and willingness to change.


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