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Listening-Reading system

 Language Learning Forum : Learning Techniques, Methods & Strategies (Topic Closed Topic Closed) Post Reply
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 Message 337 of 489
24 November 2007 at 11:47am | IP Logged 
I am not banned yet so I might as well add this:

To Zhuangzi
I do appologize for being obnoxious. I tried to be funny, but I failed most of the times due to my limited English ability. Having said that, my English seems much better than your Russian.
Be lenient.

Believe it or not, I did learn my languages by Listening-Reading, a method I "invented" as a nine-year-old girl, simply because I loved stories and poems and did not want to wait too long to get some honey for a little everyday something.
And what's more important, I did not fall asleep listening to Anna Karenina.

Here's a handful of rice and a little bit of tenderness for you.

Edited by q on 24 November 2007 at 12:24pm

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 Message 338 of 489
24 November 2007 at 1:44pm | IP Logged 
q, we certainly do not want to lose a valuable member like you. Let's stick to language discussions and keep aside all of this banning stuff for once. You are more than welcome and please share some fresh ideas if you have any regarding language learning.

I forgot to ask you before. Why did you suggest to listen for 10 hours a day? What's the logic behind this? 10 hours a day is a lot of listening. How do you keep your mind freshed and relaxed all the time for that amount of listening? I want to know how were you able to put in such hours for listening to a new language?
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 Message 339 of 489
24 November 2007 at 1:55pm | IP Logged 
Siomettekiru, I hope that you'll reconsider your participation on this board and, rather than being banned, will continue to contribute, but in a way that enhances the discussion rather than (at times) creating enmity.

As is evident from the length of this thread, and from comments made elsewhere on the forum, your initial postings about your method occasioned considerable interest, some skeptical but some very positive, and a number of people tried your method and found it very effective. I confess I haven't, and don't find it all that appealing to my less-than-Stakhanovite approach, but you certainly added to the discussion here with a concept that many were excited by. Frankly, if your native language is indeed Polish, and if you learned English to the level that you clearly now have through that method, you've demonstrated its effectiveness at least in your own case, even if you didn't speak any other languages.

But the tone of some of your comments to others has indeed come across as quite rude, which I think is the real reason for the "censorship" and banning that you complain of.      Why you wrote these things in this way I don't know; your English ability is truly phenomenal, and in some ways puts many native speakers to shame. But a witty remark that causes no offense when delivered in person with a smile and a twinkle in the eye can hit like a whiplash when expressed in writing, and I think we all - and certainly including myself - have to be very careful to ensure that the things we write don't cause offense.

By the fact that you've come back and re-registered more than once, I assume you find some value to yourself in this forum, or else see that you can provide some value to others by your participation. Although I can naturally speak only for myself, I think all of us here would agree that that is the case, and would like to see you as a continuing and indeed valued participant, on the condition you tone down the sarcasm and show some more respect for the people with whom you disagree. So I hope that (if you haven't already been banned!) you'll give some thought to continuing along with us, and in a spirit that will enable us to interact with and learn from one another without causing hard feelings.

Whatever you may decide, you can rest assured that we are all extremely impressed with your mastery of English, and that a fair number of members, based on their comments, have found your methodological suggestions quite useful.

Edited by daristani on 24 November 2007 at 1:57pm

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Language Program Publisher
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 Message 340 of 489
24 November 2007 at 4:27pm | IP Logged 
To answer Marco and S.

Listening and reading are, to a literate learner, the fastest and most agreeable ways to learn a language. More agreeable than speaking, at least for the first long while. Whatever is enjoyable in language learning is better than what is not enjoyable, because we learn better when we enjoy what we are doing, and because learners will simply not put much time into activities that are not enjoyable, not enough to really improve in a language.

Long before I read the post by S. I had tried listening to Swedish audio books while reading English, or listening to Italian while reading in French. It was not unenjoyable but I was less motivated to do it than to read or listen in the target language. After reading the post by S. I tried it again (listening to Russian while reading the English translation of Anna Karenina) with Russian, where my level is much lower than in Swedish or Italian. At first it was OK, but I found that:
1) I wanted to keep a record of the words that I did not know
2) I got bored
3) I preferred to simply listen, or to read and save words and phrases to a database for review.

So I stopped doing it. Even if I am going to listen and read at the same time, I prefer to read the Russian and listen in Russian.

When I first tried this my unknown words % was around 40-50%, now it is around 20%. According to LingQ which counts all forms of a word as a different word.

Where S. and I came unstuck is on the doctrinaire nature of some of the ideas.

Yes, it is probably a good idea to spend 10 hours with a new language, but most people are not going to do it too often and so it should be not a condition of a learning method.

No, a word for word translation is not required, nor easily obtainable. No classics are not the only type of content that is valuable, and most people do not like them. No, you need not do long novels, again people are not going to do that, although i do not mind them.

I believe S. also said that you have to work hard on achieving perfection in pronunciation, and I said that I just listen and do not worry about it. I offered some of my poor Russian as proof that I was not that bad, and S. called it a disaster(presumably because I did not follow her method).

Whatever the case, it is, in my view, important to recommend learning methods that people are likely to follow. I am able to put in one hour a day on average, skip months at a time, jump from Anna Karenina to simpler texts and back again, follow my interests and whims, but basically continue with my Russian studies, and have a sense of achievement and enjoy the process. After roughly 18 months I still do not talk to people, ( I find it more stressful, not so easy to set up, and less enjoyable than just listening and reading. I did, however, do a YouTube monologue in Russian at the request of one my Russian listeners and it is available here.
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 Message 341 of 489
24 November 2007 at 5:36pm | IP Logged 
But, I assume that you aren't passionately in love with 'Karenina', are you? If it is so,
it's no wonder that you were bored. Or perhaps you didn't like the speaker's voice? These things mustn't be neglected, because they are essential part of the method!
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Language Program Publisher
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 Message 342 of 489
24 November 2007 at 6:20pm | IP Logged 
You do not understand. I thoroughly enjoyed Karenina. The voice of the narrator was not great, but OK. ( I have an audio book of War and Peace where I prefer the narrator). But I could listen to the audio book and do over and over to many parts. It is just that listening to Russian and reading in English is not something that can focus on. I want to do it in Russian, reading and learning the words as I go. Reading the Russian words is part of the enjoyment
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 Message 343 of 489
25 November 2007 at 12:03pm | IP Logged 
The main case where I would like to spend 10 hours daily on one single language would be during an immersion period, which in my case would mean a travel to a suitable country, - and the main activity would often be simply to try to keep thinking in that language by reading short texts around me, looking up words in a pocketsize dictionary, speaking, watching TV etc. Apart from that I would only spend 4-5 hours or more on a single language if I already knew it well enough not to be tired, - for instance I have described in the thread on epiphany moments how I suddenly found out that I could understand spoken Dutch, - and then I spend a whole afternoon listening to 'AWRO Museum TV'. Or I have read a book during a flight. Apart from these situations I work best in blocks of around 1 hour, which of course is totally against the spirit and letter of the LR-method.

However I have learnt several useful techniques from this thread. For instance I want to learn enough about the pronunciation of a language to be able to read and think in that language, - but I don't like to say anything before I can deal with normal conversations - and I don't want to deal with teachers at all at any time. So how do I get a feeling for the pronunciation? Two ways: I read books about the inventory of sounds and their physical realisation, and I listen to genuine speech. But listening to something you don't understand is boring and irritating and confusing. Listening to the foreign text while reading a close translation completely take the boredom out of listening because now I know the meaning, and I can listen for much longer without getting distracted. Unlike Zhuangsi I had not thought about that possibility before reading about it.

The other thing I have learnt from the thread is to use interlaced bilinguals, i.e. bilinguals with the native (or well-known) language text written right below the target language text. These were not quite new to me, as they ressemble the resultat of writing ultraliteral translations between the lines in a target language text. Often I just don't have a spoken version of something, and then an interlaced bilingual is a viable alternative (although it can only be used when I'm able to read the foreign text so I have to know how it is pronounced, - but this happens before I can understand everything in the text). I have described in other threads how to make these bilinguals using a spreadsheet and a word processor, and in my experience it is NOT necessary to understand everything in the foreign text to be able to chop it into pieces and identify the corresponding parts of the translation.

It is always nice to learn something new and useful.

Edited by Iversen on 25 November 2007 at 1:58pm

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 Message 344 of 489
25 November 2007 at 12:52pm | IP Logged 

I do find the forum useful.
1. people I meet: Volte, Luke
2. links: SHEETZ (JUST WONDERFUL) and the links subforum
3. I can learn how not to learn languages from most of the posts, and that's very positive negative knowledge

to Zhuangzi
I didn't like your Russian not because you did not follow "my method" (I do not think anybody did follow it), but because your Russian was so poor it made me wonder how anybody who loves languages (and is not a youngster) might be so clumsy.
I have nothing against you personally.

I do not mind when my posts are deleted, but the admin or whoever it is who deletes them, should state for everybody to see why they delete the post.
This thread, for instance, was massacred. It simply does not make sense. After all, it is a PUBLIC board.

To daristani
Flatter me Fred.
As to my English:
I've already said it: it is very limited, simply it is not my cup of tea. And I'm forced to drink it, fortunately, rahter rarely.

10 hours a day:
It's entirely up to you. If you love it, you'll be wanting to do it. LOVE IS A MAGIC LAMP.
I meant achieving relatively high proficiency in about a week.


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