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Total Immersion is a Crock!

  Tags: Immersion
 Language Learning Forum : Learning Techniques, Methods & Strategies Post Reply
40 messages over 5 pages: 1 2 3 4
Farley
Triglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 5330 days ago

681 posts - 738 votes 
1 sounds
Speaks: English*, GermanB1, French
Studies: Spanish

 
 Message 33 of 40
03 July 2007 at 8:59am | IP Logged 
Volte wrote:

On the other hand, people who study with non-immersion, but good, methods for a year or two can write better, and use tricky grammar points (ie, many uses of the subjunctive in Italian) better, or so it seems, from the few people I've met who seem to pick up languages very effectively.


Good point. I’m guilty of the above. :)
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reineke
Senior Member
United States
https://learnalangua
Joined 4685 days ago

851 posts - 1008 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 34 of 40
03 July 2007 at 9:13am | IP Logged 
Perhaps because "tricky" grammar points like the subjunctive in Italian tend to be replaced by other forms or used less in the spoken language? Immersion should also be about extensive reading.
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orion
Senior Member
United States
Joined 5259 days ago

622 posts - 678 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: German, Russian

 
 Message 35 of 40
03 July 2007 at 9:18am | IP Logged 
TerryW wrote:
Can somebody clue me in on the merits of 100% total immersion for learning?


I learned to speak fluent English in a total immersion environment. Billions of other people also learned their native languages using this method.

I've never tried learning another language this way, but it doesn't seem like a very efficient use of resources. Sure it works, but maybe not as well as a carefully planned approach.

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uman
Diglot
Groupie
United States
umanwizard.com
Joined 5173 days ago

58 posts - 61 votes 
Speaks: English*, French

 
 Message 36 of 40
03 July 2007 at 11:30am | IP Logged 
But doesn't the human brain lose some of its language-learning elasticity after early childhood? It seems like this would imply the need to use different methods for learning.
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jeff_lindqvist
Diglot
Moderator
SwedenRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 5147 days ago

4250 posts - 5710 votes 
Speaks: Swedish*, English
Studies: German, Spanish, Russian, Dutch, Mandarin, Esperanto, Irish, French
Personal Language Map

 
 Message 37 of 40
03 July 2007 at 11:50am | IP Logged 
There's no doubt that you can learn a new language as an adult, I think the elasticity/plasticity has more to do with native-like pronunciation - which however can be acquired anyway, according to research:
Adults Can Be Retrained To Learn Second Languages More Easily, Says UCL Scientist

That being said, it seems as if everybody doesn't learn languages the same way, and that immersions may be more suitable for a certain "learning type".
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TerryW
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4595 days ago

370 posts - 783 votes 
Speaks: English*

 
 Message 38 of 40
02 August 2008 at 9:00am | IP Logged 
OK, I'm coming back to revisit this thread, since I have now used French In Action a bit, and because this very week I saw this advice to a brand new French learner posted in another thread:

Ortho wrote:
I've done basically everything listed in this thread. If I were starting again, here's the order I'd use.

1. Do Pimsleur I and MT if you want. . .(snip)

2. Start FIA immediately. 1 per day. Don't try to understand everything. . .


It's amazing to me that my first post here was over a year ago. I've probably checked in here multiple times every day since, and spent about 10x more time reading here than studying languages. "Bad Terry! Bad boy!"

A couple months ago at work, I was told that I'd be going to France for a week on business in September. Perfect opportunity to give me a few months to work on French, of which I'd only done Pimsleur French 1 eons ago.

Unfortunately, because of travel budget restrictions at work, the trip recently got cancelled, but I am enjoying the differences and similarities from Spanish and Italian, so I'll probably stick with French for now.

After 2 Units of FSI French Basic and about 7 lessons of Assimil French With Ease, I thought I'd check out French In Action again. I started watching about 1 a day, some days repeating.

Yes, it is very effective when showing a dozen video instances of "Sick. Not sick. Sick. Not sick..." and "Thin. Fat. Thin. Fat..." But for most of the 25 minute lessons, I was pretty lost.

When I got to lesson 5, and couldn't understand a single sentence that Prof. Capretz said in his opening 10 minute monologue, I was totally disgusted. He could wave his hands around all he wants while talking, but I was clueless.

Then I found an old "Where are some good French resources?" thread on here. Thank you, thank you, thank you "dmg" for posting this:

dmg wrote:
"If you have the bandwidth to spare, I highly recommend watching the French In Action videos and following along with the FIA Teacher Resources : Suggestions by Lesson for transcriptions. There are English translations for the lessons available at this site here."

http://www.mchenry.edu/faculty_pgs/ecorneli/digitalwarpaint/ html/fre151/fre151assign.html   

FIA transcripts

Wow, what a difference. Comparing the English and French transcripts to the video gave me a huge power boost, and I was quickly able to understand 90% of the video. Now I love it, I'm learning a lot from it, enjoy the characters, etc.

To Farley's point earlier in this thread, it may have been a lot better learning experience for me if I used the supplementary workbooks and materials, but if the English transcript is not there for those who want it, I still say it's a stupid shortcoming.

Look at some of the most recommended courses on here. FSI Basic has the endless drills only in the "foreign" language, but each Unit dialog gives you the building blocks in English to work with. Assimil certainly has the English translation for every line. Michel T. has (maybe too much) English. Lots of people here DON'T like Rosetta Stone, and surprise, no English in the entire course.

Prof. Capretz, tear down that wall!

Edited by TerryW on 02 August 2008 at 9:13am

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Cainntear
Pentaglot
Senior Member
Scotland
linguafrankly.blogsp
Joined 4249 days ago

4399 posts - 7687 votes 
Speaks: Lowland Scots, English*, French, Spanish, Scottish Gaelic
Studies: Catalan, Italian, German, Irish, Welsh

 
 Message 39 of 40
02 August 2008 at 9:31am | IP Logged 
I find it funny when people say things like "I studied French for four years at high school and got nowhere. Now I'm using Immersive LearnBooster GTi and I'm speaking like a native. I wish I'd known about this when I started out."

I don't think I've seen many quotes of any other form -- does it never occur to these people (or the course writers) that the success may be that the immersion has "activated" (to use the popular buzzword) that learned material?

I understand the necessity of immersion to learn a language, but I'm a fan of knowing how to stay afloat before I jump into the deep end....
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Alvinho
Triglot
Senior Member
Brazil
Joined 4472 days ago

828 posts - 832 votes 
Speaks: Portuguese*, English, Spanish

 
 Message 40 of 40
02 August 2008 at 12:31pm | IP Logged 
my best way to enjoy immersion process is to listen to radios....well, only in Spanish and sometimes in Italian.....as for English, I fear not to listen to words properly...it´s the kind of situation I sometimes cannot sort out.....even though they told me over time my ear will grapple with some words and sentesies....

as I´m not keen on spending money on language courses, Internet has become my best tool to acquire more and more words....this website, for instance, despite reading on PC screen bugs my eyes....


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