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 Language Learning Forum : Questions About Your Target Languages Post Reply
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Linguamor
Decaglot
Senior Member
United States
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469 posts - 599 votes 
Speaks: English*, German, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Danish, French, Norwegian, Portuguese, Dutch

 
 Message 145 of 167
15 October 2007 at 2:26pm | IP Logged 
HTale wrote:

Linguamor, you've totally missed the point, and I say this with all due to respect (I've heard your sound clip for French :-) ). However, as I have already stated; a language consists of grammar and vocabulary - there does not exist *a* grammar. Now I pray every one agrees on THAT one :-D


It seems we have been - and still are - missing each other's point.


My sound clip for French? What sound clip for French? I don't have a sound clip for French.

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Linguamor
Decaglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 5528 days ago

469 posts - 599 votes 
Speaks: English*, German, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Danish, French, Norwegian, Portuguese, Dutch

 
 Message 146 of 167
15 October 2007 at 3:02pm | IP Logged 
FSI wrote:
luke wrote:
I'm reminded of the experience of knowing all the words I'm hearing, and understanding the grammatical constructions being used, but still having difficulty attaching meaning to the sound. Am I the only one who has had this experience? Was it from studying the nuts and bolts of the language with a program that thought, "that's all there is to it", rather than a program that focused on meaning and communication?


I don't think this is so much due to using an FSI v. Assimil-type issue, but rather one of simply getting more exposure to the natural, every day language. I'm pretty sure this would be an issue no matter which program you used, as there isn't a program in existence that'll give any learner more than a handful of examples available in any given language.

It's like Linguamor's example with the French above. Knowing the individual pieces of the sentence is only half the battle; one must also know how certain combinations give rise to particular meanings that go *beyond* the point-blank grammar/vocab structures. The only way to do this is to get more exposure - through books, through talking people, through television, movies, radio, papers, etc. If not, we forever look at the L2 through the prism of how sentences (and meaning) are constructed in our L1.

This happens to me almost every time I read a page of anything new. I discover sentence structures I wouldn't have used to express meanings I already knew. Or alternatively, I discover how existing structures give rise to meanings I'd never have thought of, but which a native, of course, would have understood. Sometimes the structures are radically different, to the point where I wouldn't have understood the sentences had I heard them whiz by in speech, while others only differ slightly from how I'd have expressed them myself - but the differences add up, and they draw the lines between native speakers and non-native learners. It's something we can only conquer with more exposure.


This is a point I've been trying to make in many of my posts. You don't learn a language from a language course - though you can learn some of a language from a language course - but from being exposed to ample amounts of meaningful language.

My argument that comprehensible input is essential for acquiring a language is thus a two-pronged argument:

1) The human brain is designed to acquire languages from comprehensible input, i.e. that is how languages are naturally acquired.

2) The nature of human languages is such that ample amounts of comprehensible input are required to acquire them.



Edited by Linguamor on 15 October 2007 at 3:05pm

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Iversen
Super Polyglot
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Denmark
berejst.dk
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 Message 147 of 167
15 October 2007 at 4:07pm | IP Logged 
3) input gets more comprehensible if you learn some words and maybe even a bit of grammar
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HTale
Bilingual Diglot
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 5288 days ago

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

 
 Message 148 of 167
15 October 2007 at 4:36pm | IP Logged 
Linguamor wrote:
My sound clip for French? What sound clip for French? I don't have a sound clip for French.


My mistake. It was linguanima. He has an excellent French accent, I must say.
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Linguamor
Decaglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 5528 days ago

469 posts - 599 votes 
Speaks: English*, German, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Danish, French, Norwegian, Portuguese, Dutch

 
 Message 149 of 167
15 October 2007 at 6:02pm | IP Logged 
Iversen wrote:
3) input gets more comprehensible if you learn some words and maybe even a bit of grammar


Of course. Previously acquired vocabulary and grammar are critical elements in making input comprehensible so that those lexical items and structures that are found in the input and have not yet been acquired can be acquired from the input. There is no reason that the previously acquired vocabulary and grammar cannot have been acquired from comprehensible input.



Edited by Linguamor on 15 October 2007 at 6:05pm

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frenkeld
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 5853 days ago

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

 
 Message 150 of 167
15 October 2007 at 8:31pm | IP Logged 
Linguamor wrote:
Iversen wrote:
3) input gets more comprehensible if you learn some words and maybe even a bit of grammar

There is no reason that the previously acquired vocabulary and grammar cannot have been acquired from comprehensible input.


I am still a bit confused about the terminology. What constitutes having acquired vocabulary through comprehensible input and not otherwise? I assume it means no "pre-learning", but can one look up the new words one meets in reading, listening or conversation in a dictionary? Would a bilingual edition take one outside what's "allowed" for comprehensible input alone?


Edited by frenkeld on 15 October 2007 at 9:34pm

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Linguamor
Decaglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 5528 days ago

469 posts - 599 votes 
Speaks: English*, German, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Danish, French, Norwegian, Portuguese, Dutch

 
 Message 151 of 167
16 October 2007 at 1:25am | IP Logged 
frenkeld wrote:

I am still a bit confused about the terminology. What constitutes having acquired vocabulary through comprehensible input and not otherwise? I assume it means no "pre-learning", but can one look up the new words one meets in reading, listening or conversation in a dictionary? Would a bilingual edition take one outside what's "allowed" for comprehensible input alone?


Acquiring vocabulary through comprehensible input means acquiring vocabulary by understanding language that is being used to communicate. Pre-learning of vocabulary, looking words up in a dictionary, and looking at a translation, as well as inferring and guessing meaning from context, are all valid means of accessing the meaning of the input.

   
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Iversen
Super Polyglot
Moderator
Denmark
berejst.dk
Joined 5613 days ago

9078 posts - 16472 votes 
Speaks: Danish*, French, English, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Swedish, Esperanto, Romanian, Catalan
Studies: Afrikaans, Greek, Norwegian, Russian, Serbian, Icelandic, Latin, Irish, Lowland Scots, Indonesian, Polish, Croatian
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 Message 152 of 167
16 October 2007 at 2:17am | IP Logged 
Thanks, that's all I wanted to hear


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