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Strategy: Learn 600 words a week.

 Language Learning Forum : Questions About Your Target Languages Post Reply
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lloydkirk
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 Message 57 of 167
08 October 2007 at 7:15pm | IP Logged 
CaoMei513 wrote:
Is this a joke? I didnt think people actually learned individual words anymore...


Exactly my opinion too...Focus on learning sentences. This way you learn vocab but also sentence structure, verbs,etc..
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xtremelingo
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 Message 58 of 167
08 October 2007 at 7:19pm | IP Logged 
Memorization and Learning sometimes can be two different things.

I can learn something, but it doesn't imply that I will always remember it.

This thread is focused on effective memorization techniques of vocabulary, for those that do just that.

If you choose to learn/memorize sentences that's good too, and the method still works for this a well. I do that for the 3rd item on the flashcard, it usually is a sentence that incorporates both 1st item and 2nd item that I make through creativity.

Would it make you happier if the thread was entitled "Learn 600 sentences a week?" The point remains the same. The goal is to memorize a large amount of high frequency words/phrases/structures in the fast amount of time possible.

Lloydkirk,

As for learning sentence structure, I do that through reading - alot. However, it's difficult to read when you don't know many words at first. Reading will develop the grammatical structures, and nowhere did I state you should stop reading. In fact in many threads, such as READING using a Word Counter, I advocate it. This is to give that boost into reading.

Edited by xtremelingo on 08 October 2007 at 7:32pm

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Linguamor
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 Message 59 of 167
08 October 2007 at 8:35pm | IP Logged 
CaoMei513 wrote:
Is this a joke? I didnt think people actually learned individual words anymore...


It seems there are still people who believe that learning a language involves memorizing target language > native language and native language > target language word "equivalents". Learning a language means learning to express meaning in a different language. Languages are idiomatic - the way meanings are expressed in a language cannot be made up by the language learner based on how the language learner's native language uses words.
   

Edited by Linguamor on 08 October 2007 at 8:35pm

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lloydkirk
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 Message 60 of 167
08 October 2007 at 9:30pm | IP Logged 
xtremelingo wrote:


Lloydkirk,

As for learning sentence structure, I do that through reading - alot. However, it's difficult to read when you don't know many words at first. Reading will develop the grammatical structures, and nowhere did I state you should stop reading. In fact in many threads, such as READING using a Word Counter, I advocate it. This is to give that boost into reading.


Your logic is bizarre. Is it not also difficult to read when you don't know many verbs, adverbs, adjectives, articles,etc..? Memorizing a ton of vocabulary won't do you very much good if you don't know how to use the language(express yourself). If one is going to dedicate time to memorizing vocab I think you should already be quite comfortable in the language you're learning.

Edited by lloydkirk on 08 October 2007 at 9:31pm

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xtremelingo
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 Message 61 of 167
08 October 2007 at 9:42pm | IP Logged 
Linguamor,

Quote:

It seems there are still people who believe that learning a language involves memorizing target language > native language and native language > target language word "equivalents".


You are basically saying anyone that uses any kind of flashcard program, whether computer or paper-based to learn vocabulary is incorrect in their approach? Interesting.

Quote:
Learning a language means learning to express meaning in a different language.


Yeah and to express meaning in another language, you have to know the words they use to express those meanings. No words = No Sentences = No Language.

After learning those words and/or sentences, now you have to ensure they are committed to memory effectively such that recall becomes seamless and integrated. This requires an element of memory work. It is not a replacement, it is a supplement. Flashcards tend to do this best for time value.

If you use a dictionary, then you are *studying vocabulary* and their native/target equivalents. So a contradiction on your part.

The only difference is, I'm building that dictionary in my head, as I continue to learn the language. Because in life I don't plan to carry one with me.

I suggest memory work for just about everything you learn. Throw in grammar rules on your flash card too. I have grammar rules on my flash cards, I have just about everything I learn on flash-cards.

For me, flash-cards are a valueable tool to ensure during or after I have learned something -- that I don't forget. So if you want to do sentences, by all means do it.
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xtremelingo
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 Message 62 of 167
08 October 2007 at 9:49pm | IP Logged 
Lloydkirk,

Quote:

Is it not also difficult to read when you don't know many verbs, adverbs, adjectives, articles,etc..? Memorizing a ton of vocabulary won't do you very much good if you don't know how to use the language


All that won't do you any good either if you don't have vocabulary either. As a matter of fact, when it comes to memorization order in terms of the elements in grammar itself.

I would prioritize high frequency VERBS first, than high frequency nouns. As Verbs will give you more mileage in language.

The point is when you are studying language, it is more logical to study things that occur in higher frequency because you are more likely to encounter them first.

I guess you don't understand that all elements in a language's grammar are still essentially a specific sequence, construction and manipulation of words -- they are just different 'kinds' of words.

And if you paid attention, I said learn 600 words a week. So this can include grammatical elements.

Edited by xtremelingo on 08 October 2007 at 9:55pm

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Linguamor
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 Message 63 of 167
09 October 2007 at 4:49am | IP Logged 
xtremelingo wrote:
Linguamor,

Quote:

It seems there are still people who believe that learning a language involves memorizing target language > native language and native language > target language word "equivalents".


You are basically saying anyone that uses any kind of flashcard program, whether computer or paper-based to learn vocabulary is incorrect in their approach?


I am saying that if you are learning target language > native language and native language > target language word "equivalents", you are not learning how the words are used in the target language. Words have an "instructions for use" and you cannot simply take the instructions for a word in one language and use them for a supposed equivalent in another language. Learning the vocabulary of a language means learning the words in context, and for many words, especially the most commonly used words, learning them in dozens, sometimes even hundreds, of different contexts, because expressing what you want to express in the target language involves using target language words in different ways, and in different combinations with other words, than their "equivalents" are used in your native language.       

Quote:
Learning a language means learning to express meaning in a different language.


xtremelingo wrote:


Yeah and to express meaning in another language, you have to know the words they use to express those meanings.


You have to know how target language speakers use the words of their language, and how those words pattern to form meaning units, to express the meaning you want to express, and this cannot simply be invented using "equivalent" native language words and patterns.



xtremelingo wrote:

... I'm building that dictionary in my head, as I continue to learn the language. Because in life I don't plan to carry one with me.


A bilingual dictionary or wordlist will not enable you to speak a language. What you need in your head is a large corpus of meaning > target language items. Many of these items will be single words, but many more will be prefabricated and semi-prefabricated multiword units.


Edited by Linguamor on 09 October 2007 at 7:07am

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Topsiderunner
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 Message 64 of 167
09 October 2007 at 7:41am | IP Logged 
I admit not having read this entire thread, but I'm frankly utterly surprised by the statement "Is this a joke? I didnt think people actually learned individual words anymore..."

Language is two things: vocab and grammar. Now even if you know both, that doesn't at all mean that you "know" the language; you have to know how these words are used together to express different ideas, idiomatic expressions, listening skills, etc. But at the end of the day you need to know these two fundamental things, and I would argue that the vast majority of language learning time is/should spent learning these two things. And objectively speaking, the amount of raw information needed for memorization is far greater in the vocab realm than grammar, so anything to speed up vocabulary memorization should be welcome!      


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