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Shadowing demonstration video

 Language Learning Forum : Lessons in Polyglottery Post Reply
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jimbo baby!
Senior Member
United States
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202 posts - 208 votes 
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Speaks: English*

 
 Message 33 of 56
19 November 2008 at 5:14pm | IP Logged 
I like the idea of walking or doing light exercise while shadowing. It trains you to speak in situations where you might be short of breath like being nervous in stressful conversations as a beginner. The Greek orator Demosthenes became a great public speaker from doing various exercises while reciting verses out loud. This may be considered a precursor to the shadowing technique we are using here today.
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parasitius
Diglot
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United States
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220 posts - 323 votes 
Speaks: English*, Mandarin
Studies: Cantonese, Polish, Spanish, French

 
 Message 34 of 56
19 November 2008 at 9:37pm | IP Logged 
ProfArguelles wrote:
I am glad that your mind and conception of how to tackle a new language have been positively boggled – may I ask what languages you now intend pursue?


Dear Professor Arguelles,

I can't tell you how much I appreciate the reply. Spending probably 20 hours or so trying to read through all the back posts on this site I was really inspired and (as I'm apt to do) became obsessed for a while with the idea that I'd definitely attack language with the full force that you did and for an equally long period. Realistically I've been battling to develop my own will power since about the age of 13 or so when even the most rudimentary will to focus when studying was extraordinarily hard to muster up. Now that I've settled down to be a bit more realistic, at the very least I'm sure I'll learn twice as many languages in this lifetime as a consequence of the inspiration I got reading your posts.

I never considered the idea of tackling more than one language at a time, but in retrospect I realized I never once had any sort of mix up or confusion of languages, so I see no reason not to. So in the very near future I intend to start with the rudiments of: French, Hebrew, Polish, and Shanghainese in addition to continuing with Japanese and Chinese. I can't tolerate the idea of living without one day learning Cantonese and Swedish as well, but I'll add those in due time. I'll adjust and tweak the plan overall as I plan what countries to live in and what people I will be around in the coming years. (Reading is wonderful, but for a language so beautiful and perfect as Cantonese it would bring me untold pain to learn it and not be able to enjoy speaking it on a daily basis for some period of time.)

Justin Wilson


Edited by parasitius on 19 November 2008 at 9:37pm

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Oxenhandler
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United StatesRegistered users can see my Skype Name
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12 posts - 12 votes
Studies: Swedish

 
 Message 35 of 56
31 December 2008 at 3:03pm | IP Logged 
Dear Professor Arguelles,

I viewed the video on your website regarding "Shadowing". You wrote "If this video generates further interest in the technique itself, I will make another, perhaps even more professional and detailed one, in a few months time both to explain and demonstrate the method in more thorough detail..." So I am writing to ask, has it generated enough interest to warrant your effort to make a more detailed and professional demonstration video of Shadowing? I hope it has and you will if you haven't already.

Wouldn't "Echoing" be a more accurately descriptive name for this technique? Thank you. .

Edited by Oxenhandler on 31 December 2008 at 3:42pm

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zenmonkey
Bilingual Tetraglot
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Germany
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Studies: Italian, Modern Hebrew

 
 Message 36 of 56
31 December 2008 at 6:43pm | IP Logged 
Just a quick comment, this brings to mind the Suzuki Violin Learning method which I have always found interesting. It involves full body movement and excercise to learn.


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ProfArguelles
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foreignlanguageexper
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 Message 37 of 56
13 January 2009 at 7:05am | IP Logged 
I do not know if I am truly capable of making a more professional video, but given these prompts I can certainly add making a more detailed one to the list of those that I have planned for the near future.

AA
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Sunja
Diglot
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Germany
Joined 4627 days ago

2020 posts - 2295 votes 
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Studies: French, Mandarin

 
 Message 38 of 56
11 February 2009 at 10:14am | IP Logged 
Professor Arguelles,

I've been reviewing your demonstration videos in an attempt to deepen my understanding of Japanese and Spanish.

Knowledge of Japanese: While living in Los Angeles in the mid 90's I spent 3 years working for Fuji Bank, Ltd., where I started entertaining the idea of one day learning to speak Japanese. Writing it was unthinkable then. The only materials available for learning Japanese were in romanji and kana. I got past basic but gave it up in order to intensify my connection to German. I started learning Japanese with renewed interest about four years ago. I work part-time and have a family, but I'm still able to steal 10 minutes out of the day now and again.

Japanese: I've picked Soseki's Ten Nights of Dreams and I've been using the first story for about 10 days, shadowing eight minutes once or twice a day. I started out blind shadowing; subsequently I started using the scriptorium technique to help me with the vocabulary. I would spend 20 minutes on 5-6 sentences per day. Interestingly, I found that each time I shadowed the story I was getting a fraction closer to understanding it. Some of it is still very hard to catch and I feel I'm falling into the trap of memorizing the text phonetically, without having a more complete understanding of it. I plan on moving on to the next story. Perhaps it will be enough to just step away from it.

Knowledge of Spanish: Having spent the first 22 years of my life in Texas and the next five in Los Angeles, I've grown up accustomed to hearing and reading Spanish. I'm somewhat divorced from it now but I've managed to maintain a steady vocabulary over the years. I've never broken past the passive barrier.

Spanish: I made the mistake of translating a short story (Pardo Bazán) myself, and since I have only a beginner's understanding of Spanish grammar I've decided to shadow the story "blind". After working with it a few times I've decided that I'm not ready to shadow the whole text at once. Despite my iron will I can barely keep up. I've started tackling it in pieces. I'm shadowing a small group of words at a time. This enables me to focus more on the meaning. At the same time I've been doing dictation with beginning/intermediate dialogues from different speakers and this has proven to be a good balance for me. (Next time I'll try finding a story from a Spanish author with a proper translation.)

My question: how long should one stick to shadowing one text? Also, how do you rate shadowing individual sentences as opposed to text? I base my question on a recent experience here in Germany. In my 8-year-old daughter's second-language aquisition of German, her teacher has explicitly ruled out comics as a source of reading material. She states that it is better to read a "zusammenhängender Text"/context. (Comics have a context as well, but she hinted to me that she thinks books demand better concentration.) What is your opinion on this in connection with foreign language learning and shadowing?


Susan Neumann

Edited by Sunja on 12 February 2009 at 1:45pm

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ProfArguelles
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foreignlanguageexper
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609 posts - 2100 votes 

 
 Message 39 of 56
15 February 2009 at 2:33pm | IP Logged 
Ms. Neumann,

Thank you for writing. I am pleased to hear that my own methods of study have proven useful to you as well, and I am happy to try to clarify them a bit more for you here and now.

You ask first all “how long should one stick to shadowing one text?” In a nutshell, only as long as you can
a) remain consciously focused upon it, and
b) feel that you are making some sort of progress, on some sort of level, by working with it.

When you are working with some sort of Assimil-like course, there is no need to thoroughly master the material before moving on because you will continue to cycle on through the same lessons in a review phase, having progressed through more advanced didactically programmed lessons from whose perspective you will understand the earlier lessons better and better. Working with stories at a slightly more advanced level, as you appear to be doing, this is a bit harder to gauge. However, as I just wrote, I think it is only worth sticking to a single text as long as you feel that each time you do it, you do so slightly better on at least one level, be it that of simply keeping up with a formerly difficult pace, or of feeling a better phonetic resonance, or (more optimally) of advanced comprehension and comfortable familiarity with the text overall. Are you being careful to choose material that is a notch above your current abilities but not too difficult? If you choose material that is too far beyond you, you may become dulled by familiarity with it before you have made all the progress you can, and this is not good, as it is then hard to remain concentrated and focused.

I do agree with your daughter’s German teacher that connected texts are preferable to isolated sentences although, of course, pattern drill type sentences that are programmed to teach certain grammatical points form a case apart.

I have not overlooked the earlier request to make a more detailed explanatory video for shadowing, but I was unhappy with the recording volume and the focus on text passages of my new Flip Mino camcorder, so I sent it in for servicing four weeks ago now, and I cannot bear to go back to my old Cannon with its time limit and background buzz, so this will have to wait a bit more until I finally my camera back.

Alexander Arguelles

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Sunja
Diglot
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Germany
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Studies: French, Mandarin

 
 Message 40 of 56
16 February 2009 at 5:02am | IP Logged 
Professor Arguelles,

Thank you for answering my post. You've brought up some very good points that will continue serve as good thoughts for me to focus on at this point in my studies.

ProfArguelles wrote:
When you are working with some sort of Assimil-like course, there is no need to thoroughly master the material before moving on because you will continue to cycle on through the same lessons in a review phase, having progressed through more advanced didactically programmed lessons from whose perspective you will understand the earlier lessons better and better.


In that case I feel better about moving on, even though I haven't grasped everything completely. I'm working with several different books for Japanese; one dealing purely with grammar, one made up of short dialogues for listening practice, and an intermediate-level book of short stories out of a newspaper. I understand working with so many different materials (different approaches) is daunting, and I suppose I run the risk of not getting everything I need to (eventually) be fluent. For that reason I've been using the JLPT Level 3 practice tests to guage myself. While not being an ultimate measure of one's ability in Japanese, the test has at least given me an idea, and I think Soseki is the right choice for shadowing. The grammar is challenging but not out-of-reach. I'm not sure what to do after Soseki, however. I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

ProfArguelles wrote:
Are you being careful to choose material that is a notch above your current abilities but not too difficult? If you choose material that is too far beyond you, you may become dulled by familiarity with it before you have made all the progress you can, and this is not good, as it is then hard to remain concentrated and focused.


Thank you for reminding me of this important point; and indeed, in my haste to quickly dive back into Spanish I may have picked a story which is too advanced. I'm anxious to start reading and yet It's difficult to find just the right text. I have bitten off more than I can chew, but with a little targeted practice maybe I can fill in all those "blind spots" and gaps in my knowledge. More listening practice will also help. There are plently of beginning/intermediate podcasts to choose from and I think those will help bring me up to par with the short (bilingual) stories at AlbaLearning.com. There's a sufficient list to choose from. I have to remember, one step at a time.

Susan Neumann    




Edited by Sunja on 16 February 2009 at 7:29am



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