Le Baron wrote:It does look a lot like a description of just: input. Granted input all put together in one great plan, but really just: input. And input can be done in any organised way without it having a specially-devised new name or a prescriptive set of steps (which are made to look like a method).
Yes, Listening-Reading is just another way to get input, its not re-inventing the wheel, to me I prefer to present it to people like this, its just like other learning methods you use, just try using native audiobooks, translations, and transcripts of books (which a lot of people seem allergic too, because it doesn't come pre-packaged together). The key aspect of Listening-Reading to me that I can't get from other methods, is the factor of keeping the TL audio and translation manually synced makes it so I can pay attention and learn to native level content without sacrificing story comprehension. With most other approaches I've seen it seems like you decide between (A) Comprehensible Input that usually isn't super interesting, beginner courses, or baby shows like Peppa Pig or (B) Incomprehensible Input that's more interesting, that you either have to use sentence mining or dictionary lookups and work through slowly to learn from. Listening-Reading offers a different tradeoff that some people may prefer over the above, you can get compelling comprehensible input using native-level books as a beginner, but it doesn't really become efficient unless you have books you naturally enjoy and get absorbed in re-reading. (Although if you can find beginner materials that are compelling and extensive enough, that would still be the best way to learn I think.)
To me it seems like the original author explains it like a 1 stop solve all your problems method, because what they want to do most in the world with their language is re-read their favorite books over and over again, so they use Listening-Reading until they 100% understand certain audiobooks, and then they can do other activities like watching TV, listening to radio, figuring out how to move passive to active vocabulary, all the activities other learners do, they just don't talk about it, because for them the learning process is about getting books they want to read to 100% comprehension first, and after that the others are easier.
For me personally, I enjoy reading, but I don't have too many books I can naturally enjoy re-reading right away a lot, so for me Listening-Reading is not the only thing I do, but it does play a key role in my language studies that I haven't found other methods to substitute for. So for me I kind of have two time slots during the day for language learning a short time slot for deliberate study, which is mostly just Anki reps, but if I have more time/energy some days can also be any kind of course-work or skill development I think I'm lacking, and a time slot for reading, which for beginner languages is a more casual version of Listening-Reading. Doing Listening-Reading in this casual way, I don't learn as many new things per minute as I do in my timeslot for deliberate study, but I do keep learning new things even at lowest possible energy levels, so it gives the benefit of (A) extending my study time in a day when I don't want to do any more deliberate study (B) It helps consolidate things I learned through deliberate study so I don't have to review as much and things naturally "click" easier, (C) It builds familiarity with certain books, so if/when I chose to re-read them I can leverage my background knowledge to learn more easily from them. This casual way may not necessarily be better than say watching television without subtitles if you enjoy it (especially with closely related languages with lots of cognates), but I prefer to learn using books, and this is the best way I've found to learn from books as a beginner.
So this is why I talked about Listening-Reading in your thread "Do you ever just get sick of language learning?", is that I see lots of people in the language learning having issues with, is they don't find their beginner materials fulfilling and motivating, and they don't find the amount of time investment until they can enjoy native materials worth it, and so they scale back the languages they want to study. For me Listening-Reading solves this, although it may not solve this for everyone, as you'd have to have lots of books available in translation and audiobooks formats that you're excited to go through.
I talked about this earlier in the thread, but currently I'm learning Mandarin listening, and Listening-Reading plays a key part in my routine. If you told me I would have to spend the 2200 FSI classroom hours + however many outside class hours assuming I'm as dedicated as an FSI student that whole time, I would probably say I'd never try to learn Mandarin. I'd rather just read stuff in translation than put that many hours of my life away to appreciate things in the original. But what I did find an acceptable tradeoff is to do a very casual version of Listening-Reading where I repeat the early sections of long books, and then go through them more extensively, and don't necessarily plan to re-read them right away unless I feel so motivated, and I also do some daily Anki study that I find manageable with the Chinese Spoonfed Anki deck, which I found more efficient for learning vocabulary as an absolute beginner, (and if I wanted to do other activities besides reading I would probably use other learning materials and not wait for Listening-Reading to do everything for me). So far its made the beginner and early intermediate phase of learning Mandarin a lot more enjoyable and sustainable as a hobby for me, and the stronger my foundation gets, the more easily I learn stuff from Listening-Reading and I have more and more books I'm familiar with that I can go through again as I transition to unassisted listening. So I'm many hundreds of hours in now, and quite happy with how I've progressed, I dunno how efficient I will be in the long run compared to someone who is trying to learn Mandarin as fast as possible, but since most of my study hours have been leisure reading, I also haven't "lost" many hours doing Mandarin study for its own sake (just some daily Anki), so in terms of efficiency of my personal goals of reading for fun and learning to understand more of the source language along the way, its quite efficient I think.
As for the claims of the original guide, I'm not sure I entirely buy into them or trust the author to accurately evaluate their skill level. But during the times I have been naturally motivated to re-read the same book in a short time span, I have noticed the amount I learn from the method goes up, so I can kind of imagine that if I was hyper-obsessed with certain books the way I was about certain kinds of media when I was younger, it could have the potential to be very fast (though again, I don't know if as fast as the original author claims). I would say though its better not trying to go into it trying to replicate this kind of intensive super fast style of learning, it seems like something that would rather happen to you, in that you'd have to wait to find a book you naturally are obsessed enough to re-read, which might never happen for some people. But again, I think even using the method more casually has a lot of benefits not offered by other methods, and if you get lucky and find stuff to obsess over, all the better.
Anyways sorry this post became quite long, but to kind of sum it up, I'd just say for me Listening-Reading is just the most effective way I've found to learn from books as a beginner and enjoy the process. Its just one potential tool/activity among many others, and I just encourage anyone who is learning language for reading to try it out and see if it finds a place in their routine. And if you're not primarily interested in reading, feel free to keep using other activities that more directly develop other skills.