Krashen and "Krashenite"

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Re: Krashen and "Krashenite"

Postby TopDog_IK » Sun Oct 02, 2022 10:51 pm

Le Baron wrote:Isn't it true that TL learners very often say: 'I can understand the news, some documentaries, TV shows even speeches or formal debates, and read books, but when the natives start talking among themselves it's often gibberish to me!'?


A few hundred hours of Reality TV shows can help a lot with that.
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Re: Krashen and "Krashenite"

Postby Cainntear » Sun Oct 02, 2022 11:39 pm

TopDog_IK wrote:
Le Baron wrote:Isn't it true that TL learners very often say: 'I can understand the news, some documentaries, TV shows even speeches or formal debates, and read books, but when the natives start talking among themselves it's often gibberish to me!'?


A few hundred hours of Reality TV shows can help a lot with that.

Evidence...?
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Re: Krashen and "Krashenite"

Postby Le Baron » Sun Oct 02, 2022 11:49 pm

TopDog_IK wrote:
Le Baron wrote:Isn't it true that TL learners very often say: 'I can understand the news, some documentaries, TV shows even speeches or formal debates, and read books, but when the natives start talking among themselves it's often gibberish to me!'?


A few hundred hours of Reality TV shows can help a lot with that.

Keep the faith! I'm talking about people talking in real life and to you directly. Not the safety of a TV screen.
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Re: Krashen and "Krashenite"

Postby TopDog_IK » Mon Oct 03, 2022 4:18 am

Cainntear wrote:
TopDog_IK wrote:
Le Baron wrote:Isn't it true that TL learners very often say: 'I can understand the news, some documentaries, TV shows even speeches or formal debates, and read books, but when the natives start talking among themselves it's often gibberish to me!'?


A few hundred hours of Reality TV shows can help a lot with that.

Evidence...?


You need evidence that watching hundreds of hours of natives talking among themselves will improve comprehension for natives talking among themselves?
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Re: Krashen and "Krashenite"

Postby s_allard » Mon Oct 03, 2022 5:28 am

Le Baron wrote:
TopDog_IK wrote:
Le Baron wrote:Isn't it true that TL learners very often say: 'I can understand the news, some documentaries, TV shows even speeches or formal debates, and read books, but when the natives start talking among themselves it's often gibberish to me!'?


A few hundred hours of Reality TV shows can help a lot with that.

Keep the faith! I'm talking about people talking in real life and to you directly. Not the safety of a TV screen.


I think this is an excellent suggestion but I would take it a step further by working with a tutor to decipher recordings that are otherwise unintelligible.

As we have all experienced even in our native language, the spoken informal language is very different from the formal language and especially the written language that we tend to study. Here are some of the features of informal conversational spoken speech that can render the latter difficult to decipher :

1. Regional accent and dialectal features.
2. A fast speaking rate.
3. Voice characteristics, such as older voices, that make comprehension difficult.
4. Presence of slang and local lexicon.
5. Elements of non-standard grammar.
6. Presence of clipped or incomplete sentences and phrases.
7. Presence of abbreviations and acronyms.

Many contemporary TV series are quite realistic and will include some of the above elements but they are not the same thing as the so-called reality shows. And then there is the real thing such police bodycam footage and surveillance recordings. Something quite widespread in Mexico is leaked telephone recordings of politicians.

In all these cases, the help of a native tutor is indispensable. You simply can’t decipher this stuff alone, no matter how many hours you spend listening or watching.
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Re: Krashen and "Krashenite"

Postby rdearman » Mon Oct 03, 2022 7:13 am

TopDog_IK wrote:
Cainntear wrote:
TopDog_IK wrote:
Le Baron wrote:Isn't it true that TL learners very often say: 'I can understand the news, some documentaries, TV shows even speeches or formal debates, and read books, but when the natives start talking among themselves it's often gibberish to me!'?


A few hundred hours of Reality TV shows can help a lot with that.

Evidence...?


You need evidence that watching hundreds of hours of natives talking among themselves will improve comprehension for natives talking among themselves?

I have watched hundreds of hours of Korean and it hasn't worked for me. So yes, I for one would like to see some proof.
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Re: Krashen and "Krashenite"

Postby Cainntear » Mon Oct 03, 2022 7:48 am

TopDog_IK wrote:
Cainntear wrote:
TopDog_IK wrote:
Le Baron wrote:Isn't it true that TL learners very often say: 'I can understand the news, some documentaries, TV shows even speeches or formal debates, and read books, but when the natives start talking among themselves it's often gibberish to me!'?


A few hundred hours of Reality TV shows can help a lot with that.

Evidence...?


You need evidence that watching hundreds of hours of natives talking among themselves will improve comprehension for natives talking among themselves?

If you're going to state it as fact rather than opinion, you need to prove it.
You are telling people who've done this stuff before, and several of whom have studied this stuff at university level, that you know better.

As we've already said, no-one here is saying that TV is useless, so yes, watching reality TV will contribute to better comprehension, but only in a limited way.

Part of the reason casual speech is so hard to comprehend is because it's unplanned, vague and context-dependent. We tolerate this in casual conversation because we can stop, repeat and clarify. You can't ask a TV what it means by "le poulet qui a trouvé un couteau", or what that last word was.
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Re: Krashen and "Krashenite"

Postby anitarrc » Mon Oct 03, 2022 7:58 am

s_allard wrote:
Le Baron wrote:
TopDog_IK wrote:
Le Baron wrote:Isn't it true that TL learners very often say: 'I can understand the news, some documentaries, TV shows even speeches or formal debates, and read books, but when the natives start talking among themselves it's often gibberish to me!'?


A few hundred hours of Reality TV shows can help a lot with that.

Keep the faith! I'm talking about people talking in real life and to you directly. Not the safety of a TV screen.


I think this is an excellent suggestion but I would take it a step further by working with a tutor to decipher recordings that are otherwise unintelligible.

As we have all experienced even in our native language, the spoken informal language is very different from the formal language and especially the written language that we tend to study. Here are some of the features of informal conversational spoken speech that can render the latter difficult to decipher :

1. Regional accent and dialectal features.
2. A fast speaking rate.
3. Voice characteristics, such as older voices, that make comprehension difficult.
4. Presence of slang and local lexicon.
5. Elements of non-standard grammar.
6. Presence of clipped or incomplete sentences and phrases.
7. Presence of abbreviations and acronyms.

Many contemporary TV series are quite realistic and will include some of the above elements but they are not the same thing as the so-called reality shows. And then there is the real thing such police bodycam footage and surveillance recordings. Something quite widespread in Mexico is leaked telephone recordings of politicians.

In all these cases, the help of a native tutor is indispensable. You simply can’t decipher this stuff alone, no matter how many hours you spend listening or watching.


I urgently need a tutor for East Belgian dialect it seems.

Seriously, I never had a native tutor in my life, unless you count my 10 months of participating in an evening course with a Mexican 40 years ago.
I wonder how I ever learned French. English,German, Spanish, Portuguese and even my own language (partially forgotten) if native tutors are indispensable.

What on earth is wrong with watching TV and just talking to natives at work? Or in any other daily situation? Do you seriously think I understood every word when I came one of the 6 countries I lived in for more than 2 years? It only takes about 2-4 weeks to "tune in" and get better.

Masha my "adopted" Ukrainian colleague tells me:

Let's watch another episode of Downton Abbey. I never understand the first 5 minutes, especially when Mrs Patmore is speaking but after that it gets better.

It does. She understand better already.

As to abbreviations and acronyms, they lurk everywhere. You learn them when dealing with bureaucracy worldwide, no matter where you live. Just ask, I was never ashamed to do just that. The same abbreviation will never mean the same thing in two countries even if the do speak the same language, with the exception of international standards like incoterms and units. Again, no need for a tutor.
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Re: Krashen and "Krashenite"

Postby s_allard » Mon Oct 03, 2022 1:48 pm

Are native tutors indispensable when deciphering forms of informal speech ? Well obviously not if one can spontaneously parse and understand what is being said without any kind of assistance. This is obviously much easier when one is in some form of immersion setting. I wish I could just ask a colleague the meaning of a word.

But for the vast majority of us who do not live years in the country of our target language and have to rely mostly on audio and video recordings there is often a basic problem of simply figuring out what was said. How many times have I listened to snippets of conversation without understanding even when I can decipher the words and look them up in the dictionary.

Thank God there are slang dictionaries or, in my case, guides to Mexicanismos but even then there are, for me, situations where the presence of a native speaker makes a huge difference. I don’t waste time trying to figure out the sounds and I get a quick explanation or definition.

In my opinion one of the most useful exercises is to actually listen to challenging recordings in the company of a tutor. What I have always noticed is that my understanding improves considerably because all sorts of little details suddenly come to the fore.

Speaking of tutors, it makes me think of what it was like to visit Mexico in the company of a native Mexican. That was certainly a form of informal but highly effective tutoring. Something as simple as reading the signs and posters in the streets or menus in restaurants is a totally different experience in the company of a native guide.
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Re: Krashen and "Krashenite"

Postby Le Baron » Mon Oct 03, 2022 2:16 pm

anitarrc wrote:I urgently need a tutor for East Belgian dialect it seems.

Seriously, I never had a native tutor in my life, unless you count my 10 months of participating in an evening course with a Mexican 40 years ago.
I wonder how I ever learned French. English,German, Spanish, Portuguese and even my own language (partially forgotten) if native tutors are indispensable.

What do you mean that your 'own language' is partially forgotten? No-one ever really forgets their native language. It is impossible to have used a language as the medium with which to have come to awareness and of age, then for it to just vanish out of your head. And if this language wasn't the language you used for those important things, it's not your native language. Simple as that.

Let us just break down some stuff here because this thread is way out of hand. I try to be careful in my word choices, since as soon as a word turns up with a sense of certainty it creates a new tangent to rail against. 'Perfectly', 'fluent' and here 'indispensable'. I don't think it was used by s_allard as a placeholder for 'unless you engage a tutor you're finished'. It might even have been a bold or even debatable choice, but I understood it. More to mean: should you engage a tutor you'll likely unravel a lot of these things far more quickly, because such a person can unravel problems in those enumerated areas which a learner might never decipher or will take a long time to. Discovering things you don't know about is hard.
anitarrc wrote:What on earth is wrong with watching TV and just talking to natives at work? Or in any other daily situation? Do you seriously think I understood every word when I came one of the 6 countries I lived in for more than 2 years? It only takes about 2-4 weeks to "tune in" and get better.

What is 'wrong' with it? Nothing is wrong with it. Apart from the second option not being available to quite a lot of learners for their L2, 3, 4... Or the 'daily situation'. It's why there is a high dependence upon media input. Listening to a lot of spoken language this way is invaluable for input and familiarisation. What I do kick against are these prescriptions for how it is supposed to go. From this basis does it really take only "about 2-4 weeks to "tune in" and get better"? On what basis and level of learning? For whom? Or is it ever like that anyway? Someone who has been going at a language for several years with moderate progress doesn't need to hear advice from globe-trotting 'polyglots' about how it's a simple matter of 'tuning in' within weeks.

This is the problem with the one-size-fits-all school of thought; when it doesn't deliver either the method is trashed or the learner thinks himself a fool. Or conversely if they meet some success the 'method' is declared miraculous. And the number of self-directed geniuses in the language-learning world is tedious to the extreme.

I know the advantages I have living where I do for the languages I pursue. That I can get the chance to speak to Germans and Spaniards and the odd French person and others should I care to look around. It might be less available for some other learners and thus leaves more obstacles to overcome. Moreover I'm put off by the heavy insistence upon 'self-taught', as though no-one is ever gleaning information other people are providing. When the title of a book is 'Teach Yourself', but it actually contains the structured advice and information from other people, you haven't 'taught yourself', you've followed guidance. Everyone needs some guidance.

There will be language learners who will hear this 'just watch the telly' mantra who find themselves just as much up against a brick wall as the person merely going through a grammar book and making slow progress. Being told not to speak, not to bother checking grammar issues, not to look up any words, to do or not do various things based upon reasons plucked out of thin air.
anitarrc wrote:As to abbreviations and acronyms, they lurk everywhere. You learn them when dealing with bureaucracy worldwide, no matter where you live. Just ask, I was never ashamed to do just that. The same abbreviation will never mean the same thing in two countries even if the do speak the same language, with the exception of international standards like incoterms and units. Again, no need for a tutor.

'Tutor' for me means any person or source able to shed light upon obscurity and ease the burden of learning. If I sit there watching some TV serial and not understanding certain words/phrases/constructions, but refusing to check them out to arm myself for the next time I tune in because 'input', I am not an 'advanced language learner I am a fool. Who probably also needs to be horse-whipped up and down the Champs-Élysées for being such a stubborn, ideology-bound fool.

You rightly say above 'just ask', though this will be limited for some people who don't have people there ready to consult. The input warrior-kings think it all comes from self-realisation.
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