What variation of "Shadowing" have you tried and find effective?

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What variation of "Shadowing" have you tried and find effective?

Postby ryanheise » Fri Aug 30, 2019 10:33 am

It's been just over a decade since Alexander Arguelles gave us his Shadowing technique. In his version, you begin by

* listening to audio in the target language and
* simultaneously mimicking the speech with a short delay/lag behind the original,
* while also walking outdoors (not necessarily on a bridge ;) )
* and while also maintaining a good posture.

Subsequently, you do this shadowing in combination with other activities, such as simultaneously reading the translation, or the transcript, or both.

Alexander has some interesting reasons for each element of his technique. For example, the idea of doing blind shadowing where you start mimicking the audio even before you know any of the words may help you with vocabulary acquisition because hearing a word multiple times to the point that you can remember how it sounds and easily repeat it, to then become "curious" about the meaning of the word, and then to finally find out what it means can be a great boost to your memory. Also, I'm not sure if he also made this point, but perhaps learning to listen to the sounds and mimic them before you're brain is tainted by the writing system may help you to pay more attention to the way words actually sound. And, he also has various reasons behind why posture is important, why walking outdoors is important, etc.

I have a feeling that most people out there who've adopted shadowing as a technique do not necessarily do all of what Alexander recommends, but have rather adapter their own variations of it.

The question for this thread is, WHAT variations have people here tried and found to be effective?

For example, AnthonyLauder mentioned in his Polyglot Conference talk the technique of taking in a whole sentence at a time, and trying to remember the whole thing, and then repeating it. (Edit: I just watched Anthony's talk again, and noticed that his example was specifically about taking in a portion of "written" language, and then being able to recall it, not listening to a portion of "spoken" language and trying to be able to repeat it - apparently my memory isn't quite there yet :D . But think for a moment about using this like another variation on shadowing when you try to remember and repeat what you've heard.) Have people who've tried this found it more effective than simultaneous shadowing? That's just one example, though.
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Re: What variation of "Shadowing" have you tried and find effective?

Postby sporedandroid » Fri Aug 30, 2019 10:53 am

I sometimes do the variation you’re talking about and mouth to an audiobook or podcast. I’m not sure if it’s effective. I never seem to be able to keep up and it’s mentally tiring. I don’t know if it’s effective, but it did help me fall asleep on an airplane. The lights were off and most people were asleep, so I don’t think anyone saw me. Even if someone did, I think most people can be forgiven for acting weird on a ten hour flight.
I prefer the Olle Kjellin method where you talk at the same time as a short clip repeating over and over. By short I mean around one second. There’s more hope for sounding exactly the same or at least stay in sync. It’s easier to compare your pronunciation. I don’t think the Olle Kjellin method helps as much as the other method for vocabulary or grammar, but it helps far more for pronunciation. I’d mainly want to do shadowing for pronunciation.
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Re: What variation of "Shadowing" have you tried and find effective?

Postby Speakeasy » Fri Aug 30, 2019 11:18 am

I developed my own version of “Shadowing” before becoming aware of Professor Arguelle’s recommendations and, because this technique seems to be such a natural extension of the language-learning process, I strongly suspect that many language learners develop their own versions without reference to the good professor’s guidelines.

The only comment that I would make on my own approach would be that I noticed a distinct difference (in awareness, but not necessarily in the results) between shadowing with my eyes closed (I suggest that one not attempt this as a pedestrian in heavy traffic conditions) and shadowing with my eyes opened. Clearly, with my eyes closed, I could not refer to the text! However, having memorized short passages (e.g., Assimil dialogues) through constant repetition, I could visualize the text and I enjoyed the process of linking the shadowing to the images of the text that I had created in my mind. Come to think of it, I rarely refer to the texts owing to this more-or-less automated memorization of short passages.

There have been numerous discussions of “Shadowing” both here on the LLORG and on its predecessor, the HTLAL. Here is a LINK to one such discussion:

Doing shadowing - LLORG - October 2018
https://forum.language-learners.org/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=9337

Because, as Serpent reminds us, no one opens links and reads the contents of articles, I have replicated the post of our much-regretted former member reineke who is unlikely to respond to this discussion thread. As David1917 and jeff_lindqvist are quite active members of the forum, I will not be so presumptuous as to attempt to steal their thunder through a similar replication of their posts (readers wishing to review their respective comments are invited to open the link).

reineke wrote:Enhancing Short-Term Memory for Accurate Interpreting
August 1, 2014

Enhancing Short-Term Memory for Accurate Interpreting

By Roda P. Roberts

The ATA Chronicle, Volume XLIII, Number 7, July 2014

Good memory has to be developed gradually.

It has often been said that an interpreter needs to have a good memory. This statement, while true to a large extent, is somewhat misleading. It seems to imply, among other things, that an interpreter should be able to recall in great detail what he or she read or experienced several years ago. While that kind of recall would be a great asset for anybody, it is certainly not essential for an interpreter. Interpreters work in the moment, so what they need to remember and recall is what has just been said by other participants in the communicative situation in which they are working that day. In other words, what they need is a good short-term memory.

Short-Term Memory and Interpreting

The role of short-term memory in interpreting has been discussed by several interpreting researchers. The Atkinson-Shiffrin memory model formed the basis of Danica Seleskovitch’s analysis of consecutive interpreting.4 Seleskovitch proposed that successful interpreting is based on an understanding of the message in the source language and the restatement of that message in the target language. She felt that interpreters do not simply transfer the words of the original, but rather the sense of a speech in a given communicative situation, taking into account each word’s register and style. Daniel Gile, whose performance models have been adopted here, views interpreting performance as a set of three efforts—the Listening and Analysis Effort, the Production Effort, and the Short-term Memory Effort—each of which takes up part of a limited supply of processing capacity.

Listening and Analysis Effort: Involves all of the comprehension-oriented activities, from analysis of the acoustic features of incoming sounds, to the recognition of certain sound sequences as words in the source language, to the interpretation of the meaning of words and sentences.
Production Effort: The output part of interpreting, which involves all of the operations extending from the mental representation of the message to be delivered to speech planning and the performance of the speech plan.
Short-Term Memory Effort: Involves operations that occur continuously while interpreting. First, short-term memory operations are required because of the lag between the moment speech sounds are heard and the moment they are analyzed. Moreover, short-term memory also comes into play between the time speech sounds are analyzed and formulated as ideas and the time it takes to produce speech. The Short-term Memory Effort can be intensified due to situational issues or language-specific factors (e.g., the speaker’s accent is difficult to understand, the speech is unclear due to poor logic or the sheer density of the information presented). It is also more difficult to remember information if the source language is syntactically different, with embedded structures, from the target language, causing the interpreter to reformulate speech segments earlier than normal.

Consequences of Inadequate Short-Term Memory

Memory plays a role at every stage of the interpreting process. Proper functioning of short-term memory involves:

Efficient processing of sounds into recognized words and then into chunks of information, calling upon long-term memory as required to fill in any gaps.
Effective storage of these information chunks.
Timely recall of the information.
Inadequate short-term memory inevitably has negative consequences, some of which may not be obvious. The most obvious consequence of poor short-term memory is omission while interpreting...

Less obvious but nevertheless serious consequences can result when memory requirements are greater than memory capacity. For instance, saturation may occur when the source and target languages are syntactically very different from each other, thereby forcing the interpreter to store a large amount of information for long periods before being able to reformulate it. This saturation can lead to the interpreter not having enough memory capacity to complete the task. Moreover, the higher the density of the informational content of the source-language speech, the harder it is for the interpreter to remember all of the chunks of information.

General Guidelines for Exercises for Enhancing Short-Term Memory

As mentioned earlier, proper functioning of short-term memory involves: 1) efficient processing of sounds into recognized words and then into chunks of information, 2) effective storage of these chunks, and 3) timely recall of the chunks of information. While it would be good to work on each of these aspects separately, this is unfortunately not possible, since the only way to verify efficient processing of sounds into words and units of meaning, as well as their effective storage in short-term memory, is through recall in one form or another. So, the exercises proposed in the following sections will involve all of these aspects, although the length of the speech span processed and stored, as well as the timing of recall (how quickly recall takes place), will vary.

Exercise 1: Shadowing

Shadowing involves repeating what a speaker says, word for word, in the same language. It generally involves staying a word or two behind the speaker as one repeats what has been said. This lag can be increased slowly as the one doing the shadowing becomes more comfortable with the exercise. Shadowing is an exercise that is usually practiced in preparation for simultaneous interpreting, since it teaches the interpreter to listen and speak at the same time. For example:

Speaker: The suspect was handcuffed and placed in the police car.

Interpreter: [Lag] The suspect [Lag] was handcuffed [Lag] and placed in the police car.

Shadowing is also a good exercise for memory development, since it forces the interpreter to store and recall small groups of sounds, words, and chunks of information in a relatively short period of time. However, this exercise is complicated by the fact that the speaker continues to speak while the interpreter is recalling a previous segment. Since this forces the interpreter to listen and speak at the same time, which increases the level of difficulty of the exercise, he or she may not derive full benefit from this exercise for memory development purposes—at least not at the start of memory training. This is where shadowing with a twist comes into play (see Exercise 2).

Material for Exercise: Any type of text would be suitable. The initial texts should not be more than about 100 words, although they can get progressively longer. Here is a sample text:

The morning of October 17 we were on routine patrol in town. At 1:15 a.m. we were dispatched to the Polecat Bar to investigate an assault call. When we arrived at the bar approximately five minutes later, an ambulance was parked in front. We proceeded directly into the establishment and observed activity behind the bar in the kitchen. When we entered the kitchen, we observed a female subject lying on the floor. The two ambulance attendants said the woman had suffered a knife wound, but was still alive. We instructed them to get her to the hospital right away.

Preparation: If you are practicing on your own, you will need to prerecord the selected texts using a normal rate of speech. However, if you are pressed for time, you could practice shadowing using short spans of speech (preferably news items) heard on the radio or television. If you are working with a group, you could have one person read out the selected text while another shadows it.

Exercise 2: Shadowing with a Twist

Shadowing with a twist, like conventional shadowing, involves repeating exactly what a speaker says in the same language. However, in shadowing with a twist, this repetition is done after a short pause following the speaker’s utterance, which makes the shadowing more like consecutive interpreting. This adjustment to conventional shadowing eliminates the difficulties related to listening and speaking at the same time and allows the interpreter to focus specifically on memory. For example:

Speaker: The suspect [Pause] was handcuffed [Pause] and placed in the police car.

Interpreter: [Lag] The suspect [Lag] was handcuffed [Lag] and placed in the police car.

Additional twists can be added to shadowing by making the repeated utterance span longer and longer until it reaches a full sentence.

Material for Exercise: The same as for Exercise 1

Preparation: You will first need to divide the selected texts into short speaking segments. Next, you must prerecord the texts using a normal rate of speech, but pausing between the speech segments.

Exercise 3: Freer Shadowing with a Twist

This exercise should be done once the interpreter has practiced shadowing with a twist and can repeat longer utterances without a problem. This is where the interpreter should test not only acoustic memory (memory of sounds), but also his or her memory of meaning. In this exercise the interpreter does not just repeat blindly what has been said, but, where possible, says the same thing using other words. For example:

Speaker: The suspect was handcuffed [Pause] and placed in the police car.

Interpreter: [Lag] The suspect was put in handcuffs [Lag] and put in the police car.

Or even:

Interpreter: [Lag] Handcuffs were put on the suspect [Lag] and he was placed in the police car.

This type of slightly freer rendering or paraphrasing of the original is often frowned upon in court interpreter training, where it is considered a dangerous first step toward “free translation,” which is a no-no in the legal environment. However, this practice is harmless enough as one element of a memory exercise.

Material and Preparation: The same as for Exercise 2.

Exercise 4: Attentive Listening for Key Elements

Careful listening is an important element of memory recall. If you have not listened attentively to something, it is impossible to recall it later. First and foremost, attentive listening involves identifying the key points of an utterance. For example, you should be able to listen to a short narrative or descriptive text (about 100 words) and answer the key questions “Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?” (or as many of these questions as applicable). For example:

It was about eight o’clock. I was watching TV, CNN. Then I went to the kitchen to get a drink of water. At that time the four men came in from the back door, which was open to let in some fresh air. They had something covering their faces. Like ski masks—balaclavas. They came right into the kitchen. Then, one of them said that they wanted money and jewelry. And at once they told me to turn around and not look at them and then to lie down on the floor, so I did, because I knew that I didn’t have any choice.

After listening to this text, you should be able to identify the following key points:

Who? Speaker + four robbers
What? Home invasion
Where? In speaker’s home
When? Around eight p.m.
Why? Robbery
How? Robbers using balaclavas, asking speaker to lie on the floor and not look at them
While not all of these questions would necessarily be pertinent in every case, the ability to answer most of them would indicate attentive listening for key points.

Material for Exercise: Any narrative text or descriptive text would be suitable. If you are a court interpreter, you can extract a suitable narrative from the opening address of a trial or from witness testimony. The initial texts should not be more than about 100 words, although they can get progressively longer.

Preparation: If you are practicing on your own, you will need to prerecord the selected texts using a normal rate of speech. If you are working with a group, you could have one person read out the selected text while another identifies the key elements.

Exercise 5: Progressive Expansion of Recall

Good memory has to be developed gradually. One cannot move from forgetting about half of what one hears to remembering it all. The following exercise has been created bearing this in mind. It is based on a 50-60-word speech utterance and involves recalling first the main ideas and then, during a second or even third pass, recalling progressively more details. Here is a sample text:

My husband, Peter Thomas, was killed by a young man driving a stolen car. He had phoned me at noon to tell me he was going to the bank during his lunch hour, and five minutes later he was crossing the street when he was struck down. He was killed instantly. I was devastated when I heard the news.

First, the interpreter must listen to the text once and identify the main ideas, such as:

My husband was run over by a car.
He was killed instantly.
I was devastated.
Next, the interpreter must listen once again to the text and then add more details to the main ideas. For example:

My husband was run over by a stolen car as he was crossing the street.
He was killed instantly.
I was devastated by the news.
Finally, the interpreter should listen one more time and then recall all of the details (including the name of the husband).

Not being expected to recall all of the details from the start allows the interpreter to be more relaxed and to remember more than he or she would if tense. As the interpreter becomes more proficient at recall, the number of times he or she listens to the text can be reduced from three to two. The size of the practice text can also be increased to 70, 80, or even 100 words. The ultimate goal is to be able to reproduce, after listening just once, all of the details found in an utterance that is around 50 words.

Material for Exercise: Any narrative text would be suitable. If you are a court interpreter, you can extract a suitable narrative from witness testimony. The initial texts should not be more than about 50 words, although they can get progressively longer.

Preparation: If you are practicing on your own, you will need to prerecord the selected texts using a normal rate of speech. If you are working with a group, you could have one person read out the selected text while another does the exercise.

The higher the density of the informational content of the source-language speech, the harder it is for the interpreter to remember all of the chunks of information.

...
Exercise 7: Segmentation

This exercise is based on the concept that it is easier to retain a number of limited chunks of information than one or two larger dense chunks. Segmentation involves breaking up a larger chunk of information into two or more smaller chunks. For instance, the following sentence can be segmented as indicated:

I was at the local bar when I met a person by the name of Ricardo, whom I now know to be a sergeant in the police department working with the Drug Enforcement Administration.

I was at the local bar.
There I met somebody called Ricardo.
Now I know he is a police sergeant.
He is working with the Drug Enforcement Administration.
This exercise can be performed using both written texts and oral texts, preferably starting with the former and ending with the latter. The segmentation itself can be done either in writing or orally.

Material for Exercise: Any long sentences would be suitable for this exercise, although the denser the information they contain the more challenging they will be. The sentences should contain at least three separable chunks of information. If you are a court interpreter, you can extract suitable sentences from court transcripts (e.g., the opening address of a trial or even witness testimony).

Preparation: If you are doing this exercise using written material (i.e., reading the sentences), you will not need to do any further preparation. However, while doing the exercise, you will have to be disciplined enough to read the sentence only once before doing the segmentation. If you are doing this exercise using oral material while practicing on your own, you will need to prerecord the selected sentences using a normal rate of speech. If you are working with a group, you could have one person read out the selected sentence while another segments it.

...

Make Your Practice a Routine

Practicing exercises for memory improvement is similar to doing physical exercise for weight loss from several different viewpoints:

Both types of exercise need to be done regularly to be effective.
Both types of exercise can be used not only for improvement in memory or weight, but also for maintenance at a high level.
Both types of exercise require variety to be most effective. In other words, doing the same exercise every day (and even worse, with the same material) will not be of great value.
Both types of exercise take some time for their effect to be felt.
The effect of both types of exercise can be measured to some extent using scales for weight loss exercise and the ear-voice span for memory exercise.
Both types of exercise require effort on the part of their users.
The effort required on the part of interpreters using memory exercises involves identifying suitable exercises, finding appropriate practice material, and preparing the material for use. While there are some prepared exercises and material available, they are not all equally effective. Perhaps some of the more innovative exercises that have been proposed here could be done using available recordings. This would save interpreters the time and effort required to find material from scratch and prepare them for use. It would also encourage them to get started right away on a personal program for memory enhancement.

Notes

Atkinson, Richard, and Richard Shiffrin. “Human Memory: A Proposed System and Its Control Processes.” In Spence, K.W., and J.T. Spence. The Psychology of Learning and Motivation, Volume 2 (New York: Academic Press, 1968), 89-195, http://bit.ly/human-memory.
Duong, Tran Thuy. “How to Improve Short-Term Memory in Interpreting” (Hanoi University of Foreign Studies, 2006), http://bit.ly/Duong-short-term.
Cowan, Nelson. “What Are the Differences Between Long-Term, Short-Term, and Working Memory?” Progress in Brain Research, Volume 169 (Elsevier, 2008), 323–338,http://bit.ly/Cowan-memory.
Seleskovitch, Danica. L’interprète dans les conférences internationales – problèmes de langage et de communication (Paris: Lettres Modernes Minard, 1968), http://bit.ly/Amazon-Seleskovitch.
Gile, Daniel. Basic Concepts and Models for Interpreter and Translator Training (Amsterdam/ Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 1995), http://bit.ly/Benjamins-Daniel-Gile.

http://www.techinput.com/news/enhancing-short-term


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Typos!
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Re: What variation of "Shadowing" have you tried and find effective?

Postby ryanheise » Fri Aug 30, 2019 3:12 pm

sporedandroid wrote:I sometimes do the variation you’re talking about and mouth to an audiobook or podcast. I’m not sure if it’s effective. I never seem to be able to keep up and it’s mentally tiring.


Do you mean you simultaneously repeat while you're listening to the podcast, or do you mean the other variation where, say, you pause the podcast after each sentence and then repeat it?

I started off with the former, but recently I've been trying the "pause and repeat" approach, and it's probably even more mentally tiring, due to the extra burden on your memory. However, I'm REALLY enjoying it because I can feel myself getting better at it. I think it's improving my listening skills because I realised that, more than before, my brain is now analysing a long sentence and chunking it into a series of meaningful units (kind of like the post that Speakeasy shared), and this is just improving my awareness of the language in all dimensions. I'm not sure if simultaneous shadowing would have the same effect, although I do at least see that your pronunciation is likely to be better when you're repeating it simultaneously.

sporedandroid wrote:I prefer the Olle Kjellin method where you talk at the same time as a short clip repeating over and over. By short I mean around one second. There’s more hope for sounding exactly the same or at least stay in sync. It’s easier to compare your pronunciation. I don’t think the Olle Kjellin method helps as much as the other method for vocabulary or grammar, but it helps far more for pronunciation. I’d mainly want to do shadowing for pronunciation.


That's an nice approach. It might also be interesting to keep repeating a short clip until you've got it, and then gradually increase the length of the clip until you can do the full sentence.

I'd love it if my podcast player would let me loop on a clip like that (or a sentence) until I'm ready to move onto the next clip (or sentence), and then just keep going through the podcast, one sentence at a time while I practice shadowing it. If anyone knows of such an app for Android, I'd love to know about it! (Although, probably that's not likely to be a commonly requested feature of a podcast player, so I'm not keeping my hopes up :| )
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Re: What variation of "Shadowing" have you tried and find effective?

Postby sporedandroid » Fri Aug 30, 2019 7:25 pm

ryanheise wrote:
Do you mean you simultaneously repeat while you're listening to the podcast, or do you mean the other variation where, say, you pause the podcast after each sentence and then repeat it?

I started off with the former, but recently I've been trying the "pause and repeat" approach, and it's probably even more mentally tiring, due to the extra burden on your memory. However, I'm REALLY enjoying it because I can feel myself getting better at it. I think it's improving my listening skills because I realised that, more than before, my brain is now analysing a long sentence and chunking it into a series of meaningful units (kind of like the post that Speakeasy shared), and this is just improving my awareness of the language in all dimensions. I'm not sure if simultaneous shadowing would have the same effect, although I do at least see that your pronunciation is likely to be better when you're repeating it simultaneously.

I mean try to say it as simultaneously as possible. I think doing that may have helped my listening comprehension, but maybe it improved because of other stuff I’m listening to. It’s hard to know.

ryanheise wrote:That's an nice approach. It might also be interesting to keep repeating a short clip until you've got it, and then gradually increase the length of the clip until you can do the full sentence.

I'd love it if my podcast player would let me loop on a clip like that (or a sentence) until I'm ready to move onto the next clip (or sentence), and then just keep going through the podcast, one sentence at a time while I practice shadowing it. If anyone knows of such an app for Android, I'd love to know about it! (Although, probably that's not likely to be a commonly requested feature of a podcast player, so I'm not keeping my hopes up :| )

I think you do eventually need to move onto whole sentences, but in the beginning you have to make it easier by picking short and slow clips. I use the app speater to repeat sections of a sound file or video. I think there’s an Android app called smart repeater which is similar. I do notice that repeating short sections a lot of times in a row does help me hear the sounds of a language really clearly and fast. It’s kind of a variation of the Olle Kjellin method for when I can’t get privacy. So I don’t really have issues with people talking too fast, but I still notice problems with taking a while to process meaning. So I have to pause and repeat a lot.

Since this is a more general issue with comprehension that seems to affect my reading comprehension more I’ve been doing a lot of work on clozemaster. I think clozemaster helps me understand syntax better and my reading comprehension as well. I also like being able to read a large amount of sentences where I pretty much know all the words. I still have a pretty low vocabulary, but when I realized I was starting to know most or all of the words on dialogue from movies I realized a lot of my issues were due to syntax.
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Re: What variation of "Shadowing" have you tried and find effective?

Postby ryanheise » Sat Aug 31, 2019 5:12 am

sporedandroid wrote:I think you do eventually need to move onto whole sentences, but in the beginning you have to make it easier by picking short and slow clips. I use the app speater to repeat sections of a sound file or video. I think there’s an Android app called smart repeater which is similar.


Thanks for the recommendation. I couldn't find smart repeater, although I did find one called Loop Player which lets me set A-B loop points and also lets me slow down the audio.

sporedandroid wrote:I do notice that repeating short sections a lot of times in a row does help me hear the sounds of a language really clearly and fast.


How important would you say external feedback is in getting the pronunciation right? I've seen some people record themselves using Audacity and compare the waveform to the original. But there's not really much feedback you can get out of a waveform aside from the timing and the amplitude. Then there's getting external feedback from a native speaker who can point out the things that you're not noticing yourself. Or maybe someone like Richard Simcott who really enjoys imitating foreign accents as a hobby would be actually fine without external feedback.

I saw a recent MattVsJapan video where he argues that beginners should even avoid shadowing because they will only be able to mimic the sounds that they're hearing, and a beginner won't actually be aware of all of the different sounds they should be looking out for in the first place. So when they try to shadow that, they're really just practicing the wrong sounds and may be developing bad habits that are difficult to later undo. I'm not really convinced that is universally true (e.g. if you're really into imitating accents as a hobby, you might do just fine, or if you're language brain is malleable and you constantly try to notice and improve).

It’s kind of a variation of the Olle Kjellin method for when I can’t get privacy. So I don’t really have issues with people talking too fast, but I still notice problems with taking a while to process meaning. So I have to pause and repeat a lot.

Since this is a more general issue with comprehension that seems to affect my reading comprehension more I’ve been doing a lot of work on clozemaster. I think clozemaster helps me understand syntax better and my reading comprehension as well. I also like being able to read a large amount of sentences where I pretty much know all the words. I still have a pretty low vocabulary, but when I realized I was starting to know most or all of the words on dialogue from movies I realized a lot of my issues were due to syntax.


I was finding a similar thing with listening to a whole sentence and then trying to remember and repeat it. I first tried it with shorter phrases since that was easier to remember at a time. But what I was really practicing was how to speak a short segment of a sentence well. And then what I noticed is that when I was actually trying to speak with my language exchange partner, I was speaking in short segments and pausing after each one! I guess you become good at exactly what you're practicing.
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Re: What variation of "Shadowing" have you tried and find effective?

Postby sporedandroid » Sat Aug 31, 2019 6:10 am

ryanheise wrote:Thanks for the recommendation. I couldn't find smart repeater, although I did find one called Loop Player which lets me set A-B loop points and also lets me slow down the audio.

Sounds pretty similar to speater.
ryanheise wrote:How important would you say external feedback is in getting the pronunciation right? I've seen some people record themselves using Audacity and compare the waveform to the original. But there's not really much feedback you can get out of a waveform aside from the timing and the amplitude. Then there's getting external feedback from a native speaker who can point out the things that you're not noticing yourself. Or maybe someone like Richard Simcott who really enjoys imitating foreign accents as a hobby would be actually fine without external feedback.

I have no idea. I know getting external feedback would help, but I’m too nervous to ask for it to be honest. When I do speak simultaneously I can roughly tell how well I’m matching with it. I don’t like recording my own voice, but I’ve heard it somewhat helps. I’m hoping you don’t need external feedback.
ryanheise wrote:I saw a recent MattVsJapan video where he argues that beginners should even avoid shadowing because they will only be able to mimic the sounds that they're hearing, and a beginner won't actually be aware of all of the different sounds they should be looking out for in the first place. So when they try to shadow that, they're really just practicing the wrong sounds and may be developing bad habits that are difficult to later undo. I'm not really convinced that is universally true (e.g. if you're really into imitating accents as a hobby, you might do just fine, or if you're language brain is malleable and you constantly try to notice and improve).

I don’t know what he considers a beginner. I’ve done a lot of detail oriented listening exercises, but I still can’t formulate sentences or understand native level material. I haven’t really put any effort into speaking and writing Hebrew. I’m mainly interested in Hebrew for reading. I’m working hard on pronunciation because I’ll probably want to get a good accent in another language one day. So I’m taking time to learn how to learn pronunciation. Speaking Hebrew isn’t an immediate priority and I’m not sure I can see myself living in Israel. I have enjoyed chatting with the few Israelis I’ve met, but we were chatting in English.


ryanheise wrote:I was finding a similar thing with listening to a whole sentence and then trying to remember and repeat it. I first tried it with shorter phrases since that was easier to remember at a time. But what I was really practicing was how to speak a short segment of a sentence well. And then what I noticed is that when I was actually trying to speak with my language exchange partner, I was speaking in short segments and pausing after each one! I guess you become good at exactly what you're practicing.

I think one simple issue is that I listen to stuff that’s above my level. When I listen to audio from beginner text books I feel no need to pause. I just understand things normally. One thing I do is watch subtitled videos and look up all the words I don’t know. At first it feels tedious and ineffective, but after doing that I find I can relax more and feel like I’m understanding the video when I rewatch it a few times.
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Re: What variation of "Shadowing" have you tried and find effective?

Postby rdearman » Sat Aug 31, 2019 8:40 am

Workaudiobook is the app you want
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Re: What variation of "Shadowing" have you tried and find effective?

Postby ryanheise » Sat Aug 31, 2019 8:53 am

rdearman wrote:Workaudiobook is the app you want


Yes! Thank you, this looks great. I haven't worked it out yet, but is there a way to get it to repeat the same segment over and over again with a pause? Or do I just press the <|<| button on demand to make it go back?
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Re: What variation of "Shadowing" have you tried and find effective?

Postby rdearman » Sat Aug 31, 2019 11:18 am

Don't know if you can do a pause. ButI know the developer likes people to give features requests so he can improve it.
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