Did the Listening-Reading method work for you?

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Le Baron
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Re: Did the Listening-Reading method work for you?

Postby Le Baron » Thu Sep 23, 2021 12:24 pm

It's best for me to leave it in terms of assessment, because it doesn't go down well and is just causing friction.
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Dragon27
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Re: Did the Listening-Reading method work for you?

Postby Dragon27 » Thu Sep 23, 2021 1:06 pm

Le Baron wrote:methods are fairly explicit and defined in things specifically called methods

That's a weird sentence.
Anyway, what is the explicit definition of 'method'?

Le Baron wrote:In truth anything can be loosely called a methodology if someone defines steps, but for something to be worthwhile it has to have some sort of defined and predictable outcome.

I disagree that there has to be some rigidly defined and predictable outcome for the method (or methodology?) to be worthwhile. It would make sense in the context of learning industry: rigidly defined steps, explicitly laid out outcomes. But for a language hobbyist like many of us here are the worthwhileness of certain activities is often found out through personal experience.

Le Baron wrote:Like the method of making tea, which may turn out well or badly depending on the skill of the person doing it, but the steps for doing it are defined and known and predictable with a defined end product. You may 'believe' the core principles remain the same with a lot of extraneous stuff wrapped around it according to taste, but I don't.

Le Baron wrote:The 'basic principles' are a description of reading books while listening to the accompanying audio. After that the 'steps' seem to be both defined as fixed, but also according to taste. All bases covered.

I don't think that steps have to be defined as rigidly as the steps of a specific way of making tea to be considered a method. The steps of L-R are not defined with that surgical precision, but they're still defined, so you have the idea of what you're supposed to do (and more detailed explanations on the main page help you decide more accurately how you can do it too). This generality has the advantage of producing flexibility, and the general principles I've described are a tool to manage that flexibility. When you understand how and why the method is supposed to work (even if you personally don't believe that it works at all), you know how you can fit it to your aptitudes and changing competence (which may include even skipping some of the steps, if you know what you're doing). And maybe even taste.
Learning a language is more personalized and involved that making tea, so I think that's inevitable. If it's not a method, then what else can you call it?
You mentioned that you think there's not much that could be called 'method' in language learning at all, so no wonder. I guess people in general have a more loose understanding of what constitutes a method than you do.

Le Baron wrote:It's not reductionism, it's looking at something and describing what it is, rather than adding whimsical extras.

I'm just puzzled how you've managed to classify all these important considerations as 'whimsical extras', so the whole system collapses into just pure listening and reading, and not even connected into one activity. I understand now that it's because you don't believe that anything of it is actually capable of producing results beyond what isolated activities can do, so you can just throw it all out. Like you stated in your post:
There's no known or proven research outcome that reading translations while listening to target audio aids meaningful learning apart from picking out things by sheer guesswork.

I don't understand why it doesn't make sense to you, when it makes perfect sense to me, but it's often the case with many other lines of thinking. Not all things, unfortunately, can be explicitly explained.

Le Baron wrote:It even assumes a sort of 'intelligibility' between translations which are literary constructions in their own right according to the particular languages used.
No better than guesswork when reading translated subtitles when watching a film. They don't even map together the majority of the time. Which is why I think it is quackery.

I agree that not every translation is usable, when you're starting out with the method. But what's wrong with interlinear word-for-word translations?
Even with less-than-ideal translations you can still put it in some effort to make it work (and I've described how). Having some previous language competence can make up for it, as well, and your language competence (overall, or specific to the book you're working with) doesn't stay constant. It also helps if the languages are closer to each other. Etc. Why are you refusing to take all of that into account?

Le Baron wrote:That would be like reading the piano reduction of a symphony whilst listening to a symphony and trying to map the orchestral writing. In fact that is probably easier, but why do it when you can just read the orchestral score and learn directly?

I don't know enough about music to attack this analogy :P
The only thing I could think of is that music isn't comparable to language in that it doesn't hide meaning by arbitrary symbols (to that extent), which you can't guess if you don't already know that meaning. You can learn the language directly, without your native language, by leveraging its connection to reality in real-life situation and what not. Translation is just another way of endowing the language symbols (words and phrases) with meaning.

Le Baron wrote:If anyone can provide a meaningful explanation of how L-R is something more than just reading a book you're already familiar with, but in a target language and listening to its accompanying audio, I'd like to hear about it.

I honestly don't know what kind of special explanation you want at this point, that would prevent you from jumping to the weird conclusions like the ones above.
Last edited by Dragon27 on Thu Sep 23, 2021 1:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Did the Listening-Reading method work for you?

Postby luke » Thu Sep 23, 2021 1:39 pm

Le Baron wrote:That would be like reading the piano reduction of a symphony whilst listening to a symphony and trying to map the orchestral writing. In fact that is probably easier, but why do it when you can just read the orchestral score and learn directly?

If you're saying anything like "listening to the music you want to learn and looking at the score of that music at the same time couldn't possibly be helpful to a musician trying to learn either to play that musical piece or to read that music", I think you're off base. It's a smart approach. Not the only one they should use, but to dismiss it as something that couldn't possibly be useful to some musicians would be simple-minded.

In case anyone has difficulty with the analogy:
Music is sound. So is a narrated story.
Stories are written. Music can be scored (written with scales, tablature, etc).
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Re: Did the Listening-Reading method work for you?

Postby Le Baron » Thu Sep 23, 2021 2:23 pm

luke wrote:
Le Baron wrote:That would be like reading the piano reduction of a symphony whilst listening to a symphony and trying to map the orchestral writing. In fact that is probably easier, but why do it when you can just read the orchestral score and learn directly?

If you're saying anything like "listening to the music you want to learn and looking at the score of that music at the same time couldn't possibly be helpful to a musician trying to learn either to play that musical piece or to read that music", I think you're off base. It's a smart approach. Not the only one they should use, but to dismiss it as something that couldn't possibly be useful to some musicians would be simple-minded.

In case anyone has difficulty with the analogy:
Music is sound. So is a narrated story.
Stories are written. Music can be scored (written with scales, tablature, etc).


But I'm not saying that. It's not a complete analogue because both types of score are useful to musicians/composers. However, just specifically on that point, the piano reduction of a work is different than the orchestral score. It requires another set of existing skills to be able to read it in relation to the orchestral performance. It seems bizarre to me that if someone wanted to work out exactly what was going on in an orchestral work (specifically its structure and content) they would choose the piano reduction. It makes no sense.

Stories can be written, but if I boiled it down into a couple of haiku and gave you those as a guide to following the story's audio, I don't think it would be much of a transcript.

Convoluted analogies aside, the real thing I was referencing is listening to audio in one language and reading in another. I can understand a text translation of a text, or the audio interpretation of audio, or the text translation of audio as subtitles, but imaging an entire novel in one language and the entire audio of a completely different language somehow map together and create understanding seems to me a sort of superstition.
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Re: Did the Listening-Reading method work for you?

Postby Le Baron » Thu Sep 23, 2021 2:40 pm

Dragon27 wrote:I honestly don't know what kind of special explanation you want at this point, that would prevent you from jumping to the weird conclusions like the ones above.

I don't want any 'special explanations' at all and don't understand why this is being said by multiple respondents.

It was only an unpopular view saying there is nothing special, at all, and that the word 'method' is wrongly employed. I think there's no such thing as the Listening-Reading 'method', and that it doesn't exist.

The denial that it's just reading a book and listening to its audio seems astonishing to me. It should be enough to say if you read and listen to a text carefully and perhaps many times, you'll make some breakthrough of some sort. All the convoluted terminology and lists of steps in various ways is just stuff people do to make themselves feel like researchers or scientists.

I really should cease discussing this.
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Re: Did the Listening-Reading method work for you?

Postby RyanSmallwood » Thu Sep 23, 2021 3:20 pm

Le Baron wrote:I don't want any 'special explanations' at all and don't understand why this is being said by multiple respondents.

It was only an unpopular view saying there is nothing special, at all, and that the word 'method' is wrongly employed. I think there's no such thing as the Listening-Reading 'method', and that it doesn't exist.

The denial that it's just reading a book and listening to its audio seems astonishing to me. It should be enough to say if you read and listen to a text carefully and perhaps many times, you'll make some breakthrough of some sort. All the convoluted terminology and lists of steps in various ways is just stuff people do to make themselves feel like researchers or scientists.

I'll keep this brief, since I think this is devolving in quibbling about terminology and how "unique" or not things are, which I have no interest in and isn't a good use of anyone's time or a contribution to learning. I don't think I've denied anywhere its more than just books and listening (unless you mean taking out steps I've found helpful, which of course they're important if I can't progress without them), but I've been sort of trying to understand why you think its a big concern to say this.

Le Baron wrote:All the convoluted terminology and lists of steps in various ways is just stuff people do to make themselves feel like researchers or scientists.

I don't really see why this is so abnormal. If I say for example "I notice that more extensive beginner courses that repeat words in more context seem to make learning easier and faster, so I suggest finding beginner courses like this" or I say "I notice courses like Assimil with jokes stick in my memory easier than courses like Glossika that just collect random phrases.". To me this is all a normal part of discussing language learning, trying to notice what resources/factors are useful and pointing other people to similar things. That's all these guides are, just people trying to collect helpful tips together of what kinds of resources to find and when to find activities. I don't see it as people "feeling like researchers or scientists" its very common on a whole bunch of aspects of life for people to do this.

If the terminology is convoluted, I guess you can critique their writing style and point out how people could try to express themselves better.
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Re: Did the Listening-Reading method work for you?

Postby Dragon27 » Thu Sep 23, 2021 3:28 pm

Le Baron wrote:I really should cease discussing this.

That's fine. I tried to make myself understood, but failed. And it seems to me that the discussion reached the point where it will likely degenerate into fruitless repetition and only make both sides more contrarian and less receptive to the arguments.
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Re: Did the Listening-Reading method work for you?

Postby luke » Thu Sep 23, 2021 4:52 pm

Le Baron wrote:the real thing I was referencing is listening to audio in one language and reading in another. I can understand a text translation of a text, or the audio interpretation of audio, or the text translation of audio as subtitles, but imaging an entire novel in one language and the entire audio of a completely different language

That's the hump to get over, the hurdle to clear, your mission should you decide to accept it. :lol:
Le Baron wrote:somehow map together and create understanding seems to me a sort of superstition.

That it can't be done is the superstition ;)

You're helping me understand my rule of thumb. To L-R, you have to be able to let go of some conventions. :)
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Re: Did the Listening-Reading method work for you?

Postby german2k01 » Thu Sep 23, 2021 5:52 pm

It works. I tried it with Danish last year and it worked very well, although it was extremely difficult at the very beginning when I knew nothing. L-R took me to a solid B1/B2 level within a few months. I L-Red six books of Harry Potter, four books of Twilight and 5-6 novels. After that, I found out that I can speak and understand Danish much better than German, which I have learned and taken courses for the past three years. And I never studied Danish textbooks. The best thing of learning a language through L-R is that listening/pronunciation skills and a good sense of grammar can be easily achieved. No memorization.


https://www.reddit.com/r/languagelearni ... ng_the_lr/

I came across this post a few days ago. A neutral testimonial of the method. That's 16 novels. In normal circumstances, for example, if you read a total of 16 novels (and each novel is thicker than the Koran or Bible in length).Are you not going to achieve a solid B1/B2 level?
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Re: Did the Listening-Reading method work for you?

Postby einzelne » Thu Sep 23, 2021 7:33 pm

german2k01 wrote:A neutral testimonial of the method.


Well, it looks like neutral. It's well known fact that people are terrible in self-assesement. Look, I don't want to call this testimonial into question but let me give you an example of what I mean.

"My Danish is better than my German although I never opened a Danish grammar book." So it looks like that all these grammar classes were useless or at least not that effective. But is it really the case? May be the grammar classes (first English, then German) gave him/her a pretty firm grasp of how Germanic languages work grammatically, so that's why Danish felt like a breeze. But would this method work for a Mandarine speaker with zero experience in Germanic languages? I wonder whether the experiment with Bulgarian worked at the end?
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