Poll - Lots of input vs lots of output

General discussion about learning languages

Which of the following are you most likely to agree with? To get good at conversation requires:

Lots of input and lots of output
30
61%
Lots of input and little output
19
39%
Little input and lots of output
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 49

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Re: Poll - Lots of input vs lots of output

Postby sporedandroid » Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:43 pm

My main motivation for learning languages is understanding media. Getting corrected and doing badly also demotivates me a lot. So I just don’t have much motivation or need to output. If someone is mainly motivated by output, earlier output makes sense. I just find it annoying when people assume everyone is motivated by output. I think it’s best to respect that everyone has different goals and needs.
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Re: Poll - Lots of input vs lots of output

Postby smallwhite » Tue Apr 06, 2021 7:10 pm

leosmith wrote:
smallwhite wrote:Do you really mean CONVERSATION

yes

Thanks. Then my answer is Lots of input + Little output + Lots of grammar.

Lots of input only because of the listening component. So I mean Lots of aural input.

Little output + Lots of grammar for the speaking component. I do practise speaking, and I advocate speaking early, but if you count the actual minutes then I'm only speaking for 3 minutes twice a week or translating sentences for 10 minutes every other day. But I love my Schaum's grammar drills which I answer out loud - I acquire basic sentence patterns, I drill everyday words, I know I'm drilling things I've learnt rather than inventing grammar like you're forced to do when talking to someone, I get to check my answer if so needed, I don't feel nervous or embarrassed, ... and so far it works to give me speaking ability. As I implied in my opening post in Why can't you write and speak already?, I learn for a bit, I drill for a bit, and off I go, in my profession and in languages alike.

Would need some vocabulary, too, but we've talked enough about that.
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Re: Poll - Lots of input vs lots of output

Postby rdearman » Tue Apr 06, 2021 7:47 pm

Hummm. I probably should have voted for 1. Since I am only really interested in conversation and input is simply a way for me to get better at conversation. I voted lots of input and lots of output.
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Re: Poll - Lots of input vs lots of output

Postby IronMike » Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:27 am

I chose "lots of input little output" based on two DLI courses: Russian Basic and Turbo-Serbo. In both those courses (47 weeks and 16 weeks, respectively), we did hours and hours of input. Probably 5 of the 7 hours per day were input, listening and reading. We read and listened a lot. And conversation followed.

When I was stationed in Russia the first time, I did tons of reading and listening. Once I got comfortable with receptions, I was quite good at conversing with Russians and Russophones. I don't know if that's because I was already at the 2 to 2+ level. I think once you're at the 2+ level at reading and listening and at the 1+ (at least) in speaking, you can hold your own in conversations. Most of us don't use those high falutin' words or advanced syntax (crazy Russian participles) while speaking, so really it's a bit easier than reading.

I go back to our best Turbo-Serbo instructor, a qualified DLI Russian and Serbo-Croatian instructor (4/4/4 or higher), when we complained of not enough time in the language lab, he answered: Read more. Sure as anything, I read the hell out of BCS at every opportunity (only so many cassettes to listen to, back in 1997), and managed a 2+ in both listening and reading after only 16 weeks.

tl; dr: lots of input can prepare you well for conversation with native speakers.
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Re: Poll - Lots of input vs lots of output

Postby leosmith » Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:43 am

sporedandroid wrote:I just find it annoying when people assume everyone is motivated by output. I think it’s best to respect that everyone has different goals and needs.

The poll is about what it takes to get good at conversation, so I hope you don't feel disrespected by myself or by the topic.
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Re: Poll - Lots of input vs lots of output

Postby leosmith » Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:46 am

IronMike wrote:Probably 5 of the 7 hours per day were input, listening and reading. We read and listened a lot. And conversation followed.

Compared to how much conversation? And how far along was it before you started?
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Re: Poll - Lots of input vs lots of output

Postby IronMike » Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:54 am

leosmith wrote:
IronMike wrote:Probably 5 of the 7 hours per day were input, listening and reading. We read and listened a lot. And conversation followed.

Compared to how much conversation? And how far along was it before you started?

At DLI you start with conversation from day one. Most of it at first was "What is this? (instructor points to ring) This is a ring." By day 5 you're using more verbs than just the "to be" verbs.

There was no class-hour where you didn't speak in Russian. There was no English, even in language lab. Instructors were very good at pretending to not understand English if you tried some crap like "Моя мать любит her cat." "Что? Я не понимаю!" Dialogs all day long. DLI really is a fire hose. "Open mouth, insert fire hose."
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Re: Poll - Lots of input vs lots of output

Postby alaart » Wed Apr 07, 2021 3:40 am

leosmith wrote:One last thing regarding conversation. Although I start it early, I do not like to start it from day one. I could probably exchange greetings or something, but attempting a one hour conversation (standard length for me) with no previous knowledge would be frustrating to myself and my partner. I find that 2-3 months of self-study gives me enough of a base to jump into one hour conversations. I suck at first, but usually in a few weeks I feel that I have a “useable” level. And of course, the comprehensible listening practice that I get during conversation is a big boost to my learning from that point on.


Hm.. I did start with conversation from day 1 in 3 languages. Dutch, Japanese and Korean.

I find that it helps with memorization if I have heard something in a conversation, even if it is like: I like this, you like this. I hate this, you hate this. That being said, Dutch is pretty close to German. And Japanese was accompanied by full time lessons, so I did the conversation supplemental. For both it worked pretty nicely.

For Korean I didn't have much energy to study much outside of the conversations, and it wasn't that fruitful. :roll:

Then like on a more intermediate or advanced level, output through conversation has its limit. Because you will know all of the daily vocabulary, but all the other vocabularies won't enter the conversations. I guess there, input is much better.
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Re: Poll - Lots of input vs lots of output

Postby einzelne » Wed Apr 07, 2021 4:02 am

IronMike wrote:There was no class-hour where you didn't speak in Russian. There was no English, even in language lab.


That was 'little output'? What the hell do you do when you are in your 'lots of output' mode? Writing a sequel to War and Peace?..
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Re: Poll - Lots of input vs lots of output

Postby IronMike » Wed Apr 07, 2021 9:19 pm

einzelne wrote:
IronMike wrote:There was no class-hour where you didn't speak in Russian. There was no English, even in language lab.


That was 'little output'? What the hell do you do when you are in your 'lots of output' mode? Writing a sequel to War and Peace?..

I considered "lots of output" when the entire class hour was speaking, with our modules closed, no newspapers, etc. Just talking. ;)
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