Input only

General discussion about learning languages
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Re: Input only

Postby tangleweeds » Thu Jan 14, 2016 11:17 pm

IchBinEinPoly wrote: it's easy to listen to lots of stuff all day long, while doing other stuff. Perhaps it's only a fraction as effective as concentrated study, but concentrated study both burns you out quickly and can't be done while doing many other things
I do concentrated study because it's one of my most reliable means of achieving Csikszentmihalyi's "flow" state. Studying intensively gives me a great mental high, and leaves me feeling calmer and more energetic for the rest of the day. There's a great similarity to the effect of meditation, at least for me.

And no, I can't do it all day long, but I don't think one is meant to. But doing it for longer stretches is an ability that one builds, like stamina for running.
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Re: Input only

Postby Montmorency » Fri Jan 15, 2016 2:20 am

IchBinEinPoly wrote:
Montmorency wrote:In any case, I'm not at all sure that it's the concentration that burns you out. Many people work at jobs which they are good at for 8 hours per day or more without burning out. I think burning out is to do with things like working at too fast a pace, trying to do too many things at once, continually working against a deadline, and simply being overloaded and working too long without a break.

Americans hate their jobs. Indeed, I reckon most people to do everywhere in the world. I, for one, would hate to make language learning like work.

That's not actually what the article you quoted said. I mean: it didn't say "most Americans hate their jobs".

In any case, a) we are not all Americans and b) I talked about people who enjoyed their jobs. Some people do.

and (from that article):
What makes employees happiest at work? “Interest in work,” which 59% said satisfied them and “people at work,” which 60.6% said they liked.

which is exactly what I'd expect. (I'm not talking about the numbers).

All of the factors you listed can exacerbate or increase the odds burn out, but simply applying mental effort for prolonged periods of time is sufficient to cause burnout.

Of course it can do, but if you suggest that people should never do it, we'd never get any decent research done, any decent science or engineering done, and I suppose people also concentrate in the liberal arts, but that's not my field. :-)

Further, in my experience most of the people you claim aren't burned out actually are. We live in a burned out society that glorifies work for its own sake.

I don't think I claimed anyone was not burned out. I merely questioned the causes of burn-out. I don't think you are concentrating enough on what you are reading. Let me guess: you are under 30?
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Re: Input only

Postby reineke » Mon Apr 10, 2017 1:54 pm

K is for Krashen

"This criticism led me to wonder if – like many teachers of my generation – I hadn’t been unduly influenced by the radicalism of a scholar whose major theoretical constructs – e.g. the monitor model, the input hypothesis, the affective filter etc – have subsequently been substantially revised or even discredited.

As a teacher formed in the twilight phase of audiolingualism (see D is for Drilling), I found Krashen’s outright dismissal of the value of productive practice or of error correction, and his case for bathing the learners in a sea of comprehensible input, immediately attractive – all the more so because of the feisty way in which these ideas were argued. (A much-copied Horizon video on language acquisition, which included extracts from a lecture of Krashen’s, was a staple on teacher training courses in the 80s and 90s.)

Doubts started to surface when I found that – as a second language learner who had recently moved to Spain – the silent period I was enjoying seemed indefinitely prolonged, and although my comprehension of Spanish had developed apace, this never translated into fluent production. (Krashen, of course, would have argued that my affective filter was set too high). Hence, Merrill Swain’s case for the value of forced output prompted a reappraisal, on my part, of Krashen’s input hypothesis, although too late to kick-start my fossilised B2 Spanish.

More recently, however, the pendulum might seem to be swinging back. The advent of the so-called usage-based theories of language acquisition, argued by the likes of Michael Tomasello and Nick Ellis among others, which foreground the effect on the neural ‘stuff’ of massive exposure to patterned input, would seem to vindicate at least some aspects of Krashen’s input hypothesis – i.e. that exposure triggers acquisition..."

See the comments. ... r-krashen/

I is for input.

Michael Swan (2005), in a withering critique of task-based learning, makes a similar argument to Lyster’s, but even more forcefully:

"I suggest that naturalistically-biased approaches are, in important respects, pedagogically impoverished, favouring the development of what is already known at the expense of the efficient teaching of new language."

That is to say, where there is no pre-selected input, the existing ‘pool’ of language just goes round and round...

Or is the term ‘input’ itself a non-starter? Isn’t it a relic of a mechanistic, computational metaphor of the mind that is giving way to a more ecological one? Shouldn’t we be thinking less of input as such, and more about the learning opportunities that become available in authentic language use...?" ... for-input/
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Re: Input only

Postby YtownPolyglot » Thu Apr 13, 2017 10:33 pm

At a certain point, it will almost take sheer will power not to produce any output...if you're anything like I was as a language student.
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Re: Input only

Postby Voytek » Sat Apr 15, 2017 10:33 am

nuncapense wrote:What is the consensus on input only language learning these days? Does it produce people who can understand really well but can't speak? I have been focusing on Spanish input while living in Mexico. I think my speaking is really bad. I meet with a tutor once a week and we have a conversation, but I don't get a lot of speaking practice except with really simple things like buying food.

I've never forced myslef to speak or write in English and I've spoken it maybe for about 25 hours in total and have written for another 50 but I think that I can express my thoughts in the language quite fluently and nobody has ever said to me that they don't understand what I'm trying to convey. Sure, I do mistakes, lots of them without knowing it, but hey, I'm a language student and there's nothing wrong in making mistakes unless you don't want to learn on them.
Instead I put all my effort in reading and listening and I benefit from it massivley. Sure, it's a great thing to use your language knowledge because it really helps you to become confindent and thus fluent but I don't see a reason for forcing yourself to use your TL if you don't need or don't want to do so. I've many times noticed that I'm having problems with speaking Polish (particulary with using correct gramma rules), which is my native language, when I'm trying to force myself either to talk with people or write anything.

Besides, I'll say it again, since I already wrote about that matter a couple weeks ago, there was the time in my life when I didn't talk with people almost at all and only wrote from time to time in Polish for about 7 years (I studied Philosophy and Psychology and I was a bit too engorssed in that) but thanks to a great amount of time I spent on reading my language skills (active ones, of course) skyrocketed. I know that it was a massive exposure on my native language but any way it worked and I can see that also same thing works with English. Of course, I don't know which level of fluency in English I would have reached if I had spoken it at least from time to time but it doesn't bother me because, as I said before, I'm eager to use a language only if I want or really need to do so. No, I'm not an introvert... not any more. :)

But if someone wants to start speaking as soon as possible due personal goals maybe it's a good idea to do so right of the bat. No idea, I've never tried that approach to language learning. Personally I don't understand why nowdays language coaches insist on speaking from the very beginning. Maybe they want to induce the feeling "wow! I can really speak my TL" in their clients, no idea.

I can't be quite sure how many hours I've spent learning English passively but I presume that I've invested no more than 3000 hours in it... Actually, I'm sure that I haven't invested in learning more than that. About 2500 solely in exposure (75% reading books) and 500 in learning the grammar and using Anki for the vocabulary aquisition.
Last edited by Voytek on Fri Apr 21, 2017 2:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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