Does shadowing improve listening?

General discussion about learning languages

Does shadowing improve listening?

yes
19
86%
no
3
14%
 
Total votes: 22

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Le Baron
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Re: Does shadowing improve listening?

Postby Le Baron » Sat Nov 25, 2023 3:44 pm

Does approximating what you think you hear (or how we think we hear) as an utterance really have any effect upon recognition of new instances? To be honest I don't know, but it's an interesting question. I'd have thought that simply successful recognition (of meaning), the mental operation of this as something you could potentially reproduce, and checking the translation is enough. Without having to utter it at all. The oral reproduction part, which is supposed to be the point of shadowing, rests entirely upon how good a person is at accurately hearing and reproducing sounds.

A fair number of people completely fool themselves into believing they have reproduced what they hear. I'd worry about marrying up in my mind the successful recognition of meaning with a substandard reproduction. And it then having a negative effect for the latter.

I think for better listening you only have to successfully do the mental operation, but if repeating it orally helps this then so be it.
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Re: Does shadowing improve listening?

Postby Cainntear » Sat Nov 25, 2023 11:24 pm

jackb wrote:Shadowing is one of those techniques that the definition varies wildly from person to person. One person's shadowing is another person's chorusing, etc. In this case I'm using the Arguelles [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=130bOvRpt24[/youtube] definition. It's the thing most people point to when recommending it as practice.

Fair enough -- it's his term, it's his thing (as far as I know!) I'll try to use a descriptive term rather than just saying "shadowing" in future.

[Edit for correction: retracted -- see ryanheise's post a few spots down. I'll just avoid the term altogether.]
Last edited by Cainntear on Tue Nov 28, 2023 3:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Does shadowing improve listening?

Postby Cainntear » Sat Nov 25, 2023 11:33 pm

Le Baron wrote:Does approximating what you think you hear (or how we think we hear) as an utterance really have any effect upon recognition of new instances?
...
A fair number of people completely fool themselves into believing they have reproduced what they hear. I'd worry about marrying up in my mind the successful recognition of meaning with a substandard reproduction. And it then having a negative effect for the latter.

This is a very good point, very clearly put.

Beginners can't be sure they're repeating correctly, because if you can't hear the sound, you won't know you're doing it wrong. I think that's kind of my point about holding off until later. When I started parroting films, I could perceive the sounds well enough that it was useful.

But I can't be the only one who's been in a language class where a teacher tries to correct a student's pronunciation by going "listen: fonction... fonction" and then gets the student stating exasperatedly "but that's what I said!!"
And if a learner can't hear deliberate correction from a teacher right in front of them, I doubt they'll be able to notice a difference when they aren't even told they're saying it wrong in the first place.
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Re: Does shadowing improve listening?

Postby Kraut » Mon Nov 27, 2023 12:04 am

Shadowing Technique in English: are you wasting your time?
https://hadarshemesh.com/magazine/shadowing-in-english/

She sees "shadowing" as a consecutive practice and does her own shadowing accordingly. She also seems uncomfortable with this term and calls it " echoing".

There are two ways you can go about shadowing:

1. Listen to an audio or video recording and echo the speaker without pausing. This option is great if you’re on the go but still want some practice time.

2. Listen to an audio or video recording, pause after each line or a certain chunk of words, and echo the speaker. And then move to the next line. This option is perfect if you have time to go deeper into the speech
.
Last edited by Kraut on Wed Nov 29, 2023 11:28 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Does shadowing improve listening?

Postby lingohot » Mon Nov 27, 2023 6:25 am

Shadowing as a technique for "budding and the experienced simultaneous interpreter(s)":

https://www.guichotdefortis.com/blog/guide-to-shadowing

Shadowing is listening to a live or recorded speaker, and repeating word for word - and often intonation for intonation - what the speaker is saying. It can be almost anything, depending on your goal:

official speeches by good speakers - to learn the turns of phrase and the delivery style

news programs - to practice your enunciation and speed

audible plays - to learn how to express emotion in your active languages

documentaries - to learn how to present engagingly, and something about the topic!

language learning texts - to learn accent and pronunciation

poetry - to learn to replicate the cadence of the language

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Re: Does shadowing improve listening?

Postby Kraut » Mon Nov 27, 2023 12:03 pm

Here is the key sentence: "Shadowing as a technique for "budding and the experienced simultaneous interpreter(s)"
No beginner nor intermediate learner can/should do this, the good practice for them is described above and better called "echoing".
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Re: Does shadowing improve listening?

Postby ryanheise » Mon Nov 27, 2023 2:28 pm

Here is a relatively short journal article giving a brief summary of the literature on shadowing as it relates to listening:

Shadowing: What is It? How to Use It. Where Will It Go?

The article differentiates between "shadowing" (which is done simultaneously with little lag) and "repeating" (which is done chunk by chunk). It suggests that because shadowing is simultaneous, it has the effect of the learner focusing their attention more on the phonological aspects rather than the meaning, because for an L2 learner, this exercise of simultaneously perceiving and producing the sound leaves little cognitive resources left to pay attention to the meaning.

The article also gives a brief history of shadowing:

The idea of shadowing dates back to Cherry’s study (1953). In his experiment on speech recognition, the participants listened to two different passages. To confirm that they were listening to only one of the passages, they were asked to repeat simultaneously what they attended to, which is shadowing. Later, to learn how to listen and speak simultaneously, shadowing was used as a technique for training simultaneous interpreters. Prior to the advanced stage of translating one language into another, shadowing has been used for beginner translators to practise listening to one language and repeating it simultaneously (Lambert, 1992). Shadowing was then used for listening practice in teaching because shadowing involves listening to and repeating the input.
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Re: Does shadowing improve listening?

Postby Cainntear » Mon Nov 27, 2023 4:47 pm

Kraut wrote:Here is the key sentence: "Shadowing as a technique for "budding and the experienced simultaneous interpreter(s)"
No beginner nor intermediate learner can/should do this, the good practice for them is described above and better called "echoing".

I'm not sure why you've highlighted "experienced" rather then "interpreters", and why you haven't highlighted "budding".

It's really unnatural to say the exact same thing as someone else, as we do tend to drop any redundant information from our speech.
compare
A: "What's your name?"
B: "John Smith.
with
A: "Who are you?"
B: "My name's John Smith."
This is an invented example, but indicative of the standard pattern.

Anyhow, overcoming the tendency to not repeat is something that needs training to accomplish, so I can see the point of this exercise for interpreters -- actually literally echoing words will make it much easier to notice when you don't, whereas if you're doing live interpretation on your own, you might miss something without realising.

Also, I reckon the word "shadowing" makes a lot more sense in simultaneous interpretation, really.

For the benefit of non-natives, you tend to talk about "shadowing" people at work when you follow them around and passively observe them to learn what the job entails. Well, you'll probably ask questions, but you won't be actively working. The word "shadowing" seems appropriate for an interpreter, as the interpreter should be thought of as a passive conduit, and not active in the conversation. Which is a heck of a lot of work, really.
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Re: Does shadowing improve listening?

Postby Cainntear » Mon Nov 27, 2023 4:55 pm

ryanheise wrote:Here is a relatively short journal article giving a brief summary of the literature on shadowing as it relates to listening:

Shadowing: What is It? How to Use It. Where Will It Go?

Interesting...

I note the following from the abstract:
Yo Hamada wrote:Twenty-five years have passed since a teaching technique, called shadowing, was introduced in Japanese EFL contexts. Recently, this technique has gradually been recognized around the world.

Is it reasonable to assume that the biggest contributor to the growth has been the overlap between the English teaching world and the online language community...? I mean, Argüelles pushed it hard, then a bunch of self-help types included distorted versions of Argüelles's model in their "how to learn a language" advice...
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Re: Does shadowing improve listening?

Postby lingohot » Tue Nov 28, 2023 7:39 am

Kraut wrote:No beginner nor intermediate learner can/should do this, the good practice for them is described above and better called "echoing".


That's what I think as well. Or echoing first and then shadowing the same recording when you master it. Argüelles recommends 'blind shadowing' first where you just parrot the sounds you hear. I don't see the point, to be honest, apart from 'becoming curious'.
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