aaleks's log

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aaleks
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Re: Just a log (English, Italian)

Postby aaleks » Fri May 24, 2019 12:27 pm

Ezra wrote:As for Italian, you might want to check «L'italiano secondo il metodo natura». I used it to reach necessary proficiency to read in Italian.

Thank you :) . I guess, I've already seen the link somewhere on the forum because I remember the book, and there also was a video on youtube if I'm not mistaken.
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aaleks
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Re: Just a log (English, Italian)

Postby aaleks » Tue May 28, 2019 6:30 pm

[deleted]

----
The thing is though I wasn't going to write about the CI and grammar approaches, I wanted to write about watching tv in a TL after I read Sarafina's that Morgana quoted ( the original post ). I'd like to quote a couple of lines too.
this
...she would have watch one scene multiple times...

and this
...a nice by-product of repeatedly re-watching scenes...


I think, that these might be the key factors -- watching the same stuff repeatedly. So, for a language learning purpose, it might be more important to have a couple of series that you really like so you would watch it many many times rather than many series you'd watch just once or twice. Just thinking. I probably would write a lttle more on the topic but, as I often say :) , this post is already too long, and I probably shouldn't have written all the above (the first part of the post). Anyway. I won't make this post even more pointless and just link three old posts I think someone interested in learning a language through a lot of native media might find interesting.

It's NIKOLIĆ's Muzzy story
https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =10#p41439
https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =20#p41460

and one of reineke's posts (from the same old thread)
https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =20#p41478

edited: I decided to delete the first part of the post. I was just repeating myself, besides I realized that I don't want that rant here.
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aaleks
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Re: Just a log (English, Italian)

Postby aaleks » Wed May 29, 2019 11:46 am

I read the whole thread from which I linked the three posts above. I didn't read every post in that thread but just some of them. I think I've mentioned it before that now I'm trying to learn Italian through listening first, adding everything other along the way, so I find such discussions useful and interesting. Even though I myself have learned English (still learning, of course) mainly through watching series and reading books but being a newbie language learner I was often afraid to learn something wrong. On top of that I tend to second guess myself, and at the time the only forum I could read was the one in my native language where everyone was talking about grammar, grammar, grammar - the most important thing in language learning, so I always was kind of looking at that grammar side. I think the lack of self-confidence is what led me eventually to my writing failure and to choosing the wrong tactic to deal with it. By the way, I also think that my English is still recovering from the damage. Yet I have my own experience of learning a language with minimum knowledge about grammar. I'm not sure if I really knew such terms like Present Perfect or Past Perfect after learning, i.e. listening to and reading, English for more then 4 years, but I remember that at the moment my comprehension of the language was really close to the one of my native language. Thus I know for a fact that it is possible to be able understand a language without learning its grammar explicitly. And well, I can understand Italian within my vocabulary even though I know just a little bit more than zero about Italian grammar. I know something -- I've read a half of a textbook after all :mrgreen: and I read StringerBell's log regularly. Turning back to my English learning, I was partialy acquiring and partialy learning/studing it. I want to acquire Italian first and only after that to start learning (about) it or not to start, we'll see. And actually I want my Italian to become stronger than my English is right now.

Summing up my own (half-)experience and what I've read on the forum. It seems like one of the most important things if you want to acquire a language through its media is not trying to learn. The media content is supposed to come first. Even in my case I was interested in watching and understanding a particular series, my goal wasn't exactly to learn English as a language. Initially the language was the means, not the ends. Of course, I wasn't a child at the time so I did a lot of wrong moves just because I started caring about learning, right learning, efficient learning, etc. I've noticed it with English and now I'm noticing it when I'm watching tv/series in Italian -- when I start thinking about grammar, analysing the structures consciously my comprehension drops significantly. The other thing that I think might be important is re-reading and re-watching the same stuff several times. As a teen I used to reread the same book several times, sometimes because I really likes the book, sometimes because I had nothing new to read. I believe that that rereading habit, not just reading, helped me to improve my native language in many ways. I've never done it with English books though, mostly because I rarely could find something I would like to read more than once (or even once, tbh). But I rewatched some of the series (some episodes of the series) I was watching and I remember that it usually helped. By the way, speaking of time and the amount of media content one needs to watch. For someone who's learning languages through input I haven't watched a lot of tv-series or read a lot of books. And I haven't been spending hours sitting in front of a TV or computer screen. Sometimes I do but on very rare occasions, and it won't be uninterrupted watching anyway. Another problem is that even though I like watching series there are only a handful of American series I really like to watch, and I will think twice before starting a new one. I mean it's not like I never run out of something new to watch. So I think rewatching a favorite show/series or rereading a favorite book sometimes beats consumig a lot of different content.
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aaleks
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Re: Just a log (English, Italian)

Postby aaleks » Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:37 am

I've read this post of StringerBell's, and that's made me think what kind of learner I am and how it affects my language learning. I can learn from books and from audio matrials but it's easier for me to learn by ears, and that's why I prefer to start with listening. As I said I can learn from books but it always feels like a chore. Another thing, I rarely take notes. If I do it's usually because I know I may need the information one day but I don't want to really hold it in mind for a long period of time. At the same time I remember that in the past when I needed to memorise something like a long math equation the best way to do it was writing it by hand several times. But I guess it's different. Either way it is not something I find useful when I'm trying to learn a foreign language. Turning back to listening, I have read many many times from other language learners that they can understand written language but can't decipher spoken langauge. Complaining about one's listening comprehension is very common for learners of it seems all langauges. I can't say I've ever had this problem. My listening comprehension grows with the overall level of a language. I don't know why it's so - because of listening to native materials since the beginning, or because of me being, supposedly, an audial (auditory?) learner? I know I can learn words from listening. Some time ago I already told the story of the word "subpoena" in the other thread. I learned it from watching TV-series, and it'd been some time (a couple of years I think) before I saw the word in a book the first time :o . Honestly I think I was able to recognize it only because of the context :D .
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aaleks
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Re: Just a log (English, Italian)

Postby aaleks » Tue Jun 18, 2019 8:44 pm

I thought to refrain from posting this till the end of the month but I feel like I can do it now. The thing is I've been doing something like an experiment - learning Italian exclusively through exposure via listening in the first place with a bit of reading. No looking up words in a dictionary, let alone textbooks and/or learning grammar explicitly. I started it at the beginning of June and thought to continue up to the end of the month, and then I'd make a conclusion. But it seems like I've already come to that conclusion so I think I may write about the experience now. First the conclusion, there's no point in holding a dramatic pause :D - I'm going to continue with this approach for a while because it seems it works for me.

Recently I've been googling a lot about langauge learning like I did when I started learning English. Even though I might seem as a bit experienced langauge learner I feel like I've done a lot of mistakes while learning English. Besides if in case with English I was more like a false-beginner - I'd tried to learn the langauge before, I was an absolute beginner in Italian. Thus I couldn't replicate my experience of learning English step by step, and I really did not want to. So I've read some of the posts on this forum through the search function, googled some quora posts, etc. One of reineke's posts struck me as being very close to how I understand grammar of my native tongue, and it seems how I do it in general, no matter what the language is.
I'll quote the phrase:
"To "truly" understand grammar points one needs to have a feeling for the words and their underlying relations"
https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 337#p51337

I'm not sure that I got it right, I might see in it something completely different from what he meant to say, but the thing is it is really easier for me to understand grammar though words rather then through patterns, the way I understand the word. To me a grammar pattern for example for Conditional 1 is: if+noun/pronoun+verb in the simple present tense+... / noun/pronoun+will+verb+... I'm not sure that I wrote it right but it's something like that. So when one needs to use this grammar construction they just put each word in its place and voila. Usually English learners are taught that there are three Conditionals, in reality, as I understand, it's a bit more complicated. I think I learned about the conditionals on the 5th year of learning English, or around that time. But I'd had no problem to understand such sentences before because there are words that have their meaning and that's enough for me to not get lost. It seems that learning grammar through patterns isn't as effective for me as learning it through the meaning of words, let's call it so. I tried to apply this "words" approach to my Italian listening and it seemed like it worked fine.

Then, I don't remember why and how I came to that, but I decided to go full-imput or whatever it might be called, and look how I'd do without looking up words in a dictionary. While it is easy to me to kick out grammar of my langauge learning way it's not so easy to do with dictionaries. In my first year of learning English at some point I became so addicted to it so I had to make a real effort to stop rechecking every single word, even the ones I knew but wasn't 100% sure of their meanings. It might've been not such a big problem if my brain, being as all brains a lazy creature, didn't use it as an excuse to go on vacation, because why bothering to remember new words when there always was a dictionary within reach. It wasn't easy to get rid of the habit, and it seemed I never really got rid of it. So a new language - a new chance. I thought - why not? Why not to try to do it at least for a month? And it's better to do it when I'm still a beginner, more or less (più o meno ;) ) .

So, how's my Italian been doing after I restricted myself from using a dictionary. I'd say fine. I've noticed that since the start of this experiment I became better at noticing things. Now I listening more attentively and at the same time I feel more relaxed, especially when sometimes I read the articles on efficacemente.com or italianoautomatico.com. I've recalled one thing that might lead my to the "no-dictionary" decision. When I was playing with Anki I used it to learn the days of the week. I thought to learn numbers too but never did it. But not too long time ago, maybe before starting the experiment, maybe a bit later, I realized that I learned pretty much a lot of them. I mean there might be the numbers that names I don't know or don't remember but often I can understand even dates by ears (like 1998, or 2004, etc.). What's interesting is that it is actually easier for me to "decipher" numbers then the names of weekdays when I hear them. I guess it might be because while trying to figure out numbers from input/context I paid more attention to them.

I'm afraid I can go on and on that but it's late where I live, and the post looks monstrously long, so I'll end it here. I'm going to continue with my not experiment already but more like new approach. If it stops working I'll change it. But I'm really curious to see how much I'll be able to learn like this. We'll see.

P.S. Sorry if there are too many mistakes in the post, maybe I'll proofread it later.

P.P.S. Forgot to say - I decided to try the Peppa Pig Challenge for Italian https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 96#p143007 . I'm not sure if I'm doing it right though - I'm just trying to watch at least 10 min of Peppa every day (usually it's about 20-30 min.)
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Morgana
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Re: Just a log (English, Italian)

Postby Morgana » Wed Jun 19, 2019 8:42 am

I’m intrigued. How much time are you spending with Italian per day/week/whatever interval you keep track by, if you keep track?
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aaleks
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Re: Just a log (English, Italian)

Postby aaleks » Wed Jun 19, 2019 12:40 pm

Morgana wrote:I’m intrigued. How much time are you spending with Italian per day/week/whatever interval you keep track by, if you keep track?

Unfortunately I don't keep track. I thought about keeping it but then realized that it wouldn't be so easy to do because usually it's 15 min here, 10 there, etc. On different days I do different hours of language learning. For example the last Monday I didn't really have time for Italian during the whole day. I managed to watch a new video on the Italiano Automatico channel (12 min), and that would've been it if it weren't for the Peppa Pig Challenge, so I watched 10 or 20 min of Peppa but mostly it was just playing in the background. Besides technically it was Tuesday :D . But sometimes there are the days when I watch really a lot. To be honest I can recall only one such a day though. Once I managed to find a series on mediaset.it that wasn't geoblocked, and it just happened that at that day I had enough free time to watch 4 episodes of the series in one day. Usually one episode of an Italian mini-series is about 80-90-100 min long. So it's like 8 episodes of an American series for example. I wasn't watching them in a row, of course, just the first four episodes within the one day. But it wasn't planned, and that was just one day, I tried but couldn't repeat this on any of the following days (the series has 13 or 14 episodes). So when I myself try to roughly estimate the time I've spent on learning a language, I take 2 hours as the average number because I assume that 1-2 hours is about the time I spend daily on one language (in total but, usually, not in a row).
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aaleks
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Re: Just a log (English, Italian)

Postby aaleks » Sat Jun 29, 2019 11:56 am

I've been reading this thread and that reminded me of one of the reasons, I'd say of one half of the reason, why I started and didn't quit learning English. I don't mean the book - I've never read it, and I doubt that I'd ever heard of Barry Farber before - so it wasn't the book that inspired me, the reason why I was able to learn something at all was modern technology. That's probably one of the differences between me and a 'real' successful language learner. The latter would learn a language using textbooks and other traditional methods I would not. I need something like foreign language TV or the Internet, I can't learn a language from a textbook. At least if I don't have a strong motivation to learn the language, but the learning process wouldn't be a pleasant experience for me. I believe there are just a few people who are able to successfully learn a language using traditonal grammar first and foremost approaches, then they grow up... and become language teachers :D . I've read many times that using a textbook means a shorecut - one will learn a language faster that way. I find it reasonable but what it means exactly? I wrote this post about my struggles to understand how the Present Perfect tense worked/s about a year and a half ago, and back then I was told that I kind of used the tense more or less correctly in the post, so what was my problem. It's hard to judge one's own writing so I won't, the thing is I did not understand how to use the tense at the moment but I knew the rule - I read it, I did the exercises, so even though I understood a little more then nothing I could use it somehow, never being sure that I used it correctly. That's what is meant by a "shortcut"? Faking one's knowledge and command of a language? As I said, I don't understand how it works and how to get maximum out of grammar rules explanations. So without enough native material being available I wouldn't be able to learn... foreign language grammar ;) . In case with the Present Perfect it was watching a series that helped me eventually to understand what it's about. So it seems I would never learn a foreign language without modern technology, i.e. native content, video content in the first place.
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aaleks
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Re: Just a log (English, Italian)

Postby aaleks » Sat Jun 29, 2019 4:10 pm

I just watched the latest Luca Lampariello's video. The thing is it has an English title but he's speaking in Italian in the video. Even though I could hear that it was really Italian there were a couple of the moments when I asked myself if it was really so, and he didn't actually switched to English.

And this was sort of an update on how my Italian is going :) .
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aaleks
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Re: Just a log (English, Italian)

Postby aaleks » Tue Jul 23, 2019 6:21 pm

It seems I'm going to try to revive my German. As I've mention before technically German is my L2 (it goes like my L1 - Russian, L2 - German, L3 - English, L4 - Italian). German is the language I was learning for 7 years in school (unsuccessfully), and then later for about a year on my own - this time I actually managed to learn something but then I quitted and everything got lost. Later when I was learning English I thought of reviving my German but never got to the point to actually do it. Then I gave up on the idea, but sometimes I had that kind of wishful thinking that maybe one day if I found something I would like to watch or read in German I would try to revive or relearn it. The thing is the moment has come :mrgreen: . I've found that "something" that I want to watch in German so for about a week my poor English has had to share its time not only with Italian but with German as well. I honestly don't know if that "German recovery" is going to last long but right now I think that it's worth at least trying. Besides I would like to try my new listening-watching approach on German too. And, of course, peppa-piging :lol: . I've noticed that I'm really learning new words from that cartoon.

I won't change the name of the log though because it's just too eary, I may quit German once again tomorrow, or after a couple of weeks, or ... And I'm not going to really learn it, just try to recall what I learned all those years ago. Besides, it's not exactly true that I forgot German completely, I still remember enough of the grammar and handful of words.

P.S. Is my English going to survive this abuse?..... :roll:
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