Describe the most effective thing you have done to advance your language learning

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CardiffGiant
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Re: Describe the most effective thing you have done to advance your language learning

Postby CardiffGiant » Fri Mar 27, 2020 4:11 pm

leosmith wrote:The following was taken from a discussion here:
I ask because I've done some informal documenting of time I've spent using certain techniques in my learning, and I've found that my improvement in conversation is almost directly proportional to the number of one hour conversation where I briefly noted and later memorized vocabulary and sentences that I lacked or didn't understand. Like yours, my classes were also 100% target, and other than the noting process which only took a few minutes, were just as you described; no corrections unless they truly didn't understand me.

To be perfectly honest, I've been using this method for a long time now, and the only things I compared were periods when I read 2 hrs/day vs 30 min/day, periods where I did the exercise mentioned above vs conversation with no memorization and periods of 5 - 7 hours conversation per week vs 3 or less hours per week. As I mentioned, the overwhelmingly best indicator of level in conversation turned out to be the number of hours spent conversing and memorizing. I was quite surprised that 2 hrs of reading wasn't noticeably better for conversation than 30 minutes for the single data point of myself.

This was very interesting. Can I ask what method you used to learn vocab after your conversations? Flashcards, Notebook etc
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leosmith
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Re: Describe the most effective thing you have done to advance your language learning

Postby leosmith » Fri Mar 27, 2020 6:48 pm

CardiffGiant wrote:Can I ask what method you used to learn vocab after your conversations? Flashcards, Notebook etc
I first memorize them in the form of a list, then put them in Anki the next day.

More detail: The notes I take are in the Skype message window, so I copy and paste the items into a spreadsheet, checking definitions and spellings if necessary, so I end up with a nice clean list (at the time of the experiments mentioned above, I wrote them out by hand into a notebook at this point as it seemed to help with retention, but now I avoid writing by hand to prevent tendonitis). I memorize them in groups of 4 by reading them first, covering the L2 and recalling the L2. The next day I put them in Anki.
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Re: Describe the most effective thing you have done to advance your language learning

Postby Perchta » Sat Mar 28, 2020 7:52 pm

I learnt French in an advanced level by living in Belgium. I must add that I had already had a B2 level when leaving, but it helped me a lot, mainly in speaking and listening. I saw on my classmates with lower levels that it helped them too. However, the common myth is that living abroad will teach you something without any effort. No, you can leave the country not able to speak the language and, on the other hand, you can learn the language without living there.

Just do what you do normally in your target language. It means:

- read a lot in your target language. World news are good for lower levels (you can find what happened in your language if you don’t understand), but books and pop science is important too. But read what you like reading (unless you prepare for some exam) to stay motivated.

- listen as much as you can. It’s quite easy when you live abroad (everyone around you speaks the language so it’s harder not to listen), but you can use online radio, TV series, films... at least something every day. It’s important to be prepared that you won’t understand 100% since the beginning! Just catch the main idea and as much as you can. (Personal story: I enrolled to three courses held by one professor on my Belgian university. It wasn’t possible to change all the three courses for other ones and I had to pass the exams. However, on the first lecture, I understood almost nothing - the professor had a bad pronunciation + a really really spoken French I wasn’t able to catch. I was desperate. But eventually, with every minute of the 5h45/week with him, I was better and better and eventually, during the last lecture I understood every single word he said. It was the best language training I’ve ever had I guess.)

- speak as much as you can and find a native speaker/advanced learner to speak with. It’s important to be able to say somehow anything you want to say. I remember my French professor who never accepted "Sorry, I don’t know how to say that, let’s talk about something else." You can say that unless you try to explain Kant or quantum physics. Yes, you can’t add interesting details, but you’ll be better and better. And it’s important to have someone to interact with. You have a friend to talk to, don’t you? So find a friend to talk to in your target language for a while every day (or at least very often).

- write and let someone correct and explain your mistakes.

What I wanted to tell you: Enjoy you’re abroad or simulate you are abroad when being at home.
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Re: Describe the most effective thing you have done to advance your language learning

Postby Iversen » Sat Mar 28, 2020 11:33 pm

I have been studying languages on and off since around 1960, but in relation to my current craze the following four items should suffice:

Vocabulary: triple column wordlists (including wordlists directly from dictionaries)

Grammar: making summaries in the form of 'green sheets

Reading and understanding: bilingual texts from non-fictional sources, mostly made with the help of Google translate

Speaking: no, not speaking, but THINKING silently. Speaking comes later - and only during short holidays periods. If I should base my speaking skill acquisition on actual speech then I wouldn't get anywhere.
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Carmody
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Re: Describe the most effective thing you have done to advance your language learning

Postby Carmody » Mon Mar 30, 2020 3:31 pm

Yes, I of course read a lot of French literature and spend hours on YouTube soaking up French input but the hardest thing I have to learn is to Relax.

With Oral input I need it to be comprehensible but not push myself. Learning to relax and allow the words to wash over me and getting a sense of what is said and not getting bogged down on one word; that is the key for me. Everyone has their own personal interests and a place on Netflix or YouTube to listen for hours. Being relaxed, patient, forgiving, and going with the flow is "the most effective thing I have done to advance my language learning."

And getting enough Sleep, of course!
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jmar257
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Re: Describe the most effective thing you have done to advance your language learning

Postby jmar257 » Thu Apr 09, 2020 1:05 pm

Most effective so far has been extensive reading--be it on LingQ or actual books. Only things I would guess would supplant this for mewould be more conversation time (this is becoming a focus now via iTalki) or being in an immersion environment/living abroad, which I won't be doing any time soon.
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Re: Describe the most effective thing you have done to advance your language learning

Postby Fortheo » Fri Apr 10, 2020 1:39 pm

Extensive reading on an ebook app with a dictionary app that allows me to simply tap a word or phrase for translation. Reading like that is what rapidly brought me from studying the language to actually feeling competent in the language. Extensive listening has had a similar effect, but reading was more accessible to me earlier on because of the fact that I could take each sentence, each word at my own pace and digest the grammar at my own pace.

Inserting grammar exercises into Anki and using the cloze function has also been integral in improving my French. I'm not a fan of Anki for vocabulary, but I love it for grammar topics.
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Re: Describe the most effective thing you have done to advance your language learning

Postby principiante » Sun May 24, 2020 1:27 pm

Cavesa wrote:-extensive reading and listening. in huge amounts. But that is only efficient after a certain level
-workbooks. a high quality grammar or vocab (or other) workbook can move me forward extremely fast. The famous Progressives are a good example. For example, it is possible to get from near zero to B1 in a matter of weeks of intensive work (that means 5-6 hours a day), with all the applied skills (the famous 4) catching up extremely fast.


Could you provide a reference for the underlined? Thanks.
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Re: Describe the most effective thing you have done to advance your language learning

Postby Cavesa » Sun May 24, 2020 2:25 pm

principiante wrote:
Cavesa wrote:-extensive reading and listening. in huge amounts. But that is only efficient after a certain level
-workbooks. a high quality grammar or vocab (or other) workbook can move me forward extremely fast. The famous Progressives are a good example. For example, it is possible to get from near zero to B1 in a matter of weeks of intensive work (that means 5-6 hours a day), with all the applied skills (the famous 4) catching up extremely fast.


Could you provide a reference for the underlined? Thanks.


https://www.cle-international.com/reche ... essive-604

and the second: no reference, they are the reading,writing,speaking,listening four.
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Re: Describe the most effective thing you have done to advance your language learning

Postby Decidida » Sun May 24, 2020 3:31 pm

I am not the expert that others here are. So take what I say with a grain of salt. Maybe following my advice will cripple you in a way that I am too stupid to admit is crippling me. LOL. But I do know that in oases of calm, I make such fast progress that I have had the opportunity to enjoy using my newly learned skills with native speakers who were impressed with the speed of my acquisition of skills. Sooo this is what I BELIEVE enough to do:

Trust myself, even when people yell at me that I am WRONG WRONG WRONG; especially when I am slow at learning something that I know is just harder for me than it is for others. Fast learners use methods that do not always work for slower learners. My slower learning is not necessarily because I did not use the methods of the faster learners!

Sometimes I need to spend money. My largest purchases have seldom been on the newest or the best publicized resources. I am not easily swayed by advertising. I do not jump on bandwagons. I am not impressed with new fads. But I have chosen to spend some money on a few resources and reaped the benefits of these carefully chosen programs.

I use resources created for children and homeschoolers as well as resources created for adults.

I collect library cards, especially library cards from capital cities and wealthier rural areas with extensive online resources. If you take even a single community college class, you have access to their online library resources. Sometimes a relative or friend will allow you to tap into their card.

I have online friends overseas that help me access ebooks.

Sometimes older textbooks and 1st editions are better than newer ones.

A community college class keeps me on track and focused even if the class itself is crap.

I use lots of resources over a long time, but I need to use no more than 3 at a time. One resource at a time is never enough, though. Every resource has its strengths and weaknesses, so I need to use each resource for its strength and use something else as a supplement when it is weak.

Make use of spare moments to drill. Make use of burnt out time with something light. Know when you are most alert and schedule the hardest things at that time.

There is more, but this is a start.
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