Examples of Input Only

General discussion about learning languages
Finny
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Re: Examples of Input Only

Postby Finny » Wed Feb 27, 2019 2:28 am

walldepartment wrote:Hello. I have trouble finding this information. I am curious about some differences between input and output. I would like to read some examples of people who have had a lot of input ONLY and no output. Can anyone give me some links to this?


Oh, I miss HTLAL in some ways (though not in others). I was always inspired by solidsnake and was sad when he stopped posting; he was the closest adherent on the forums to the AJATT approach, but with Mandarin, and his posts were inspiring with regards to the results that were possible if you did one thing, and took it exceptionally seriously. It took me several years to learn the lesson, but when I did, along came the languages. I now know I could take on any language and learn it well if I made it my overwhelming focus, and that knowledge--or rather, that self-efficacy--is powerful.

To return to the OP's topic, however, the approach is one that lots of people have pursued with success; reineke has, as usual, posted plenty of wonderful anecdotes and references. To those I'd add the Antimoon and AJATT fellows. They both were (are) advocates of focusing on input and not worrying about output, with the idea being that if you get enough input, the output will come.

I'd also count myself as an example; while I did speak to people here and there in Spanish while learning it, 99% of the work was simply listening to the radio, watching telenovelas, and reading kids' books. I also self-spoke and read aloud, which I found far more useful than talking to people, as there wasn't the pressure of speaking correctly and processing responses.

With French, my "output" was teaching it to my kids while learning it. So in that sense, again, yes there was output, but it was more general use of the language. At first I was saying things like J'ai faim. Je vais manger. The goal was simply to start getting the kids to repeat things back to me in French instead of in Spanish. Thankfully, things got better from there.

Xmmm wrote:https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/19/health/l ... index.html

All these people learning from TV using native language subtitles ... makes me wonder why I do it the hard way, lol ...


This is lovely. I used subs in Spanish when watching telenovelas, but it was the same idea. I also remember that after a while, I turned off the subs because I'd gotten to the point where I could understand most of what was said without them, and I didn't want to read and watch at the same time. It was pretty cool.

My core shows were Amores Verdaderos, Porque el Amor Manda, and Por Ella Soy Eva. I started Mentir Para Vivir but never finished it; I don't actually have the attention span to watch TV on my own 99% of the time, as I'd rather be looking stuff up on the Internet. Listening to the radio came much easier, as I could do other things while doing it.

As a result, in French, although I watched some shows here and there, it was much less than with Spanish, especially since I preferred listening to RMC over watching any TV, which, for me, took too much attention. But I'm in full agreement with the idea that people can learn any language from 99% input. There's that story of the fellow who learned native-level Hebrew from scratch over the course of a decade in an Israeli restaurant in LA; I've posted it elsewhere on the forum here.

There are always going to be folks who say it's not possible or who pooh-pooh the idea. That's just life; most folks think doing anything beyond what they already do is impossible. If you want to do something difficult, in general, it's best to take advice from people who've done it successfully. That's not to say that this is the only way to learn a language; any time on this forum or others will show that there are as many ways as there are people. But for me, I can easily say that focusing on input and either reading aloud or talking to myself for output is more than sufficient, given enough time and effort, to pick up a language.

Oh, and as a final point, Stephen Krashen, while not necessarily a believer in 100% input for SLA, has written a boatload arguing for free voluntary reading in an L2 for mastery. To me, this is just the literary equivalent of telenovela-binging; he's even shared examples of people who developed fluency through reading all of the Hardy Boys / Nancy Drew-type series. This is much more up my alley and more descriptive of my approach. I went through series like Dork Diaries, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and the Hunger Games in Spanish and French, and still read those books for fun. The overarching point across both media forms is to get obsessed; AJATT mentioned this a lot. Find something that you'd do all day long in your L1, and do it in your L2. Repeat until the language is buzzing around in your head so much you want to start spontaneously speaking it.
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Re: Examples of Input Only

Postby Tom » Wed Feb 27, 2019 6:59 am

Xmmm wrote:https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/19/health/learn-new-language-telenovela-trick/index.html

All these people learning from TV using native language subtitles ... makes me wonder why I do it the hard way, lol ...



I'm quite surprised. I was under the impression that using native language subtitles wouldn't be beneficial at all. I'm am currently watching a series with target language subtitles, which does seem somewhat helpful, but I may have to rethink what I'm doing.
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Re: Examples of Input Only

Postby golyplot » Wed Feb 27, 2019 7:48 am

You can add me to the list of people who study almost exclusively through input. Of course, that's partly a matter of expediency, because it is a lot easier to watch TV than to do anything which requires actual effort.
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Re: Examples of Input Only

Postby Bex » Wed Feb 27, 2019 8:46 am

Xmmm wrote:https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/19/health/learn-new-language-telenovela-trick/index.html

All these people learning from TV using native language subtitles ... makes me wonder why I do it the hard way, lol ...

And I thought I was just being lazy....seems I was actually learning and not just cheating after all :lol:
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Re: Examples of Input Only

Postby Cainntear » Wed Feb 27, 2019 8:28 pm

reineke wrote:The average American watches five hours and four minutes of television per day. Source: Nielsen Ratings. I suppose that's in addition to any regular hobbies.

I've consumed audiobooks and other media in my secondary languages for fun and relaxation.

And so have I. The difference is that I don't enjoy them until I have achieved a good level of understanding, but you do.

I don't think anyone here actually believes that your claims about your own learning are false -- the issue is just whether the techniques are generally applicable. And as I already said, you can't judge the efficacy of a technique by looking only at those who succeeded with it. Continuing to list individual isolated success stories won't bring the conversation any further forward.

Baese-Berk said there are three tricks to learning a foreign language through a show.

First, it has to be highly engaging...

Second, it's best if the show has subtitles, so when viewers hear a new word, they can look down and find it in written form in their own language.

Third, the storyline should be repetitive.

I have a few problems with that. First up, I know I'm not alone in finding it very difficult to disregard subtitles. If they're there, I read them.
In Scotland, all Gaelic television (except kids programmes and live broadcasts) is shown with subtitles that you can't turn off. Gaelic speakers got so sick of their eyes being drawn to the English that quite a few of them actually went as far a sticking cardboard or electrician's tape across the bottom of the screen to block them out. I find the subtitles particularly problematic for comedy, as the punchline is often revealed in English before it's delivered in Gaelic, and the whole role of timing and performance is undermined.

Secondly, what does "engaging" really mean in this context? I cannot be engaged if I do not understand, and a truly engaging plot is going to be difficult to follow.

Finally, what if I find repetitive material boring?

Anyhow...
I started learning Welsh years ago, but didn't do much with it. However, I have been following a Welsh language soap on-and-off ever since, and my comprehension has slowly increased. Recently I noticed I process a lot more of the Welsh when playing games on my phone, because I'm not looking at the subtitles. (Thankfully the subtitles can be switched off on Welsh TV.)
So while L1 subtitles may be useful for some people, that use is limited for a lot of people... which brings us back to the matter of generalisability and repeatability of success.
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Re: Examples of Input Only

Postby reineke » Wed Feb 27, 2019 11:03 pm

Re: Cainntear's affective filters:

Cainntear wrote:As I said, though, I know my tolerance for uncertainty is lower than most people's, so I do remember to keep that in mind when considering what is appropriate for other people. However, I do remember seeing a study by Mondria (summarised in his article on vocab myths) which showed that inferring meaning had no noticeable benefit over being given the meaning, and took longer. To me that suggests that most other people aren't really much better at learning without being certain than me, just that they're better at handling it emotionally than me.

Your source simply tries to break some "myths".

"Words should always be learned in context.”

"There is little doubt about the helpfulness of contexts such as a sentence or a text in the process of learning words.

A context not only shows the word and
its use, but it can also help in retaining a word and its meaning (Mondria, 1996).

For example, someone can learn the
French word canne with the help of
the sentence Le vieil homme marche
à l’aide d’une canne. When, later on,
the learner does not remember what
the word canne means, he or she may
remember that the word occurred in
a sentence with vieil homme and/or
marche, which reminds him or her
of the meaning of canne. Thus, con-
text can help in retaining words, and
therefore it seems logical to argue
that words should always be learned
in context.

However, there are two caveats to this
‘rule of thumb’. First, many (concrete)
words can be learned efficiently without context. Presenting such words
without a context"...etc.

Myth 5: “Words whose meanings have been inferred from context are retained better.”

The explanation for the retention effect
of inferring is that inferring creates all
kinds of links (elaborations) between
the word, its meaning, the context, and
the knowledge already present in the
learner. These links provide additional
retrieval routes, which increase the
chance that the word and its mean-
ing will be remembered (Anderson,
1990).

[According to the results of the experiment] it is only when the word meanings are intentionally memorized that the learning effect becomes substantial, as shown by the retention figures of the meaning-inferred method (47%) and the meaning-given method (50%)...Thus, in this experiment no evidence can be found for the idea that inferred word meanings are retained better.

The results become even more interesting when we take into account the amount of time spent by the pupils on the different learning methods. Then
it turns out that the meaning-inferred
method takes considerably more time
(in the experiment about 25% more)
than the meaning-given method. Con-
sequently, the efficiency of the mean-
ing-inferred method is lower than that
of the meaning-given method.

Does this imply that learners should
not infer word meanings from context
any more? Of course not, as inferring
is a useful compensation strategy when
our vocabulary knowledge is limited.
However, inferring is not the most efficient learning strategy.

Myth 6: “Words learned produc-
tively are retained better.”
It is often believed that words are
better retained when they are better retained when they are learned
productively..."

This one should be of interest to the group. However, back to inferencing:

Lexical Inferencing in Listening: Depth of Vocabulary Knowledge and Listening Proficiency

"Lexical inferencing as an efficient strategy to deal with unfamiliar words..."

Wait, what?

"This study sought to investigate the role of depth of vocabulary knowledge (DVK) in lexical inferencing success and determine the relationship between students' DVK and listening proficiency."

"The results indicated that DVK was a determining factor in lexical inferencing success, and that there was a positive relationship between students' DVK and their listening proficiency."

https://www.researchgate.net/publicatio ... roficiency

Lexical Inferencing in Listening: Patterns of Knowledge Source Use across L2 Listening Proficiency Levels

"The findings revealed the profound
impact of listening proficiency on lexical inferencing
. In-depth analysis of the protocols demonstrated the contribution of listening proficiency to making correct guesses and using
more combinations of knowledge sources...

In other words, listening proficiency can be a predictor of learners' lexical inferencing success, in the way that more proficient listeners attempted more lexical inferences, used a range of knowledge sources for inference generations and were more successful in their attempts..."

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source= ... DwDU7vvwqW

Lexical Inferencing in Second Language Listening Comprehension

This paper investigates the knowledge sources that L2 learners use to infer word meaning in listening comprehension, and how language proficiency affects their use of the knowledge sources. Data were colleted from six subjects using the verbal reporting method. The results reveal that the most frequently used knowledge source was the local co-text. The subjects were also found to use co-text combined with world knowledge to infer word meaning. Morphology was also used to some extent. The importance of the interaction of the knowledge sources at different levels immerged.

Language proficiency is an important factor determining the use of the knowledge sources. The low proficiency subjects resorted to general world knowledge more frequently as a result of their weak linguistic processing abilities. In contrast, the high proficiency subjects were more able to use their linguistic knowledge (morphological knowledge) and combine relevant knowledge sources to infer word meaning.

Inferencing is an important strategy that L2 learners use to handle unfamiliar words. However, most research on lexical inferencing has been conducted in reading comprehension (Bensoussan and Laufer, 1984; Haastrup, 1991; Haynes, 1993; Huckin & Bloch, 1993; Morrison, 1996; Fraser, 1999; Paribakht & Wesche, 1999; Vaurio, 1999; Nassaji, 2003; 2004; Bengeleil and Paribakht, 2004). Not much is known about how L2 learners infer word meaning in listening comprehension. As Ellis (1995) pointed out, how learners acquire vocabulary from oral input is a neglected area. The negligence on this issue has not changed in spite of the fact that “oral contexts are clearly vital for L1 learners
and may also play an important role in L2 lexical development…” (Wesche and Paribakht, 1999:177). This study investigates lexical inferencing in listening comprehension.

LP subjects were often weak in linguistic processing and hence failed to process meaning. In such a case, they tended to resort to salient words and related world knowledge to infer word meaning. However, when their linguistic processing was unsuccessful, the activated background knowledge was unlikely appropriate.

The above example indicates that linguistic processing plays a crucial role in lexical inferencing in listening. This is because successful linguistic processing is necessary for the activation of the correct background knowledge to infer word meaning. The current study disconfirms Nassaji’s (2003) observation that the use of world knowledge was related to more successful inferences than the use of other knowledge sources. Whether the use of world knowledge relates to successful inferences seems to depend on whether there are sufficient constraints of linguistic processing.

Another proficiency related difference is found in the use of morphological knowledge related to the target words. The protocol data reveal that the HP subjects are more able to use morphological knowledge to infer word meaning than the LP subjects, a result consistent with Haastrup (1991) and Morrison (1996). In addition, the HP subjects were more able to use their morphological knowledge and co-text or background knowledge jointly to infer word meaning than the LP subjects.

An implication derived from the study is that learners might be trained to make a better use of the inferencing strategy. For instance, teachers could develop their awareness of the use of the strategy and of the possible knowledge sources they could use in inferring word meaning. As less proficient learners are found to be less able to use linguistic clues to infer word meaning, teachers could perhaps work out ways to enhance their use of linguistic clues to infer word meaning.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source= ... aGkDRRYT3O

Incorrect inferences and contextual word learning in English as a second language

"When readers encounter new words they may try to infer their meanings from context. Such contextual inferences may be correct or incorrect. This research considered the efect of incorrect meaning inferences on contextual word learning in English as a second language... The results revealed a diferential efect of incorrect inferences on the explicit and implicit knowledge of the vocabulary items."

" ... the negative effect of incorrect inferences was no worse than that of not providing an inference. Furthermore, meaning generation scores of participants with larger L2 vocabularies were not negatively affected by erroneous inferences; conversely, producing no inference resulted in lower scores. This suggests that negative effects of making incorrect inferences on word learning from reading diminish as L2 readers’ proficiency increases.

.... Thus, when unfamiliar L2 words occur in informative sentence contexts, explicit incorrect meaning inferences during reading have some negative effect on the establishment of explicit form-meaning mapping for lower proficiency participants, but they appear to be benign as far as the development of implicit knowledge and establishment of lexical representations are concerned.

These results have important implications for vocabulary research; they show that the choice of measures affects findings in word learning studies, especially at early stages of learning. This is because different aspects of word knowledge may have different learning trajectories. The ability to explicitly articulate an accurate core meaning for a novel word may take longer to develop in contextual learning (even after consulting a dictionary), but the development of its lexical representation can be underway from the first contextual encounter, whether or not the reader is able to explicitly articulate an accurate meaning inference.

Taken together, the results of the present study confirm the hypothesis that explicit meaning inferences during L2 reading do not necessary predict the development of implicit word knowledge. Implicit lexical knowledge is likely to develop with each informative contextual encounter, as a by-product of the co-occurrence of the new word with known words and by virtue of the new word assuming a specific grammatical and thematic role in a sentence (Ferretti, McRae & Hatherell, 2001; Landauer & Dumais, 1997). Nevertheless, making an effort to infer word meanings from context appears to be beneficial, compared to not doing so, at least for the development of explicit word knowledge. A possible reason for the boost provided by an attempt to infer meanings from context is that it brings readers’ attention to the immediate and larger sentence context, facilitating their engagement with contextual cues.

Based on the study findings, a recommendation can be made that L2 readers attempt to infer meanings of unfamiliar words from context, without being overly concerned about making explicit incorrect guesses. Even when initial guesses are not fully on target, the act of guessing the meaning from context seems to contribute to the incremental establishment of lexical representation which can be fine-tuned with future encounters.."

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source= ... yrOHRFF2FQ

Measuring the impact of translation on the accuracy and fluency of vocabulary acquisition of English

Highlights

- We study how translation affects ESL vocabulary learning.
- Use of translation increases the retrieval time of L2 lexical items.
- Excessive use of translation decreases long-term retention of L2 lexical items.

This article assesses the impact of translation on the acquisition of vocabulary for higher-intermediate level students of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). The use of translation is a relevant issue in the research of Second Language (L2) acquisition and different authors provide arguments on both sides of the issue... The students can instantly obtain the dictionary definition of a word and its translation to their native language...Results show that abundant use of translation may increase accuracy in the short term, but in the longer term, it negatively affects accuracy and possibly fluency. However, students who use translation in moderation seem to benefit the most.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/ar ... 0814001223
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Re: Examples of Input Only

Postby golyplot » Thu Feb 28, 2019 7:28 am

Cainntear wrote:I have a few problems with that. First up, I know I'm not alone in finding it very difficult to disregard subtitles. If they're there, I read them.
In Scotland, all Gaelic television (except kids programmes and live broadcasts) is shown with subtitles that you can't turn off. Gaelic speakers got so sick of their eyes being drawn to the English that quite a few of them actually went as far a sticking cardboard or electrician's tape across the bottom of the screen to block them out. I find the subtitles particularly problematic for comedy, as the punchline is often revealed in English before it's delivered in Gaelic, and the whole role of timing and performance is undermined.


You are not alone. I find it impossible to disregard subtitles. Even if the subtitles are in a language I have no knowledge of, they are still a huge annoyance. And subtitles which can't be disabled are the worst. In fact, I will usually refuse to watch a movie if it has subtitles that can't be disabled properly.
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Re: Examples of Input Only

Postby Beli Tsar » Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:22 am

Cainntear wrote:
reineke wrote:The average American watches five hours and four minutes of television per day. Source: Nielsen Ratings. I suppose that's in addition to any regular hobbies.

I've consumed audiobooks and other media in my secondary languages for fun and relaxation.

And so have I. The difference is that I don't enjoy them until I have achieved a good level of understanding, but you do.

I don't think anyone here actually believes that your claims about your own learning are false -- the issue is just whether the techniques are generally applicable. And as I already said, you can't judge the efficacy of a technique by looking only at those who succeeded with it.

This is so important. Steve Jobs found a good way to get rich. It doesn't mean I can or should follow the same path. It may be that learning from input, as Reineke does, is a great method, but we need to compare successes and failures on both sides to evaluate that. It would be great to see (much) more data.

And Cainntear is not alone in not enjoying things he does not understand. Personally I'd want to gouge out my own eyes after watching five hours of TV in one day, even if I did understand it. And as for watching many hours of simple children's shows I didn't understand...

This is not a small thing! Learning by a method you find tortuous is unlikely to be highly effective. And while I may be a bit extreme, I'd be surprised if many serious language learners fit the profile of 'average American' or anything like it. That's why the average American only speaks one language.
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Re: Examples of Input Only

Postby Dragon27 » Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:43 am

golyplot wrote:You are not alone. I find it impossible to disregard subtitles. Even if the subtitles are in a language I have no knowledge of, they are still a huge annoyance. And subtitles which can't be disabled are the worst. In fact, I will usually refuse to watch a movie if it has subtitles that can't be disabled properly.

I personally go as far as to actually hide the part of the picture, where the subtitles are located, using the "Erase logo" feature in VLC media player (and a custom mask created in GIMP). The result looks very awkward and I can't see some of the stuff on the screen, but at least those pesky subtitles are taken care of.
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Re: Examples of Input Only

Postby golyplot » Thu Feb 28, 2019 3:16 pm

I tried covering up the bottom of my screen once, but it was distracting and covered important stuff.

Anyway, the worst is when there is non-TL dialog that you need subtitles for. For example, the German movies Jenseits der Stille and Nirgendwo in Afrika both feature important non-German dialog. Unfortunately, at least for the American DVD release, the only options are English subtitles or no subtitles at all (which means you miss important dialog).

Likewise, the Spanish dub of Men in Black on Netflix was rendered unwatchable by the fact that it was missing subtitles for the "alien" dialog.


Luckily, with streaming, things are usually much better nowadays then they were in the DVD era. (I kind of wonder whether the reason MiB was so bad was that they just ripped the dub from a DVD)
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