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
- 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.)