What variation of "Shadowing" have you tried and find effective?

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ryanheise
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Re: What variation of "Shadowing" have you tried and find effective?

Postby ryanheise » Sat Aug 31, 2019 12:34 pm

It looks like the Windows version actually has a few more features including repeat mode, and the [|>] button in the Android version also is probably good enough for me. This seems like a really useful tool for shadowing no matter what shadowing technique you use. And, it can also display the text while you listen if you want to do that kind of shadowing. I'll be having fun experimenting with this over the next week.
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Cèid Donn
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Re: What variation of "Shadowing" have you tried and find effective?

Postby Cèid Donn » Sat Aug 31, 2019 6:05 pm

With shadowing, I find the most important thing is to avoid boredom. Boredom causes you to be less attentive in both listening and speaking. I like shadowing while walking, because it removes a lot of other distractions, but I haven't been able to do that recently because of a recent knee injury and the absolutely awful summer heat here. But when I have done it in the past, I made playlists that have short tracks for shadowing mixed with tracks for just listening or music (I have done this also for playlists for when I drive). I also avoid repeating the same thing over and over during a shadowing session. Just drilling the same thing into the ground is the fast track to tedium for me, and doesn't really help with forming long-term memories, so I just don't. Long-term memories are better formed by encountering the material regularly over longer intervals of time. So I prefer to just shadow a group of sentences once a day, but doing that 2-4 times a week. The key is follow-through and actually remembering to do that.

One "hack" of sorts that I've used for many years now is using the audio files from 50languages.com for shadowing. In most cases I can just add those files to a shadowing playlist without editing them (you can also download them with just the target language too for deeper immersion). Most of the courses there have two different speakers saying the TL phrase, usually one male and one female. So what I like to do is listen to the first speaker, repeat the phrase myself during the pause, and then say the phrase along with the second speaker. Some of the courses--like the Japanese and Swedish courses, if i recall correctly--only have one speaker, so in the past when using those courses I would just repeat afterwards. Another issue is sometimes the second speaker has much different accent, like with the Russian course that I'm currently using for this purpose, but I just go with it. This is about repeated exposure over time for forming long-term memories as well as muscle memory for speaking. Perfection isn't the goal.
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Re: What variation of "Shadowing" have you tried and find effective?

Postby sporedandroid » Sat Aug 31, 2019 6:52 pm

I don’t mind doing extremely repetitive shadowing. I’m more scared of being caught shadowing or hearing my own voice too much.
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Re: What variation of "Shadowing" have you tried and find effective?

Postby ryanheise » Sun Sep 01, 2019 4:15 am

Good point Cèid Donn. On the one hand, you need to repeat a small group of sentences to focus the practice, but at the same time you also need to balance that with variety so that your brain works optimally. I don't think it's just boredom, it's also that your brain may need variety to build stronger connections and to just function optimally.

sporedandroid, I know what you mean about the fear of being caught shadowing! If other people are walking in the same direction as you and they notice you repeating the same sentence over and over again, you might have to take evasive action to lose their tail :-) But if they're walking in the opposite direction, and you're listening through your phone headset, they'll only hear you briefly and it will seem like you're talking on your phone. And if a native speaker by chance happens to hear you, who knows... that's maybe even a good opportunity to strike up a conversation if they're curious about what you're studying.
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