Relevance of youtube polyglots and second language acquisition studies to your learning style

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Adrianslont
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Re: Relevance of youtube polyglots and second language acquisition studies to your learning style

Postby Adrianslont » Sat Feb 15, 2020 12:13 am

Ice Blue wrote:
Cavesa wrote:A question: Is it only my impression, or is this whole "youtube polyglot" phenomenon just an anglophone thing? I have seen a few non-English natives, but they seem to be a tiny minority. Is it only my ignorance, or is majority of these exhibitionists coming from the anglophone countries? And any idea why?

I don't think it's only an impression. I remember that the polyglots' videos I watched years ago were all done by native English speakers, at the exception of one or two, maybe. I think youtube is mostly used by English speaking users and so the idea of making polyglot videos has been mostly seen and then copied by other anglophones. Their videos are also probably the ones that attract the most viewers too, and they are given the most visibility so we can also get the impression that they are the only ones making such videos. I haven't given it much thought so I don't really know!



I love reliable scientific statistics but when not available I like quick and dirty surveys if they seem plausible. I just entered the word “polyglot” into my YouTube app and scanned the first twenty results.

Some of the results were of actual YouTube polyglot vloggers while others may not have had their own channel but were giving TEDx talks or publicising their polyglot themed book or in one case being interviewed on TV for being a four year old polyglot - so all “polyglots with a profile”

The results: mostly anglophone but among the top twenty were also: Dutch, French, Italian, Korean, Slovak, Italian, Afrikaans, not sure, Russian/Australian speakers.

Those results pretty much reflect my general impressions of the polyglot personalities I was familiar with; Steve K, Lydia M, Luca L, Anthony L are personalities I’ve watched more than one video of.

I did this search in Australia - I don’t know how much that affects a YouTube search, I know it affects google searches.
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Re: Relevance of youtube polyglots and second language acquisition studies to your learning style

Postby Voytek » Sat Feb 15, 2020 2:03 am

I've changed my learning style many times but the only polyglot who really affected it was Gabrile Wyner and his Anki method. I modified his method and built my own style around it using Anki as the skeleton of my language learning "body".

Another guy is Luca Lampariello whose attitude and passion are really contagious and his language skills can really inspire nonetheless I never used any of his techniques since they seemed to me to be pretty boring. I mean "his" Assimil method of translating and translating back or learning the melody of language.

Actually, there was one more guy whose method affected my style a lot but I don't know if he was a polyglot but definitely he didn't put any video on yt. I'm referring to that Polish guy (Orzeszek) who developed the L-R method.
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Re: Relevance of youtube polyglots and second language acquisition studies to your learning style

Postby David1917 » Sat Feb 15, 2020 4:41 am

A friend turned me on to Arguelles's channel right when he put up the video of his study routine filmed by Michael Erard. I've probably watched it 100 times since then, and every single other video of his multiple times. Something about his quirkiness and dedication really spoke to me. I always liked the eccentric "practice your craft for 12 hours a day every day" kind of people (Steve Vai was a guitar idol when I was a teen). He also made it seem "possible" (though not entirely plausible) to learn dozens of languages. At least learning a whole language family became a real interest, as did learning Old & Middle English. I learned about Shadowing (which I still do to this day) and the various self-teaching books for languages. Until those review videos, I figured everything at Barnes & Noble was crap and had no way to decipher what would be useful at a thrift / used book store. I now have a quite large collection of language books, because everybody's got to collect something.

The relevance basically ended there, though. I've corresponded with Prof A a few times and he's given me some insight into managing my language journey, but I don't do everything the way he does. I find that 15 minute intervals stress me out for being too short, but I do enjoy relatively short bursts through a handful of languages in a row. I like shadowing, though I've never been able to do it outside because I don't live on a mountain in Korea. I never really liked any of the other "legacy" polyglots, though these days I do find Lindie Botes to be entertaining and inspiring as a new generation polyglot.
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Re: Relevance of youtube polyglots and second language acquisition studies to your learning style

Postby Serpent » Sat Feb 15, 2020 7:50 am

Interestingly I've noticed that a lot of "learning styles"/techniques originated from necessity. For example Katò Lomb began reading without dictionaries because it wasn't possible to use a dictionary, and many of those who do authentic materials from the very beginning have something specific they really want to read/understand. In my case, before I started watching football in foreign languages, I would watch it on tv while listening to Finnish music in my earphones - not as efficient as proper learning but better than nothing. When I wanted to watch something that wasn't on TV, it wasn't in Russian either. (Nowadays I can watch the Portuguese and Dutch league on TV, not to mention the more popular ones)

I don't watch any youtube polyglots either. My biggest influences have been AJATT, siomotteikiru, Volte, Prof Argüelles, etc. I also remember being impressed by Erik Gunnemark, I did learn lots of useful stuff from this book but he also claimed smth like "girls' ability to learn languages decreases at the age of 15 and this continues until 20, except that the ability to learn the pronunciation remains above average". (he had similar figures for boys with no indication of source) This definitely made me practice shadowing but also left me with sexist assumptions I didn't break out of until I learned to use gender-neutral language and think in gender-neutral terms.

As for research, some of it looks intriguing but I'm not sure if I've incorporated anything specific into my learning, especially from SLA. In general I find the concept of deliberate practice helpful.
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Re: Relevance of youtube polyglots and second language acquisition studies to your learning style

Postby tractor » Sat Feb 15, 2020 10:48 am

lingua wrote:For me they have no relevance. I wouldn't even know about them and only do because someone on this site mentioned them in a post. On the rare occasion I follow a link to a video or blog post I don't stick around very long. I find most of them boring.

Same here. Long monologues where they mostly talk about themselves. That's incredibly boring.

I did find some of Alexander Arguelles' videos interesting though, but he spoke about methods, books and techniques most of the time rather than focusing on himself.
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Re: Relevance of youtube polyglots and second language acquisition studies to your learning style

Postby aaleks » Sat Feb 15, 2020 11:46 am

I watch Luca Lampariello's and Steve Kaufmann's videos as well as the talks from Polyglot Gatherings and Polyglot Conferences for inspiration and motivation, and because at the moment I'm interested in language-learning in general.

I'm not sure if I really have something like a learning style, I think I'm still in the process of finding out what my learning style is. As a beginner English learner I skipped the grammar drilling/textbook learning part because I tried it before and those attempts didn't last long (maybe a couple of weeks or so). I decided that doing something would be better than doing nothing. I knew nothing about Krashen and his theory at that time. When a bit later I learned about his existence that changed nothing because I still couldn't read his books or listen to his talks on youtube. I tried once or twice but all I understand back then was that he was talking something about reading. I think reineke's story of learning Italian and many other stories like his have affected me and my learning style more than any (SLA) theories or studies. But that's happened because the stories don't contradict my own learning experience.
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Re: Relevance of youtube polyglots and second language acquisition studies to your learning style

Postby Cainntear » Sat Feb 15, 2020 12:15 pm

Over in another thread, Speakeasy was talking about failures to understand (in native language) and recounted the story of someone who worked for him who hardly understood anything...
At one point in our working relationship, I attempted to explain to her that two people of good will, who wish to understand one other, have a shared responsibility to communicate clearly. That is, they must listen to one another. She actually disagreed with the very notion; I was dumbfounded! She believed that the emitter of a message was fully responsible for ensuring that the one receiving it understood it thoroughly and that the recipient bore no responsibility whatsoever for any failures in communication.

This triggered something in my head about YouTubers, so I thought I'd bring it over here.

Speakeasy's subordinate seems to have picked up and misapplied a rule that is really aimed at authors and public speakers -- when you're in a medium that does not offer chances for interruptions and clarification requests, you have a responsibility to keep your message clear and comprehensible... but YouTube has created a sort of culture of conversationality, so a lot of people just ramble to the camera, and even those who prepare scripts don't seem to put the same level of work into polishing them as traditional professional media.

That leaves messages vague and unclear, so how can anyone hope to apply YouTuber advice.
Last edited by Cainntear on Sat Feb 15, 2020 1:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Relevance of youtube polyglots and second language acquisition studies to your learning style

Postby tractor » Sat Feb 15, 2020 12:50 pm

Cainntear wrote: but YouTube has created a sort of culture of conversationality, so a lot of people just ramble to the camera, and even those who prepare scripts don't seem to put the same level of work into polishing them as traditional professional media.

That's another annoying feature of most YouTube polyglots: They just ramble on and never get to the point (or at least they don't get there before I'm too bored and find somethng else to do).
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Re: Relevance of youtube polyglots and second language acquisition studies to your learning style

Postby Kraut » Sat Feb 15, 2020 10:21 pm

So here they are or at least some of them, I don't know, some of them I had´not come across.

https://www.rypeapp.com/blog/best-langu ... ould-read/

20 Best Language Blogs Every Language Learner Should Read

----
24 Polyglot Experts Reveal 2 Most Useful Tips To Learn A New Language

https://www.summerlanguageacademy.com/b ... e-learning
Last edited by Kraut on Tue Feb 18, 2020 3:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Relevance of youtube polyglots and second language acquisition studies to your learning style

Postby ryanheise » Sun Feb 16, 2020 10:31 am

iguanamon wrote:There have always been posts here and back on HTLAL about prominent polyglots and SLA studies. Nary a week goes by without a post about them, so they would seem to be popular topics. While I find some relevance to prominent polyglots in what I do in language-learning- I had inspiration and influence in my learning style from Barry Farber, I quickly developed my own variation on the theme and have deviated from the original prescription. My hunch is that since self-learning of languages is so highly individual, so are all of our learning styles.

My question is in the topic- What is the relevance of youtube polyglots and second language acquisition studies to your own individual learning style, if any? I am curious to know. For me I don't watch youtube polyglot videos and I find no relevance in SLA studies. Am I wrong to discount them, and if so, please tell me why?

My supposition is that at the beginning we are influenced/inspired by prominent polyglots but as we successfully learn languages we develop our own styles from a variety of influences... including what has worked for us individually and what has worked for others. For me, it's like a buffet. In my case, to name just a few: emk's success with television series and comic books, reineke's cartoons, radioclare's soap operas; Ogrim's music, smallwhite's background listening, Serpent's sports and twitter- all have played their part to some extent. It is difficult to describe how much influence and from where, as the forum in general has played such a huge roll in my learning. Lucca, Steve Kaufmann, Benny, Glossika haven't played much of a role for me.

So I want to hear from you all about this.


Your question has a few different axes that I'd like to disentangle:

1. The timeline: At different points along the journey from beginner to more experienced learner, the answer is going to be different. You've asked specifically about whether "you" are wrong to discount the YouTube polyglots. But, you yourself are on the more experienced end of the journey, so you're not likely to discover much new by listening to prominent or experienced language learner on YouTube. However for someone just starting out, listening to the stories of successful language learners like Stuart Jay Raj or Richard Simcott can be inspiring and provide you with many ideas and insights that you have simply never heard before. Even for someone who generally prefers a different medium besides YouTube, a YouTube is still going to be more valuable to someone at an earlier point in the timeline than someone later in the timeline.

2. The medium: To me, YouTube vs books vs forums is not an important distinction. When I want to draw inspiration from more experienced language learners, I will go to wherever they are. Some of them are only on YouTube, some of them are only on blogs, and some are only on forums. It's the quality of the person's insights that matters more. I do not think that any medium is completely immune from garbage. However, there are various benefits to each different medium and ultimately I do not think one is always better than the other. Written text is easier to scan through. But podcasts can be listened to while doing other things like housework. And videos can make it easier to convey things with visual aids. Both podcasts and YouTube videos lend themselves to any discussion of pronunciation.

3. The authority: Who do we consider to be the experts that we listen to on language learning? Successful learners or SLA researchers or both? As a self learner, it has to be the successful learners because their learning environment more accurately replicates my own learning environment. If you're a self learner, and you read through various SLA studies that have been performed by researchers, you will very rarely find a study that replicates your own individual learning environment. For example, I was recently looking into the literature on "over learning" where you do lots of repetitions up front (similar to what Glossika does) rather than spaced repetition based on the forgetting curve (like Anki), and there is a study that shows that over learning results in higher learning performance for an initial period of time, but that the over-learning effects were all but lost after 4 weeks with retention approaching 20%. So it would seem that over learning is a bad idea and should be rejected. But is this really a useful result and should you listen to it as a language learner? To come to the amazing conclusion of this paper, the experiment went like this: Subjects over-learned vocabulary on day 1, and then without any subsequent review in the intervening period, were tested on retention 4 weeks later. They could only retain 20-30%. Now does that sound like it perfectly replicates the environment of a language learner? Of course not. Surely on day 2, day 3, day 4 and onward, the language learner is going to be studying new material, and the nature of language is that words are naturally going to repeat. This study does not reveal whether the initial benefits of over learning would be retained if some other kind of repetition (e.g. natural or forgetting curve) were happening simultaneously. The point is, just because a study offers evidence to conclude that X doesn't work, it is fallacious to then conclude that X + Y wouldn't work and you would need a separate study done on that specific combination. Each language learner is going to try their own unique combination of things, and given the huge number of combinations and permutations possible, it is unlikely you'll find a study that replicates your specific permutation. They tend to mostly focus on permutations that map onto the class room environment. I do respect what the researchers do, having a research degree in another field myself, but the honest truth is that research will generally lag behind the practical needs of the average person, and it could take decades or perhaps centuries to catch up. This is because there are not enough researchers and the research methods are very slow. Meanwhile, we have a natural evolutionary experiment going on within the language learning community right now where massive numbers of people are learning languages in different ways, many are failing, and the successful ones make it to the top. When they share their insights, no matter the medium, of course I'll listen.
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