reineke wrote:Luckily together with "Spellfire" I also bought a collection of short stories from the Forgotten Realms series that was easier to read.
I never got round to reading novels from the The Realms
I read The Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit but otherwise I avoided this genre. All in all, I read a handful of pulp novels and while I think they're great for language learning I preferred to read classic literature. I got into Stephen King only a few years ago.
Comment from 2007
[I did a lot of listening to (in) comprehensible and barely comprehensible content] with and without previous knowledge and I can tell you that previous formal training accelerated my comprehension. I still needed to do a large number of hours of listening, but having some sort of a grammatical skeleton on which to slap some flesh did help tremendously.
My "method" from the input perspective was very natural (and slow). The upside was that I was never bored. I basically just stared at all sorts of content meant for children and adults that I wanted to see. I was exclusively interested in the content and not in the process itself. I was in no hurry to ace the test. I believe it took a long while to say hey, I understand this and after that first Eureka my progress went incredibly fast. Way too fast perhaps and this leads me to believe that the hours spent listening to incomprehensible gibberish were paying a golden dividend. Some of the input I received over and over again may have rubbed off and bits may have been sleeping and waiting for the right key to unlock parts of the "system".
I keep tossing this grammar question from hand to hand like some loaded gun. My elementary and high school education certainly helped give names to basic grammar items that occur in a number of languages.By the time I got to high school I could already understand Italian very well. In elementary school I had Engliish 2x45 minutes per week x 4 years before I started following English-language programs. My progress with English felt faster than my progress with Italian. However, I only listened to Italian during the summer months. It sort of grew on me and I cannot pinpoint the date when I could say: "I know this language". Another thing: when I started following English-language programs I already knew Italian. I was too young to notice it consciously (or I simply didn't care) but my having learnt Italian by ear and the additional cognate vocabulary must have played played a role. I was also older and better able to cognitively grasp concepts and remember my learning history. With German I read through three elementary school textbooks when I was able to understand cartoons. German never felt like studying. My previous experience probably helped. I don't remember ever worrying about not being able to understand these shows. I do remember getting excited about the Dschungelbuch cartoons. They apparently premiered in 1991 which is when things went seriously downhill.