Register  Login  Active Topics  Maps  

Moses McCormick’s admirable achievement

 Language Learning Forum : Lessons in Polyglottery Post Reply
221 messages over 28 pages: << Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ... 25 ... 27 28 Next >>
casamata
Senior Member
Joined 2740 days ago

237 posts - 376 votes 
Studies: Portuguese

 
 Message 193 of 221
22 April 2013 at 1:58am | IP Logged 
Budz wrote:
Yes, there's no doubt that A2 in 30 languages is amazing... and worth achieving. But there's no way that Moses has achieved that yet and I have to wonder why he's left study of French and German almost to last, almost as an after-thought. He needs to kick-start his other languages the way he's kick-started his Cantonese. But he's probably found that quite easy with his knowledge of Mandarin.


So I just saw one of his Spanish lessons on youtube and I was honestly pretty disappointed. There were a LOT of mistakes, not just in pronunciation but in spelling and grammar. (He was teaching about the subjunctive) It's the fact that he is selling a product and I honestly don't understand why somebody would teach something that they don't really know. At the very least, he could have had somebody look over his lesson to see if it was correct or even check the correct conjugations on the internet, the latter would have taken a minute or so.

It's worse (personal bias) to teach something incorrectly than to not do it at all. The only reason I care is because he is selling a product. And why would you buy a product that teaches you how to speak language X, Y, Z when the teacher himself doesn't really know the languages in depth or well.

It is good that he likes languages a lot; I just hope that he is better in his other languages than at Spanish. :(
11 persons have voted this message useful



tarvos
Super Polyglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
China
likeapolyglot.wordpr
Joined 3185 days ago

5310 posts - 9398 votes 
Speaks: Dutch*, English, Swedish, French, Russian, German, Italian, Norwegian, Mandarin, Romanian, Afrikaans
Studies: Greek, Modern Hebrew, Spanish, Portuguese, Czech, Korean, Esperanto, Finnish

 
 Message 194 of 221
22 April 2013 at 4:17pm | IP Logged 
I don't think he teaches languages themselves so much as how to learn a language in
general. That's a different premise.
4 persons have voted this message useful



Deji
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 3918 days ago

116 posts - 182 votes 
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Hindi, Bengali

 
 Message 195 of 221
22 April 2013 at 6:27pm | IP Logged 
I don't consider it a valuable lesson in how to learn a language, either in general or in specific, when you are
modeling the fact that you don't check and correct your work! What kind of lesson is that? It's one thing if you're
just chatting...another if you're actually TALKING about a grammatical principle.

I also suspect that this distinction is lost on the people who go to his site.

The best practices in language learning consist of learning from native and near-native, CORRECT teachers. (Natives
can also be sloppy, or wrong). As a student, our copies will (usually) be inferior to our teachers. Don't start copying
someone who already has problems. Then you have double problems.


5 persons have voted this message useful



tarvos
Super Polyglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
China
likeapolyglot.wordpr
Joined 3185 days ago

5310 posts - 9398 votes 
Speaks: Dutch*, English, Swedish, French, Russian, German, Italian, Norwegian, Mandarin, Romanian, Afrikaans
Studies: Greek, Modern Hebrew, Spanish, Portuguese, Czech, Korean, Esperanto, Finnish

 
 Message 196 of 221
22 April 2013 at 6:58pm | IP Logged 
I'm not judging the quality of his lessons, just saying that his product is not "learn
Spanish in 3 months", but "how to learn and stay motivated while learning to speak
Spanish". This is a very different discipline.

Furthermore, I prefer natives to teachers as a learning source; a language is a
communicative vehicle, not an abstract concept learned in a classroom. I don't consider
myself to be a fluent speaker of a language until I am able to flirt in that language,
order lunch in it, talk to my friends at work, etc. Teachers may (usually) teach you
the grammatically correct way to say something, and I'd use this as valuable feedback
were I learning how to write formal correspondence or get a job. But in casual speech,
it's enough to know how natives do it.

I rather speak Romanian to a nice girl than to a teacher ;) Much more motivating for
me.

Edited by tarvos on 22 April 2013 at 6:59pm

2 persons have voted this message useful



Deji
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 3918 days ago

116 posts - 182 votes 
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Hindi, Bengali

 
 Message 197 of 221
22 April 2013 at 7:02pm | IP Logged 
Hey, I wouldn't argue with that...that's motivation!


1 person has voted this message useful



casamata
Senior Member
Joined 2740 days ago

237 posts - 376 votes 
Studies: Portuguese

 
 Message 198 of 221
22 April 2013 at 7:13pm | IP Logged 
Deji wrote:
I don't consider it a valuable lesson in how to learn a language, either in general or in specific, when you are
modeling the fact that you don't check and correct your work! What kind of lesson is that? It's one thing if you're
just chatting...another if you're actually TALKING about a grammatical principle.

I also suspect that this distinction is lost on the people who go to his site.

The best practices in language learning consist of learning from native and near-native, CORRECT teachers. (Natives
can also be sloppy, or wrong). As a student, our copies will (usually) be inferior to our teachers. Don't start copying
someone who already has problems. Then you have double problems.



Agreed, I really don't understand this. If I just learned something (though not very thoroughly and with many errors), why would I post a lesson about it? If I learned it well, then, yes, I could see how a video would be helpful. But I sure as heck wouldn't put incorrect information that could confuse people.

If the "way of learning languages" means "learning languages incorrectly, the way that no native or advanced speaker would speak" then I don't get the method.

It is true that natives are writing his FLR books, but if he himself speaks them at an A2 level (perhaps a low A2, at least in Spanish) then he doesn't know if they are written well or correctly. So he has a beginner/intermediate level in a lot of languages. That's fine. And it is also possible that he really does know how to teach languages even without knowing them at a high level. For example, it is not necessary to be a professional athlete to know how to teach techniques and training. You can be a PhD in exercise physiology and be much more knowledgeable about the physiology and training of sport X than the professional athlete. I don't know if languages are as applicable as sports, however. Almost everybody can reach a high level in languages while we are more constrained in activities (sports) that select for certain physiological body types.

Another issue is that I read that he has a major in Chinese. That's great! It's a lot better than people that don't have formal education in language but teach languages. However, is it a teaching major? It's not the same having informal experience in teaching/tutoring as having credentials in the science of teaching. I myself have a Spanish major in college and taught a LOT of formal and informal Spanish in college. However, I don't have certification and do not have proof that my methods are efficacious. Thus, I definitely know very little about teaching compared to my school of education friends. Nor do I think that I know as much about teaching as people that went through a specific degree program to teach.

At the very least, the videos should not have so many mistakes. Would English students want to learn how to speak like this? (I'm not trying to make fun of Moses, just putting an "equivalent" in English)

What my name? Me John, I eats manys pizzas todays butt yessterdayys I have eats manys more. I will wants to eated mores in futuree. You understand me?
2 persons have voted this message useful





jeff_lindqvist
Diglot
Moderator
SwedenRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 5387 days ago

4250 posts - 5710 votes 
Speaks: Swedish*, English
Studies: German, Spanish, Russian, Dutch, Mandarin, Esperanto, Irish, French
Personal Language Map

 
 Message 199 of 221
22 April 2013 at 7:42pm | IP Logged 
I haven't watched Moses' videos for quite some time, but from what I can remember, they were more like "This is the level I'm at after X months", "Today I'll go through this grammar topic" than anything else. Some were in the video diary format (cf. Glossika's Polish experiment). Not "native", not "perfect", but quite encouraging!

Regarding teaching credentials, I've seen all kinds. From educated teachers who are marvellous at what they do, to those who fail completely. From experts in their field who don't know anything about sharing knowledge, to those who really can "walk the walk". In a wide range of topics such as languages, music, martial arts...
3 persons have voted this message useful



casamata
Senior Member
Joined 2740 days ago

237 posts - 376 votes 
Studies: Portuguese

 
 Message 200 of 221
22 April 2013 at 8:43pm | IP Logged 
jeff_lindqvist wrote:
I haven't watched Moses' videos for quite some time, but from what I can remember, they were more like "This is the level I'm at after X months", "Today I'll go through this grammar topic" than anything else. Some were in the video diary format (cf. Glossika's Polish experiment). Not "native", not "perfect", but quite encouraging!

Regarding teaching credentials, I've seen all kinds. From educated teachers who are marvellous at what they do, to those who fail completely. From experts in their field who don't know anything about sharing knowledge, to those who really can "walk the walk". In a wide range of topics such as languages, music, martial arts...


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NTCFvtk66s

Below is what Moses wrote; in the following paragraphs I include the corrections and explanations. Mind you, this is coming from a strong C1 Spanish speaker that has spent much time abroad, many thousands of hours speaking, reading, and listening to Spanish, from street slang to very formal Royal Spanish Academy Spanish to poetry and "Hundred years of Solitude". In grammar, I am most likely a C2, based on what natives that have extensive experience with my writing say. This is coming from a normally very self-deprecating person, mind you. And yet, I myself am not qualified at all to teach Spanish, at least for much money.

Quiero que habl(es) en español conmigo ahorita
Busco un gente que viva en españa
Tal vez él coma comida piccante también
Estoy aprendiendo un idioma, así que necesito alguién que hable otros idiomas también
Es aconsejable que platices con los nativos todo el posible a no ser que tienes miedo hacerlo

Correct:

Quiero que hables en español conmigo ahora. ("ahorita" is very informal and not to be used in formal lessons but it's not a big mistake. Also, it is not used in Peninsular Spanish, which Moses tries to emulate)
Busco unA gente que viva en España. ("gente" is a feminine word. Also, the sentence is not correct. "Busco alguien que viva en España" is more correct/native-like)
Tal vez él coma comida PICANTE también. ("picante", not "piccante")
Estoy aprendiendo un idioma, así que necesito ALGUIEN que hable otros idiomas también. ("Alguien" does not have an accent mark, unless it is posed as a question)
Es aconsejable que PLATIQUES con los nativos lo más que puedas a no ser que TENGAS miedo hacerlo. (The conjugation with "platicar" was incorrect as was the "todo el posible". Also, "a no ser que" also requires use of the subjunctive. "Platicar" is very Mexican/Central American; it is not used in Spain at all and it is informal. The problem with this sentence was that it mixed very formal "aconsejable" verbs with informal ones. "platicar")

Now, with pronunciation. Unfortunately, the entonation is all off with his Spanish. It's not his fault--he has relatively little experience with the language. But if he knew a few easy rules to remember and had a lot of practice with this, he could improve a lot.

If word ends in vowel (a, e, i, o, u), n, or s, stress is placed on second to last syllable. (comIda)
If word ends in anything else (like "r"), stress is put on last syllable. (busCAR)
If there is an accent, the stress is placed on accent and previous two rules are overriden. (desazón)

Now, for the subjunctive. He is correct in saying that the subjunctive is used when there is uncertainty, emotion, or possibility. However, it would have been better to have said something like this. Two conditions must be satisfied for the subjunctive.

1. There must be a change in subject, from "I" to "you", for example. "quiero que sepas..." I want that YOU....

"que" lets us know that there is this change in subject.

2. What he said; there must be emotion, uncertainty, or impossibility/possiblity, or negation.

In terms of conjugating the ar, er, and ir verbs, I would have explained it like this.

AR verbs: conjugate AR verb in "yo" (I) form, take off "o", then add the endings as if the AR verb were an ER/IR verb. Etc, etc. But now, you see, how somebody with very strong grammar knowledge would be a much better teacher? In my life, I've had MANY hours of Spanish grammar at specialized immersion-type University courses (our school language program was where the US trained Japanese interpreters for WWII). Even so, I am not qualified to teach, as I was not an education major and there are many people better and more experienced at teaching languages than me.

yo habl(0)→hable      nosotros hablemos
tú habl(as)→es        vosotros habléis
él,ella, usted hable ellos,ellas, ustedes hablen.

And by memory, I could teach about adverbial clauses, imperfect subjunctive, tricks to memorize word gender, "boot" verbs, "skateboard" verbs, por vs para, etc, etc.








3 persons have voted this message useful



This discussion contains 221 messages over 28 pages: << Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28  Next >>


Post ReplyPost New Topic Printable version Printable version

You cannot post new topics in this forum - You cannot reply to topics in this forum - You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum - You cannot create polls in this forum - You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page was generated in 0.3438 seconds.


DHTML Menu By Milonic JavaScript
Copyright 2020 FX Micheloud - All rights reserved
No part of this website may be copied by any means without my written authorization.