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How to study?

 Language Learning Forum : Learning Techniques, Methods & Strategies Post Reply
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K2
Groupie
Canada
Joined 5047 days ago

69 posts - 69 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Norwegian

 
 Message 25 of 48
16 June 2007 at 3:37pm | IP Logged 
This is how I study...I wake up listen to some Megaherz/Eisbrecher, read along with the lyrics and pronounce them (After a while I can sing quite abit of their song) I look some words in the dictionary and memorize them along with their gender. I get on the bus go to school and then I get a German exchange student in my class to translate phrases (not very useful ones at that:P) and then I go to Biologie and write all the German I know and then I go home,listen to my music again and write somemore and repeat.
What do I have to show for this well considering June 22nd will be a year since I started learning German...not a whole lot but this Septemebr I will go to this school specially made to preserve German in Nova Scotia and so I imagine alot of my learning will come from that. I guess what I am doing is just enjoying it before a hobby becomes work:P. I usually work better when it's not classified as work. Well thats how I learn German.

Edited by K2 on 16 June 2007 at 3:38pm

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Volte
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Switzerland
Joined 4738 days ago

4474 posts - 6725 votes 
Speaks: English*, Esperanto, German, Italian
Studies: French, Finnish, Mandarin, Japanese

 
 Message 26 of 48
16 June 2007 at 3:48pm | IP Logged 
K2 wrote:
This is how I study...I wake up listen to some Megaherz/Eisbrecher, read along with the lyrics and pronounce them (After a while I can sing quite abit of their song) I look some words in the dictionary and memorize them along with their gender. I get on the bus go to school and then I get a German exchange student in my class to translate phrases (not very useful ones at that:P) and then I go to Biologie and write all the German I know and then I go home,listen to my music again and write somemore and repeat.
What do I have to show for this well considering June 22nd will be a year since I started learning German...not a whole lot but this Septemebr I will go to this school specially made to preserve German in Nova Scotia and so I imagine alot of my learning will come from that. I guess what I am doing is just enjoying it before a hobby becomes work:P. I usually work better when it's not classified as work. Well thats how I learn German.


I've used a method a bit similar to that before. It's not entirely bad - it gets you quite used to the sound of the language, and I think it makes parts of it stick faster once you actually start studying it; grammatical explanations tend to make more sense after a background like this too. Like you, I learn and work a lot better when it's not classified as work.

What I'm currently doing, and liking a -lot- better, is mixing native material and a little bit of German use with native speakers with studying 20 minutes a day with Assimil. The former two provide the motivation, while the latter makes me learn basic vocabulary and structure fairly quickly, along with pronunciation.

Good luck with your German-language school!
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K2
Groupie
Canada
Joined 5047 days ago

69 posts - 69 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Norwegian

 
 Message 27 of 48
16 June 2007 at 3:58pm | IP Logged 
Nice to see I'm not the only one out there who odes this:P. Thanks for the reply.
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Volte
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Switzerland
Joined 4738 days ago

4474 posts - 6725 votes 
Speaks: English*, Esperanto, German, Italian
Studies: French, Finnish, Mandarin, Japanese

 
 Message 28 of 48
16 June 2007 at 4:03pm | IP Logged 
Carlisa wrote:
"I consider 'immersion' to be a very specific technique. I've seen people who have done actual immersion - going to a country where they do not speak the language and immediately starting school in it - and the results have varied from impressive to saddening. Comprehensible input and immersion have a very small overlap, if any."

I look at immersion as being surrounded by the language (or thing), which to an extent Assimil provides (depending on its use), as does radio, TV et cetera, but the most amount of immersion is provided by being in the actual country of the target language.


I personally wouldn't be able to use Assimil this way. I've tried listening to it for a few hours on end, and, frankly, I hate it that way. The maximum amount of time I can happily listen to it in any one language at once is a bit under 40 minutes. Conversely, I can happily listen to authentic native materials (online radio, etc) for hours on end, in one language.

All else being equal, the most immersion is provided by being in a place where the target is spoken, yes - though , frequently, all else is not equal (take a look at how the alljapaneseallthetime guy set up an immersion environment to learn Japanese, outside of Japan, -based on how people build up enclaves of their own language when not in a place that speaks it-).

Carlisa wrote:

"Comprehensible input and immersion have a very small overlap, if any."

I agree. But together they provide the most powerful way to study.


That seems feasible to me, but I haven't seen it in practice.

Carlisa wrote:

"I consider 'immersion' to be a very specific technique. I've seen people who have done actual immersion - going to a country where they do not speak the language and immediately starting school in it - and the results have varied from impressive to saddening."

This is my point, some people excel in a immersed environment, for others this is not the case, and therefore a certain amount of drilling is required for the learner to be able to progress to an immersed state of learning.


Do you mean 'immersed' here, studying by comprehensible input, or assimilation? I see these as three different techniques, and I don't really see how drilling 'allows' a learner to 'progress' to an immersed state of learning.

The only way I can make sense of this is to read it as meaning that some people need drilling before they can start picking up further things from context. Is this what you meant? If not, could you explain?

Carlisa wrote:

"Likewise, just because drills are -part- of a study, does not really make the study centered around them. There are also many, many different things to drill."

It's a necessity for a lot of language learners to centre their study on drills. (Again just my opinion)


I certainly know language learners who believe this is the case, and ones who prefer it. I doubt it's actually true that it's a -necessity-; they learned their native language without drills, after all. That said, perhaps it's the most effective and efficient way for them.

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Carlisa
Diglot
Newbie
Joined 4670 days ago

5 posts - 5 votes
Speaks: English*, German
Studies: Italian

 
 Message 29 of 48
17 June 2007 at 5:16am | IP Logged 
"The only way I can make sense of this is to read it as meaning that some people need drilling before they can start picking up further things from context. Is this what you meant? If not, could you explain?"

Yes that's correct. I'm dreadfully terrible at explaining things in writing. I see it as this. Some people can learn by being fully immersed in their target language straight away, others need drills on certain grammar points (or whatever aspect) before moving into an immersed state. Or people can learn the language from drilling only (i.e. all aspects of grammar) and then move into a state of interacting in the language once at an advanced level in grammar.

"That seems feasible to me, but I haven't seen it in practice."

That's the problem, if only it were in practice, most people in the world would be speaking a new language by now.

Again sorry for my terrible explanations, I'm much better explaining things through speaking.

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Kleberson
Diglot
Senior Member
Great Britain
Joined 4717 days ago

166 posts - 168 votes 
Speaks: English*, Portuguese
Studies: Italian, Russian, Arabic (Written), Mandarin

 
 Message 30 of 48
17 June 2007 at 2:20pm | IP Logged 
It's all very well, but what do you do with these "three methods"? How do you incorporate them into a language learning program? I think your frameworks are on the right lines, but how to implement them into a program is another matter.

6 weeks seems a bit short to find the perfect program as well, but maybe I'm not qualified enough to comment. I would love to hear some ways to implement all these techniques into a routine, to get the best out of my studies.


Edited by Kleberson on 17 June 2007 at 2:24pm

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Volte
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Switzerland
Joined 4738 days ago

4474 posts - 6725 votes 
Speaks: English*, Esperanto, German, Italian
Studies: French, Finnish, Mandarin, Japanese

 
 Message 31 of 48
17 June 2007 at 2:50pm | IP Logged 
I don't think that there are 'three methods', unless you define method extremely vaguely (implicit, explicit, or mixed).

There are techniques that work for very few people, if anyone, and techniques that work for some people. In the latter category, there is immersion (probably not what you want; it's rather intensive - see alljapaneseallthetime), learning from a graded bilingual reader with audio (courses based on this include Assimil, and I think Linguaphone, though I've not used the latter), and drill-heavy courses (such as FSI). There are more unusual methods, including the one mentioned Spivak's book "how to become a polyglot" (a translation of the method is provided in this forum), Iversen's pre-learning large amounts to be able to deal with native materials as quickly as possible, etc; if after a serious try, the more common ones fail you, you may want to start investigating these.

A lot of finding what works best for you still comes down to experimentation.
The thread on learning styles could potentially save you some time; a quiz on learning styles is linked to, and forum members seem to largely agree that a preference for drilling vs assimilation correlates to whether you're a sequential or global learner (I'm personally at the extreme global side, and as this would predict, I love Assimil and have not been able to use FSI effectively).


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Kleberson
Diglot
Senior Member
Great Britain
Joined 4717 days ago

166 posts - 168 votes 
Speaks: English*, Portuguese
Studies: Italian, Russian, Arabic (Written), Mandarin

 
 Message 32 of 48
17 June 2007 at 3:12pm | IP Logged 
I just finished that test you mentioned Volte, and I have my test score back, but I'm not sure what it all means, any help deciphering it would be grateful.

(EDIT) I posted it, but the results came out all funny on the forum, I'll try and decipher them myself.

Edited by Kleberson on 17 June 2007 at 3:14pm



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