When you study a content above your level, do you listen to the audio many times until you can pinpoint where you don’t understand before you check the transcript? Or do you rather listen to it more after checking the transcript?
I listen only one time an unknown content to have a whole idea.
I believe it’s useless to listen to the hard content several times before reading because you can have only a general idea.
After that I read and listen to the content one paragraph after another and make some lingqs.
And then I can listen to the content 2-3 times until I understand 90% of listening.
I tried many times to listen the audio above my level more than 1 time, but I can recognize maybe just 5% more than at the 1st time. Afer reading the text it’s much easier to follow the audio. But anyway I prefer to listen berfore reading. After that I will listen some more times again.
I tend to listen to a podcast once without text and then after that I read it. Oftentimes I actually read the transcript before listening to it first and then listen to it 5-10 times.
I think it would be impossible for me to pinpoint exactly what I don’t understand while listening, simply because the lessons I listen to are usually 10-20 minutes long and there’s too much I just don’t get, so I simply try to understand as much as I can and then, while reading I tend to spot the parts that I didn’t understand before anyways.
I alternate practices of:
a) 1. listen 2. read 3. listen
b.) 1. read 2. listen + read [simultaneously]. 3. listen
c.) 1. read 2. listen 3. read
I try to space my practice so there’s a few hours to a few days between step 2 and step 3.
I listen in different ways. Sometimes I am intently focused, trying to understand as much as possible. Most of the time, I try to just comprehend the main ideas.
I read the transcript while listening. so 0. You get used very quick to content that’s above your level.
Thanks, everyone !
Wow, you have a systematic way of learning! Thanks for sharing it.
Above my level? Depends on the language, but so far, generally if I’m interested enough in the content. I’ll listen once, read and listen once, read by myself once, and listen 2-3 times.
If it’s a language I’m not too familiar with, I’ll listen once, read twice while listening.
Now that I’ve reached a modest level (in Dutch), what I do to practice my listening skills is audio record and listen to, say, a 5 minute segment of an online news broadcast or TV show which interests me, and in which I feel that I can reasonably understand the content — as well the accent.
I record .wav files through my computer’s stereo mix, then convert them to .mpg files.
I always assume that part of what I am listening to is above my level, but I’ve also reached a level where I can make out words and phrases — even if I don’t know their meaning. This way, I’m always learning new content and building vocabulary.
Sometimes I slow the recording down to 80 percent or even as much as 50 percent, especially when I’m having trouble with a particular accent or a particularly fast speaker, but otherwise I try to listen at normal speed.
After listening two or three times, I transcribe the recording myself.
Then I submit my transcript to a native speaker and ask them to listen to the recording to determine whether I heard and transcribed it correctly, and to make corrections.
This way, I create my own content and listen to what I want to listen to, not something that someone else has already transcribed which I may not even be particularly interested in.
I have so much more trouble with this in Japanese than every other language. Everything Sounds the same in Japanese: I am always tricked into thinking I’m hearing known words when it is just slightly different and Spaces vs endings vs particles. Listening to something with any, let alone many unknown words is not very helpful for me at this point. I have been going at it for months and I still struggle with Who is she when trying to listen. However, I don’t think who is she translates well to Japanese.
I agree that there isn’t much benefit when you don’t know or have linged most of the words. However, listening in the beginning when you want to get your brain used to the general sound and pronunciation of a particular language. I am listening to your intermediate russian podcasts and I will have 40-50% of unknown words, but I will still enjoy listening to them once I have read through it once or twice and reinforce known words while noticing words that I don’t yet know.
However, listening to advanced content where 70-85% is unknown isn’t very helpful. I think the key is awareness and paying attention to when you do or don’t know something.
Japanese sounds can be very flat.
English sounds like a Jazz music to me. Even after having learned English for years, I still have trouble differentiating “L” ”R” “th”, and “S” sounds in listening and pronouncing. I just rely on the context.
I never thought of English as Jazz music before, that’s really cool. Chinese always sounds like music to me, especially cantonese.
However. I can imagine that english is quite difficult for japanese. I bet the english alphabet pronunciation is particularly rough for them.
A native English speaker told me that Japanese sounds like Spanish. My exposure to Spanish has been limited to taking classes for beginners in my college days and watching Dora the explore with my daughter. I can’t really tell.
Come to think of it, I suppose you can’t always rely on the context when you speak.
When I said, “I’m taking a bus”, I was mistaken by “I’m taking a bath”. When I said, “I’ve got rice.”, I was responded by jokingly, “You’ve got lice in your hair?”.
The list goes on.
I listen once before reading. I find that reading while listening the first time is ‘cheating’, because it’s easier to understand the transcript than the audio. But it’s interesting to see how different people have different approaches.
it looks systematic. but in practice, i’m not very rigid. i do things in the way i feel like that at that moment. i probably should start doing more listening practice on LingQ, but I’ve always preferred to learn by reading
That sounds difficult. It certainly seems like a two way street of confusion. I have terrible difficulty especially when I hear いい or よく。It can mean a version of “to say” , “good” and yoku can mean “often”.
It’s very difficult to hear and comprehend the meanings when spoken fast and the context is still unclear.
I feel the same way!
I usually listen once before I check the transcript because I want to see how much I understand the contents by ear. Reading the transcript is like checking answers after taking a test.
Even I listen more than one time before I check the transcript, I don’t see much difference in listening comprehension between the first time and second or third time. I tend to lose interests and focus after first-time listening because in my head, “I already heard this”,” I know this info”. To improve your listening skill, some say you should listen before checking the transcript until you narrow down parts where you don’t understand. I don’t seem to have the patience and discipline.
I’m a fan of your podcast, Nick. It is very interesting to listen to stories from people living in a place where I’ve never been to. 10 minutes is a good length. I can usually maintain my attention.
I have a good anecdote for that.
I had a Japanese friend in college who had come to the U.S. as an exchange student. One day she very sincerely asked me, “What is a shit road?”
I said, “Shit road? I’ve never heard of that before. Can you use it in a sentence?”
She said, “Yes, my roommate told me she has a shit road of homework.”
“Oh!” I said. “Of course! Your roommate had a shitload of homework. That just means she had a lot of homework.”
I should have figured out right away what she was saying — because the confusion between L and R is almost a cliché (have you seen the final scene in the Chinese restaurant from ‘A Christmas Story’?) — but I honestly didn’t understand until she used it in a sentence.