Hi every one,
Today I have watched Steve’s video about language learning and physical activities. Thinking in all the similarities I’ve found really interesting to compare language learning with the principles of sport training.
I think the relation is closer than It seems at first.
These ones are the basic principles of sport training:
- Repetition: Times and lengthen of the trainings are crucial for getting and maintaining adaptations.
- A correct relation between training loads and rest time: We need time to assimilate and adapt to physical changes.
- Overload: progressive increase of the difficulty or intensity of the exercises.
- Timing and periods: In order to reach a specific performance we need to work on the basic needed skills first progressing to the specifics.
- Variety: Variety in the exercises are crucial in order to ensure new adaptations.
- Individualization: Adaptation to the individual conditions and characteristics.
- Positive transfer: Ensuring of a positive transfer between the exercises and the target activity.
I think is interesting to see the process of language acquisition as a cognitive/physical adaptation to a new language, for example by the creation of new neural connexions.
And I wonder how powerful is the transference between the exercise of listening into the ability of speak. Or more precisely What is the relation between active and passive vocabulary.
(Sorry for my mistakes)
I personally have started my Italian about 1 year ago. I spoke no words Italian.
Now I just had some conversations, but I write almost nothing. The main my activity is listening and reading the same text some times separately.
I can’t beleive it works: my passive activities help me to speak. I mean I had no special trainings to explain myself but I can.
That is amazing how passive becomes active.
What an interesting perspective! It reminds me that I really ought to try to narrow the gap between my passive vocabulary and active output. :))
I tend to agree with esko that we need breaks. I’ve tried using only my L2, but found after a Few days my head was frazzled. I think at that stage my learning was slower, and I was continually battling headaches. After a day or so rest, I was ready to get back on it.
I have never tried studying a language every waking minute of every day, but I have done something similar for physics and I assume it is somewhat similar. I always found that no matter how hard I tried, there was always a limit to how much I could do in a day. After a certain amount of time and effort, I was completely unable to concentrate on what I was studying, or comprehend even the most basic things in that subject. However, this limit was always very high and I would only reach it after a huge amount of effort.
This limit, however, is very different from the limit in exercising that kimojima was talking about. The worst that will happen to you if you study too much is that you will not be able to learn anymore until you have had a good long sleep. If you do too much physical exericise, you literally will hurt yourself.
Be careful before you try them both out at the same time. I once thought it was a good idea to listen to some French podcasts while running on the treadmill. While fiddling with my iPod I lost my footing, got dragged down by the belt and was spun across the gym floor. Luckily, I escaped with slight concussion, some bruising and minor friction burns, but it put me off gyms forever. Thankfully, my language learning only suffered a temporary setback.
(…) The worst that will happen to you if you study too much is that you will not be able to learn anymore until you have had a good long sleep. (…)
People have died from too much work (also office work). In Japan they have a special word for that: Karooshi.
Just a few months ago, a young German student died from overwork during his internship at a bank in London. He had not slept for several days and died of exhaustion.
Ok ok ok, Robert is right. You caaaaaan work yourself to death.
I would say that the “Brain Fitness” has a lot to say about language acquisition, of course there are not physical boundaries to the amount of input we can listen to, but I’m sure that the brain focuses and works better when is relax and rest. Other wise it would’nt be a different between listening one hour of audio every day and listening 10 hours one day every 10 days.
“However, ten hours every day will be MUCH MUCH better than one hour every day.”
And ten hours of physical exercise every day is much much worse than one hour every day.
"Just a few months ago, a young German student died from overwork during his internship at a bank in London. He had not slept for several days and died of exhaustion. "
Link? I’m curious. I’ve heard of death by insomnia (Fatal familial insomnia… which sounds like an absolutely horrible horrible way to die) but not death from an internship. Although, back in the states I did work the HELL out of some of my interns. It was a sick pleasure of mine
ad spatterson: I checked again, it appears that he died of an epileptic seizure which the doctors said “might have been caused” by overwork. I admit the story sounded somewhat different when I first heard about it.
Here’s the link: Bloomberg - Are you a robot?
In this article they still talked of “overwork” as a possible trigger for his death: Young Bank of America intern in London may have died from overwork - World Socialist Web Site
Damn. Sucks for that guy. Next time I have interns… I’ll… nah, next time I have interns I’ll work them TO DEATH
The hardest I ever worked was when I wrote my phd thesis. I had already been offered the job in Austria, so it was just a matter of getting it done as soon as possible. For about four months, I was doing so much work on my laptop (typing, reading the literature in the field, doing calcuations), that I was starting to get pains in wierd places. The worst was on my elbows from where they were always resting on the table. Also my middle fingers were hurting from scrolling up and down using the mouse wheel. When I went to bed at the end of every day, my head would be spinning and all I could see was equations, blocks of text, and plots.
…still, I managed to get through 12 seasons of ER in that time!
(Incidently, I was in Austria already less than 24 hours after submitting my thesis and it was about 40 degrees!)
Have you ever interpretted so much that you couldn’t stop? I cannot imagine how annoying it would be to speak to somebody who repeated everything I said back at me in a different language.
ad Colin: (…) Have you ever interpretted so much that you couldn’t stop? (…)
My friend keeps wondering why I don’t “shut up” when I come home from a long conference day ;-). So, yes, it does happen.
(…) I cannot imagine how annoying it would be to speak to somebody who repeated everything I said back at me in a different language. (…)
You’d notice that only with consecutive interpreting. I mostly work as a simultaneous interpreter in a booth. The speaker doesn’t hear me interpreting his speech or statement etc. He only hears the answers through his headset.
And if you really need to understand what people say to you and if you want people to understand what you say to them, you’ll be very happy to have someone like me around, no matter how annoying the actual procedure might be ;-))
P.S. But you’d better not speak in your local Scottish dialect…
Oh yes, I remember watching your interpreting videos on YouTube. Afterwards, I tried to do it myself from German to English. It was not pretty.
Kimojina, when the brain is overworked, it can lead to stress and in extreme cases a breakdown. Have you not heard of burn out? Ím not saying a few weeks of intense L2 learning will cause a burn out, but the brain does have a liimit. Too much pressure on our brains can cause to all sorts of illnesses.
Effect of physical education and activity levels on academic achievement in children. Medicine … Language Skills can Blossom in Physical Education Class.
Wow, you guys are relentless, I am quite fatigued from reading about all this effort. Such energy and fluidity!