I’m recently trying a new strategy to get more out of my listening on LingQ. I’ve been frustrated by trying to listen to things in Chinese where there was too much I wasn’t comprehending. These were always things I’d recently read and with new word percentages under 10% but I’d have to slow the speed down and still I’d be missing too much to enjoy the experience and to learn/consolidate newer words.
So I had the idea recently to comb through all the courses and lessons (the ones with audio) I’ve done on LingQ and put all the individual lessons into two different Playlists based on the number of yellow words in a lesson:
- The Active Playlist (for any lessons with 1 or fewer yellow words per 30 seconds of audio track time)
- The Storage Playlist (for any lessons with more than 1 yellow word per 30 seconds of audio track time)
So for example, using this rule, a five minute track can only have a maximum of 10 yellow words or it has to go into the storage playlist until the yellow words are whittled down to 10 or fewer, either through actively revising that lesson and realising you now know these words, or the natural whittling down that occurs by marking those words as known in other lessons. A ten-minute track can have a maximum of 20 yellow words etc.
This has left me with a decent active playlist of 22 hours of material that I am mostly comprehending and I wish I had thought to do this earlier. This ‘one yellow word for every 30 seconds’ rule strikes a good balance for me because I’m much more easily able to hear and consolidate the yellow words through listening alone; they ‘stick out’ more because they’re against a larger backdrop of comprehensible ‘known’ words.
So my reading strategy before was pretty much to only read new things and then listen to them in a 5-hour loop of the most recent stuff I’ve read, but now I have a threefold strategy involving both reading new things and revising sentences containing yellow words which is helping me to learn and consolidate more vocab and comprehend more when listening:
- Read something new
- Read just the yellow word sentences in something from the ‘storage’ audio playlist to see if I can get the number of yellow words under the 1 per 30 second threshold and move it to the ‘active’ playlist.
- Whenever I don’t comprehend something when listening to the active playlist (and I have time to do so) I will quickly go over the yellow words in that lesson or try and find the exact spot I’m not comprehending, perhaps I will need to revise what I thought was a known word and mark it yellow again or something like that.
Anyway, I’m only at the Intermediate 1 level in Chinese but I thought I’d share this because I’m enjoying this approach much more, have found a nice balance between reading new things and revising, and I’m no longer bombarded with a slew of frustrating, incomprehensible jibberish when I’m on the treadmill at the gym.
Just a note if anyone is thinking of trying this method out: The LingQ app only lets you have a maximum of 100 tracks per playlist so you can just add another playlist, titled ‘Active Playlist 2’, once you reach more than 100 tracks that meet that threshold.
I’m curious to know other people’s thoughts on this, whether you’ve tried this yourself or your own ways of solving the difficulties of listening.