Listening Comprehension Idea

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:

  1. The Active Playlist (for any lessons with 1 or fewer yellow words per 30 seconds of audio track time)
  2. 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:

  1. Read something new
  2. 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.
  3. 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.


Do you also put text with 100% known words into the active playlist?

Another question.

I‘ve studies my TL for about 2.5 months (inside of LingQ 2 months), so pretty much a beginner, but I still think is is a really good idea.

Should I put all my lessons into storage until they have 1 or fewer yellow words per 30 seconds also. Becuase for me that is little to none. I also have lessons where I can comprehene mostly of it but there are still to many yellow words.

Congratulations for sticking with learning on LingQ! I’ve been learning German for a number of years and now have my own strategy for listening practice, but basically, I really like Dannee’s ideas.
From my perspective, I admire his approach to finding a way to overcome his/her own difficulties.
For you, in your own situation, I would look at what Dannee has achieved and take on board the principles. There is no need for any kind of percentage of yellow words because:

  1. How you choose to leave words yellow is up to you. I personally hardly leave any because I don’t really try to learn words. I find that words over time go into the memory bank in my brain by themselves, as I am exposed to them in context in my listening and reading.
  2. Languages vary considerably in their difficulty of listening comprehension for a particular learner. For me, Danish is easy, Chinese is very difficult. So I would approach these languages differently.
  3. I do think that playlists that one used in the gym, when washing dishes etc. work best if the content is easily comprehensible. So, in the early stages of learning a new language, I would keep the list (and the lessons themselves) simple and short, then listen repeatedly to it. Over time these lessons become boring, so I would remove some and add new ones. You’ll have to work this out for yourself. I don’t really use playlists in German any more. I just listen to new material or repeat stuff once or twice.
    I hope these ideas can help you to keep going long term. Best wishes!

No, if a lesson reaches 100% known words, I see it as having served it’s purpose and delete it. After having used this method for a few months now, my enthusiasm for it continues to grow and my listening playlists have grown to almost 40 hours of material that is motivating to listen to due to its comprehensibility. I think having an audio track at or below 1 yellow word per 30 seconds of audio is the perfect balance of having something be comprehensible enough to distinctly hear and recollect the meaning of the yellow words.

I started using this storage playlist and 1 yellow/30 sec playlist method when I was around 7000 words so I had more leeway to work with. Yeah I would use the most comprehensible lessons you can find. Or the method that got me to the 7000 word stage was just listening to the last 4-5 hours of whatever I’d most recently read (sometimes frustrating in terms of listening but I was reading such a variety of material that there was a fast turnover).