Reading... or Listening?

Which would you rather do, assuming that you already have an advanced level in a language, and that there is some sort of restriction keeping you from doing both?

  1. Listen to a recording that has no transcript.

or

  1. Read a book that has no audio version readily available.
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If I want to practice my listening, I’d go for the audio, but if I want to increase my vocabulary I prefer the book.

I’m in the same situation with English, and I prefer listening.

I prefer reading. I only listen while doing other tasks, any dedicated time, I read.

Why to set a question so sharply: reading or listening?..
I believe that both activities are very important, so: reading AND listening.

@Evgueny: Because the question was exactly about this. David wrote “Which would you rather do, assuming that you already have an advanced level in a language, and that there is some sort of restriction keeping you from doing both?” I’m sure that David knows doing both would be the best.

@VeraI
Oh, I’m sorry, I diddn’t notice this condition about “restriction keeping you from doing from both”.
And yet I prefer to listen a bit and to read a bit even if you have no time to do it in a full measure.
I would say in this way: ‘listening’ keeps our active knowledge in the readiness, but only careful ‘reading’ really increases our knowledge of the foreign language.

Both Kimojima and Evgueny bring up interesting points that I’ll be pondering.

In examining kimo’s point, I come to the question of what makes an input source worthwhile? The number of words, or maybe the number of unknown words. I wonder, though, which method, reading or listening, allows for better assimilation of the unknown words.

In response to Evgueny, I’d say I actually feel more ready to speak after reading. When I read I go over individual words and phrases slower in my head. Reflecting on it, I feel like this way of reading puts my thoughts into my target language better than most anything else, although I do feel more unsure of pronunciation.

I think it depens on your current level in the language, especially your listening comprehension.

My listening comprehension in English is excellent. It´s far better than my speaking, my writing and it´s pretty much equal to my reading comprehension. This enables me to learn new words and idioms easily by listening to podcasts or watching youtube (which counts a listening, even though you´re using your eyes).

When I started learning French, I was able to understand basic (written) French quite quickly, but the language sounded like noise. I needed to read French in order to learn anything.
After a year of studying it, I can learn new words with my ears…but it´s much harder than it is in English.

@Paule: “…My listening comprehension in English is excellent. It´s far better than my speaking, my writing and it´s pretty much equal to my reading comprehension…”

Your writing in English is of the very highest level. (Generally speaking, your posts are of a quality such that they could have been written by a native speaker.)

@ force_de_frappe

I guess from this, we can conclude that his listening comprehension is unbelievable. His hearing is at the level of a bat, and he understand every word said in English within approximately 200 meters of him, regardless of background noise, or obstacles.

@ djvlbass

I much prefer reading. Firstly, I find it more fun and more interesting, and secondly, I think the time that I spend reading is the time I learn the most since this is when I learn vocabulary. Listening is of course essential too. The only exception is the audio book for the German translation of Game of Thrones. I am in love with the voice on this audio book and can listen to it for hours.

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“can listen to it for hours.”

…which is good because it’s 19 hours long!

@Force

I should mention that there´s a lot of “post-editing”(^^) in my forum posts but…thank you :slight_smile:

@Colin, Force, dBass

Do you guys even know how often you make me laugh?^^
Scottish clubs, supernatural listening comprehension, Elvis killing Kennedy…

I do a lot of post editing too. In fact, I reread absolutely everything I write. This is in emails, chatting on Skype or Facebook, posts on here, and anything else.

Yes, editing posts for typos, etc is normal for everybody. Saying that, one of the things I love about typing on an iPad is the running spell-checker function which detects errors as soon as they are entered. It works in German (and Russian!) too, as I’ve recently discovered. If and when I next upgrade my laptop it’s going to be goodbye to PC and hello to Apple Mac, I think! :slight_smile:

Methinks this be a good habit. I just find it annoying to read texts with a ton of typos and minor errors (there vs their vs they´re, to vs too vs two…etc.), so I try to write as clearly as possible.

More importantly, there are a lot of non-native speakers on a forum like this and they might imitate the mistakes we make. I don´t care about mistakes when I´m chatting with other Germans on Facebook, though.

@Force

Your iPad is doing a pretty good job with German :wink:

“Methinks this be a good habit. I just find it annoying to read texts with typos and minor errors”

Well I’ll just stop posting then :stuck_out_tongue:

But seriously, your English appears to be great on the forum. I’d really like to hear how you sound in spoken English sometime.

Naaaah, come on^^

I´m camera-shy, but I might upload some spoken English someday.
You should do a recording, too. I´d like to know how French with an american accent sounds.

I´ve met several british people in France and their French sounds
reaaaly posh Ö.o

Unfortunately I am not good enough at organizing my thoughts to make a worthwhile vlog, or else I would. Maybe one day when I get through my university studies and mature a bit I’ll put myself to something like that. Or maybe I’m just like you - camera-shy.

Here is a pretty good example of an American accent in French: - YouTube I actually think his French is really good, although he makes a few obvious errors.

Steve has an American/Canadian French accent, although a really light one.

I think its funny that you find the English accent to be posh. Apparently the way we (anglophones) speak French is well liked in the end. The only person who made fun of my French in France was an Armenian student I met at a bar…

I really like the German accent in French. Its less obvious than an English one.

I think it´s hard to judge a foreign accent in a foreign language (an american speaking French, for example) but english accents sound pretty good. “English” people seem to speak in a “singy” way. The voice goes up and down and up and down…

I just found out that it´s possible to post audio-files on your own wall (I´ve discovered a lot today). I´ll record some French and English now. Give me half an hour^^

Personally, I enjoy listening to people talking a second language. If they speak badly, it motivates me because I can see that I´m not the only who´s struggling and I respect their courage. If they speak at a high level, it motivates me because it shows that learning languages is nothing magical, ordinary people can do it.

That´s what I like about Benny Lewis btw, but that´s off-topic.