Take TEF Canada exam, aiming for B2

Hi, guys, I have been learning French on LingQ for several months, and it works great! But my goal is to pass CLB7 for all four parts of the TEF Canada exam (CLB7 = B2.2-B2.3). Right now my statistics on LingQ is 15360 LingQs created, 15113 Words learned, 1163968 words read, and 218.72 hours listened. I am still on the level B2.1-2.2 according to LingQ, but I guess it’s still a bit difficult to challenge the TEF Canada CLB7. Any advice for further study on LingQ and prepare for the exam as well? Thank you very much!


Hi Jenny,

You have several options here:

  1. Switching to the “ultrareading while listening” approach using LingQ:with non-fiction and contemporary fiction (see: Anmelden - LingQ - Btw, this was an answer to Treve for learning Polish, but it’s the same for any other, esp. Indo-European language).

Here are a few resources for French:

  1. Netflix and Co for everyday dialogues
    Unfortunately, LingQ hasn’t fixed the bug reg. the import of Netflix subtitles yet, so I recommend Toby’s (@noxialisrex) workaround using Tamper Monkey with Chrome and the following script to manually download the VTT file: Netflix - subtitle downloader"

  2. Focus more on speaking and writing

  3. Use of TEF Canada’s exam material from previous years

Good luck,

PS -
I’d start with point 4 - to see what is expected in the exam :slight_smile:


Hi, Peter

Thank you very much for your suggestion! I read your past post for explaining “ULTRAREADING-WHILE-LISTENING” APPROACH and bravo! Thank you very much for your explanation!

And, yes I do hate those marketers who promote those inefficient apps like Duolingo and Drops, which are game-based designs and they actually did nothing else than waste your time. Glad that I find LingQ which is the best thing ever that let me get interested in learning French and being able to possess a good attitude and mindset toward learning languages.

I love InnerFrench, which luckily has been added to B1 level French guided learning materials on LingQ! and I love to listen and read the most current RFI news. I usually increase the speed to 1.25 for Inner French audios.

For reviewing vocabulary, I find it more efficient to review all the guided materials once again is very efficient compared to only trying to memorize lingQed words. Time to master 1-2 words per page is almost equal to time spent reviewing past lessons and mastering 1-2 words within.

Thank you very much for your guide to Netflix! Though right now it is beyond my level to watch these complicated series, I believe when I reach level C1, I can start with some easy series to enjoy!

Right now, I almost dedicate 80% of my study time to LingQ and it works better than my imagination, for the other 20% I have classes on Lingoda (for which I participated in the super sprint and failed without a doubt).

I just started to review these books for the exam, and only focused on reading and speaking. Questions seemed achievable but need time to get used to. I find this part most difficult because I am trying to take TEF and TCF Canada and these exams have some differences. So recently, I am still using LingQ as my primary studying tool and wish to reach the C1 level so that I can be confident to prepare for both TEF and TCF Canada exams for the B2 level.

And thanks again!

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What else have you been using, Jenny? I’m also studying French but my stats aren’t up to your level yet. Your writing looks good and I’m impressed! (although, consider this is from a learner :P)

Thank you Miriaml5, I use mainly LingQ for listening and reading (more than 80% of my study time). And you can write essays in the forum, there will always be some native speakers who kindly help you correct your essays.

Other than LingQ, I have use Lingoda, for which I have registered for their Supersprint and failed without doubt​:joy::joy:. And now it seems I have to finish the rest dozens of classes. But it is nice to have some classes with other students in group. Recently I find at the level B2.1, 2.2, students are much better than me in French, which give me a lot of peer pressure, and it is brilliant.

Also, italki works great for exam preparation, as you can find teacher there having experience in teaching TEF or DELF exam. This can be very useful if you have to pass certain exam.

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how many students are in a lingoda class? and what goes on in such a class?

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What kinds of things are you reading and listening to? I am always looking for new things on my level (I have 13000 words now, but I’ve but in fewer hours than you so am provably less fluent in reading. I feel like a lot of those words were cognates in English.) So far I am listening/reader to a book on meditation by Thich Naht Hahn, which is really repetitive so good for a beginner. But eventually I’d like to read literature.

Hi, sampearson
Usually, there are 3-4 students in a lingoda class, you can see how many students there will be in your class when you book one.

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Hi, miriaml5
Recently, I really like to listen to InnerFrench and RFI journal, they are so interesting to listen to and read. Bravo for 13000 words known! I guess the plateau for B1 or B2.1 is a bit tricky. Yes, a lot of French words are similar to English.

But for literature reading, it’s beyond my level because there are always too many passé simple or other conjugations I am not familiar with, and they rarely exist in everyday French. So I can not really answer that question regarding literature reading. As my goal now is to pass TEF/TCF exams which do not contain too many literature-styled verb forms.

Thich Naht Hahn seems interesting and I also like meditation so right now, I watch Youtube Channel for Sadhguru Français on Youtube.

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@PeterBormann I still am a little uncertain about the exact specifics of what you advise. I, personally, usually read and listen to the same content, but I differentiate between the specifics in the following ways:

  • Extended reading while listening of easy material (the 95%+ comprehension kind of stuff, so you only want <100 [lingQs + New Words] for a 2,000 word lesson, like what @bamboozled does). In this case I can open a lesson and play the audio straight away. I sometimes stop the audio to write in a definition. I only read+listen once to the lesson.
  • Intensive reading once, marking all lingQs, then rereading the lesson while listening twice. Then I relisten to the audio in the playlist many times to drill in the new words. This is generally what I do more of because, at Intermediate 1, there’s just not enough engaging, easy material available to be able to do extended reading while listening of easy material.
  • Extended reading while listening of harder material (such as 400 [lingQs + New Words] for a 2,000 word lesson). Currently I do this with Language Reactor on YouTube and watch (read + listen to) the video twice before importing it into LingQ (to go into the lesson, mark Known Words and a few of the interesting lingQs, and add the statistics). I then relisten to the audio in the playlist many times to drill in the new words.
    As you can see, in all three of these scenarios you are reading while listening. I’m guessing you are predominately advocating for extending reading while listening of easy material, right? If I had a choice, this is probably what I would do, just because it’s more interesting. Novel material is almost always more interesting (except for amazing content, which you love). However, the content available for me at Intermediate 1 is just not there to be able to do that, so I predominately do the latter two.

“You are predominately advocating for extending reading while listening of easy material, right?”
It depends on the language level and the distance of the L2 to the L1 (and the L2s a learner has already mastered).

Here’s a sketch of a more comprehensive language learning framework where “(ultra-)reading while listening” is a core component:

  1. A1 - A2 (maybe even B1 for distant second languages):
    a. Preparation phase:
  • Michel Thomas / Language Transfer as grammar light approaches to get a grasp of the most important syntactic and grammar structures (for more distant L2s)
  • Flashcards for the most frequent words (let’s say, 3000-5000 words / expressions), e.g. as Memrise / Anki decks and Speechling sentences
  • Pronunciation training (if needed - see Michilini’s posts / podcasts about Mandarin, for instance)
  • Pimsleur (as a speaking early, but grammar light approach)

b. Actual start

  • Intensive reading while listening (multiple times) with different audio speeds (0.7 - 1.25) using LingQ’s “Mini Stories” (maybe in combo with Assimil)
  • Exporting the LingQs created to Anki and then doing flashcard drills
  • Using the transcripts of beginner podcasts similar to eslpod.com or www.podcastfrancaisfacile.com
  1. B1 / B1-2 (ca. >= 10k known words on LingQ):
  • Learning the transcripts of contemporary series on Netflix with a lot of everyday dialogues based on
    → intensive reading while listening (multiple times)
    → flashcarding using LingQtoAnki or Migaku

  • Specific Phrasebook sentences (Lonely Planet, etc.) drilled with Anki

  • YT dialogues (drilled with Anki)

  • Switching to an “ultrareading while listening approach” (audio speed ca. 1.25 - 1.5x) in LingQ using easier non-fictional texts [my “go to” trilogy at the moment is from Yuval Noah Harari because it’s like “Harry Potter for popular soft science” :-), but I’d also use other non-fiction books where I have a lot of background knowledge, e.g. European / world history, political science, sociology, etc. In addition, I’d resort to shorter news (from BBC and Co) and Wikipedia articles].

  1. B1-2 / B2 / B2-C1
  • “Ultrareading while listening” using contemporary popular fiction
    Goal: ca. 2.5 - 3 million words read / listened to
  1. C1 and upwards:
  • Ultrareading while listening (but also everything else: free reading without listening / free listening without reading) using scientific / business- or IT-related literature, novels pre-1970, etc.

And at each phase, I would also add other things to the respective mix:

  • Early speaking as self-talk
  • Writing short summaries
  • Explicit grammar studies on an as needed basis
  • Writing tools such as “Skritter”

Regarding the degree of difficulty for the “ultrareading while listening” (URL) approach from a B1 / B1-2 level upwards:
I don’t use “easy” material for URL where almost all words (e.g., 98 percent) are known. My personal “sweet spot” is rather ca. 10-15 percent of unknown words in a LingQ lesson. That is, it’s challenging, but not overwhelming.

For me (being a native speaker of German and having a good grasp of several Romance languages), this works pretty well for Portuguese. And it should work
for other Germanic languages (such as Dutch - my next L2 project) as well.

However, it might be different for more distant Indo-European or non-Indo-European languages. Maybe the sweet spot here is in the 5-10 percent range.

Content-flexible audio readers such as LingQ allow us to fight beyond our actual SLA weight classes. Without them the sweet spot reg. the number of unknown words in a lesson / text is lower…

Have a nice Sunday,

PS -
I should also add that at a B1 / B1-2 level, I like to use books that I already know
extremely well. For example, Harari’s trilogy, Stephen King’s “It” or Tolkien’s “LoR” (or Harry Potter ) because I’ve read (and / or) listened to them in several other languages (German, English, French, and Spanish). So I know them inside and out, which makes learning the vocabulary in the new L2 I’m studying (at the moment: Br. Port.) much easier.

In short, the whole URL process gets easier when the texts are

  • already well known
  • non-fiction
  • contemporary
    and when a learner has a lot of domain-specific background knowledge (e.g., regarding the social sciences in the case or Harari’s trilogy).

218.72 hours listened

I’m concerned about whether or not you are correctly calculating listening hours because I have noticed that LingQ calculates listening while reading through a story as listening hours. Listening while reading does not count as listening. It is a reading activity and increases our ability to read but does not increase our listening ability. Only activities done while not reading words count as listening. That means (a) audio only or (b) audio and visual together with no words.

Essentially, if your 218.72 hours listened comes from listening while reading on LingQ, then you actually have 0 listening hours, which may cause your listening to lag behind your other abilities. Again, I’m not sure how you are calculating listening, so I’m not sure if this is the case. If you don’t think that you need to improve your listening skills, then you can ignore the rest of this post, but if you do want to improve your listening, I’ve put together an explanation based on what I read that was most definitely backed up by my own personal experiences.

To be able to hear the language, you will need 50 hours of listening in your first dialect, plus 20 hours for each additional dialect (example 50 hours of Quebecois speakers and 20 hours French speakers or vice versa - It doesn’t matter which). After 100 hours, you should find documentaries are simple to listen to, as these are usually said plainly and clearly with one person speaking at a time. However, you’ll need about 200-300 hours to find it easy to understand people arguing, talking over one another, etc.

To start listening, only do 30 minutes a day and NO MORE for the first 1-2 months. I thought I could ignore this advice and do an hour. You will burn out. Only 30 minutes a day. In 1-2 months, you should be able to feel when you had your break through and increase your listening to 1 hour a day. You must do it every single day. If you skip a day in the early stages, you will have too much regression and your brain will not be learning the sounds and how to parse words. And don’t worry, your brain is learning the sounds even if you yourself don’t realize it. Eventually you will feel the breakthrough, and you’ll know that you are better.

For your best start to listening, you can start with short YouTube clips (say about 2.5 minutes long in the beginning). Listen about 4 times back to back. Obtain a copy of the closed captions or use Language Reactor (an app that works on YouTube and Netflix) to translate any words that you don’t know from the transcript (Note on Language Reactor, make sure that it has captions in your target language, not your native langue). Once you have translated what you need to, re-watch the same video again about 4 times back to back while reading the captions this time. If you don’t want to bother looking up YouTube videos, you can try StoryLearning’s Conversations (for level B1).

If you are going with YouTube, then the first week, only use the same video, as you don’t want to overload yourself and burn out. Use a new video each week to keep things fresh, and cycle through old videos. As you feel that you are getting better, you can do 2 new videos a week. After 1-2 months, whenever you feel your comprehension has improved, you can move on to Netflix.

Netflix videos are much longer than 2.5 minutes, so you will not listen to them over and over again. At least 1 time without captions at the bottom, and 1 time with captions at the bottom. When I first started out, I did 1 time without captions, 1 time with captions, and 1 time without. You don’t have to do that. I only did it for the first month on Netflix.

Make sure to start out with only one dialect until you get about 50 hours and find your breakthrough. Then you can move on to the second dialect when you feel so inclined. Once you reach 100 hours of listening only (listening while reading captions and transcripts don’t count), you can start watching unscripted YouTube or Netflix videos for added difficulty and an opportunity to improve your listening even further.

Watching YouTube and Netflix is actually easier than reading on LingQ, which is why Refold & Dreaming Spanish recommend starting with watching videos before moving on to reading (I know you are learning French, and Dreaming Spanish may not sound applicable to you, but the recommended steps for Spanish & French are the same). What you have accomplished so far on LingQ is much harder than YouTube and Netflix, so you have a lot to be proud of. If you can get to B2 in LingQ, then you can definitely conquer listening.


Hi RockinRoo,

“It is a reading activity and increases our ability to read but does not increase our listening ability.”
Interesting thesis: scientific sources for that claim?

In contrast, we know from decades of linguistic research on “scripturality vs. orality” that the written and the oral dimensions are interrelated and not completely separate so all four skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) constantly affect each other.

“Watching YouTube and Netflix is actually easier than reading on LingQ,”
This depends on the language level, the nature of the L2 (esp. the familiarity of the writing system and the distance of the oral and the written dimensions) and what you’re reading (while listening) on LingQ (non-fiction vs fiction, known vs unknown texts, specialized texts vs texts for the general public, etc.).

And, of course, it depends on your media selection on YT / Netflix as well (documentaries, action movies, contemporary series with a lot of fast-paced dialogues, etc.).

For example, a dating show à la “O Crush Perfeito” on Netflix (O Crush Perfeito [2020] - Trailer Nacional - 1ª Temporada - [4K] - YouTube) is still killing me, whereas reading while listening, reading only or listening only to a 600+ pages non-fiction text such as “A História da riqueza no Brasil” ((The History of Wealth in Brazil: https://www.amazon.com.br/História-riqueza-Brasil-Jorge-Caldeira/dp/8556080251) is more of a walk in the park for me - after more than 1000 h of studying Brazilian Portuguese,

And this is the case in other languages as well:
It’s much easier, for instance, to read Harari’s “Sapiens” on LingQ (with or without simultaneous listening) than to watch “La Reina del Sur” on Netflix or “Aquí No Hay Quien Viva” on YT (Aquí no hay quien viva - T3 Capítulo 1: Érase un caos | Capítulo completo - YouTube) because the dialogues in these series are fast-paced, with sloppy pronunciation, full of slang, with various accents / dialects, etc.

Besides, at the beginner levels A1 and A2, it’s also recommended to listen to a text several times without reading it. Therefore, your listening comprehension shouldn’t lag behind your reading skills…

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“It is a reading activity and increases our ability to read but does not increase our listening ability.”
Interesting thesis: scientific sources for that claim?

Hi, PeterBormann, I’ll quote myself again “I’ve put together an explanation based on what I read that was most definitely backed up by my own personal experiences.” So if you want to know where I read information about reading while listening being a reading activity, I’ll have to say that I came (me, not the information) from Refold and have been studying Spanish using the Refold method for about a year, and I’ve consumed lots of information, not all of it from Refold. Some of the information may come from scientific journals or books, some of the information from online guides, and some from other people, and I don’t exactly where each tidbit of information came from because I don’t keep a giant cache of every single thing I’ve read. However, everything I just wrote came from a collection of what I have read and has been true in my own personal experience.

In contrast, we know from decades of linguistic research on “scripturality vs. orality” that the written and the oral dimensions are interrelated and not completely separate so all four skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) constantly affect each other.

Ok, so your claim that they are interrelated and not completely separate seems reasonable to me. That said, what I’ve always understood is that listening will always lag behind reading. So if you just listen while you read, you are not developing your listening skills to the point that your listening is good enough for having a conversation with a native. Reading while listening is a support for your listening, but at some point it is also a crutch, and it is far better for your listening to make sure to only count listening while not reading as your listening hours.

“Watching YouTube and Netflix is actually easier than reading on LingQ,”
This depends on the language level, the nature of the L2 (esp. the familiarity of the writing system and the distance of the oral and the written dimensions) and what you’re reading (while listening) on LingQ (non-fiction vs fiction, known vs unknown texts, specialized texts vs texts for the general public, etc.).

Then let me clarify my statement. A book for adults and a movie for adults will have a higher vocabulary in the book for adults. Obviously if you are reading a book for children and comparing it to a movie for adults, that would be different. However, when you are watching YouTube or Netflix, the amount of vocabulary is less than in an adult book, because there is no need for descriptions of the characters and scenery, etc. This results in a book for adults always being more difficult in terms of vocabulary than a movie for an adult. This is regardless of the familiarity with the writing system, as even using the same writing system a book would have a higher level of vocabulary just from requiring extra words to make up for the lack of pictures. Finally, your statement about what we are listening to is referring to “domains.” If you are really great in the domain of sports and haven’t read anything in the domain of medicine, then watching anything in the domain of sports on YouTube or Netflix should be easy to you provided that you have been developing your listening skills. If you watch something in the domain of medicine, then that might not be as easy. My statement that watching videos is easier than reading is based on the video and book being in the same domain.

Besides, at the beginner levels A1 and A2, it’s also recommended to listen to a text several times without reading it. Therefore, your listening comprehension shouldn’t lag behind your reading skills…

If your listening comprehension isn’t lagging behind your reading skills, then you should be able to watch a YouTube video or Netflix video in a domain that you have been working on, and it be easier for you than reading due to lower vocabulary in the video content.

@ RockinRoo,
“Listening while reading does not count as listening.”

Listening while reading is effective and efficient for improving listening comprehension to a great extent. Otherwise, you could have suggested something other than reading the captions while watching the video in the following.

“Once you have translated what you need to, re-watch the same video again about 4 times back to back while reading the captions this time.”

I have been focused on the language courses from the Cyber University of Korea, and there are four levels of 20 to 30 lessons. Besides the new vocabulary words and grammar introduced in each lesson, I have been able to follow along with the new lessons by only listening after completing level 1.

Another intriguing thing to find out if the text helps with listening comprehension is to watch a Netflix film being dubbed into Spanish. It improves the response time for my brain to process the information, even if dubbed subtitle mismatches with the audio completely.

“Watching YouTube and Netflix is actually easier than reading on LingQ,”

LingQ is a versatile platform with many tools, and how each person uses it depends on personal preference. Contents from YouTube and Netflix also can be imported into the website. Some materials are more suitable for listening, and others for reading. Identifying our language level and choosing the appropriate and receptive content with the most potential to learn and advance our studies is essential. Netflix films still contain an overwhelming amount of vocabulary words for me, but I have that on my to-do list.

@ PeterBormann,
The language learning framework that you set up is conclusive. However, I do find some problems that I encounter in learning Korean.

The reading-while-listening technique requires our brain to process the information uniformly throughout the lesson. Longer sentences present a greater challenge for me as multiple grammatical structures are clustered into a single sentence.

Another predicament I experience is reading a paper book. My reading speed slows down noticeably, and my reading comprehension suffers even though it offers bilingual text.

For the reading-while-listening technique to be more efficient, some essential language skills have to be developed as basic building blocks for every task we want to accomplish in the language. Currently, I am hitting a wall concerning the momentum I wish to maintain in reading comprehension. Therefore, I concentrate on pronunciation practice, sentence mining to absorb the grammar, and extensive reading while listening to easy materials to become more familiar with the language.

What do we have to do to bridge the gap so we can learn like heritage students or Roman language native speakers learning another Roman language in which they would acquire the language more intuitively?

Hey, Llearner! Thanks for the response/rebuttal. :slight_smile:

I don’t count reading while listening as listening. That doesn’t mean that the activity of reading while listening should never be done. That said, reading while listening helps improve your reading ability and vocabulary way more than listening, so your listening ability will still lag behind. That is why I don’t double count my hours. If you spent 1 hour immersing while reading subs and listening, you can’t count it as 1 hour reading and 1 hour listening = 2 hours. I realize that you are not outright suggesting this, but I also wouldn’t divide the time as 30 minutes reading and 30 minutes listening because reading was improved far more than listening skills, and the ratio wouldn’t be 50/50. I’m not sure what the exact ratio would be, but counting it as 100% reading and not towards listening at all works for me.

I’ll go back to something basic. When you are learning a new language, you should not use your Native Language (NL) on subtitles, but your Target Language (TL). If you use your NL, your brain will ignore the words spoken in your TL and it will slow the learning process down. When you read subtitles in your TL, it also slows down the gains you make in listening comprehension. Instead, what you are strengthening is primarily your reading comprehension.

Reading subtitles is still good to do because we can learn more vocabulary from it than pure listening. The extra comfort with vocabulary words will help with listening comprehension, but your listening comprehension will still lag behind reading.

In your example of your comprehension increasing when you read subtitles, that doesn’t mean your listening improved. It means your comprehension improved. You were using your reading to gain comprehension because your reading level is above your listening level.

I’ll end with something from your post that I can agree with:

“Identifying our language level and choosing the appropriate and receptive content with the most potential to learn and advance our studies is essential.”

Couldn’t agree more. That’s why I am here!

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The one reason I don’t like Refold is they are always telling you to watch YouTube and Netflix. I find both fairly boring. Maybe Gen Z think they are more interesting and shiny than just normal books and podcasts but I find the way content is packaged on those platforms somewhat unbearable (there are exceptions, like PeterBormann posted a show uploaded to YouTube, but to be honest I’m not a huge TV fan in any case). Sometimes there will be a show I like, but I don’t want to watch “You Tube” or "Netflix’ just to watch them.

That’s why I like Lingq, because the platform allows you to choose your own materials. Thankfully in both Spanish and French there are lots of learner podcasts with comprehensible imput.
Jenny 2020 mentions she uses InnerFrench, which is a podcast. I’d imagine that at least some of the time she only listens.

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“Listening while reading does not count as listening.”

The question of whether you want to count reading while listening in your listening statistics is a question of semantics. How do you count your cooking/walking/driving while listening? Is that not listening too? Or do you prefer to record it as cooking/walking/driving hours and not listening hours?

Personally, I’ve never had a qualm with counting 1x read and 1x listened when I read while listening. I do agree that you can lean a bit heavily on your stronger skill, when doing this though, but you are practising both skills. You say we always lean on reading, which is often true, but there’re definitely times, when I lean on my listening. An example is the word for ‘shocked’ in Italian. This word sounds very similar to the English word. Using English phonetics, you might spell it ‘shockata’, but in Italian, it’s spelt ‘scioccata’. If I read this word, I don’t understand it. If I hear this word, I know the meaning. As @PeterBormann said, both the written and oral language are very intricately linked. If you think about the history of human beings, you can understand this idea pretty intuitively. You have to train your brain to see this connection though. I believe one very good way to do this is to read while listening. The obvious example is if you learn a new word by listening and you’re able to spell it. This is easier in phonetic languages, but you get the point. I think we all agree on this, right?

Because of the danger of leaning too heavily on one skill when you’re reading while listening though, you definitely have to practise both skills independently as well. I think we all agree on this too.

How you can count reading while listening is a different story. Really, it’s up to you. In a free world, you may have many different, detailed categories in your statistics - reading, full attention listening, relaxed listening, reading while listening and so on. But LingQ only has reading and listening, so you are limited in how to record it.

Personally, the qualm that I’ve had in the past was if I should record watching TV shows as 1x or 0.5x listening. The reason is I know that there are much less words spoken per hour than listening to an hour-long podcast. Think of any number of animes or action movies, where there are long battle scenes or car chases. You aren’t practising the language then. How do you record it? Does listening hours mean “hours I’ve spent attempting to be with the language” or is it “hours listening at 150 words per minute” or the several other interpretations. By increasing the audio playback speed to 2x, you would increase the second metric, but not the first. Really, LingQ records a mix betwen both of these metrics (you can watch a 30 minute YouTube video of Goku going Super Saiyan with the embedded player at 1.5x in 20 minutes and it will record 30 minutes). The metric used by LingQ doesn’t have an exact qualitative meaning. They would’ve chosen this metric, because it’s easy to implement from a software perspective. So in the end the metric is instead decided by practicality, so it’s all pretty arbitrary.

Personally, I record reading while listening as 1x read and 1x listened. I do this because I believe it does improve my listening comprehension too. There’s no other easy way to record it. In the end, due to the arbitrariness of the metric, your listening hours is more useful in a relative sense than in an absolute sense. In other words, an increase in your listening hours has more meaning than comparing listening hours with others (at least with minor differences). This is because others may record their listening hours differently, as both you and I do, or they could favour different kinds of content, which would have different speaking densities. All in all, probably the default would be the record it how LingQ records it though, and there will be a reasonable consistency across users.

I’d like you to consider a thought experiment: If someone read while listening for 10,000 hours, if you gave them the audio to the Mini Stories, would they be able to understand it?



Unfortunately, I can’t reply to you, so I’m replying to one of my posts. Nfera, I love your response and agree with everything. I’m ready to concede my point on how to count listening. It can be personal to the listeners. That’s fine.

With regards to your thought experiment, after 10,000 hours of listening while reading, being able to understand mini stories is an extremely low bar. At 10,000 hours actually you should be C1 almost C2. At that many hours, you should be able to converse with someone on the street. Even if our C1/C2 reader did not know a few slang words, s/he should be able to parse words and know where one word ends and another begins. Is your reader able to do that?

While I believe the reader would be able to understand mini stories, I’m not sure the reader would be to follow a conversation with someone met on the street. After 10,000 hours of reading (actually after only 6,000 hours), the person ought to have C1 reading. Although, pairing them together, I am not sure our C1 reader would be able to be a C1 speaker because I’m not sure s/he would be a C1 listener.

Nevertheless, I agree that you should be able to count your hours listened as you please.

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It’s fine with me if you don’t like YouTube or Netflix or even Refold. I was replying to Jenny, who said she wasn’t watching Netflix not because she personally doesn’t like it but because she thought she needed to be C1 to watch Netflix. That’s just not true, and not a single person on this forum bothered to tell her that there are tens of thousands of A1/A2 people out there watching Netflix and YouTube and it can be done. If Jenny had stated, like you, that she doesn’t like YouTube and Netflix, I wouldn’t have said a word because I don’t believe in forcing people to immerse in something they hate.

Regarding Refold, I only brought it up as an example of how that is how most of their users begin learning as proof that Netflix is definitely not a medium restricted only to people at the C1 level.

I didn’t quite expect such a discussion about Refold, but since we’re on the subject, I’m going to address a few points. Refold does not always tell people to watch YouTube and Netflix. That is Refold’s preferred method, but they offer alternatives to people that prefer reading. For instance, children’s books, graded readers, and webcomics are all suggested to people who want to start reading but are low level. Other suggestions are using an ereader and using the dictionary therein to make it easier, and even LingQ is recommended, as that is how I found LingQ (through the userbase at Refold). As you can see, Refold also allows people to chose their own materials.

The reason that YouTube and Netflix are suggested is so that you can learn every day speech. Documentaries, audiobooks, and podcasts for beginners are intentionally spoken with clarity to help the listener obtain information. However, many YouTube videos and Netflix series show case accents that are thicker, more difficult to understand. They show us speech as it is most closely used on the streets. For example, in Spanish, my language, there is a lot of slurring words together. I haven’t heard that while listening to audiobooks. Even if sped up, if the slurring isn’t there to begin with, it won’t ever be there. To give you an example of how our language English can even be this way, here’s a video of English words that English speakers can’t understand out of context.

I know you don’t like YouTube, so I understand if you don’t watch it. I am only using it as an example. When we speak in person that is how we sound. That is not how my audiobooks sound. This can result in a language learner being able to sit down and understand a professor in a lecture hall but not being able to talk to someone on the street.

If Jenny is listening to audiobooks, I believe she can understand them. However, she specifically said that she doesn’t understand Netflix. That is what I am trying to address. The first thing that came to my mind was that reading and listening together was hindering her abilities. You’ve brought up another point: besides audiobooks, she’s listening to a beginner podcast. None of that will ever prepare her for Netflix and YouTube. If you want to be able to understand people, sometimes you just have to start listening to them via YouTube and Netflix. Otherwise, you will learn in person when it will be very awkward to have a conversation when you can speak but not hear or understand what the other person is saying.

It takes a total of 300 hours to be able to completely parse just about anything said in Spanish (I’m sure it is similar to French). The 300 hours is based on an experiment that a user did in Refold going from 0 listening hours to 300. That doesn’t mean every word is understood because you may come across a vocabulary word you don’t know, but you should be able to differentiate when one word stops and another begins. It should get easier at 50 hours if immersing in 1 dialect and then an extra 250 to get to near perfect hearing. Again, I’ve done this myself and know 50 hours is what it takes. According to Jenny, she’s had 218 hours. That is well over 50 hours. I do not believe continued listening to learner podcasts and audiobooks is going to help her much more than it already has in order to be able to understand YouTube and Netflix.

I’m not Gen Z, and I don’t watch YouTube and Netflix because I find them shiny. I watch them to improve my listening ability. That’s the reason they are recommended. That does not mean I want to force someone who hates YouTube and Netflix to watch them. If Jenny doesn’t like them, then she shouldn’t watch them. However, if she does like them, then she can start watching them in order to build up her comprehension with them. And as you stated, LingQ gives her the ability to import!