I don’t know many people who are claiming that immersion with incomprehensible material works. I’ve only met one person who took 5 years of French in school and was majoring in Francophone studies who claimed this, and I was like yeah right–you made the plunge into podcasts and audio novels that you couldn’t understand at all. Sure, and this was someone who was a perfectionist. No way the material was incomprehensible. It was more false modesty. If the material didn’t sound as clear as L1 it was immediately deemed incomprehensible and when the whole story was more or less understood it was deemed “less incomprehensible than before” not understandable, which it was. Most people would call her level of understanding as good or great, not incomprehensible.
If anything, I’ve heard claims in the other direction, that 98% comprehension is recommended. This is mostly in a high school setting where you don’t want to scare off students with difficult immersion while at the same time giving them the euphoria of learning and hopefully they go off on their own to continue the trend.
Both of which aren’t effective (98% comprehensible and largely incomprehensible).
In the Refold thread I mentioned my theory of Katamari or Snowballs of knowledge we have for rolling up/ picking up a language.
Immersing in 98% comprehensible material is ineffective because you are only rolling up new little twigs or bits of snowball while the rest of your knowledge snowball is melting away (forgetting). So, you have to put in a lot of time just to stay current and advance even a little using this method.
On the other side, think of the last time you rolled a snowball. What if you tried to roll up a snowball the same size as yours or bigger (50% comprehension or less)–it doesn’t work.
The optimal rollup is about 4:1
You are spending your time rolling up 20% incomprehensible snowballs with your 80% knowledge snowball. You’re picking up lots of stuff that way without straining plus staying way ahead of the rate of forgetfulness. You’re progressing optimally.
Anyway, that’s my two cents.
BTW, I thought the Reddit post was crap.
They talk about not jumping the gun and ignoring foundational material like the Genki volumes. Which is good advice if you like Genki.
But then they say to ignore Du0ling0 because “everyone knows it won’t get you to an advanced level”.
I mean no Sherlock. But I found that comment to be hypocritical. Du0ling0 can also build a foundational knowledge base.
You gotta love the Strawman’s when somebody doesn’t like a methodology. They just point to an assumed extremism (that’s all this guy is using for language learning) and poop on your product or methodology that way.