In the past few months Steve Kaufmann and AJ Hoge taught me the importance of listening in language learning and to tell you the truth, I really enjoy it. Since January I have listened LingQ podcasts more than 65 hours. I know it could have been more, but believe me, with family around it was not easy.
Since I am living and working in the same small town, I do not travel to work more than 10 minutes. No chance for listening. But at home, whenever there was a house work around, I just volunteered to have the opportunity to be alone with my MP3 player and to do something useful at the same time.
You all know, sometimes it is not easy to start. On the other hand, based on my mood and motivation I can always find something to listen to. Sometimes I like listening Steve’s and Jill’s discussion about LingQ, sometimes I need motivation from A.J., sometimes I need to hear more about language learning techniques from Steve and the best for me is to learn about the culture and life in different countries from LingQ team.
Thank for Google, I can check all the places, restaurants, parks, hill tops and mountains, historical places in Vancouver, and small towns in Canada that you mention in the podcast, which provides me more power and motivation to continue.
I assume all of you have the same feeling with LingQ podcasts, but still, I am curious about your struggles and opinion in this matter.
I’d like to say: Listening +Reading.
Listening alone gives not much for people who start the language from the very beginning if they don’t live in the country of the target language and don’t listen to this language all day.
But listening+ reading is powerful for all levels.
And after a while you can add speaking and writing.
And more time walking, which is healthy. I got an apartment near where I work about 1.5 years ago so that I could walk to work each day. It is about 25 minutes, which means I get 50 minutes of walking and listening free each day. Then when I get home of course I get also a lot of German listening done since I usually then watch several episodes of Kommissar Rex!
I listen while I walk and while I cook. But after many years I’ve come to realize that this type of multi-task listening isn’t nearly as useful as I originally hoped, or was led to believe. I would say somewhere between 10 and 25 percent as effective as dedicated listening. I still do it, but the difference is now that I have much lower expectations of what I get out of it, and I also don’t feel bad if I forget my mp3 player and have to do without.
Anyway it’s better than nothing. It’s hard for me to be focused while listening at a computer.
Repetitive listening of the same recordings may allow massive exposure at a subconscious level. But sometimes it trains you to be not very focused becuase of knowing you can listen the same phrases again, again and again.
“Digital Devices Deprive Brain of Needed Downtime”
“Digital Devices Deprive Brain of Needed Downtime”
“The technology makes the tiniest windows of time entertaining, and potentially productive. But scientists point to an unanticipated side effect: when people keep their brains busy with digital input, they are forfeiting downtime that could allow them to better learn and remember information, or come up with new ideas.”–THE NEW YORK TIMES
I agree with this, but want to point out that for some people, these tiny windows are the only times they are willing to devote to language learning. Ultimately this type of learner fails, so I suppose my comment here doesn’t matter.
I am glad you enjoy our discussions. We should do more of them. In fact if people simply talk about their lives, and then have these discussions transcribed, these are great for learning. We should all do more of them.
I read when I have dedicated time, as I think reading is powerful for vocabulary acquisition. However, just plain listening is great, and easy to do. I need to find subjects of interest however, or I just tune out.
But you need to mix in a lot of reading, just to keep the listening effective, in my experience.
The key to motivation in listening is to find subjects of interest.
I see you are from Hungary. If I started Hungarian I would want to move to history, or novels, as soon as possible. When studying the language of your Czech and Romanian neighbours I was able to find lots of great audio content, much of which had transcripts, and in some cases I had to pay someone on ODesk to transcribe the material. But interest is key. Good luck.
Sorry for late reply Steve, but I was very busy last week with personal and work related matters. You all know how it is. I will make sure in the future, I read more when I have dedicated time for language learning and I will also try to improve in listening. I will try to dedicate time for them and see what happens.
Recently, I just started to read a book from 70s written by Peter Jenkins. The title of the book is “A walk across America”. I really like that book. It is not difficult to read and both the story and those years are so interesting to me. I will check if there is an audio version available and will try to combine reading and listening.