Apart from LingQ, what can one do in the target language to yield good results? People say that they learned ‘X’ language via watching lots of films etc or they listened constantly to the radio, however for these activities to be of any good use, you already need to have a large understanding of vocabulary? So the real question is, how were they able to get to that stage of being able to understand movies/TV in that target language? Is it just a case of building enough words and listening skills (understanding) via LingQ for example and then once you reach a few thousand known words etc then you can incorporate variety into your learning, such as the addition of TV, films etc?
These are my favorites: listening to lots of podcasts, listening to audio books and watching You Tube (people talking about English).
I use podcasts,and assimil, I don’t watch al lot of tv maybe some very short simple stuff like news with transcripts from rfi in French but I stay away from movies because i’m not at the level to understand complicated stuff with out a written transcript and it gets me frustrated and un motivated lol
I remember using BBC Learning English. Good stuff (what Dr Stephen Krashen calls comprensible input) and excellent teachers! You’re doing well by using RFI.
Movies can be tough. Even if you have a good deal of competence in a language, it can be really difficult to understand a film–there’s too much colloquialism and sort of muttered dialog.
My favorite thing to do with foreign movies is to watch it with subtitles in the original language. That way I can pick up things that are hard to hear, or pause the thing to go look up unfamiliar words. For instance when I was studying German I watched “Das Boot” on my laptop with German subtitles, pausing frequently to look stuff up. Pretty fun stuff!
So yeah, as to your question, what I do is I build up enough vocabulary on LingQ, starting with Steve’s Book or some relatively simple but not “See Spot Run” level text, then I look for things to make learning more fun, like movies, podcasts, articles on foreign websites–and hopefully make some friends who speak the language, too.
You really do not need to have that huge amount of vocabulary to start watching TV. If you are intermediary you can perhaps start watching short news or something else.
I used to watch TV series like big bag theory (with subtitles) that are short but I would always use a notepad to write down words that I did not know and I would re-listen to every point that I did not understand a word or sentence.Prior to this point I studied at school by the way.
Soon you’ll get to this point!
I would say Big Bang Theory both uses mostly common words like you say, but uses a lot of advanced vocabulary that we use in science (I’m studying chemistry). However, for the most part, the humor is based off of colloquialism and constant reference towards other forms of popular culture (mainly Star Trek, Marvel comic books, and Steven Hawking quotes).
Thank you very much indeed! Much appreciated
Yes I will bear that in mind I think I’ll hold off until I get to around 1,000 known words? I feel that’s really a good base to start increasing media consumption at least.
I do think I’ll follow that sort of plan too. I don’t think one can by-pass the opening stage of building a foundation of words from which you can then expand on from watching films and the news. I like that movie-method too; can’t wait to try haha!
They sound like three potent ways to improve your ability for sure! Do you use a transcript when you listen to those podcasts? Youtube also seems useful since you can also pick up things like body language and facial expressions. Cheers
"So the real question is, how were they able to get to that stage of being able to understand movies/TV in that target language? "
The only true way to be good at something is actually doing it.
You should incorporate bits of “real” stuff into your language-learning (aka LingQ-workouts) - a.s.a.p. (In my opinion).
Start small (a podcast here and there, trow an eye on some tv-show etc.), don’t overdo it and you’ll get there.
Word to your mother.
When I was studying English I did not know how many words I knew and I did not find yet a good tv show in Swedish to watch so I cant really say a number to you.
You can try by 1000 words, the worse scenario is that you are going to get exhausted by the end of the show then you will know that you need to wait a little more to be able to do this regularly.
I look for vocabulary words on Pinterest. I suppose I use Pinterest the way some people use digital flashcards. But, to me, Pinterest is a faster way of seeing more words with images. Pinterest recognizes what we are pinning and recommends other pins, so we can see old words again, or perhaps new words.
Podcasts for learners of English have transcripts (those I used to study with), whereas podcasts for non-native speakers don’t have. Today, I listen more to those podcasts for non-native speakers. You know, when you like the language, you can some times do stupid things. By the way, there is an expression in French “L’amour est aveugle” , in English that could sound like “Love is blind”. One could say that this expression isn’t suitable in this issue, but why not?This is why I listen to those podcasts, I don’t mind if I understand everything or not. I do the same with audio books. I like to think that if my eyes follow the text while my ears listen to the reader, some thing will stick.
I’ve been using audio books by Charles Dicken for a while. I was able to do this because of LOVE OF ENGLISH. Of course there’are other reasons such as access to these audio books. INTERNET, (you can download them free of charge), technology (Ipad,… for the text and MP3 player,… for the voice), the reader (when you can’t understand what’s said, then you have to like the voice).
Is it easier to learn English than French in the way I do, today? I don’t realy know, but I’m sure that there’are very good stuff out there for learners of French, LEARNERS WHO LOVE FRENCH.
Outside of LingQ, I watch YouTube videos of interest to me in Japanese. I’ve began to follow some bloggers, which is good.
It doesn’t take that long to get to that stage either.
My advice would be to use LingQ/transcripts as your true study time, I.e. You’re looking up every blue/yellow word, and casually enjoying the content at the same time. This is because I want to continuously acquire new vocabulary when I’m on LingQ.
When I’m just chilling out and watching YouTube, I don’t care so much. I understand enough to enjoy it. If I come across a bit that requires me to google 10 new words, I don’t bother, haha. That’s what LingQ is for.
Not only that, but simply exposing yourself to more of the language strengthens the words you already know. It’s all good!
I’m learning spanish in school at the moment as a third language, but I’m also trying to watch some videos and listen to some songs when I’m not doing anything productive anyways. I really feel like you don’t have to understand everything they are saying to get something out of it.
Your advice will be followed indeed! LingQ is just superb for acquiring new words as you can save their meaning and see them in context. No better way really. I’ll definitely make more use of youtube as that’s a perfect way to hear and see native speakers in a relaxed setting.