What makes input to intake?

This is a question I have asked myself several times during my English learning process. It is nice to have a lot of input but the true is (at least for me) that a very little of it sink in. I really believe that it is very important that you as a language learner find a way to get input to become intake. You have not only to listen a lot but also to recognize what you are listening to and see if it can soak in.

Yesterday, I had a very nice conversation with a Canadian friend who believed that the most important thing in the language acquisition process is to be exposed to the language you are learning. We both had a little bit of an argument as I really think that being exposed to the language is not just enough to be successful.

So, what makes input to intake?


Monter Mechnikov from “The Twelve Chairs”, the extremely popular Russian humoristic novel, would say that input to intake makes vodka.

But of course, Humberto, I appreciate the seriousness of your question, and also asked myself something like it.

I think there are several issues here. There is no doubt that lots of input is helpful. However, I refer back to my three keys of language learning, namely Attitude, Time, and Attentiveness.

You have to want to learn, you have to be interested in what you are listening to, you have to like what you are listening to, and you have be want to be a part of the culture (or at least a part of it).

You need to listen a lot

I find it is best to also read what you have listened to. You should notice the words and expressions that are being use. ( by LingQing for example). And then you should use what you have acquired. There is no doubt in my mind that a lot of speaking and writing makes you more aware of, and attentive to the language. You then get more out of your listening. It is kind a virtuous circle. Listen, read, notice(LingQ), use the language and notice more, and then go back to listening and reading.