This video is both motivating and useful, but there are some things I disagree with. I will discuss them shortly, but I want to give you guys a chance to have your say without being influenced by me. What do you think of it? Is there anything you disagree with?
Do you agree with everything in the video?
Do you agree with everything in the video?
This poll will run forever.
This is a really interesting video. Here's what I think;
Learning a language becomes easier when you're around natives who speak the language because consciously or subconsciously,you're picking up a word or two. But again it all boils down to your level of interest in the language.
I agree with what they said about the levels of learning, once you get past the initial difficulties, it becomes easier for you to proceed.
The part I found the most interesting is the 'no english' method. In my opinion,that would only work when you're in the country of the language you're learning. Take for example, I'm in Nigeria,how am I supposed to speak just French? Who would I be speaking it to? So I think that method of learning is limited to those who are around native speakers of the language they're learning.
Yes, it's both motivating and useful. But for me, if the learner is very interested in learning the language, he/she naturally can create steps of his/her own to effectively learn the said language even without following the same steps/methods that are being discussed in the video.
Ok, here’s my opinion.
1) The big secret revealed in this video is “Don’t speak English”. It’s good advice depending on the context, but they call it a method, which is silly. A language learning method is simply the way that one learns a language. If you tell me your method, I know how you learn languages. After I watched their video, other than conversing a lot, hanging out with Benny Lewis and avoiding speaking English, I have no idea what they did to learn those 4 languages in one year. “Don’t speak English” isn’t a method; it’s a principle that they use in their method, or a rule they don’t break while learning languages.
2) Is it possible to become fluent in 4 languages in one year? Since there is no official definition of “fluent”, you can set the bar as low as you want. You can also just demonstrate a few sentences in the given language to be judged from. But reaching B2 (which many call fluency) in conversation in 3 months, would require about 5,000 active/10,000 passive unique vocabulary items, very good listening, grammar, pronunciation, etc. I would say in an extreme full- immersion situation it would be possible to reach a strong B1 in Spanish and Portuguese. The other 2 languages, Korean and Mandarin, I think reaching A2 in that time would represent an excellent effort, and a very weak B1 in a fringe case. I speak 3 of the 4 languages they demonstrated. Their sentences were B1/B2 ish. I dug a bit deeper and checked out their blog on the whole project, which included a lot more video, and I’d grade them B1 in the 2 European languages, and A2 in the Asian languages. So yes, they can speak the languages, but their results are by no means Earth-shattering. (edit - I also found out that they prepared for 7 months before leaving on their trip, which makes the results a bit less attractive. They used Pimsleur, anki and tutors… hey, that sounds familiar! Sounds a bit like a method.)
I liked their swimming metaphor. I think adults are only better if they have kept their brains in the habit of learning things. I think the don't speak English is too oversimplified. I think moderately used it is integral for example implement french Fridays and only speak in the language you are learning .
Hmm... Well, the video is interesting, though their findings are a bit useless. Don't we all wish we could go live somewhere else in the world for immersion, and learn that way? However, evidently, that's not possible for most people, for reasons of resources.
I am also a little bit divided. I guess unless you pay a lot of different people to engage you in a variety of topics, you will end up with this over-confidence in your language skills, when the reality of your grasp of the language is quite far from your self-assessment. I do agree that we tend to learn what we use the most on a daily basis, but on the other hand, language lessons are there to make you learn things that you will need to broaden the conversation. So, then, you end up with a different problem. You're continually stuck in this stage of kinda/sorta functional fluency, but you never really advance to idiomatically understanding a language, or assessing the culture behind it.
Having watched the video, I'm not entirely sure how fluent they really are. Of the four languages, I only understand Mandarin. I'd say that while their pronunciation is good, it is fairly evidently that they basically just translated word-for-word, and while what they are trying to say might be understood by a Mandarin-speaker, it doesn't make it accurate. Nobody I know would say, 想法不标准
meifeng wrote:Nobody I know would say, 想法不标准
C'mon Mei, there are 3 google hits for that.
It is very contradictory on the one hand it says the biggest obstacle in learning a language is the fear of getting it wrong and having a go. Which I completely agree with but by jumping in and learning a language just by immersing yourself and learning language of necessity you will inevitably become stuck in a comfort zone of specific topics you can speak about with relative fluency. I think one of the most important things about learning a language is learning how you as an individual learn a language best. Once you have a method that works you can learn much more than the books can teach . I am a real advocate for immersion having been a top-level student in Spanish and then moving to Spain to find I cannot be understood but I think their ideas are flawed.