How to Learn a Language

level
9
Posts385Likes192Joined11/7/2018LocationManila / PH
Native
Tagalog
Learning English, Korean


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ikay

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#1
level
8
Posts298Likes159Joined6/10/2018LocationLagos / NG
Native
English
Other French

"I learned English through magic like every other baby"

That line got me :grin:

Great video! Thanks for sharing Ikay.

Kevwe A.

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#2
level
6
Posts145Likes61Joined8/10/2018LocationCebu / PH
Native
Cebuano, English, Tagalog
Learning French, Japanese, Spanish

I like the creativity of this video, really entertaining to watch.

Everyday is a learning journey. Keep going!


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#3
level
9
Posts363Likes174Joined10/7/2018LocationBinan City / PH
Native
Tagalog
Other English

Huhu...I can't open the video because I have low net connection now. Seems interesting though. Will get back here later.

Edzky-18

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#4
level
9
Posts385Likes192Joined11/7/2018LocationManila / PH
Native
Tagalog
Learning English, Korean

Oghenekevwe wrote:
"I learned English through magic like every other baby"
That line got me :grin:
Great video! Thanks for sharing Ikay.


That line made me smile too. :D

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ikay

Posted 
1
#5
level
9
Posts409Likes154Joined10/7/2018LocationTrece Martires City / PH
Native
Tagalog
Other English

We all acquire language the same way. Very informative. Thanks for sharing :blush:

do the right thing even when nobody is watching

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#6
level
30
Posts870Likes527Joined18/3/2018LocationBellingham / US
Native
English
Learning French, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Tagalog, Thai
Other Chinese - Mandarin

I’ve seen this video before, and I like it because he discusses in a very clear, fun way some of the most important principals of language learning. The video is well made and has pleasant graphics. It’s a good video for a beginner to watch, but let’s dig a little deeper into the actual content.


In the first few seconds he jokes around about learning English as a baby, then claims that he passed the highest level of the JLPT with only 2 years of study. Even with 2 years of immersion in Japan, this is a very impressive feat and even the most skilled language learners should take note, so it’s hard to tell if he’s still joking around. 

He gives props to spaced repetition and Anki, but then casts doubt on it being the best way to learn a language. I agree in principle, but I think most people use it as a supplement, so no worries. Then he says he’s going to discuss 4 language learning points:


1) Acquiring language efficiently through context.

He talks about comprehensible input, and introduces Krashen. Now Krashen stated in a very clear way that tons of comprehensible input are required to reach a decent level in a language. Everybody agrees with that. But he also stated that nothing else, including things like studying grammar and practicing conversing, helps. The video casts a tiny bit of doubt on that later on, but it doesn’t state the important fact that almost nobody agrees with that. I fear that people will watch the video and think that all they need to do to get good at a language is read and listen. If that’s all you do, it’s a very slow and inefficient path to your goal, and in fact you probably never will become very articulate at the language.

Imo the joke analogy wasn’t even close in explaining the difference between learning and acquiring. The jokes were funny, but it was a very poor analogy. Putting down phrase books and dictionaries was also a bit strange – there is a time and place for those things, and I worry watchers of the video will think they are worthless.


2) Maximizing input

He’s right that if you look up every word, it will greatly reduce your input because you’ll be wasting your time looking things up. That’s why people use reading tools like the one we have here, but he fails to mention that. The brain’s focus mode vs diffuse mode were new to me, but it makes sense – your brain needs time to straighten tings out, and now there is actually a label, diffuse mode, for the state your brain needs to be in.


3) Listening & pronunciation

He talks about the importance of pronunciation, and then mentions shadowing, but doesn’t describe exactly how to do it. Most people use the Arguelles technique, which is talking at the exact same time as the recording, and has its uses but isn’t very exact. I’ve found that repeating sentences after the recording is much more helpful.


4) Making sure experience of learning is positive

He said he was going to talk about this, but he didn’t. Of course we learn better when we are enjoying ourselves. But I don’t want beginners to think they should skip all challenging topics or days. Of course if you’re sick or something it’s better to take a rest, but don’t take a rest just because you aren’t bursting at the seams with joy.   


I'm reading the Malazan Book of the Fallen.

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#7
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