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HortenseMaldonado's picture

Content of the vacations is filled on top of the items...

Monday, April 22, 2019 - 21:00
Ros Watson's picture

A very well written piece about the recent tragic fire...

Sunday, April 21, 2019 - 16:21
Ros Watson's picture

Really inspirational piece!  I totally agree with what...

Sunday, April 21, 2019 - 16:01
Ros Watson's picture

Hi Iman. This is fun!  Just a few tweaks in an otherwise...

Sunday, April 21, 2019 - 15:32
Ros Watson's picture

Hi again Bananap!  How are you?  and Happy Easter. ...

Sunday, April 21, 2019 - 15:06

Have you ever heard of the shadowing technique?

I am pretty sure most of the users here at Lingora have heard of this technique, so I will save words on explaining it. If you do not know what that is, just google "Shadowing languages" and results would pop up.

I have been trying to think of a way or two to improve my spoken English as I sometimes use wrong words and it disturbs me a lot. For example, today a foreigner from Europe (No idea exactly where he is from, he just said from where he is from, which is Europe, no one wears flipflops in spring) approached me and told me that wearing flipflops in this weather is unheard of in Europe, but I said "I wore it without thinking." Now I think of it, I should have said "I put it on without thinking," probably, as wear describes more of a state as put on describes an action. Naturally, I have turned to searching the web for some valuable pieces of information to solve this kind of problem and stumbled upon this technique. However, I could not find any scientific evidence that backs up this technique. I use an SRS as it is based on solid scientific facts, such as how memory works and testing knowledge instead of re-reading is better to remember and retain memories effectively. I could find some articles but no webpage seemed to be providing how this technique works in improving one's fluency. The webpages seemed to use the approach of "just do it and it will work," which is what I hate from the bottom of my heart the most. I also could find some papers regarding this that used a sceintific method that proves it helping to improve the subjects' test score on listening, but scientific proof on this method improving one's speaking fluency was nowhere to be found. Should I give this method a stab? I am not sure. People seem to give this method a lot of praise and attribute their improvements on this, especially more so on the Korean internet rather than the English one, but I personally think they could have reached the level they are at with other methods such as memorising a bunch of sentences and whatnot. For example, a person tried it for 12 hours a day for 2 months, which makes it 720 hours. (rough estimate) I presume it could have helped her improve listening and accent, but I would not call the exercise time well spent. The person who tried this says in her video that she did it to the point that someone told her something and she responded in English. I have had this experience too, but without the technique and completely surrounding me with English, be it reading or listening. I am sure this exercise alone is not enough to bring people up to basic fluency and should be agumented with other methods. My question is, however, whether this method has scientific validity to it. Anecdotal stories are not enough. Should I spend more time on outputting by writing and speaking with native (sometimes non-native) speakers, and combine them with memorising words and phrases, sometimes sentences? Or is this method actually good? Should I give it a go for the sake of accent-improving purposes, at least?

 

Sorry for rambling off the top of my head. However, I would really like to know your opinions on this method as I am indecisive as a mother....loving son.

Please fix any mistakes, slip-of-the-pens and awkward phrasing and also leave your thoughts below.

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Grammatical Accuracy

The learners ability to use nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc. correctly in sentences, using verb tenses accurately, and having the correct agreement between subjects and predicates. For instance, one would say "they were" instead of "they was."

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Aliakbar Majidi's picture
I learn : French (Beginner) Persian (Expert)
2153

Hi Bananap. Wow! That is a pretty lengthy text, I am impressed! It is a good thing that you ponder on learning methods. This means you are responsible for your own learning which is great! Regarding your text, I have made some corrections, please take a look.

 

I am pretty sure most of the users here at Lingora have heard of this technique, so I will save words on explaining it. If you do not know what that is, just google "Shadowing languages" “Language shadowing” and results would will pop up.

I have been trying to think of a way or two some ways (This sounds more natural.) to improve my spoken English as I sometimes use the wrong words and it disturbs me a lot. For example, today, a foreigner from Europe (No idea where exactly he is was from, he just said from where he is where he was from, which is was Europe, no one wears flipflops in spring.) approached me and told me that wearing flipflops in this weather is unheard of not common in Europe, but I said "I wore it them without thinking." Now that I think of it, I should have said "I put it on without thinking," probably, as wear describes more of a state as and put on describes an action. Naturally, I have turned to searching started searching the web for some valuable pieces of information to solve this kind of the problem and stumbled upon this technique. However, I could not find any scientific evidence that backs up this technique. I use a SRS as it is based on solid scientific facts, such as how memory works and that testing knowledge is better than re-reading for remembering and retaining memories effectively. I could find some articles but no webpage seemed to be providing information on how this technique works in improving to improve one's fluency. The webpages seemed to use the approach of "just do it and it will work," which is what I hate from the bottom of my heart the most (It is redundant.). I also could find some papers regarding this that used a scientific method that proved it helped to improve the subjects' test score on listening, but scientific proof on this method improving one's speaking fluency was nowhere to be found nowhere. Should I give this method a stab? I am not sure. People seem to be giving this method a lot of praise and attribute their improvements on this to it, especially it is more so on the Korean internet sites rather than the English ones, but I personally think they could have reached the level they are at with through other methods such as memorising a bunch of sentences and whatnot, etc. For example, a person tried it for 12 hours a day for 2 months, which makes it sums up to 720 hours. (rough estimate) I presume it could have helped her improve her listening and accent, but I would not call the exercise time well spent. The person who tried this says in her video that she did it to the point that someone told her something and she responded in English. I have had this experience, too, but without the technique and completely surrounding me myself with English, be it reading or listening. I am sure this exercise alone is not enough to bring level people up to basic fluency and should be augmented with other methods. My question is, however, whether this method has scientific validity to it. Anecdotal stories are not enough. Should I spend more time on outputting by communicating through writing and speaking with native (sometimes non-native) speakers, and combining them it with memorising words and phrases, sometimes sentences? Or is this method actually good? Should I give it a go for the sake of accent-improving purposes, at least?

 

Sorry for rambling off the top of my head. However, I would really like to know your opinions on this method as I am indecisive as a mother.... loving son.

Please fix any mistakes, slip-of-the-pens, and awkward phrasing and also leave your thoughts below.

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Aliakbar Majidi's picture
I learn : French (Beginner) Persian (Expert)
2153

Regarding language shadowing technique, I have tried it with some students, however, as you mentioned, I believe it will not work alone. You have to have the competency and know the language you are going to practice. I use it mostly for pronunciation exercises so that students will gradually be more confident in speaking as fast as a native speaker. Have you tried the technique yourself? If so, what results have you achieved?

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bananap1's picture
I learn : English (Advanced) Japanese (Beginner)
1048

Yes, I have tried it myself but I fear I might have not tried it enough, especially due to people emphasising that to see the effect of this method, one should invest hundreds of hours. However, I know logically that if it were to truly be an effectice method, one should be able to see the result much sooner. Or am I thinking this the wrong way? When I tried SRS I could see the benefits pretty soon, after only investing a few hours in the method as I could remember words and phrases much better than before. I don't know. Maybe it is not carved out for everyone and I should not use it if I do not like to, and come back to use it whenever I like... Another theory is that I may have set my goal too high, but this is a story for another time... maybe for tomorrow or today.

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kjcoffin's picture
I learn : Spanish (Intermediate)
845

I am pretty sure most of the users here at Lingora have heard of this technique, so I will save words on explaining it. If you do not know what that is, just google "Shadowing languages" and results would will pop up.

I have been trying to think of a way or two to improve my spoken English as I sometimes use wrong words and it disturbs me a lot. For example, today a foreigner from Europe (No idea exactly where he is from, he just said from where he is from, which is Europe, no one wears flipflops in spring) approached me and told me that wearing flipflops in this weather is unheard of in Europe, but I said "I wore it without thinking." Now I think of it, I should have said "I put it on without thinking," probably, as wear describes more of a state as put on describes an action. Naturally, I have turned to searching the web for some valuable pieces of information to solve this kind of problem and stumbled upon this technique. However, I could not find any scientific evidence that backs up this technique. I use a SRS as it is based on solid scientific facts, such as how memory works and testing knowledge instead of re-reading is better to remember and retain memories effectively. I could find some articles but no webpage seemed to be providing provide how this technique works in improving one's fluency. The webpages seemed to use the approach of "just do it and it will work," which is what I hate from the bottom of my heart the most. I also could find some papers regarding this that used a sceintific method that proves it helping to improve the subjects' test score on listening, but scientific proof on this method improving one's speaking fluency was nowhere to be found. Should I give this method a stab? I am not sure. People seem to give this method a lot of praise and attribute their improvements on this, especially more so on the Korean internet rather than the English one, but I personally think they could have reached the level they are at with other methods such as memorising a bunch of sentences and whatnot. For example, a person tried it for 12 hours a day for 2 months, which makes it 720 hours. (rough estimate) I presume it could have helped her improve listening and accent, but I would not call the exercise time well spent. The person who tried this says in her video that she did it to the point that someone told her something and she responded in English. I have had this experience too, but without the technique and completely surrounding me with English, be it reading or listening. I am sure this exercise alone is not enough to bring people up to basic fluency and should be agumented with other methods. My question is, however, whether this method has scientific validity to it. Anecdotal stories are not enough. Should I spend more time on outputting by writing and speaking with native (sometimes non-native) speakers, and combine them with memorising words and phrases, sometimes sentences? Or is this method actually good? Should I give it a go for the sake of accent-improving purposes, at least?

 

Sorry for rambling off the top of my head. However, I would really like to know your opinions on this method as I am indecisive as a mother....loving son.

Please fix any mistakes, slip-of-the-pens and awkward phrasing and also leave your thoughts below.

 

1. In regards to your "wore it" or "put it on" comment at the beginning, you honestly can use both forms. Either way is correct, particularly during informal conversation. It doesn't matter. Any native English speaker would have understood you no matter what you said.

 

2. I've heard of shawdowing before. I personally don't use it, but that definitely doesn't mean it's not a good technique. I don't know whether shawdowing has scientific research behind it or not. What you probably already know is that there are tons of different language learning techniques, so what works for one person may not work for the other. But that doesn't mean that one technique is "better" than the other. You also have to keep in mind that you probably will have to try different learning techniques to see what works for you and what does not work, and that's ok because it's a process! It's going to take time to figure these things out. Don't rush the process of learning. I would not be so hard on yourself when you make mistakes speaking English. You obviously are smart enough to speak and write Enlish now! For me personally, I started out using Rosetta Stone when learning Spanish, then I just started listening to podcast in Spanish with the text of the audio. I listen to the audio repeatedly and I look up words that I don't know and add them to my Anki app which is an SRS flashcard system. With that being said, I know people who do different things and they are doing fine with their language learning. I could go on and on because I like talking about the process of learning languages, but I'll end here by saying that in my opinion, the most important thing when learning a language is that you find material in your target language that you find enjoyable. That way it doesn't even feel like you studying.

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bananap1's picture
I learn : English (Advanced) Japanese (Beginner)
1048

Thank you for your kind words!

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BeckyGreenBeans's picture
I learn : Spanish (Beginner)
3209

Hi! Thanks for this. I didn't spot many spelling errors throughout your extract :)

I've rewritten the extract as per below:

- I have been trying to think of different ways to improve my English speaking skills as I sometimes make mistakes by using the wrong words and it really bothers me. -(you could expand on what you say by saying that you sometimes make mistakes)

- For example, today, a European person approached me and told me that wearing flipflops in this weather is unheard of in Europe. -(for concise sentences, you can use adjectives like 'European' to describe your nouns)

- I said, "I wore them without thinking." -(since you're referring to a pair of flipflops, you need to say 'them' instead of it

- Come to think of it, I probably should have said, "I put them on without thinking." (I think you're fine to say 'wore' or 'put them on')

- Naturally, I turned to search the web for some valuable pieces of information to solve this problem, and I stumbled upon this technique. -(If you're talking in past tense, make sure you use the past participle 'search')

- However, I could not find any scientific evidence that backs up this technique. I used an SRS, as it is based on solid scientific facts, such as how memory works; testing knowledge instead of re-reading is better for remembering and retaining memories effectively. -(When you want to expand your point, but need a break between two main clauses, you can use a semi-colon)

- I found some useful articles, but no website seemed to be providing detailed information on how this technique works in improving one's fluency. The webpages seemed to be saying "just do it and it will work," and I hate that type of approach as it is not helpful. -(Flip the structure of your sentence here)

- I also found some papers about the shadowing technique, which described the application of a scientific method to improve the subjects' test score on listening. However, I could not find any solid evidence to say that this method definitely works. -(This got a little confusing, so just make sure you explain your points in full)

- Should I give this method a stab? I am not sure. People seem to praise this method and talk about their improvements due to following it, especially more so on the Korean internet rather than the English one. - (What do you mean here?)

- Personally, I think they could have reached the level they are at through using other methods, such as memorising groups of sentences and words and phrases and more. For example, one person practised the shadowing technique for 12 hours a day over 2 months - that's about 720 hours in total. 

- The exercise may have improved her listening skills and accent, but I'm not convinced that the exercise would have been worthwhile. -(We often say 'I'm not convinced' in times of doubt. Also, since you opened the previous sentence with 'personally', the reader already knows you're expressing your thoughts on the matter, so you don't need to open with 'I presume').

- The person who tried this said in her video that she repeated the exercise until someone responded in English. -(This wording was confusing - did she do the exercise until someone responded?)

- I have experienced this too, but just by completely surrounding myself with English, be it reading or listening, without the technique. I am sure this exercise alone is not enough to bring people up to a basic level fluency and it should be implemented with other methods. -(I've just changed the structure of your sentence - is this what you were trying to say?)

- Furthermore, my question is, will this method ever be proven scientifically? -(Since you're expanding on your above point, a connective such as 'Furthermore' or 'Moreover' would be better. Usually, 'However' and 'On the other hand' are used when making an opposing point to your previous one

- Anecdotes are not enough. -(Ancedotes are stories in themselves, so you don't need to say 'ancedotal stories').

- Should I spend more time writing and speaking with native and non-native speakers? Could I memorise words, phrases and sentences from conversations that I have with other people? Or is the shadowing technique actually going to be beneficial for me? Should I give it a go in the hope that it at least improves my accent? -(Good use of the idiom 'give it a go'. Just don't be afraid to split up your sentences if it helps with the flow of an extract)

Thanks,

Becky :)

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Ros Watson's picture
I learn : Italian (Beginner) French (Beginner)
3474

Hi again Bananap!  How are you?  and Happy Easter.  Sorry for my late response.  I've been so busy.  Ok.  First let me reassure you about the following words or phrases which were changed:  "unheard of" is fine.  "I have turned to" is fine.  "this kind of" is fine.  "nowhere to be found" is fine.  "internet" is fine.  "and whatnot" is fine.  "bring people up to" is fine.  I think the reason they were changed is that this is idomatic speech so perhaps the editor hadn't come across these phrases.

Here are my corrections:  flip flops are plural - you can use "wore" but it's "them" not "it" - so "I wore tham without thinking". You would say "use the wrong words".  "I also found" rather than "I found also".  "I was able to find" is better than "I could find".  "that proves it helps to improve"  "Should I have a stab at this method".  It's idiomatic so needs to be in this order.  You could say "Should I give this method a try?".  "Sorry for rambling off the top of my head" is a bit of a mixed metaphor!  "Sorry for rambling" is enough.  "off the top of my head" means that you think of something spontaneously - as in.  "I came up with this idea off the top of my head".  

As regards this technique, I hadn't heard of it but it looks like a really good idea.  Any repetitive practice helps us retain things in our brain and speaking is all about practice.  However, it's just one method and, judging by your level of written English, I'm sure you'll find the best way to practise speaking :)

 

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