Effortless English Archives

Automatic English For The People

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Repeated Listening Power!

by AJ

The final piece of the puzzle. The Linguist has shown me what was missing at AUA's "Listen First" (ALG) Thai program. They were close. Very very close.

But what they missed was the power of REPEATED listening. At AUA we listened for hours everyday. The content was fun and interesting. But the problem was there wasnt enough repetition. Every hour, a new set of teachers came in with a completely different topic. I enjoyed the classes, but progress was painfully slow. So slow that I eventually gave up (after 600 hours of class time).

With my current Spanish study, and with The Linguist, you not only listen a lot.. you listen to the (exact) same content over and over and over again. Ive listened to some chapters of "Las Puertas Retorcidas" at least 35 times... maybe more.

At first I thought this would be boring. But its not. Why not? First, the content is interesting to me. Its a ghost story that I find enjoyable. Second, I love the repetition because each time I understand a little more. Therefore Im eager to listen again and keep improving. Its very exciting to listen for the 30th time and understand almost everything... then remember how I could barely understand anything the first few times. Of course, eventually I will move on to something else. Ive only got a few more chapters left in the book.

Then Ill find something else and read it a few times, then listen and read at the same time, then listen, listen, listen, listen, listen repeatedly... 35 times, 50 times, however much it takes to understand (without total boredom :)

So my advice to language learners is this: Focus on listening,... and LISTEN TO THE SAME CONTENT MANY MANY TIMES (30-50 or more). That repetition is very powerful. It will improve your comprehension. It will improve your speaking. It will improve your grammar. It will improve your vocabulary.

If only Id known this when I was in Thailand. I would have taped an hour or two of class... then listened to that recording repeatedly. This approach would have dramatically increased the power and efficiency of AUA's method.

Oh well. At least its working now, with Spanish.

And damn, it feels good!

San Francisco, CA