Reasons and tasks for listening
zbrntt 5712
I'm at a stage in learning Turkish where I really want to improve my listening skills. I've decided to use some short educational videos I've found on topics I'm interested in. Unfortunately they don't have captions, so I'll be using them outside LingQ.

Does anyone have any tips on how to use unscripted audio or video in the best way? What kind of tasks could I set myself?

I believe we only really listen and pay attention when there is an aim or clear motivation to do so. The motivation to listen in LingQ is to learn new vocabulary, and hear the sounds of the language. Listening in textbooks generally involves identifying specific information in a passage. But neither of these mirror the kind of listening I do in the real world, when my motivation is to follow a conversation, or understand an answer, or just follow an enjoyable narrative (TV show, film) or discourse on something I find interesting.

Yesterday I was listening to some audio passages without captions. I guess I understood about 20 or 30% of what was being said. My concentration also drifted in some parts. Is listening like this really going to improve my skills over time? It doesn't seem like it, but I don't know what else will.
July 2014
  • iaing 27678
    I study online university courses in my target language.

    Some things I do :

    -use elance to transcript difficult content for around $0.50 a minute
    -work a lot on my focus, attention, and concentration
    -use audacity to play back difficult content at around 80-90% speed
    -find related text that contains similar vocabulary, such as wikipedia content, in my target language
    -scour for as much transcripted audio content as I can find
    July 2014
  • Administrator
    steve 5796 169 55541
    zbrntt

    I tend to stay with content that has transcripts until I can understand 50% of what I listen to. If there is very interesting content with no transcripts, I will still listen to it, even if my comprehension is low. My desire to understand what is said is motivating and keeps me alert.

    I have also gone to ODesk to have content transcribed but the cost adds up pretty quickly. I have usually paid $10-15 per 30 minute audio. If you find interesting material for Turkish which we can use at LingQ I could perhaps help out with the cost but you would have to get permission, and arrange for a transcriber.
    July 2014
  • Administrator
    steve 5796 169 55541
    camila,go to the Task button and from the drop down list select Import Lesson. Then check out the Help (extreme top right hand corner)

    You might find the following video of me importing content useful.

    "How I study Ukrainian using internet resources and LingQ."

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_glZPV5S90
    July 2014
  • zbrntt 5712
    @iaing:
    "-work a lot on my focus, attention, and concentration "

    Do you have any strategies for this that you can share? It's a problem I've identified: switching off (mentally) halfway through a podcast.
    July 2014
  • zbrntt 5712
    Steve: Thanks for the offer of helping out with cost. It could be useful later, when I've identified some interesting sources, but with video especially then copyright might be an issue.

    I'll let you know if I find anything suitable anyway.
    July 2014
  • dooo 0 21 9383
    zbrnnt

    I think in any no-transcript listening, there are always questions that the audio raises: an expression that you you do not know that is repeated often or other wise sounds key to the main idea, expressions that you vaguely know that you want to fix in your mind etc. I think the key to "work a lot on my focus, attention, and concentration " is to tackle these one at a time through listening and research. Doing them one at a time hopefully will prevent getting frustrated that the main idea is still miles away.

    Otherwise I think that being very fickle and changing content often is also good, but somehow dissatisfying for completists.
    July 2014
  • iaing 27678
    "-work a lot on my focus, attention, and concentration "

    "Do you have any strategies for this that you can share? It's a problem I've identified: switching off (mentally) halfway through a podcast."

    -general mindfulness practice, particularly focus attention mindfulness practice
    -repeating what they are saying in my head at the same (technically, I am a fraction of a second behind)
    -challenge myself to listen through a 20-30 minute podcast without drifting off, build up to this by trying 5, 10, 15 minutes etc
    -pause, read (if have transcript), pretend I am having a conversation on the topic + elaborate on what they are saying, resume listening
    July 2014
  • zbrntt 5712
    Thanks for the good ideas! I'm going with some short videos and podcasts for a month, and I'll see how things go.
    July 2014
    • zbrntt tr Turkey 5712
      Well. It's been a while but I've been giving some things a try. I've been watching short videos, just one-minute ones on factual topics, and following up by writing a summary which I then have corrected. I think this has given me the kind of task I was looking for; writing the summary means I have a real reason to listen, and I listen several times to make sure I've heard things right. Sometimes I try to use nice phrases verbatim, but other times I just write what I've understood, using some of the words I hear. The factual aspect really helps, as I end up looking things up on the net in Turkish and getting language practice that way too.

      All in all, I think this has been a good experience for me; maybe it will help others too.
      August 2014