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Comprehending Speech

 

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  #1  
Old January 25, 2010, 11:22 AM
FrannyCakes FrannyCakes is offline
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Comprehending Speech

Hola,

How do you develop the skills needed to comprehend speech?

Gracias.
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  #2  
Old January 25, 2010, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by FrannyCakes View Post
Hola,

How do you develop the skills needed to comprehend speech?

Gracias.
1) If you are less than 6 months old, don't worry about it.
2) If older, it involves a lot of hard work learning vocabulary and as much grammar as you can.
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Old January 25, 2010, 12:24 PM
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Listening, listening and listening.
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Old January 25, 2010, 02:17 PM
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By reading and writing, provided you can do that in own language.

If you do not know grammar in your language, do not worry about it in Spanish until you are accustomed to reading and writing in Spanish.
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Old January 25, 2010, 07:59 PM
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Práctica

Yo creo que se debería aprender los básicos , como los tiempos verbales y otra regla de gramática. Luego podría escuchar los nativos con más confianza
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Old January 25, 2010, 09:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perikles View Post
1) If you are less than 6 months old, don't worry about it.
2) If older, it involves a lot of hard work learning vocabulary and as much grammar as you can.
I respectfully disagree. Where I live in Mexico I know a handful of English speakers that I would consider fluent in Spanish. None of them could tell you what the "imperfect subjunctive" of the verb "hablar" is, but they all use it daily without any thought. The thread these people have in common is they all have had massive amounts of exposure to the Spanish language, and I mean "un chingo de" exposure. I recently met a woman here who had just completed her masters degree in Spanish at a university in Michigan, and she knew the grammar of the language inside-out, but she had one problem....she couldn't communicate in Spanish. Her pronunciation was awful, she had to search for words in the most basic of phrases, and you could see the struggle going on in her head as she tried to understand and respond to simple questions. She could however, easily translate long, complicated tracts of text, but only because with text she had the time to comfortably translate and use the grammar she had mastered. She told me all of her courses were textbook based, and almost all of her time was devoted to reading and writing.

I'm not saying studying grammar is useless, and I think it has its place, but I think it is way over-used by teachers and students alike. I also think learning single words with no context is mostly a waste of time. It's kind of funny, but when I talk to people who are just beginning to take classes here, the most universal complaint is about "all the damn verb tenses." They get their first look at some conjugation tables, and they want to give up then and there. Some do. I was the same way, but then after awhile I realized that the most difficult thing is to be able to express yourself in much the same way as a native speaker does, and the way to master this (I still haven't) is to listen to lots and lots of native speakers, and read lots and lots of native materials.

One way I can always tell that an English speaker is studying Spanish but hasn't been exposed to much native materials is the question they invariably ask me: "¿Puedes hablar español?" when they want to say: "¿Sabes hablar español?" This is almost a universal mistake English speakers make when they are trying to shoehorn one language into the other.
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  #7  
Old January 25, 2010, 09:35 PM
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Es posible aprender un idioma sin saber nada de las reglas como los tiempos verbales, ect, pero yo creo que se puede aprender con mucho más rapidez si entiende todas las reglas

Fue tal un misterio los tiempos verbales simples cuando empecé, pero después de estudiarlos un poco es fácil

Tengo ese problema con ruso, los casos son muy difíciles y sin un nativo y muchos meses yo creo que nunca podría aprenderlos. Por lo menos así es lo que me siento
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  #8  
Old January 25, 2010, 11:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tacuba View Post
She told me all of her courses were textbook based, and almost all of her time was devoted to reading and writing.
Exactly and always under the text book concept, which is grammar.

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Originally Posted by tacuba View Post
I'm not saying studying grammar is useless, and I think it has its place, but I think it is way over-used by teachers and students alike. I also think learning single words with no context is mostly a waste of time. It's kind of funny, but when I talk to people who are just beginning to take classes here, the most universal complaint is about "all the damn verb tenses." They get their first look at some conjugation tables, and they want to give up then and there. Some do. I was the same way, but then after awhile I realized that the most difficult thing is to be able to express yourself in much the same way as a native speaker does, and the way to master this (I still haven't) is to listen to lots and lots of native speakers, and read lots and lots of native materials.
I couldn't agree with you more.

After you feel more comfortable and more or less understanding what you are reading and hearing, then you can take on grammar if that is your goal.

Many will take on grammar without even knowing grammar in their own language. That is almost an impossible task. Then, like you say, they quit.

It is important to read and write because in that way your mind get accustomed to the language and its "style".
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  #9  
Old January 26, 2010, 02:53 AM
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Originally Posted by tacuba View Post
I respectfully disagree. Where I live in Mexico I know a handful of English speakers that I would consider fluent in Spanish.... .
Yes, I quite take your point, and my comment was a clear over-generalization. I still claim that even if an adult has the opportunity to be immersed in a foreign language, the chances of his/her being fluent and grammatically correct are greatly enhanced with formal grammar. It works for some and not others. And this is assuming the immersion, and most language learners do not get this opportunity. If you have to resort to just night-school and books, you (probably) need the grammar as well.

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I couldn't agree with you more.
That doesn't surprise me.
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  #10  
Old January 26, 2010, 07:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Perikles View Post
Yes, I quite take your point, and my comment was a clear over-generalization. I still claim that even if an adult has the opportunity to be immersed in a foreign language, the chances of his/her being fluent and grammatically correct are greatly enhanced with formal grammar. It works for some and not others. And this is assuming the immersion, and most language learners do not get this opportunity. If you have to resort to just night-school and books, you (probably) need the grammar as well.
Nobody is saying to the contrary, not even I. All I appeal is to a faster way to acquire the language and then start with grammar.

Else, the person who does not know grammar in their own language, could not or should not according to your recommendation, start another language.

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That doesn't surprise me.
Me neither. :-)
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