Imagine if you could learn a language without doing any studying. What if instead of studying grammar, reading in the foreign language, learning vocabulary, and doing speaking practice, all you had to do was listen to what was happening around you and watch movies? Wouldn’t it be great if you could naturally absorb the language and start speaking yourself? This is a popular language learning method across the world, but in this video I answer the question of whether learning a language this way will actually work for you.
For example, many people try to learn English through listening using the following methods:
– Watching TV in a English with the subtitles on in your native language
– Listening to talk radio in English in the background while doing something else
– Being around foreign friends when you yourself do not speak the language
Babies learn to speak their first words by listening, but will it work for you? Check out this video to hear my opinion on learning a language through listening. I’ve tried it, and I’ll share my personal experiences with you!
Hey, guys. Welcome to engVid. Today’s lesson is a little bit different, it’s me talking about: Is it possible for you to learn a language just by listening? This is something that I think many of us would love, love, love, love to be true. I can just learn a language by listening, I don’t have to really do anything if I just spend enough time listening, then, you know, I’ll be able to speak; I’ll have learned the language.
So, some ways we might do this are… Could be watching… Watching TV in that language you’re trying to learn and just think: „Well, I’m… I’m learning. I’m learning stuff just by watching.” Another way is you move to a different country, and you spend time around native speaker friends, and you don’t understand anything, but you’re like: „Well, I’m learning. The more time I spend doing this, I’ll get to a point where I can just speak the language.”
And that is a situation that I, myself, have been in many times in my life. If you put all the time together, I would say I probably wasted a couple of years of my life, taking that approach, just thinking you learn by listening. Now, don’t get me wrong, you do learn how to understand what people are talking about if you take that approach. You know, you’re the only one who doesn’t speak the same language that everybody else speaks, you’re the only one who doesn’t speak it, after a while you do kind of understand what people are talking about, so you can often guess from the situation. But that doesn’t mean the same thing as being able to put a sentence together, and join in in the conversation in that language. Because although you kind of understand what people are saying, you just haven’t developed the skill of moving your tongue and saying the words of the other language. So I would say taking that approach is a very, very frustrating, and slow, and ineffective way to learn any language. And that’s based from my personal experience.
If the language that you’re hoping, trying, wishing to learn is very close to your language, then of course, you will understand much, much more of what is being said, and you’ll be able to guess many of the words. But if the language is completely different to your native language, it’s a really ineffective way to expect to learn a language, because there’s just not a lot you can guess. The words are very different, the grammar structure is very different.
And have you ever been in that situation when you’re the only one who doesn’t understand anything? Well, I’ve been in that situation many times, and I don’t know if this happens to all people, but this happens to me. After a while, you stop listening. And, at least I do, and I start thinking about my own things in my head. So you’re there, but you’re not even listening. And you have to ask yourself: Is this the same thing that’s also happening if you’re watching a movie that’s spoken in a language that you don’t understand? Are you actually listening to the words, or are you just reading subtitles in your own language that you understand? So that’s an important part of it as well. Is that time you are listening to the language you want to learn, are you using that time with your ears, really awake and switched on to what people are saying? Because I think most of the time, when you don’t actually know that language, you’re not fully listening because you don’t understand anything. You’re really concentrating on something you don’t understand, it’s a very hard thing to do for more than a couple of minutes.