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Learning efficiently vs. learning quickly

Posted: Tue Sep 30, 2014 12:48 pm
by PatrickK
Read another really good article from Ollie today about learning languages efficiently vs learning quickly. It is a good read:
http://www.hackingchinese.com/learning- ... g-quickly/

What are your thoughts? I think everyone wants to learn efficiently and quickly, but quickly often comes back and haunts us later, as mentioned in the article.

Re: Learning efficiently vs. learning quickly

Posted: Sat Nov 29, 2014 1:58 pm
by farang84
It isn't about how much you can learn in a day and forget by week's end - it's how much you can retain after a year, two years, etc. I could easily learn 50 words in a day (or more) - however without cause to use them in daily life, what would be the point? It's better to learn a few words that can be put to use in a real setting and get them ingrained through frequent repetition. I think most people wish they could become fluent immediately, but remember - most native speakers take several years to become fluent, i.e. able to spell properly, make little to no grammatical errors, using the correct words in the proper situations,etc. Whoever says they have the method to learn a language quickly and efficiently is selling snake oil. When it comes to language learning, shortcuts to levels beyond tourist talk do not exist.

Re: Learning efficiently vs. learning quickly

Posted: Tue Dec 02, 2014 6:01 am
by PatrickK
farang84 wrote:It isn't about how much you can learn in a day and forget by week's end - it's how much you can retain after a year, two years, etc. I could easily learn 50 words in a day (or more) - however without cause to use them in daily life, what would be the point? It's better to learn a few words that can be put to use in a real setting and get them ingrained through frequent repetition. I think most people wish they could become fluent immediately, but remember - most native speakers take several years to become fluent, i.e. able to spell properly, make little to no grammatical errors, using the correct words in the proper situations,etc. Whoever says they have the method to learn a language quickly and efficiently is selling snake oil. When it comes to language learning, shortcuts to levels beyond tourist talk do not exist.
While I mostly agree, using Ankidroid and studying my deck using SRS, I've retained probably like 90% of the words, even though I haven't used many of them actively. And it is crazy how when I learn a new word how much I recognize it being written all over. When I was actively learning 50 new words a day, literally everyday after studying I would be out and about in the city and see at least one of those new words I just learned, and therefore reinforcing my memory. I guess a question is, are you remember via speaking, or via reading/writing?

The hardest part I've found so far is consistency. It is easy to get burned out studying or have a break due to some distraction.

Re: Learning efficiently vs. learning quickly

Posted: Wed Dec 03, 2014 8:15 am
by farang84
Regarding the words you remember, but don't use (or use frequently):

1). Can you produce them with little to no forethought if the situation demands it

2). Can you understand them right away if someone says them to you

I'm asking, because I believe there is a difference between being able to recognize a word and knowing it (i.e. having internalized it).

For example, I'd say my reading ability in French is way beyond my speaking ability. If I read, I'll see words I haven't seen in a long time and be like "oh, yeah...that's what it is"...whereas if I'm listening, I may not even catch the word.

Re: Learning efficiently vs. learning quickly

Posted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 11:08 am
by PatrickK
Typically if I learn a new word, I'll need to hear it or say it a couple times before it gets into my head. However, like you mentioned with French, my Thai reading ability is well above my speaking too, so I can recognize virtually all of the words from my deck if I see it written, but if I have to recall it straight I mostly can't do it until I've used it a couple times.

Re: Learning efficiently vs. learning quickly

Posted: Tue Dec 16, 2014 7:25 am
by ReubenA
farang84 wrote:Regarding the words you remember, but don't use (or use frequently):

1). Can you produce them with little to no forethought if the situation demands it

2). Can you understand them right away if someone says them to you

I'm asking, because I believe there is a difference between being able to recognize a word and knowing it (i.e. having internalized it).

For example, I'd say my reading ability in French is way beyond my speaking ability. If I read, I'll see words I haven't seen in a long time and be like "oh, yeah...that's what it is"...whereas if I'm listening, I may not even catch the word.
I think this is a natural process. If there's a way to skip the "having to think a bit before knowing what a word means" stage then please let me know!

For me it takes quite a few exposures to a word... and it getting quicker each time I see / hear it until it really gets internalised.

It's all practice. The more you listen, read, speak, the more it gets internalised and easier.