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Where to purchase audio for textbook "thought and society" (used at IUP, ICLP, MTC...)


bobbadeer
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@Publius  I see what you mean. I guess I should have said something more like middle or junior high school.   Anyway for adult learners of CFL I think the best for us is textbook/s with a teacher to force some drills, otherwise we won't do them, while also getting exposed to native material such as TV or guided software/apps for reading, and of course socializing in the target language, too.

 

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Yes, what adult learners lack is discipline (including discipline to read). They also have strong opinions on how they should be taught. That's why I hate to get involved in back-and-forth about strategies and methods. To each his own. Why should I care?

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6 minutes ago, Publius said:

That's why I hate to get involved in back-and-forth about strategies and methods.

Wise. It's too easy to get drawn into a debate   People have wildly varying goals here, too.

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3 hours ago, imron said:

I personally found that it doesn't matter when you do it, the jump to native content will always be intimidating, and the only way to stop it being intimidating is to do more of it. 

 

For me, I found going back to a textbook after reading novels was intimidating because it feels with a textbook there's nowhere to hide!

But - and this is hardly new - I think textbooks have their use for intensive reading, and novels or magazines for extensive reading.

I'd reiterate that advanced textbooks and readers do use native materials throughout.

 

But also: Imron, I agree with what you say about vocabulary but I'd highlight what you might call 'vocab' but I'll call 'grammar' or signpost words - skimming through the excerpt I pasted above they would include  總之  由於  不過  隨著  也就是  這就要  從...說起  說起...之下  才 ...   but there are lots more, all of which I already knew but not solidly. That Thought & Society textbook forces you to get a real firm grip of all of these and I think that's the main reason why I found it much easier to read novels after studying this textbook.

 

 

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47 minutes ago, Publius said:

To each his own. Why should I care?

 

Fair point. My issue is that often you see people say 'sounds like it's time for you to stop using textbooks and go to native materials' and I genuinely don't understand why it has to be an either/or. Why is this advice given reflexively? It's sad people are being told they're not doing it right unless they haven't thrown their textbooks away after reading their first novel!

 

I think there's a period of time when novels and textbooks are both valuable - especially if, as Imron advises, you try to get stuck into a novel early. Here, "early" means "a stage when textbooks still have their value".

 

But of course, some people might have a personal preference one way or the other.

 

Mouse referred to @OneEye 's comments that the best sources of extensive audio input were native audio materials and I think that's true but it doesn't argue for ditching the textbooks early, it just argues for using native audio materials in preference to textbook audio for extensive audio input.

 

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1 hour ago, realmayo said:

especially if, as Imron advises, you try to get stuck into a novel early.

I think the key (also mentioned by OneEye in the blog post quoted by mouse) is comprehensible input.  You need to be reading things at the appropriate level.  Yes you can still push forward and read things above your level (especially with the aid of various tools) but I think this is not as productive as reading easier material to build up skills.  Maybe that means textbooks and graded readers for a long time, but going by what I think of as upper-intermediate, there is definitely accessible native content to look at by this level.

 

2 hours ago, realmayo said:

they would include  總之  由於  不過  隨著  也就是  這就要  從...說起  說起...之下  才 ...   but there are lots more, all of which I already knew but not solidly.

I think it's important to learn and understand solidly a portion of all new/half-known words you come across - otherwise it's easy to coast on existing ability without really going forward (see my comments on this here).  It's also important to understand and be mindful of what you are reading.  If you encounter something you're not sure about that should trip a little warning bell in your mind and you should make a mental note to figure out what it means.  If this happens so often in a text that it is disruptive to reading then that's an indication that the text is too advanced and you should try something easier.

 

 

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23 minutes ago, imron said:

I think it's important to learn and understand solidly a portion of all new/half-known words you come across

 

Won't disagree, but for me, these 'signpost' words I mention were way more important than normal vocab when it came to making reading easier. And the texts in the textbook were full of them for a reason. So I'm glad I studied them, drilled them, in more depth than I would do for normal vocab.

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7 minutes ago, realmayo said:

these 'signpost' words I mention were way more important than normal vocab

I won't disagree because they are all fairly high frequency words/patterns compared to normal vocab, and high frequency words will give you the biggest bang for buck in terms of increase in understanding for time expended.

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3 hours ago, realmayo said:

But also: Imron, I agree with what you say about vocabulary but I'd highlight what you might call 'vocab' but I'll call 'grammar' or signpost words - skimming through the excerpt I pasted above they would include  總之  由於  不過  隨著  也就是  這就要  從...說起  說起...之下  才 ...   but there are lots more, all of which I already knew but not solidly. That Thought & Society textbook forces you to get a real firm grip of all of these and I think that's the main reason why I found it much easier to read novels after studying this textbook.

 

I think we have fundamental differences in how we see language learning. I don't want an explanation for how these words are used and what they mean. If I read and listen enough it will become clear on its own.

Another example: When I was still attending school, I got very good grades in German. Except one time, when the test wasn't writing an essay or a story, but about grammar. I know almost nothing about German, English or Chinese grammar. I just can use it. That's why I don't like (even beginner) textbooks. They're like "Here are some rules. Now go and construct some sentences from them." Reading grammar explanations can of course save time in the beginning when one knows nothing about the language. But after that short period of time everything can be acquired naturally in my opinion.

 

15 minutes ago, realmayo said:

And the texts in the textbook were full of them for a reason. So I'm glad I studied them, drilled them, in more depth than I would do for normal vocab.

 

That seems backwards to me. Why would you drill words that you see all the time? That would be like Anki always showing you the cards you know best.

 

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@imron I'll try to dig out my copy of An Independent Reader - another ICLP text by Vivian Ling - which does a good job in the introduction of showing how the importance of those words in  prose sentences is overlooked by most foreign learners, and indeed how their non-use by foreign learners when writing prose is a common and significant deficiency.

 

 

@Wurstmann Fair enough, you're a more gifted learner than me. Or you've got more time. For me, while relying on my natural acquisition, my reading speed was slow. After focussing on these 'signpost' words, my reading speed was faster. I can only report my own experience and the advice of expert teachers - no more.

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1 minute ago, Wurstmann said:

If I read and listen enough it will become clear on its own.

This is possibly a useful method but has its problems.

 

Even in my native English this method caused problems, for years and years I thought Desiccated Coconut was referring to the fact it was shredded coconut, only years later I found out it was referring to the fact it was dried.

 

Desiccated sounds like decimated and so in my mind I thought they must be of the same root. Well no.

 

I for one am in favour of textbooks, I wonder if a poll would be interesting? I might ask the question.

 

 

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My thoughts on this (as this perspective hasn't been mentioned yet): I really enjoy learning from textbooks, and although I really enjoy reading novels etc too, I find it less enjoyable than working with a textbook. I suspect it is because I enjoy 'showing off' what I have learned and bonding over mistakes in spoken chinese. When reading a book I'm in my own world, which is great, but what I really enjoy about learning a language is the human interaction, getting out there and trying to use the structures I just learned with someone directly. Textbooks are like a key to how to do this, and thus rather than trying to draw you in with interesting content, the best (in my opinion, or for my study approach) are the boring ones that just straight up tell you what it is you need to know.

 

Just ordered a copy of thought and society, sounds good!

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23 minutes ago, realmayo said:

and indeed how their non-use by foreign learners when writing prose is a common and significant deficiency.

Yes, my comments are definitely aimed at the reading side of things rather than the writing side of things.

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2 hours ago, Shelley said:

Even in my native English this method caused problems, for years and years I thought Desiccated Coconut was referring to the fact it was shredded coconut, only years later I found out it was referring to the fact it was dried.

 

Desiccated sounds like decimated and so in my mind I thought they must be of the same root. Well no.

 

I think you're kinda proving my point. You had a wrong assumption and eventually it got corrected. 😉 When even in our native language we only have a fuzzy understanding of a lot of words, then why should it be different in our target language(s)?

 

@Tomsima If you like textbooks then that's fine. I don't, so of course I'm arguing from that point of view.

 

@realmayo I'm not a gifted learner. And I have problems with motivation/discipline, I started and stopped learning too many times. Otherwise my Chinese would be a lot better. :D

 

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21 minutes ago, Wurstmann said:

If you like textbooks then that's fine. I don't, so of course I'm arguing from that point of view.

 

I think this is really important - there's lots of excellent reasons to use native materials, and individual preferences will play a part there too. I'm not saying it's wrong at all!

I'm just trying to make the case that - if someone doesn't dislike them too much - textbooks can be very powerful too, until a decent level of fluency is achieved.

I think when someone is at a good enough level to read native materials they should be encouraged to try doing so, BUT there's no reason they should simultaneously be advised to ditch their textbooks at the same time, unless they want to.

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1 hour ago, Wurstmann said:

I think you're kinda proving my point. You had a wrong assumption and eventually it got corrected

 

Yes but I was wrong for longer than I was right and I don't think that was useful. The amount of times I used it incorrectly must have been quite a lot and I am glad nothing important depended on getting it right. If I had asked or checked in a dictionary I would have been right longer.

 

If you are learning Chinese especially, it is quiet common for native speakers to be reluctant to correct you as it causes you loss of face, so you may learn things incorrectly and never know unless you check a dictionary or ask.

 

By all means use native material but never give up on textbooks/dictionary and guided material.

 

 

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@realmayo Of course. Everybody has different goals. And the most important thing is not to stop learning. The best method is useless if you can't stick with it.

 

8 minutes ago, Shelley said:

If you are learning Chinese especially, it is quiet common for native speakers to be reluctant to correct you as it causes you loss of face, so you may learn things incorrectly and never know unless you check a dictionary or ask.

 

I think that's only true if you try to speak too early. In my opinion you should try to only say stuff you're at least 99% sure about is right and you've heard natives use before.

I think this is a good video on that topic. (the whole channel is very informative)

 

16 minutes ago, Shelley said:

By all means use native material but never give up on textbooks/dictionary and guided material.

 

Why? I'm trying to learn Chinese, not to become a master textbook reader.

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1 hour ago, imron said:

Surely the eventual goal of learning Chinese is to give up those things

 

1 hour ago, Wurstmann said:

Why? I'm trying to learn Chinese, not to become a master textbook reader.

 

Yes, but for me and possibly others, I feel learning Chinese to be long term,  indeed a life long passion. I would rely less and less and eventually, naturally I would find I had not referred to my dictionaries for meaning or my textbooks for some grammar clarification and they would eventually sit on the shelf and gather dust, but still I would never part with them, because you never know:D

 

1 hour ago, Wurstmann said:

I think that's only true if you try to speak too early.

 

I think you need to start speaking as soon as possible. For me I have tried to have a rounded learning system, reading. writing , listen and speaking from the start, all together.

 

It is all subjective, what works for some doesn't work for others, that doesn't mean its wrong, its just not for you.

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