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Flickserve

Mental fatigue and listening skills

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Flickserve

I find when really listening hard (active listening) to train listening comprehension, I get mentally tired very quickly. I might only do five sentences with repeated listening, relistening and review.

 

Is it a problem with having a short attention span?

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imron

I think it's more due to having to concentrate continuously for a period of time.  The same used to happen with me both with listening and with reading.  When I started doing this more regularly, and for gradually longer periods of time, my ability improved and it required less concentration to achieve the same (or better) results in comprehension.

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jannesan

I think the the constant repeating and reviewing may be the reason you are getting tired quickly. How about you mix this up with some continuous listening without always stopping and reviewing? This will result in lower comprehension of course, but maybe it is a bit more enjoyable and thus less tiring.

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xinoxanu

This used to happen to me when I was using the Pimsleur method and other textbook-like listening repetition exercises. They were great to complement and implement the vocabulary I was learning, but I would never be able to endure more than 40min and it was a chore.

 

However, once I reached a HSK4 level, I also started watching native content (sometimes with subtitles, sometimes without) and, while I was definitely not catching everything (still true at my current level, don't despair), I actually started enjoying myself to the point that for the past 2 years I've been consuming +1h/day of media content and it's now my favourite routine of the day. I rarely skip it.

 

Sometimes I'll go back a couple seconds on a video to check if I actually understood what was being said, since any videographic media provides much of the context and is easy to fool yourself thinking you are understanding 100% of what you are watching, while in fact you are taking educated guesses or lucking out... but overall I'd say my listening capabilities have greatly improved without having to really "work" towards that goal. It just feels natural at this point.

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Flickserve

My learning material for listening practice is the Growing up with China dialogue. Some of it is quite challenging. 

 

1 hour ago, xinoxanu said:

since any videographic media provides much of the context and is easy to fool yourself thinking you are understanding 100% of what you are watching, while in fact you are taking educated guesses or lucking out

This.

 

I have tried watching more on YouTube recently but not thought to tie it to reviewing and rewatching. 

 

They have been some cooking programs and I just found a couple of fitness channels (they give subtitles and can download the srt!). I have been looking for fairly specific instructional videos were the presenter teaches a skill using Mandarin. I find the vocabulary tends to be repeated a bit more frequently in such videos. 

 

I can definitely feel myself getting better with listening skills. It's mainly vocabulary limiting me now, whereas before it was deciphering the sounds and also not knowing vocabulary that were both limitations. Today I got a surprise when a person suddenly started using Mandarin with me and we had a conversation where I could follow 85-90% of what he was saying and I could make some decent replies back to him. Always hard to assess progress for listening but I do feel it's easier. If only I wouldn't get so easily tired during the practice.

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abcdefg
1 hour ago, Flickserve said:

Today I got a surprise when a person suddenly started using Mandarin with me and we had a conversation where I could follow 85-90% of what he was saying and I could make some decent replies back to him. Always hard to assess progress for listening but I do feel it's easier. If only I wouldn't get so easily tired during the practice

 

Good! That sounds to me like genuine progress! It will become less fatiguing as you go along. It's normal for it to feel like hard work initially, then over time it becomes more natural and effortless.

 

I don't consider myself an especially skilled speaker, just basically an old duffer, but nowadays after being out and interacting with other people, I could not tell you without having to stop and think whether we were talking English or Chinese. Same with TV or a movie. I can't always recall what language was spoken. I just remember the content. 

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道艺黄帝

Make sure you stick to content you're genuinely interested in. Force yourself too much and you're doomed to burn out. 

 

I recently fell in love with 广场舞 and can't stop listening to the songs while I cook or wash dishes (much to my gfs dismay). I can learn a lot from the lyrics bc I actually want to consume this content

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abcdefg
1 hour ago, 道艺黄帝 said:

I recently fell in love with 广场舞 and can't stop listening to the songs while I cook or wash dishes (much to my gfs dismay). I can learn a lot from the lyrics bc I actually want to consume this content

 

Interesting! I tried going to some of these street-corner-park evening dance sessions in Kunming a couple years ago. It was good fun, fresh air and a nice way to meet my neighbors. I was hampered, however, by having been equipped at birth with two left feet. Some of the dance steps are not as simple as they look when you do them to music and try to co-ordinate with others in the group. Still, I always returned home afterwards smiling and refreshed. 

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道艺黄帝

I'm actually a Zumba teacher and I've been tempted to do a full take over of the 阿姨 brigade and just lead my own thing lol

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