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Has anyone tried using the "Crosstalk" method with a language partner? (Not referring to the chinese comedy genre)


malazann
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Found this on here: Crosstalk – dreaming languages (wordpress.com)

 

Basically I would speak English and my partner exclusively Chinese, and so I can focus on listening and trying to understand 100%, without worrying about trying to speak.

 

I'm currently at a point where my listening is abysmal and find it attractive. 

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I tried that for a time with my partner. The hardest part was stopping the gut reaction of responding in the target language. But it can be a mutually beneficial way to learn.

 

You can even rotate sessions between speaking in target language and listening in target language.

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I didn't know that that was a thing but that's basically what I did for about the first year with my Chinese tutors. I asked them to only speak Chinese to me and let me speak English or Japanese if I couldn't come up with Chinese. We talked about pretty much anything and my 100% not Chinese gradually turned to more and more Chinese. The discussions were also extremely interesting! Instead of grinding some basic vocabulary or grammar rules we discussed history, politics, cultural differences, local delicacies, etc. and I credit my current listening comprehension to my tutors. Especially there are a couple of teachers who never tire repeating themselves, each time a little differently to find other ways to explain to me, and probably even more importantly, parroting back to me in Chinese most of what I say to them in English or if there is something to improve in what I said in Chinese.

 

I don't think this approach has hurt my learning in any way and most likely exactly the opposite. My approach differs a little bit from what was described there though. I don't try to avoid speaking the target language but instead try to say what I can in it and, If I can't or get too tired to try, I don't feel bad about speaking English. The exchange is about a lot more than just your speaking practice and you'll get constant exposure to the way the other person speaks and acts during the exchange that you can mimic later. So I think it is best to just gradually move over to speaking the target language as your active vocabulary and reservoir for self expression in the target languages grows. I also record the tutors voice during the lessons and trim the silences out, so I have hours and hours of these recordings and get and hour or two more every week,  that I still keep listening to over and over and each time gleam something more from them that I missed the first hundred times. Now I'm speaking probably 90% Chinese during the classes and have been for some time.

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I like your apprach @alantin. I do think that with an *unpaid* language partner (perhaps a friend or 对象), there might be some merit to sticking to talking in the NL for the purpose of holding a more engaging fluent conversation. 

I really do need to start recording my online lessons though

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