Popular Post phills Posted January 14, 2022 at 06:24 AM Popular Post Report Share Posted January 14, 2022 at 06:24 AM I settled on a routine for leveling up my listening. As you may know, I've been focusing on reading the past 6 months, and now I have that mostly under control, I'm focusing on listening. Similar to reading, I think volume is key. My plan is to listen to audiobooks of stuff I read last year. My goal is to do it: 1) at full speed, 2) without pausing, 3) without looking at text, and 4) (stretch) while doing other brainless stuff like chores. So far I've tried it for 2 weeks, about 15 hours, and wanted to track / share my progress. 1. Baseline: Last I worked on my listening, I had focused on watching Chinese dramas. I had watched 3 series (about 40-ish episodes each), so had about 100 hrs of focused listening to native content. However, I was listening with subtitles the whole time, plus pausing a lot, and I ended up training my reading as much as my listening. The net result was my listening ability was still very sporadic. I could understand only short sentences at full speed. I had tried listening to some Upper Intermediate audio on duchinese and I could only understand it if I also read subtitles at the same time. If it wasn't concurrent reading, I needed to get to half speed, sometimes 3/4 speed, with pauses, to understand ~70% of it -- if I listened after I read the text. I got lost easily facing a wall of foreign sounds. Once lost, I wouldn't be able to refind the thread and had to stop. 2. When I started: Because I read all of audiobook content already last year, I had hopes I'd be able to jump right ahead to listening at full speed, without the text. Nope. Got lost again. Also, my stamina was bad, I had to quit after 10 mins or so. And when I restarted, I'd quit and pause often, limiting my sessions to under half hour total. So as a compromise, I kept listening at full speed and not pause, but would keep the text open in another window. Every 15 seconds or so, I'd glance at the text just to keep my "context" fresh. Even when I didn't exactly read when I glanced, it helped to keep myself oriented. 3. Now 15 hours in: My stamina is built up. My sessions have gone from 20 mins to ~1.5 hrs. For the last couple of days, I finally was able to not open up the text in another window, and still keep track of the content. When I get lost, I can rezone back in after 30 seconds or so, and figure out where I am again. I didn't have to stop or pause. My comprehension is still not that great. I'd estimate only 60-70% of the words are understood, but it's enough to get the gist of the story. However, even when I don't exactly understand the words, I understand what the purpose of the unknown words were -- meaning they're describing an object, it's an action scene with A doing stuff to B, someone is waxing eloquently about the human spirit etc. That's often enough to maintain the thread. The best part though is the ability to re-orient myself if I get lost. This doesn't seem to be content specific -- it helps even with new stuff, random audio that I haven't heard before. If I can't figure it out right away, just wait a little bit, and I can slowly re-figure out what's going on. With that, and the increased stamina, I find listening actually takes less energy than reading. Even though my listening is still way behind my reading, I find I can just keep listening to more and more text. It doesn't feel like it's as much "work" as each time I exceeded my reading limits. 4. Listening v. Reading speed: I've gone through at least one complete book in audio. Comparing the time spent listening to that book vs the number of characters in the book, I find the audio goes at 273 cpm. That's still faster than my leveled-up reading speed, which is humbling. On the other hand, it suggests that listening might eventually help me read faster, so I'll have to see if that's true. I'm a big believer in you having to train your brain to process the Chinese words at the proper speed, whether it's for reading, listening or talking. So listening is still helping train me to process Chinese words at higher speed than before (and I can even go 125% or 150% speed later on). ----------- Anyways wanted to see if others have tried similar things or what they thought. Every third day or so, I'm putting in a conventional session of reading so I can maintain it. 7 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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