How to Acquire any language NOT learn it!

MitchellMitchell Posts: 583
edited February 3 in Pop Culture

Disclaimer My posting/linking of the video above does not constitute an endorse of the 'all' the opinions contain therein on my part. This video is posted only for the sake of illustrating various opinions on the subject.

Comments

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 2,557
    edited February 3

    hmn ... my over simplified thoughts on some items in this video ...

    how many youngsters all over the world ACQUIRE "English" (is it even English? ) by delving into computer, smartphones, etc ... Results seen in Germany => many, many children in Germany have actually no real clue of English or German, but what they is acquired is almost unrecognizable by some who actually really understands and speaks either English or German or both ... and German language and culture is rapidly on its way to a baby level ... and the highly versatile and specific possibilities of expression in German are no longer in the picture.

    Much talk and much sales promotion talk to promote a method of "learning" a language (oh sorry, you are not learning anything, you are just acquiring it) that requires no real effort ... get something for nothing principle?

    Obviously, this is not my cup of tea ....

  • C McC Mc Posts: 3,625

    Wolfgang,

    Does one have to speak the "King's English" to be functional in society? We're not talking perfection. When I come to Germany, I think I can get by, in German, if I am understood one-half to two-third of the times. Wouldn't you help me with the rest? CM

    PS. In Bible study, the Holy Spirit would make up for ones deficiency. CM

  • MitchellMitchell Posts: 583

    @Wolfgang posted: hmn ... my over simplified thoughts on some items in this video ...

    Thank you for your thoughts Wolfgang.

    I am 100% agreement with you that serious language learning requires an investment in effort and time on the part of the language learn. This is something that a number of anglophones tend to forget.

    However, the concept 'language acquisition' is not claim to that one can pick up a language simply by osmosis. The presenter in the video may have passed it off as such and this is misleading. One must still actively put in the effort into actively listening, speaking(production), writing, motoring(correction), as so on. Otherwise on will not accomplish anything or they will quickly reach a plateau.


    @C_M_ posted: When I come to Germany, I think I can get by, in German, if I am understood one-half to two-third of the times. Wouldn't you help me with the rest? CM

    I can not speak for Germany, but in Japan I think all a visitor/tourist needs is a good attitude and a simple phrase book. One does not need to master Japanese to come to visit Japan, I think more than a few Japanese will go out of their way to help lost or confused tourist. I found this to be true when I first visited Japan long ago.

    However for those planning on living in Japan more a year or two I think what Wolfgang has to say should be taken heart.


    Grace and Peace

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 2,557

    @Mitchell wrote:

    However, the concept 'language acquisition' is not claim to that one can pick up a language simply by osmosis. The presenter in the video may have passed it off as such and this is misleading.

    Actually. this promoted concept of language acquisition is used here as a misleading and somewhat fake claim of "concept for learning language". Truth is, you may have acquired particular sounds and sequences of sounds and the meanings of these, you learned how to make imitate those, but you really do NOT REALLY speak or understand the particular language you claim to speak. The claim that the person actually really knows and speaks a different language is only partly applicable and mostly false.

    I wonder if this Spanish Prof featured in the video could repeat this above paragraph of mine in the other languages he claims to speak? I would hope, he can easily do it in Spanish (else he should not have the job of Prof for Spanish); but I would doubt he is able to do so in his acquired languages. (And, please note, my paragraph is not all that complicate or poetically loaded, etc ....) Another question, How well would a person read and write text in "acquired language"?

    One must still actively put in the effort into actively listening, speaking(production), writing, motoring(correction), as so on. Otherwise on will not accomplish anything or they will quickly reach a plateau.

    SUre, there is some effort .... just as my dog puts in some effort "to acquire" certain sounds I make in association with certain actions when trying to train him to learn certain behaviors. But, the dog has no real clue of whether those sounds I present to him for acquisition are from German language, ENglish language, no real language or whatever ... he simply acquires the sound in association with a behavior and then "understands" this particular "word" / sounds to mean that he should do the behavior .... HAS NOTHING WHATEVER to do with REALLY acquiring or learning a language.

  • C McC Mc Posts: 3,625

    Let's take a step back: 

    1. What is language?
    2. What is its origin?
    3. Are its sights, sounds, movements, tones, words, and/or a combination of all?
    4. Who determines what a language is? Is it those in the group or culture or someone from outside the group?

    CM's simplistic definition of language is the repeated, agreed-upon usage of sounds, symbols, tones, movements, and facial expressions, with or without words, within a given culture or people group.

    Therefore, is dialect a language? Who determines a style? Can a culture or people impose its "Language" upon another group?

    Wolfgang said:

    "... you may have acquired particular sounds and sequences of sounds and the meanings of these, you learned how to make imitate those, but you really do NOT REALLY speak or understand the particular language you claim to speak. The claim that the person actually really knows and speaks a different language is only partly applicable and mostly false"

    Really? If the culture or the people group accepts it, who are you to say otherwise? Is language cultural? Don't beat up the messenger; let's explore the message.

    To satisfy inquiring minds:

    • Am I an authority on this subject? No!
    • Do others have something to say on the subject? Yes!
    • Are there books, articles, and those who have studied this subject for many years in many places? Yes!
    • Should we include their voices, statements, and principle theories? Yes!
    • Do we have the privilege or the opportunity to include or cite their work? Yes!
    • Only the users of CD (or a few) know it all? No!

    Since we don't know it all and there are so few of us, let's cite the works and findings of others. A broad perspective brings fatness to the intellectual soul. CM

  • MitchellMitchell Posts: 583


    @Wolfgang said: Actually. this promoted concept of language acquisition is used here as a misleading and somewhat fake claim

    I am curious Wolfgang what do you think of the natural approach developed by Tracy Terrell but made famous by Stephen Krashen in the 1970 as well as his input hypothesis and Monitor Hypothesis ? This is similar in someways to the immersion approach which is another very popular of language acquisition and one I prefer over the grammar translation method although that method does have it place after one has mastered the foundations.

    @Wolfgang said: I wonder if this Spanish Prof featured in the video could repeat this above paragraph of mine in the other languages he claims to speak?

    You have made a great point and that being is that the litmus test of a language method is the end results.

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 2,557
    edited February 4

    @Mitchell wrote: I am curious Wolfgang what do you think of the natural approach developed by Tracy Terrell but made famous by Stephen Krashen in the 1970 as well as his input hypothesis and Monitor Hypothesis ? This is similar in someways to the immersion approach which is another very popular of language acquisition and one I prefer over the grammar translation method although that method does have it place after one has mastered the foundations.

    I am not familiar with any of these ... thus I am unable at this time to speak on such matters. I was commenting on the video and its content solely from my current general understanding of principles of language, of communication, of teaching and learning, etc. Trying to be vigilent on all things that I come across, rather than asleep at the switch and "acquiring" what I really first want to more carefully evaluate in case I would rather dismiss it than acquire it.

    A short addition ...

    I did look up "natural approach language learning" in Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_approach) ... the intro paragraph summarizes the following:

    The natural approach is a method of language teaching developed by Stephen Krashen and Tracy Terrell in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It aims to foster naturalistic language acquisition in a classroom setting, and to this end it emphasizes communication, and places decreased importance on conscious grammar study and explicit correction of student errors. Efforts are also made to make the learning environment as stress-free as possible. In the natural approach, language output is not forced, but allowed to emerge spontaneously after students have attended to large amounts of comprehensible language input.

    My harsh judgment: This may be where the downward road for education in Germany (maybe in the "Western world") has gotten started together with a number of other super stupid ideas of "getting something for essentially nothing". Errors? So what ... make them. Nobody will correct you, so errors are just fine. Just make sure you don't get stressed somehow ... and if you do, then just try differently where you lazy dude feel more comfortable. Be spontaneous and let yourself be emerged in the stupidity brainwash soap series telling you how in you are ....

    You know, it's plain and simple: Students "graduate" with this type of "natural" schooling, can't write an A4 page of text with less than 40 spelling mistakes, loads of grammar mistakes, etc. but an ego that will proudly announce to this old man: "Look how much I learned!" And this old man turns around and cries .... remembering the days when he didn't learn his vocabulary and made 3 spelling mistakes in a little test, got a few grammar errors which he should have known better.... But then, he thinks to himself: "Wait and see ..." What one sows is what one reaps ... Now, a few decades later, I KNOW languages and can read and write without needing spell checkers and grammar checkers ...while those kids in essence haven't really learned much of anything worth a dime.

  • MitchellMitchell Posts: 583
    edited February 4

    Thank you for your comments. I do know about the presenters ability at Spanish or another other language he claims to speak, however I do think he has at least some points. I think concept of language acquisition has nothing to do with sleep learning and nothing to do with language mastering by some sort of osmosis. In the next video will not be about describing language learning but will attempt to show the results of language aqusition namely immersion/natural method or rather an offshoot of them.


    Grace and Peace

  • C McC Mc Posts: 3,625

    @Mitchell  said:

    You have made a great point and that being is that the litmus test of a language method is the end results.

    Too many people are devising the "litmus test of a language" for others to meet. Language, in my view, is to be functional and not award-winning. Many years ago, people went around the world, calling unfamiliar people-groups, heathen, and uncivilized. Claiming they had no or unintelligible language. The problem was their finding were all based on their culture and norms.

    Just because a group may not speak the language, we understand or the way we do, it doesn't mean one hasn't or isn't communicating. To understand the depths of communication is to live among the people group, learn the culture, and words or symbols. The same goes for biblical languages. We can't live among the ancient people, but we can study its history and words-grammar.

    Examples of Dialect:

    A Northern American might say, "hello." A Southern American might say, "howdy." This is an example of the differences in dialect.

    Specifically, there are 160 distinct English dialects throughout the world. There is a vast array of different accents within primarily English speaking countries, like the US and England, and there is a broad array of foreign English accents.

    Indian English is a recognized dialect of English, just like British Received Pronunciation (RP, or BBC English) or Australian English, or Standard American. It has a lot of distinctive pronunciations, some unique syntax, and quite a bit of lexical variation.

    Let's be slow about discounting the "acquisition of languages." Communication is the key. We tend to put down or cutting what we don't like or are different from ours.

    1. Ebonics -- black American English regarded as a language in its own right rather than as a dialect of standard English.
    2. African-American English (AAE), also known as Black English in American linguistics, is the set of English dialects primarily spoken by most black people in the United States and many in Canada; most commonly, it refers to a dialect continuum ranging from African-American Vernacular English to a more standard English.
    3. Patwa language -- Jamaican Patois, known locally as Patois (Patwa or Patwah) and called Jamaican Creole by linguists, is an English-based creole language with West African influences (a majority of loan words of Akan origin) spoken primarily in Jamaica and among the Jamaican diaspora.
    4. creole language is a stable natural language developed from a mixture of different styles. Unlike a pidgin, a simplified form that develops as a means of communication between two or more groups, a creole language is a complete language, used in a community and acquired by children as their native language.

    I am sure there are less than perfect Germans is being spoken in Germany. Remember, language is a gift (acquired or innate). Stay open. CM

  • MitchellMitchell Posts: 583

    I am not familiar with any of these ... thus I am unable at this time to speak on such matters.

    By the Wolfgang way Stephen Krashen shows up in the video a number of times as well as few other professionals in the field. I think his book is even mentioned.

  • MitchellMitchell Posts: 583
    edited February 4

    @C_M_ said: Too many people are devising the "litmus test of a language" for others to meet.

    This maybe true, but this was hardly the point I was articulating. And that being the validity of language method rest on whether or not it works meaning helps people acquire fluency in a language or meet whatever language goals they have.

    Notice nothing is said nor hinted about other people needing to meet a litmus test of language:

    the litmus test of a language method is the end results.

    The litmus test here is apply to evaluating a learning method not people learning a language.

  • C McC Mc Posts: 3,625

    @Mitchell said:

    This maybe true, but this was hardly the point I was articulating.

    I concur with you. I was in no way suggesting you said or intended such. I understood you post very well. What I shared was my contribution to the conversation. "All is good". No misunderstanding or overly sensitivity here.

    "... a learning method not people learning a language".

    Good. I will repeat from above:

    To understand the depths of communication is to live among the people group, learn the culture, and words or symbols. The same goes for biblical languages. We can't live among the ancient people, but we can study its history and words-grammar.

    A blessed rest of the day. CM

  • MitchellMitchell Posts: 583

    Thank you for the clarification and...

    @C_M_ said: Let's be slow about discounting the "acquisition of languages." Communication is the key. We tend to put down or cutting what we don't like or are different from ours.

    Sure, and this is also actually a field of study in college and universities as well.

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