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Russian language: no more bullshit
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Shemp Offline

Posts: 189
Joined: Oct 2018
Post: #606
RE: Russian language: no more bullshit
Another way to know what really works with language learning and what doesn't is to just look at patterns of success and failure:

* Many poorly motivated immigrants, immersed in various European countries and given obligatory one-on-one language lessons in exchange for government handouts, never learn anything.

* Many weakly motivated Mexican immigrants immersed in the United States never learn English, and many weakly motivated American retirees immersed in Mexico and British retirees immersed in Spain never learn Spanish.

* Many highly motivated young people in Eastern Europe speak excellent English, despite lacking native language teachers and despite lack of one-on-one instruction.

* Highly motivated career military and foreign service tend to be very successful at learning all sorts of foreign languages, using old-fashioned classroom instruction supplemented by modern technology (smartphones, etc) on their own time.

* Older people in Eastern Europe who speak English at a high level in terms of vocabulary and grammar, usually have thick accents, sometimes so thick as to be impossible for me to understand, whereas young people in those same countries, who speak at a similar level of English, often have near perfect American pronunciation.

Conclusions: Because of the internet and satellite television, it is now possible to get access to unlimited amounts of native language podcasts and videos for all major languages, and this is sufficient to develop good pronunciation. In the past, immersion or one-on-one instruction with native speakers was necessary for good pronunciation.

Motivation is what really counts, not one-on-one instruction or immersion or other aspects of methodology. Best motivation occurs when learning language is key to career or other financial success. Military and foreign service officers and overseas journalists tend to have very high motivation. Those who lack strong career/financial motivation need to find some way to make the learning process enjoyable and avoid anything that makes the process unpleasant. In particular, yelling internally at oneself "Get off your lazy ass and study Russian, you miserable slob!", which might work for someone who has hopes for a foreign service career, is probably a bad idea for someone whose main reason for learning Russian is to make it slightly easily to meet girls and otherwise get along during stays in Ukraine (the situation of yours truly).

If immersion or one-on-one instruction motivates you, they are good ideas, but they are not necessary and are bad ideas if they reduce motivation in any way. For me, rigorous schedule implied by one-on-one instruction (having to get into video chat at precise time each day) would absolutely kill motivation. Immersion is nice, I do enjoy my time in Ukraine after all, but I don't think it does much by itself to improve my Russian. For various reasons, the girls I meet speak passable English when I met them and they want to improve their English, so we mostly speak English, though occasionally they lapse into Russian when at a loss for words.
(This post was last modified: 10-21-2018 04:02 AM by Shemp.)
10-21-2018 03:57 AM
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Russian language: no more bullshit - Roosh - 04-14-2013, 06:51 PM
RE: Russian language: no more bullshit - Shemp - 10-21-2018 03:57 AM

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