Trying too hard can have negative impact

A very interesting little article here (procedural memory is one of the tools that SSi leans very heavily on):

http://openscienceworld.com/trying-harder-difficult-learn-language/

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I have been telling Eirwen for years the harder I attempt to do household chores the worse I become at them. My prescription: lots of snoozing in the armchair, beverages, especially good wine, on request; grapes popped into my mouth at even the subtlest of hints and, of course, immense amounts of time spent on the tennis court. At last some decent scientific research to back up what was obvious to me in the first place,

Justin

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This is a fascinating article…and answers a question that I was going to ask in the forums about when to listen to Welsh music or programs.

Study subjects listened to the artificial language for about 10 minutes. One group of subjects was told not to overanalyze what they heard, but not to tune it out either. To help them not overthink the language, they were given the option of completing a puzzle or coloring while they listened.

I’ve wondered whether or not listening to Welsh whilst drawing or photographing would help and the above answers my question. Sadly, listening to Welsh while at work probably won’t help.

I’m not quite sure how you reached that conclusion? Listening to Welsh while having other things you need to do is exactly the kind of low-focus activity that this particular study seems to be looking at (and certainly valuable in my experience, coupled with shorter, intense sessions such as our listening exercises)… :sunny:

I’m a systems engineer juggling lot of projects. There are some routine tasks in my day to day work but most involve a) reading and digesting a lot of information in order to solve a particular problem or b) writing and debugging code in order to automate a particular process. Both require a lot of focus…hence my conclusion.

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Ah, right - if it’s about the listening process interrupting your real work, sure, I hear you - not an ideal fit… :sunny:

Brilliant! So my doing the ironing and cleaning while doing SSiW really did help! I had the impression that it did, but it’s good to have that confirmed :smile:

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I think combining something essentially physical with mental exercise can work very well. So things like painting a wall with emulsion can go well with lessons or cleaning windows (one day I suppose I should actually try cleaning a window…).

But combining two or more mentally demanding things doesnt work so well.
I used to think I could read a book and listen to something on the radio at the same time. Not sure if I ever could properly but I certainly cant now. Perhaps age reduces multitasking ability.

Ssshhhh!!! Eirwen might hear.

Justin

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Hmmmm … but now this makes me wonder … would she forbid ironing to yuo because she would be afraid you might learn Cymraeg too well and there would be no “hiding place” behind the (that little tiny bit of not understood) language ooooooooooooorrrrrrrrrrrr … she’d load you tons of clothes for ironing just to learn faster and faster???

[size=40]HAHAHA![/SIZE]

:slight_smile: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

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This topic came to mind just now because I was doing the listening part of the daily practices and trying hard to just listen without a) spacing out and b) trying to translate everything I heard into Saesneg.

I have a vague theory that, as kids, part of the reason languages are learnt so easily is because it is the first languages we are learning. We don’t have any prior knowledge of what it should or should not sound like. Whereas when we are adults we have a primary language and, while learning a next language, our minds constantly try to pattern match our primary language with the one we are learning.

Just a few thoughts.

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Dw i’n gwrando y Sianel Pedwar Cymru most of the day, granted I work from home here but it does wonders for my understanding and comprehension of new words in the lessons. Might not work for everybody but it certainly seems to for me!

Worth a try I’d say…

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One of the things that is known in language acquisition studies is that there is a critical early window (very early - I’m not sure if it goes far past about 6 months or so) during which a child can distinguish all differences in sound, in any language to which they’re exposed. So Chinese children who have early exposure to English in the critical period will have no problems hearing the difference between ‘r’ and ‘l’, and likewise English children exposed to (for example) Finnish in the critical period will have no problem hearing the difference between single and double consonants in Finnish… :sunny:

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Well that completely rules out the possibility I had a Russian nanny, unfortunately!!

Justin

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