Listening Activity: How Do You Spend Your Time?

I have previously talked about whether people are vocabulary builders or vocabulary memorizers and I sort of said that memorizers spend a lot of time with Anki decks or lists and try to nail down vocabulary and that is a large part of their language learning. Vocabulary builders prefer to let the vocabulary accumulate through spending most of their time engaging with interesting content.  Now, thank you for responding. Many people pointed out that they do a bit of both and of course that’s true. That’s also true in my case, but the issue is where do you spend most of your time? I also agree that it depends on where we are in the language. As a beginner in a language I will make more use of flashcards or the activities that we have at LingQ because it’s difficult to engage. Even with short content it’s difficult to follow the language. We’re not used to the language. Whereas if we isolate chunks of the language, like words and phrases and review them in flashcards or multiple choice activities such as we have at LingQ, then it’s a form of engaging with the language which we can cope with sometimes better than actually dealing with real life content.  As I progress in the language, for example where I now am in Greek where I’m sort of a B1 early intermediate, I find that I like to review my vocabulary as I turn a page in LingQ. Not always, I can choose. We can either just swipe and go to the next page or we can hit the arrow which brings up these activities, but I like to do them hot. Immediately upon reading something or listening to something I want to review the vocabulary. Then as I progress in a language I do less and less of that and more and more of my activity is simply reading and listening, particularly listening. 
Steve Kaufmann
https://www.lingq.com/
That gets me to the poll that I want to do today. I think listening comprehension is the most important skill. It’s the fundamental skill. If we understand well what we hear when people speak to us, if we watch movies, listen to the radio, listen to audio books, listen to stories, if we understand well, we are on our way to being able to speak. It means that we can hear clearly what is being said. We have sufficient vocabulary. We have sufficient familiarity with the language. We have the ability to understand what we hear. That’s a fundamental skill.  I would say that I probably spend 70% of my time listening, maybe 25% of my time reading and then the rest is on possibly reviewing words or looking things up in a grammar book or Googling for grammar information. So listening is absolutely key. I get in, I think on average, an hour a day. Between being in the car, working out, cleaning up around the house and so forth. That’s theoretically seven hours a week.  What I would like to ask is how much time do you all spend listening? There’ll be four options.
  1. Those people who get in seven hours a week, an hour a day, seven hours a week or more.
  2. People who get in I’d say half that. Let’s say three hours, three to seven hours a week of listening.
  3. Those who get between one hour to three hours a week of listening in.
  4. People who do less than one hour a week of listening. I would like to see where you all fit in in these four categories.
I would like to see where you all fit in in these four categories in the comments below. I look forward to your answers.

7 comments on “Listening Activity: How Do You Spend Your Time?

Steve .. what is your definition of listening? Honestly, i fail to understand why you put so much emphasis on listening. If you were ship wrecked on a desert island, and there happened to be one radio station, are you suggesting that given enough time, you would eventually absorb the language and begin to speak? I love listening to German radio, but I will be honest, it is not measurably increasing my comprehension. The only thing that is increasing is my frustration.

Linda Weiss

Hi Steve! I spend about an hour a day with my Spanish reading and listening. But I would say I am heavier on the reading than listening. I love using LingQ! After listening to you today though, I am going to consciously increase my listening! So I would say I am in the 1-3 hours of actual “listening” per week.

LinguaPsych

Any new language you learn requires you to grasp all skills; Reading, writing, speaking and listening. Yes, undoubtedly the more you interact in a language, the more proficient you become

Currently, for my main language (somewhere about B1-B2), I probably spend about 40% of my time on listening, 25% on speaking, 25% on reading, and 10% on other. I do know vocabulary review, for a few other languages I spend almost all my practice time on listening. For my main language this averages out to about 3 hours listening per week.

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