Should We Read, Listen, or What?

Yesterday, July 4th, was the American national holiday. July 1st was the Canadian national holiday. Since I’m retired, I’m not much affected by holidays. Amongst the various activities that I enjoy, as you probably know, is language learning. When it’s sunny I have less time available for language learning, I’m doing other things, like golfing.  When it’s raining, like today, I have more time. 


People often ask me.  What should I read ? What should I listen to? Or even, should I read or should I listen? Personally, since I am a dilettante language learner, I do exactly what I please. If you are preparing for a test, or need to improve in a certain area of technical language, that would dictate what you read or listen to. Me, it’s simple whatever I am interested in or feeling like reading or listening about.


The main concern should be to stay active in the language. Both reading and listening are effective. I sometimes spend my time listening to simple content for the nth time, just because it’s easy to do while cleaning up the kitchen for example. I find that reading is better for retaining vocabulary. As I go through reading lessons in LingQ for the 3rd or 4th or 5th time, I make sure to add to the reading count manually each time, just so that I can keep a record of my reading activities. The listening activities track automatically.


As for what to read and or listen to, I bounce around. Recently I have enjoyed following Turkish drama on Netflix on my computer. Using Language Learning with Netflix I am able to go through these dramas line by line, reading the subtitles in Turkish and the translation in English. I can control this with my keypad. Then I am able to review these same episodes on my iPad in LingQ, since I have imported the transcript. I get the transcripts from a site called Subadub. From there I can download the SRT file of the Turkish subtitles which I convert to a text file at Subtitletools which removes the time stamps. Then I import this file into LingQ. Ideally I would keep the time stamps so that I could review each episode in sentence mode with the sound,  the way I am able to do with Youtube videos I import into LingQ using our browser extension.


Working with LingQ helps me learn the words and phrases of the language. Listening and watching the video give me a better sense of the flow of the language and makes me feel a little more comfortable with Turkish word order, so different from what I’m used to. I’m hoping that we figure out how to download the audio, attach it to the transcript lessons in LingQ. We are working on it apparently. I’m hoping our technical staff comes up with something. 


Anyway it’s a rainy day and I’m looking forward to doing some Turkish. I will read quite a bit. Then since I have to vacuum the house, I will do a lot of listening while vacuuming.

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