Friday, September 11, 2009

the TV method!

Here is my first attempt to try to describe the TV method in a video. I want to get better at talking about second language acquisition and language learning like Steve Kaufmann. Some of my thoughts may not be well connected or well said, so please forgive me. This was my first time speaking about the TV method. I was not able to cover everything in 10 minutes. I actually spoke for about 13 minutes, but I cut off the end so I wouldn't need more than one video. I also cut out a few seconds where it took me time to recall the word "unproven" in the beginning of the video. The rest is uncut. I hope you enjoy my very first video about the TV method.


  1. Hi Keith

    I'm surprised to be the first one to comment on your video but...

    I've been following you and some other language blogs for sometime. Also, because of you I've read Mr Brown's book 'From the Outside In'. An excellent and thought provoking read.

    I've been learning Chinese for about 3 yrs and can hold a conversation sometimes, though it's not easy.

    In recent months, I've changed the way I was learning to mainly listening exercises, including TV and this has definitely improved my comprehension.

    Anyway, I have to agree with you about soap series. They are watchable and comprehensible for the general story line. As you said you get to know the characters, their motives and their part of the story. Words are not that important really.

    I'm very curious about what you said about acquiring new words and that there's no other connection to the word other then the situation you heard them in. Do you ever think this word must mean xxxx in English? Or is English wholly/mostly absent from your experience of learning Chinese?

    I've changed my approach and am moving towards more guessing/acquiring language rather then translating but I still find myself 'translating' words in my mind. Yesterday, i was watching TV and instantly knew that XXX meant 'shell' in English. Perhaps, my mind has built this habit through my previous studies. Strangely enough I've heard the 'shell' word a few times already today.

    'From the outside in' the thing that stuck in my mind from reading this was that Mr Brown said we taught (in a second language) about phsyical things and things that you can sense to a child but about abstract things to an adult. Because of this I've given children TV a go. I've found some kids shows to be excellent as they talk about the obvious and it's very satisfying to watch. Though some other children TV is annoying as I don't like the voices, too squeaky.

    Sorry to ramble on, but I've found your experiment genuinely interesting. I hope your job situation sorts itself out so that you can conintue the experience.

    Thanks very much


  2. Hey, very interesting. It's clear that traditional methods of language learning don't work. ALG and the Listening Method are radically different, and they work! The problem with TV is that it's too difficult. You have to have a certain amount of understanding to begin with, maybe 20 or 30%, that you can build on with repetition. Maybe start with TV for toddlers? Anyway, I've made some mp3 lessons to teach English with ALG/Listening Method approach:


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