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  1. Newbie
    Student or Learner
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      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Russian Federation

    • Join Date: Mar 2019
    • Posts: 2
    #1

    A lack of comprehension.

    Hi there! I've got a question that alarm me quite a lot.

    I'm a newbie in a great English world (14 months of learning). I prefer monolingual dictionaries and have just read the 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's stone' book, which is my 5 book so far. And somewhere in the middle of the book, I started to get obsessed with an idea that there is something wrong with my perception of new vocabulary.

    That's what I do while reading:

    1) Whenever I come across a new word, I look it up, then write down some sentences with the word.
    2) After reading, I review my vocabulary by rereading the sentences that were written down.

    The weird thing is that whenever I read the sentences it feels so foggy, I kind of can't feel the meaning of new words very very deep. It happens mostly with words that don't have a direct translation. I don't need a direct translation anymore, but also feel quite fuzzy in a new world of language acquisition. It feels like I'm in space and can't breathe properly.

    For example, 'Peeves was bobbing halfway up, loosening the carpet so that people would trip.'

    In Russian, we don't talk like that. I appreciate English, I literally love it, but its huge vocabulary and context addiction put its learners before Everest.

    How to deal with a lack of meaningful comprehension?
    Should I read more?
    Will it come off?
    Maybe it's just the wrong way of dealing with words. (but as I said direct translation doesn't provide you with meaningful information so I don't use one)

    My aim is to get my comprehension at a level of native speakers and then above it.

  2. jutfrank's Avatar
    VIP Member
    English Teacher
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      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Mar 2014
    • Posts: 9,839
    #2

    Re: A lack of comprehension.

    Make sure that you select example sentences very carefully. The sentences must be as meaningful as possible. This normally means that they should create a very clear picture in your mind's eye. It is when you do not meet this condition that leads to the feeling of fuzziness that you describe in your post. If it is not possible to create a clear picture, then try to imagine a clear sound, or sensation, or emotion.

    Your example, 'Peeves was bobbing halfway up, loosening the carpet so that people would trip' is a poor example—even I as a native speaker cannot imagine clearly what it means.


    Now imagine that you are standing on a beach on a windy day. You have in your hand a bottle of wine. You open the bottle and toss the cork into the sea. The waves of the water roll repeatedly under it. This disturbance is causing the cork to move up and down. Try to imagine clearly just how the cork is moving. The cork is bobbing.
    Last edited by jutfrank; 16-Mar-2019 at 18:14.

  3. Newbie
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Russian Federation

    • Join Date: Mar 2019
    • Posts: 2
    #3

    Re: A lack of comprehension.

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post

    Now imagine that you are standing on a beach on a windy day. You have in your hand a bottle of wine. You open the bottle and toss the cork into the sea. The waves of the water roll repeatedly under it. This disturbance is causing the cork to move up and down. Try to imagine clearly just how the cork is moving. The cork is bobbing.
    I think I got it. We, learners, have to put a lot of work and effort in order to figure out these verbs. It takes 10-15 minutes to grasp the meaning of some words...Thank you!

  4. jutfrank's Avatar
    VIP Member
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Mar 2014
    • Posts: 9,839
    #4

    Re: A lack of comprehension.

    Quote Originally Posted by Through_Wonders View Post
    We[no comma] learners[no comma] have to put a lot of work and effort in in order to figure out these verbs.
    My point is that no, you needn't have to. You often just need to see a clear picture. It can be done in a fraction of a second, with no effort at all. The problem is in accessing (and knowing how to access) a clear picture in the first place. This is one thing for which a good teacher is indispensable.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 18-Mar-2019 at 23:13. Reason: making corrections in the quote

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