Listening comprehension

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banderas

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Dear Teachers and Learners!

A friend of mine, who lives in Poland, struggles to understand spoken English. Her level is advanced (around "C") and she can express pretty much everything she wants but she does not understand that well. As one to one lessons with a native speaker of English are quite expenisve in Poland, I suggested that she should watch movies if she wants to make some progress.
Now she is asking me if it is advisable to watch her favourite TV series "Lost" with subtitles or she would benefit more from doing it without any subtitles?

There are some prons:
1. She should watch it with subtitles because it allowas her to pick up new words and build up her vocabulary.
2. Subtitles help her to follow the plot easily without wondering what some characters, like Sawyer, say. By the way I myself have sometimes difficulty in understanding his speech. Those who watch "Lost" certainly know what I mean.;-)

and cons:
1. Subtitles are going to turn listening comprehension into reading comprehension. She will focus on reading mainly instead of listening.
2. She should be able to figure out words and their meaning from the context (without subtitles) even if she does not know the exact their meaning.

What do you think, Teachers? Could you share your opinions and views with me?
What are your experiences, Learners, especially those, like Vil, who are self-taught?

Perhaps you can say something that doesn't fit into any prons and cons I mentioned. If so, feel free to add your comments.

Cheers
Banderas
 

Anglika

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My experience of being in Greece, watching English programmes and films with Greek subtitles was that it markedly helped my Greek comprehension.

One suggestion - if she can switch the subtitles on and off, then watch without but switch them on when she finds she is losing track of the dialogue.
 

banderas

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My experience of being in Greece, watching English programmes and films with Greek subtitles was that it markedly helped my Greek comprehension.
dialogue.
How about if she reads transcript of an episode first and then watch it without the subtitles?What do you think, Anglika?
 

anreak

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My english teacher always encouraged me to watch movies with English subtitles. It works for me. Banderas had a great idea, it certainly will make her experience less boring I think. And Lost itself is a good start point, coparing to other series its dialogues are slower. :-D
 

banderas

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My english teacher always encouraged me to watch movies with English subtitles. It works for me.
Don't you think that doing that you more read English than listen to English?
Or perhaps in this way you kill two birds with one stone?

Banderas had a great idea, it certainly will make her experience less boring I think. Thanks, mate. ;-)

And Lost itself is a good start point, coparing to other series its dialogues are slower. :-D
Yes, it is good, isn't it?
s
 

anreak

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Don't you think that doing that you more read English than listen to English?
Or perhaps in this way you kill two birds with one stone?

I agree up to a point, sometimes I get myself fed up of English, so I end up just reading the subtitles. But your student have to keep in mind that she needs to focus on listening, it's not supposed to be a reading exercise, is it? I think the success of this exercise depends on the willingness of the student. All in all chances are that your student will be more exposed to English with no subtitles at all (or usually subt in our language that can be ignored) and then that is the opportunity for her to notice whether she's improving.

Kill two birds? It's a good way to improve vocabulary, however I try not to worry much about new words when I'm watching TV.

Well, that's my sad story. :-D
 
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