How to listen to content as a beginner

From the LingQ Forum

Question:

Steve,

What’s the ‘best’ way to listen to content? Should one pause after, say, every other sentence to translate, or should you just listen/read all the way through and absorb the language naturally? I’m a beginner in German. Is it advisable to use the LingQ German podcast to start with, or would this not be best for a beginner? Should one only begin with the beginner content, or would it be good to listen to natural content as well?

Thanks!

My answer:

I do not pause. I prefer to listen a few times, read the text, save words and phrases, review them, and then keep listening until I get about 70%, and then move on. I then go back again and listen later, in conjunction with other items I have studied.

I would start with beginner content. Everything is new, so our tolerance for boring beginner content is higher. Once we are over the newness of the language, we start to want more interesting content. I think you may need a few months on beginner content, listening often, reviewing words and phrases, occasionally consulting grammar explanations, then you should be ready for authentic content.

With authentic content, start with shorter pieces where the number of unknown words is not too great. Within another two months you will be reading and listening to literature or news podcasts.

I should add that some of our members have created wonderful beginner content for German. You should also look at the three content items that also exist in the English library as well as the other language libraries, Who is She, Eating Out and Greetings and Goodbyes. These bilingual texts can be great starter material since they are short, and come in a number of related episodes.

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