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This skill is to introduce the alphabet only. Meaning of the sentence is not the focus.
well at least you're not using names like the Welsh course, there in the first lessons like ½ of the words are names
The Welsh course (in terms on names) isn't that bad, but it is funny that names are part of the course ;)
I have this strange friend from vietnam, and we always joke around by yelling random stuff at eachother in a different language, and people think that like a fight is gonna break out, but you really just said something totally random. Its pretty funny actually.
I am sure there are other sentences that would introduce the alphabet just as well and make at least some sense.
I really hope I could show you around the Incubator internal course editor to see how things work but sadly I can't. In general, it is not the case that if one wants to add a sentence, just simply type it out and click "add". Each word must be "corresponding" depending on the skill order. These sentences are the results of adding process. We may improve it during beta to make more sense? Yes, but evidently it takes time.
Of course, I understand that it takes a lot of effort and time. And I'm honestly thankful somebody found that time and energy to do it. I am just trying to point out any flaws so when the time comes to make the course better it is easier to do so with all the feedback as input.
ca = mug cá = fish. I got this wrong because I thought it was "Eat a fish." The sentence is nonsense, but it seems to be a reminder to look carefully at the word.
I agree, I thought this was a good sentence to make you really pay attention to the tone rather than the context.
If I'm understanding this stuff correctly, ‘Eat a fish!’ would be ‘Ăn một con cá!’. That is, besides the different tone, there's also a different article (or measure word, as we called it in Chinese class).
Coming back to this thread a month later, I must say that this one little silly sentence really made an impact on my learning. It really drove home the attention to qualifiers and similar looking words, and now it is getting pretty natural, but it really started back with "ăn một cái ca."
Interestingly, I have read that using nonsense or ridiculous sentences to teach a language can be very effective.
Using memorable sentence versus mundane sentence makes them more, well, memorable.
Plus, it's just hilarious.
In the Reading Horizons Discovery program, there are even plenty of nonsense words just for teaching kids how to read, even if the word is meaningless. That's a good strategy as well as it just helps teach how sounds work.
I know this is helpful to make us pay attention to the tonal accents. Can't wait for there to be more audio cues to help us hear the differences. Thank you for all of your hard work creating this.
Haha, I raised a brow first time I read this. I guess this is relevant in a fight at a bar. :P
It sounds like a brutal as curse. I might just try to use this on a daily basis in English now lol.
I just imagine an edible cup, like a hard shell chocolate cup with coffee in it. :)
This is actually the better way, I do not understand why people continue to criticize using nonsense sentences for teaching. Grammar does not need to make sense. We lie all the time, but in a grammatically correct way. Grammar is like a 'conscience', it is the rules of a language. Example: Horses that think for themselves smoke cigarettes every night. Did that make sense? No, but it is definitely, definitely grammatically correct. And sentences like these are better for teaching so users will not just guess the words just to find the 'sense' and just to make sense, that's not learning grammar at all.
All of that was very well said, except for your comparison of Grammar to a "conscience". Your conscience is the thing that makes you feel guilty or regret certain things you've done, and I fail to see how it at all relates to a grammatical system. I think maybe you might have meant that grammar is something to be "conscientious" about, meaning paying close attention and being aware of it. Despite the similarities, these two words mean very different things. Besides that though, very well spoken post.
I have a book about grammar which talks about this 'conscience' thing, and I simply agree with it. For me, it somehow has something to do with conscience.
I believe, along with the author of the book, that grammar somehow has some relation to conscience.
Of course a sentence can be semantically nonsense and syntactically flawless. 'Colorless green ideas sleep furiously,' and all that. No one is arguing otherwise. The question is whether it is helpful or a hindrance for a student to be drilled on such a sentence early on in learning a language.
Yes, sentence like that are better for learning, without a doubt! I have tackled that already in my comment. With normal sentences, students will just find the sense and guess the word. But that isn't what learning a language is. You have to understand the grammar despite the nonsense.
Finding the sense and guessing the word from context is ok. Honestly, it is. There's nothing wrong with that. I'm not sure why people think that's to be discouraged. In fact, guessing from context is how we all learned our first language as an infant! You didn't learn your first language by your parents 'tricking' you with vocabulary with minimal pairs to make sure you know the difference between 'foot' and 'food'. And learning through context is how language immersion also works.
Yes, it does mean that right now, at this moment, you may not be able to make the fine vocabulary distinctions that you'll want to be certain you can make later, but the point in early language learning is not to make those fine distinctions but to get a good grasp on the feel of the language and to begin to use it comfortably. That's why, for example, one can learn that 'S'il vous plait' is the equivalent to 'please' in French without necessarily being taught to fully parse it out that it literally translates as 'if it pleases you'. Being able to thoroughly parse word-by-word can come later. In contrast, being forced to make too many fine distinctions early on — however important they certainly can be for eventual vocabulary mastery! — can hinder the development of the linguistic patterns that are more important at that stage, by forcing students to work with the language too deliberately and less fluidly. Instead of confidence, it instills second-guessing.
As an extreme example, I don't know of any language course which would test a student on translating a sentence like, 'Yesterday my sister will go to the store when he buys it.' Syntactically, there's not really anything wrong with that sentence, but semantically it's a mess. But it would be absurd to argue: 'Students should be able to parse verb tenses and not just assume from the contextual word "yesterday" that the verb will be past tense.' Because we all recognize that language is a naturally occurring thing, where context matters, and is not just something to be learned in a lab for isolated testing purposes.
While 'Eat a mug!' vs. 'Eat a fish!' may test the ability to make a particular vocabulary distinction, it doesn't do so in a way that aids the student's ability to comfortably operate in the language. And THAT is the end goal of learning a language.
if anyone here gets confused and applies common sense instead of looking at the deatails Fish= CON ca (with a mark) Mug= CAI ca Before you type look at the word before i hope this helped
I agree with @piano_leb @smitchell1, Sure it is a sentence but why introduce language that isn't ever going to be used!! vocab should always be learnt in context. Also there are better ways to introduce the alphabet!