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Listening to podcasts in English while reading a book in your native language

Goedenavond :) I like listening to podcasts to improve my listening comprehension. I usually listen to them while doing chores, but now I wonder if it is equally effective if I have them on quietly in the background while reading a book in my native language? Or do you think it might weird out my brain in some way? ^^

Might be an odd question, but I just wondered. :)

5 months ago

3 Comments


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I have not done anything like this before exactly, but I did listen to music in a different language than what I was reading quite a few times. What I've noticed, is that the music can really distract from the text you are reading and I imagine something similar might happen when listening to podcasts. What could also happen is that as you really get into the book you are reading, the audio just becomes background noise. Technically you are still hearing, just not listening. This is called passive listening and it has been widely accepted by many language learners that active listening is much better than pasive listening. This means: actively focusing and engaging with the audio and by doing that you will improve listening comprehension.

Sure, passive lositening does help in improving your listening comprehension, but it will take months if not years for it to get to the level you start to understand things (I speak from personal experience) and even then, you won't understand everything just yet. It will make it easier to pick up some things, but it is not the msot effective way to learn. So I suggest that when you listen to podcasts in Dutch (or any other language you wish to learn), you listen actively and focus on the audio, not a book, article, the cute little cat outside the window, etc.

I hope this helps. Veel succes!

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ayamedori

It's as effective as you feel it is - different things work for different people. Personally I even have issues keeping track of the languages I speak fluently (I've subconsciously written entire paragraphs in English while working on a Dutch paper because I was listening to English music before), let alone the ones I'm learning so this definitely wouldn't work for me, but if you feel like it doesn't confuse you at all to take in two languages at the same time, I'd say go for it.

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/who_cares_nvm

I tend to watch TV in English, while reading books in Dutch. I am German. As soon as you speak more than one language on a daily basis you are doomed to mix up words and get caught up in all the different languages. If it's beneficial for learning Dutch per se, I can't say. But being involved in different languages while multitasking works well for me. I guess it depends from person to person. And probably also on your skill level in each language.

Also, what podcasts are you listening to? I struggle to find good Dutch ones, that I care about.

5 months ago