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https://www.duolingo.com/Roger_Burke

Audio illusions and the McGurk effect: The visual (& other sensory) influence on language learning

I know this is April Fool's day, but this is a serious post that is important for language learning. How many times have you seen someone complain about how words sound in the audio? How many times have you heard about the value of face-to-face communication? Watch the following video about audio illusions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzo45hWXRWU=youtu.be

Now think about how often the DL speaker is using a Spanish "B" versus a Spanish "V". This is just one reason why I have been arguing for more visual and immersive techniques woven into DL lessons. In the video you will see two frames of the same person's head. One head will be saying "bar" and the other one will say "far." The first time you look at this you think you are hearing different words, but suddenly you will notice that if only look at one head you will only hear "bar" and if you only look at the other head you will only hear "far." If you close your eyes you will only hear one version all the way through. This is not a "sort of" experience, the distinctions are clear and absolute.

What you see clearly and absolutely influences what you hear. And that influences what you learn.

Visual presentations also influence memory and other sensory perceptions.

DuoLingo is a profound break through in the influence of crowd sourcing and and statistical analysis on learning, but how much further can the project be taken if we add other forms of input and analysis? Please watch the video and think about how strong this phenomenon is and how many other hidden influences there are in language learning. I can think of a hundred other ways to augment language learning that could be streamed into DL's crowd sourcing and statistical model.

I just hope that Luis Van Anh stumbles on to this post and watches the video.

3 years ago

4 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Deliciae
Deliciae
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Interesting! I've always had a slight aversion to speaking on the phone, and thought it had to do with missing out on the overall body language (thinking more about reading emotion than sounds) - but this might very well be part of it as well.

I also strongly prefer listening to video material over podcasts, even if I'm likely to be drawing, working out or playing with the cats in the meantime, and not looking at the screen half of the time. It's just about having that reference point if/when I need it.

Duo's aim seems to be to bring language learning opportunities to as many people as possible, many of which would not be able to download the large amount of data that video learning entails, but who knows - they might be looking to diversify.

By the way, you might want to move this to the Duolingo section. :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bookrabbit
bookrabbit
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That is so strange! The words do actually sound different depending on which picture you are looking at. Obviously the visual channel is dominant. This could be why duolingo works so well. Words on a screen are visual. Duolingo very effectively ties the sounds to the visual word reinforcing them with the stronger visual cue. I find it very difficult to separate sounds on their own. I can only hear them distinctly once I know how they are spelt. But then I can hear quıte subtle dıstınctıons. But only when my braın can vısualıse the text word. Personally I wouldn't want other vısuals brought ın as thıs ıs already so effectıve for me.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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I've been learning French from absolutely no prior knowledge for a few months now. One of my resources is "Coffee Break French" podcasts. Usually it's stellar, but occasionally I have a hard time hearing exactly what they are saying.

I always found it interesting that many Asian people have a hard time differentiating between 'r' and 'l' sounds in English, because to me they are so clearly distinctly different. The other day the people on the podcast were saying a word and I absolutely could not tell if it contained an 'r' or an 'l'. It was the strangest feeling. I wish I could remember what it was.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HappyEvilSlosh
HappyEvilSlosh
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The McGurk effect is pretty creepy. A similar effect can apparently also be achieved using only timed puffs of air against someone's face.

3 years ago