I’ve been listening to Danish radio a lot recently (this was a suggestion for listening practise by the Lady Of The Cakes, a fantastic blogger who I follow). So far it’s working out quite well, but I’ve had to develop my approach to this activity from a language learner’s perspective.
I originally started listening to Danish radio months ago when I was completely bored to death of listening to my ‘Teach Yourself Danish’ material and desperately craved something else to listen to.
This started out as an incredibly unproductive exercise and fruitless endeavour, as I listened to mostly English pop music, with the occasional Danish pop song. It took me a lot of listening to find the recurring Danish pop songs, and then to try to understand the words to them!
I felt like I was slowly picking up bits of the language, but really, it was mostly a waste of time.
Recently I’ve been trying out blind shadowing a Danish talk show / news channel while I walk to and from my home to the local train station. I felt really silly doing this to begin with, but I’m slowly learning the sound and ‘feel’ of Danish this way.
When it is combined with the other vocabulary building work that I do on Memrise and Duolingo, I find that over time, I’m able to understand slightly more of the weird sounds that I’m copying.
After listening to a recent Actual Fluency Podcast with Robin MacPherson, I decided to try out the idea of trying to blind shadow complete strangers on public transport. To my surprise, I found that I was able to understand some of what they were saying after I started repeating it to myself under my breath. It was so strange!
In the future, I plan on doing shadowing with some podcasts or Danish learning material that I can also read along with. It is a technique which I would strongly recommend, particularly if you can integrate it into a routine that you already do.
Have any of you tried any crazy language learning techniques recently? Or perhaps there are some which you’ve heard of, but would like to try! I’m always interested in new and fun ways to get better at learning languages.