What about body language

By Ursula Kallio / 2019-12-18 / In categories Posts

language learning, russian

Do you miss body language when learning asynchronously online?

Excellent question!

In a recent asynchronous course, there is only audio recordings or text. A friend asks if I miss body language when learning this way. I had not thought of it until now. With the help of a decades’ long journey to become a professional musician, it comes natural to me to focus first on sounds and their visual representations.

In a live situation, body language helps immensely. Interestingly, the amount of body language depends on a language’s speakers. For example, in my experience, Mandarin Chinese speakers use less body language compared to other language speakers. For such a difficult language, this makes me yearn for more visual input in certain Mandarin-speaking situations.

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@russianprogress Спасибо!

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When I am learning online by myself, such as the case with this content from Russian Progress, I rely heavily on translation software (at least at the A1 level) and repetition. It is common for me to listen to a loop 20+ times before moving on. I will have broken down phrases and sentences into chunks that have a discernible melody and rhythm. Again I lean on my musical training for internalizing the sound shapes.

Ursula Kallio

Author

Ursula Kallio

A preferably autodidactic polyglot