Is Matt's (from Matt vs Japan) idea--that it's more efficient to go more reading heavy before going more listening heavy--consistent with your experience?

It’s such a complicated stuff…

It depends on a lot of things to be real. Reading for me It’s the most important thing since I don’t live in Japan and I use to read more than I see anime or movies… so I don’t care a lot about listening comprehension. Nowadays there’s lot of resources to do both and probably It totally depends on personal needs.

Anyway, there will never be an universal method on anything in this World.


At the end of the day, my experience has been that reading more improved my reading ability, and listening more improved my listening ability. But I did more listening when I was living in Japan, and have done more reading since not living in Japan.

My rule of thumb for both reading and listening is “If you can guess from context, or everything still seems to make sense without you knowing it, keep going (you can always check later). If nothing makes sense without knowing what that word means, look it up right now as it will impact on everything else”.


Mine is kinda similar: If everything makes sense, carry on. If I can’t understand anything being said, carry on. If there’s one word stopping everything from making sense, then look it up.


There is a fair amount of research indicating that attention to form (e.g. grammar) is important for second language acquisition. Krashen and others claim that one can focus on meaning only, and grammar acquisition will come naturally. This claim is quite popular, and case studies (e.g. some kid named Wes) and anecdotes appear to confirm this is at least possible. Later researchers claim that attendance to the language code is more effective in acquiring grammar than focusing solely on the message for adults learning a second language.

"For successful grammar acquisition, attention to form is probably
necessary. This attentional focus on form can be externally achieved by
instruction or internally sought by self-study and self-directed analysis of
the linguistic material available in the environment.


Grammatical competence appears to evolve in ways that are less amenable
to incidental benefits from the environment than other aspects of the
language to be learned, such as vocabulary, discourse competence, and so
on. It also seems to hold a special status in language acquisition. Specifically,
grammar (a) requires more interest, attention and hard work than other
aspects of the language to be learned; (b) may even require more time to
simmer and deploy than the learning of other aspects of an L2; and (c ) can
act as a gatekeeper to development in other areas of the L2 beyond formulaic
repertoires, particularly sociolinguistic competence."

from Understanding Language Acquisition by Ortega (2013)

Currently I think my biggest potential areas for improvement are probably (1) having good heuristics for what to pay attention to in input; (2) maybe exploring repetitive listening if I can find a good reason to.

For (1) I think that forms like grammar, conjunctions, discourse terms, sentence structure, etc probably deserve more of my attention, and vocabulary probably deserves less of my attention.

For (2) I have a gut feeling that repetitive listening could have lots of benefits, but I’d like to have solid evidence that it’s effective because it would be very time-consuming. For example, the first time I watch an episode, it takes a long time, and most of that is just trying to determine what was said. Maybe the 3rd or 4th pass is better for truly practicing listening comprehension.


haha this thread is still going on.
Are you guys aware that MIA, at least in it’s former form, is no more?

Absolutely no connection to language learning but massive drama atm. lol

Online drama’s basically the soap opera of this generation, except with less scripting and worse actors.


The current research actually decries listening and only listening. Listening without context, knowing the words being said, or at the very least visuals to provide at least some scaffolding is almost useless. However, scaffold-ed listening is very useful. That would be pre-study or introduction to the words that will be said and/or watching/listening to material near or at a +1 to your level (via Krashen). An exception to this is if you are practicing shadowing. That is purely a study in hearing and reproducing sounds from the language and not in understanding. It has its own merit and can help people hear at a native level even with out a specific understanding.

Um, no? The thread was created 17 days ago and had not seen new posts for 11 days. I wouldn’t call that ongoing.

  • User makes first post in two weeks
  • User expresses surprise thread is still ongoing

I mean, that tracks as forum logic to me.


Yeah I was mistaken and actually happy to have been mistaken since I regarded this thread as not having any real practical merit.
I’ll explain myself.
I only visit one particular thread (i,e. not this thread) in this forum since around a month or so and whilst doing so I saw this thread in the box below which says 関連トピック. Since I still suck at Japanese I guess my mind just parsed it as “recent topics”, hence assumed this thread was still active, and posted without actually confirming it.

1 Like