View Poll Results: Read/Write or Speak/Understand or Both

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  • Read/Write

    4 16.00%
  • Speak/Understand

    3 12.00%
  • Both Simultaneously

    18 72.00%
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Thread: Read/Write vs. Speak/Understand

  1. #1
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    Read/Write vs. Speak/Understand

    Okay, I am just wondering about something. In beginning to learn a language (like Russian), should a person concentrate more on being able to A) Read and Write, B) Speak and Understand, or C) Both at the same time? And why?

    Thanks for your participation.

    Platinum
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  2. #2
    Старший оракул
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    I'm going to have to go with "both simultaneously".

    If you absolutely have to choose one or the other, I would definitely go with speak/understand, but then you can't communicate via email/forum/chat, and not everyone has a native Russian nearby to practice with... And it's not too much more difficult to learn both at the same time.
    -Fantom
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  3. #3
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    When I began learning Russian, I neglected to learn how to listen and speak, which I think was quite detremental. I'm still working on bringing my listening and speaking skills up to the same level I can read and write at.
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  4. #4
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    I guess my reasoning is similar to fantom's...learning them simultaneously is probably really important...

    I said both, but if I had to choose one, I would go with speaking/understanding because, let's face it, that's probably how we all grew up. We learned to say things and understand things before we learned how to write things down and read things, right?
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    I tend to agree that both is the best, but if you had to pick, I think it would be EASIER to first learn how to read and write. Otherwise it is just memorization of words... what is the first thing one does in class? Learn the alphabet...
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by kalinka_vinnie
    I tend to agree that both is the best, but if you had to pick, I think it would be EASIER to first learn how to read and write. Otherwise it is just memorization of words... what is the first thing one does in class? Learn the alphabet...
    That may be true, Kalinka. We DO learn the alfabet first in school. But we ALREADY know how to speak. I think they're both important, but I think it's easier to learn to speak/understand. Actually, I think it's easiest to speak. Then read, then write. I think the hardest thing to do is understand when people talk. Even when they go slowly, I temporarily forget what the words mean because I'm in a panic. Reading is easier because you can take your time and re-read a word calmly until it comes to you.

    That's just my opinion. But overall, I think it's best to learn everything at once. You might go slower, but you'll progress farther that way.
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  7. #7
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    I think the situation really depends on the reason your learning russian.

    I've seen a lot of posts online about people that need to travel on business, or have decided that even tho they don't speak russian, they are going to marry a russian girl. In these circumstances, obviously its best for the person to learn to speak/listen moreso than it is to write and read it.

    But as for everybody else (and everybody works differently I might add, but this is how I take it) I think its best to learn to read/write. I mean, If you don't know anything about the grammatical structure of russian, your screwed and limited to learning phrases that you can't do anything with. How can you expect to pick up on the language if you have to remember every case for nouns, every conjugation for verbs, and every prefix for verbs of motion...

    Second, as students in the United States are concerned, when will we ever have to speak russian? Maybe sometime if you find yourself in a situation where somebody just came over, or some hot exchange student in class, but for the most part we won't. We'll be typing emails to our penpals or hanging out in chat rooms, where we're going to have to be writing, not speaking.

    Obviously, however, if we are students of russian we'll probably want to visit the country sometime, in which case I think it's so much easier to pick up on conversational russian if you have a strong background in grammer and vocabulary than it is the other way around. Yeah, you may sound akward at first, but you can pick up on the idioms and rythms pretty quickly, whereas I think it'd be a lot harder to pick up on the grammatical structure from a spoken background.

    My 2 cents...

    tdk

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Platinum
    That may be true, Kalinka. We DO learn the alfabet first in school. But we ALREADY know how to speak. I think they're both important, but I think it's easier to learn to speak/understand. Actually, I think it's easiest to speak. Then read, then write. I think the hardest thing to do is understand when people talk. Even when they go slowly, I temporarily forget what the words mean because I'm in a panic. Reading is easier because you can take your time and re-read a word calmly until it comes to you.
    I agree with tdk2fe, if you don't know the grammar, how will you manage to express yourself freely without making gross errors. You will be mumbling nouns and verbs in infinitive...

    Anyway, platinum, I meant what do we learn in RUSSIAN class first? The alphabet!!! The only reason we as kids don't need to learn how to read and write is because we live constantly in a society who always speaks the same language to us. We are forced to learn it. Move to Russia and you will learn to speak.
    Hei, rett norsken min og du er død.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by kalinka_vinnie
    I agree with tdk2fe, if you don't know the grammar, how will you manage to express yourself freely without making gross errors. You will be mumbling nouns and verbs in infinitive...

    Anyway, platinum, I meant what do we learn in RUSSIAN class first? The alphabet!!! The only reason we as kids don't need to learn how to read and write is because we live constantly in a society who always speaks the same language to us. We are forced to learn it. Move to Russia and you will learn to speak.
    I understand and agree. Thanks for your input.
    Платинов

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdk2fe
    I think the situation really depends on the reason your learning russian.
    tdk
    I agree with this quote. With me...I'm an American who has opportunity to meet and speak with native Russians (Belarussians, Ukrainians, Georgians, etc.) all the time. Speaking to be understood and listening to be able to understand is of the highest priority. Reading and writing, though and important, are a distant second for me at this stage.

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