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LCWO Discussion Forum [Atom LCWO Forum Feed]

This is a simple discussion forum for LCWO users. Feel free to use it for any kind of discussion related to this website.

Thread: Passive vs Active Listening

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AuthorText


Posted: 2020-01-23 09:43
I'm working on my "head copying" and have become increasingly aware of these two modes of listening, which I flip-flop between when listening to plain text.

Active Listening: I translate (or attempt to, anyway!) the sounds into characters, and then form the word in my mind.

Passive Listening: The sound of morse code flows through my mind but no characters are registered.

If I loose track in the middle of a long word or can't translate a character, I often flip into Passive Listening until the end of the word. I'm working on getting back in the saddle before the word ends and then guessing what the word was from what characters I caught.

The two modes feel completely different and part of my exercise is to keep flipping back to Active Listening.

Some people on this forum have advocated Passive Listening as a learning technique, but I have this feeling that it is just my mind trying to escape from a difficult task.

Can anyone say something about the relative merits of Passive versus Active Listening?


Posted: 2020-01-23 12:17
I tried passive listening with an elderly OM that had difficulties to learn CW. At the time he was at honest speed 12 wpm / papercopy (0% faults) and was dreaming of headcopy and QRQ.
For a couple of weeks he was daily listening passively to CW at 20 wpm. Long story cut short: , several hours a day. No positive effect.

In the mean time he masters CW. It just took him time and practice.

You are right to train "to get into decoding" again after you lost track. It takes out frustration and excitement when you lose track of cw - this happens to everybody (I have this happening after 40 years of CW ;-)

Beware of the suggestions given by some, no matter if in books or in forums - a lot of that is unfounded.
If all that would be true we would see more of that in our daily lives: Musicians would excercise at double the speed they can master etc. Hint: they are not.

To give you an example: I am counting - when necessary - dots at 50 wpm. To stop me counting dots I would need to listen at 70 wpm, but I cannot copy at that speed. To this day I don't understand the "counting dot" issue with speeds above say 10 wpm.
People can count dots at any speed they can copy. Asking beginners to go to speeds where they don't count dots (when needed) means constantly pushing them into speeds they do not master and into frustration.

It is a fact that if you master CW at a certain speed you need to push the speed. No amount of training at low speed will make you a fast CW op.
This however does not apply to beginners. At least it didn't apply to me when learning CW.

My advice would be to make learning CW enjoyable and not a fight against speed and accuracy. Perseverance and practice are the keys to learning CW. It always amazes me to see how much practice I need myself.

To summarize: just do what works for you. If passive listening doesn't work for you (it doesn't for me) don't worry and enjoy what works

GL & 73

Gerd.


Posted: 2020-01-23 12:59
The benefits of passive listening are far more limited than those of active listening. Passive listening seems to enable the auditory cortex to isolate morse characters, but does not help in recognising them.

Recognising characters calls for active listening which is an active process trying to understand the characters. This is what helps in recognising morse characters.

As far as the auditory cortex is concerned, morse code is a language (cf. Schlaffke et al., 2017) and relies not only on modifications of the grey matter but of the white matter, as well.

The acquisition of morse code therefore relies on neuroplasticity, which is why it is a slow process.

Adversus Gerd, I suspect we cannot assess the benefits of passive listening by takin an aging OM as an example, since age does limit neuroplasticity.


Posted: 2020-01-23 13:40
Interesting point of DS9TF and ID,

Disadvantage of a forum is that a lot of noise is distributed, preferably by people that do not master the art. They talk about their theory without having obtained results.

Here in this thread obviously pro's are giving their opinion, so a few questions

What in general do you think are people that give good and usefull answers and advice on this website?
I see often publishing guys like Brushupcw, and nonagirian and someone promoting a way of urinating for men.
Especially when the advices are opposite to each other it is difficult to decide which is right.

Pse


Posted: 2020-01-23 20:04
grufti:
Interesting point of DS9TF and ID,

Disadvantage of a forum is that a lot of noise is distributed, preferably by people that do not master the art. They talk about their theory without having obtained results.

Here in this thread obviously pro's are giving their opinion, so a few questions

What in general do you think are people that give good and usefull answers and advice on this website?
I see often publishing guys like Brushupcw, and nonagirian and someone promoting a way of urinating for men.
Especially when the advices are opposite to each other it is difficult to decide which is right.

Pse




There aren't really than many conflicting advisers in this forum.

There are various levels of aptitude among the readers and contributors - so the various people of various skill levels and aptitudes end up pursuing different tracks and telling what worked for them.

Most of the advise is repeated every year because there isn't a FAQ or introductory document.

A lot of people on this forum are looking for support to help them through the realization that for MOST people, learning morse is not a two week or even a two month exercise. This forces people to re-evaluate their motivation and to some extent their self view.


Some advise is not very controversial.

e.g. 1/ make sure the character speed is fast enough for you to hear the character as one entity.

This is often referred to as
"avoiding dot counting"
which isn't perhaps the best way of putting it - because "dot counting" refers to the way of learning morse as dot-dash-dash-dot rather than as its sound.

People can count dots easily at 20wpm.

Single entity means ( say using speaking as an example ) you hear "morse" as the word "morse" rather than the five letters m, o, r, s, e, which than have to be assembled in your mind to form the word morse,

You will need to think to work out what each character is to recognise it at first, so you have to give yourself time to do this, so a longer gap between characters will help at first . .

e.g. 2/ Don't tire yourself out by doing half hour sessions in one go (at first.
You learn morse by hearing a character, thinking of the letter etc. corresponding to that sequence and letting your brain make an association which clicks into play automatically every time you hear that sequence.
This involves the brain in effort and produces fatigue.
Better to run shorter groups in shorter batches with short recovery gaps between to make up your half hour of practice.

e.g. 3/ Practice every day and try to put the time in when you do practice - e.g. 2 x 15 min

e.g. 4/ Don't type straight into a computer unless you are already a touch typist - else you run the risk of connecting morse to keyboard layout rather than to letter.
The professional telegraphists were trained to do just this - many were taking down encrypted text which needed to be letter perfect, but they didn't need to remember it after they had taken it down.



More controversially . . .

Some people get to 25wpm from scratch in a fortnight. Other take 2 + years.
so
If you are in the first category then you will benefit from advise about how to avoid wasting your time with large unnecessary gaps between letters, so Brushup has provide lots of advise here.

If you are more of an average student - and remember professional telegraphists start young, are filtered for aptitude and practice all day, then you will benefit from proceeding at a slower pace.

Nonag provides advise along these lines

Not surprisingly there is a lot more group activity in the slower pace area.

So

Different advise works for people of different aptitudes. YOU have to place yourself . . .

If you have high aptitude and proceed slower you waste time.

If you have lower aptitude ad proceed quicker you will probably get fed up and then give it up as impossible.



If you have lower aptitude and listen to me, then you will be checking out your hearing by trying a few different audio frequencies - you can't learn it if you can't easily hear it.

I expect that hearing response is significant as you get into your 40s.

Other people say that this is insignificant, but mostly I suspect they are the achievers with very good hearing . . .



I also advise making some more .mp3 files on your phone and listening at spare moments.

Lots of people report that they somehow find morse easier when they are tired and not thinking about anything else, so perhaps you could try that . .


cb

What ever you do don't give up







Posted: 2020-01-24 07:10
grufti:


Disadvantage of a forum is that a lot of noise is distributed, preferably by people that do not master the art. They talk about their theory without having obtained results.

. . .

What in general do you think are people that give good and usefull answers and advice on this website?


Well, I think we would all agree that Fabian, DJ1YFK, the founder and manager of this website is the grand specialist in the field. Why not ask him questions directly? If someone can speak with authority on the code, he can.

I have always found him to be very friendly and glad to help.

Then, one tip I use to know who I am talking to is that I click on their name or handle and see whether they have completed the 40 lessons or not.

If they haven't, unless I know for a fact that they have been training elsewhere, I'm a busy man and I just don't have time for them.


Posted: 2020-01-24 11:27
Thank you, everyone, for responding to my question. It never ceases to amaze me, the high quality of advice that pours forth from this forum. And the fact that you respond fully to these questions provides a terrific support for learners who are treading in your footsteps.


Posted: 2020-01-24 12:51
Of course passive CW doen't help You will never ever learn chinese or whatever,language by just listening to it while thinking to other things. Or sleeping with a chinese book under your pillow. It is a certain way for school drop outs in general to (drop out) success.

What helps to build up speed or whatever is limited OVERLOAD.

Put the speed 10% to 20% higher as you master reasonably (90% correct speed). You have a hard time, but when you fall back to your originally speed which you copy let's say 90% it is just feeling pretty slow and easy to copy.

It is my experience and certified by many QRQQ guys that I met. It works till you reach your personal ceiling, which is hard to break. In my case around 40 wpm plain text.

Exercising copy by head: Record with MP3 or wav file a piece of plain text (NOT code) in your mothers tonque in CW on a CD or USB stick, and when commuting to your daily work and back, or your mother in law is on the telephone, play it and try to copy it. Doesn't cost you extra leasure time. Take a speed you are used to when you copy on paper or 10% higher for going over from jotting down to to head copy.



Posted: 2020-01-25 06:32
Stehpinkler:

What helps to build up speed or whatever is limited OVERLOAD.

Put the speed 10% to 20% higher as you master reasonably (90% correct speed).


Yes, 20% is the gradient of increase I adopt and it works quite well: after a week or ten days, I don't notice the speed increase at all and then when I go back to the previous speed, it sounds slow like molasses!

My personal plateau is around 44-46 wpm after which point I just don't get it anymore, sometimes I get words at 46wpm but it is more luck and guesswork than anything else.

The converse is also true: I find it difficult now to copy code at less than 25-26wpm. I am trying to maintain that capacity by using a straight key as much as I can.

I believe, but have no unambiguous evidence, only my own limited personal experience, that passive listening is critical in breaking through a plateau.

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