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How can I feel easy when I talk with somebody in English?

 
 
Reply Wed 2 Mar, 2011 05:37 am
I am a gril from China ,and I like English so much ,but I can't spesk to people in English very smoothly as I expected. I really wish that one day ,I can speak English just as Chinese.
 
PaddyH
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Mar, 2011 06:02 am
@Stephaine Qiao,
See my answer to zhanglisha under the post PRONUNCIATION.
0 Replies
 
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Mar, 2011 06:10 am
Look for English conversation groups in your area. Are you in the US or China? These groups may be held at public libraries, high schools that offer evening adult education classes or community colleges.

You might also try reading poetry or the newspaper out loud. Poetry will help with the cadence (rhythm) of your speech.
Below viewing threshold (view)
saab
 
  2  
Reply Wed 2 Mar, 2011 07:40 am
@Stephaine Qiao,
Unfortunately in teaching a foreign language reading, translating and learning grammar, which is all important takes up so much time there is little time for speaking left over. And when speaking teachers often prefer to interrupt the sentence to correct instead of waiting and see how well the sentence could be understood and then explain mistakes.
When a person have a chance to speak the language they have the teacher´s correction in the back of their heads all the time.
Forget to try to be perfect. Speak in short sentences. Don´t search for fancy words, but use a word you know. If there is a word you don´t know try to explain what you mean also using your hands.
JTT
 
  -1  
Reply Wed 2 Mar, 2011 11:55 pm
@saab,
Quote:
Unfortunately in teaching a foreign language reading, translating and learning grammar, which is all important takes up so much time there is little time for speaking left over.


That why most national language programs are bloody messes, Saab. Reading, translating and grammar are all pretty much useless for those trying to learn a language. There is no context to match the language being delivered.

Context given by translation simply sets mother tongue patterns in the target language, always a bad bad mistake.

If reading and grammar were so important to learning language, we would all do it with all children of every tongue. If that were actually done, in a short while we would all be mute.
saab
 
  2  
Reply Thu 3 Mar, 2011 01:23 am
@JTT,
When children are so far that they can say simple sentences we do correct their grammar. Usually by repeating the sentence in a correct way, so the child does not notice it is a correction.
Of course reading is important. There are languages which are spelled differently than they are spoken Then there/their are words/worlds pronounced the same way/weigh but spelled differently and with different meanings.
Translating in a class is a very good way to check if the kids/grown ups did learn the vocabulary they had as homework. You can do it by translating or asking questions.
OmSigDAVID
 
  0  
Reply Thu 3 Mar, 2011 02:45 am
@Stephaine Qiao,
"Practice makes perfect."





David
Old Goat
 
  2  
Reply Thu 3 Mar, 2011 03:22 am
@Stephaine Qiao,
Try chatting to a Glaswegian for a while.

They try to speak English too.

plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Mar, 2011 07:26 am
@Old Goat,
Wink
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  0  
Reply Thu 3 Mar, 2011 12:08 pm
@saab,
Quote:
When children are so far that they can say simple sentences we do correct their grammar. Usually by repeating the sentence in a correct way, so the child does not notice it is a correction.


That's a good idea, but that doesn't take away from my comments that teaching them grammar is useless. Children have the ability to learn a language without specific instruction in grammar. Children learn the grammar of a language by doing, NOT by being instructed in grammar.


Quote:
Of course reading is important. There are languages which are spelled differently than they are spoken Then there/their are words/worlds pronounced the same way/weigh but spelled differently and with different meanings.


Reading is important. That's why parents of all languages read to their kids. But they do it as an aid to language acquisition, not as an exercise to cause frustration.

Quote:
Translating in a class is a very good way to check if the kids/grown ups did learn the vocabulary they had as homework. You can do it by translating or asking questions.


It seems a good way because it validates the manner you grew up with. But all it really does is reinforces this bad way of teaching a language. You wouldn't ask a person to ski in order to show you that they had developed skills in ice hockey. As I mentioned, translation fossilizes mother tongue interference. Why take a long, roundabout route when you can take a direct route?
saab
 
  3  
Reply Thu 3 Mar, 2011 01:01 pm
@JTT,
Teaching grammar is not useless. Sometimes it is easier to understand how another language is constructed when you understand grammar. Then there are mathematicians who really - especially grown-ups - like to learn a lot of grammar as they see the logic in maths and grammar and therefor like to learn a language via grammar.
Reading helps to build up the vocabulary. One cannot teach a foreign language without the help of books to read and words to learn. Even for grown ups picture books with words and short sentences make fun.
It is easier to learn the numbers if you play cards with numbers instead of just talking the numbers. It is also more fun.

I like to write down a few words to help for questions. Then I ask questions with words which can be understood by a non native speaker till I end up with a new word.

Saab: Min hobby är tennis. JTT, är din hobby tennis?
JTT. Ja min hobby är tennis.
Saab: Golf är inte min hobby. Är golf din hobby?
Jtt. Ja golf är min hobby. Badminton är inte min hobby

This way the student learns new words, grammar,and talking. After one hour like this they should leave the room having a feeling that they spoke a foreign language.
As a teacher I should never speak more than 50% the student should have 50% or more.

JTT
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Mar, 2011 07:21 pm
@saab,
Quote:

It is easier to learn the numbers if you play cards with numbers instead of just talking the numbers. It is also more fun.


You've hit the nail on the head here, Saab. All language should be learned by using it in as rich a context as possible.

One of the major reasons that teaching grammar is useless is that most teachers don't know the grammar well enough to teach it. Of course teaching language patterns isn't really teaching grammar.

Quote:
As a teacher I should never speak more than 50% the student should have 50% or more.


Absolutely, a teacher should shoot for 75% + for the student talking.
OmSigDAVID
 
  0  
Reply Fri 4 Mar, 2011 01:40 am
@Stephaine Qiao,
READING English can also be helpful
in getting you accustomed to English sentence structure.





David
saab
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Mar, 2011 01:49 am
@JTT,
Without understanding every word what I wrote in Swedish did you understand what it was about?
I think it is very important in the beginning to understand what it is about even if you don´t understand everything.
If you don´t understand everything but understand what it is about I tell people to say No, yes with I smile or look sad and give a sign for not understanding.
There is nothing which stops a conversation as much as whaat, aua.
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Mar, 2011 05:51 am
@Stephaine Qiao,
Quote:
How can I feel easy when I talk with somebody in English?
The first step is to select an idea that is worthy of being said.
The second step is to choose to whom you will SAY it.
The third step is to audibly say the selected words.





David
0 Replies
 
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Mar, 2011 06:45 am
@JTT,
I'm sorry but I teach "developmental" English and English 101 at a community college.

I have argued here -- and been booed by people who are well educated who lose the ability to recognize a few facts as soon the word grammar is mentioned -- that one of the problems developmental (remedial) students face is the fact that they were not taught grammar.

Children of a certain level of innate intelligence, from families that are -- if not educated, at least value education and culture and propriety -- may (note that the word is may) not need basic grammar.

I know (note I used the word know) from teaching SPED and ELL students at the high school level and remedial (includes several categories including SPED and ELL, in addition to students who attended poor schools and those who dropped out) that without grammar instruction, the average human being is at sea.

What is more, unless a person can figure out what a noun and what a verb is (we use the same words in the same form as both in English), they can not read.

I have students in ENG 101 who can not read on the college level, thanks to both their poor grasp of grammar and their small vocabularies.

When a 38 year old college student can not define the words caucus, constituency and disadvantage, the problem is not the problem of the individual but of the nation.
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Mar, 2011 06:51 am
@JTT,
ALright, I will concede that you have a point when you say . . . . teachers do not know grammar well enough to teach it. I would substitute the word many for the adjective most.

I would also tell you to point your finger at states which allow those with degrees in teaching English rather than in English to serve as instructors.

When I was certified in MI during the early 70s, candidates were required to take one course each in Shakespeare, American Literature 1830-65, one upper level course each in essay writing and in grammar. That was in addition to 30 hours of courses in the literature of ENgland and AMerica.

Massachusetts has no standard. However, the superior English teachers tend to be alumni of Catholic or Montessori schools which offer forms of diagramming or grammatical analysis.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  0  
Reply Fri 4 Mar, 2011 11:02 am
@plainoldme,
Quote:
I'm sorry but I teach "developmental" English and English 101 at a community college.

I have argued here -- and been booed by people who are well educated who lose the ability to recognize a few facts as soon the word grammar is mentioned -- that one of the problems developmental (remedial) students face is the fact that they were not taught grammar.


You keep raising this point and yet when I explain it to you, POM, you run away from the issue/discussion. You almost certainly were not taught grammar back in the day when you took that grammar course. You were taught a bunch of silly prescriptions that have little to nothing to do with the English language. That has been the situation in the US for centuries. I doubt very much that your little college was much different.

Quote:

HOW GRAMMARS OF ENGLISH
HAVE MISSED THE BOAT
THERE'S BEEN MORE FLUMMOXING THAN MEETS THE EYE

Charles-James N. Bailey

Consider the possibility that English grammar has been misanalysed for centuries because of grammarians’ accepting fundamentally flawed assumptions about grammar and, not least, because of a flawed view of the history of English; and that these failings have resulted in a huge disconnect between English grammars and the genius of the English that really exists among educated native-speakers. The development of the information age and of English as a world language means that such lapses have even greater negative import than formerly. But what is available on the shelves has fallen into sufficient discredit for grammar to have forfeited its place in the curriculum, unrespected and little heeded by the brighter students.


@ http://www.orlapubs.com/AL /L83A.html



I've seen course material for these Eng 101 courses. There's one on line, Darling/Capital [I think it is] Community College, that is so loaded with misleading/flat out wrong things about English grammar as to render it useless.

Students that come to you already know all the grammar of their language. The thing that you, and so many other people miss, is that they don't know ABOUT the grammar but they certainly know the grammar, much much much better than pretty much anyone can teach it.

Quote:
What is more, unless a person can figure out what a noun and what a verb is (we use the same words in the same form as both in English), they can not read.

I have students in ENG 101 who can not read on the college level, thanks to both their poor grasp of grammar and their small vocabularies.

When a 38 year old college student can not define the words caucus, constituency and disadvantage, the problem is not the problem of the individual but of the nation.


I certainly have never said that all people learn to read or write, or that all people learn to read or write well, for we know that there are people who are illiterate. But being illiterate does not mean that those people don't know grammar. If they didn't know grammar they couldn't speak.

And when we study people's speech we see that they speak in a fully grammatical manner. They don't switch and mix up verbs and nouns or even prepositions/articles/relative pronouns versus demonstrative pronouns/... . All these parts of speech are put in the correct word order for English.

Again, you confuse the artificial act of learning terminology with knowledge of grammar. We have to teach people how to read and write because reading and writing are not natural language but we don't have to teach anyone to speak or learn the grammar of their language, save for those with certain medical problems.

Now of course, this doesn't mean that you can't, and don't teach those students who need help to read and write. There are a lot of students who need help learning how to do these things. That includes pretty much every student.
Stephaine Qiao
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Mar, 2011 04:44 am
@saab,
Thank you very much!!!
0 Replies
 
 

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