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how to learn English language
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Helina.Liu



Joined: 27 Feb 2006
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello, Philo Smile
I am so pleased that you give me so many useful advices. Thank you very much. I think your advice that decide which words will be most useful to a person when he or she see a word first time is a good idea to learn new words. Actually, many times I know the words but I can't use it fluently. And some times I don't know the meaning of the words in the different sentence. I don't know how to do it? Please tell me it!
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Philo Kevetch



Joined: 01 Feb 2006
Posts: 564

PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow! This thread has grown a lot thanks to some very good responses.

Helina.Liu - My advice is to read more. Try to find easy stories and short novels appropriate to your level and interests with a lot of dialog(ue). There are many short books written for teens and young adults.

chua - Nice long post with lots of good advice. Yes, "practice makes perfect" and be brave...dare to speak your English! Your writing skills are considerable. Kudos..... :) Philo

Hello mingping -

Im really glad you decided to jump in. As I said to chua, be brave....dare to use your English! After all, you can't learn to swim sitting on the edge of the pool reading about how to swim :) .

To answer your question.... At first, use and practice the vocabulary you have already learned and add one or two of the most useful new words as you learn them.

If you can, find some books on tape (or CD) and read along as you listen it will help your pronunciation. Do a search on google...type in "free audio books online" and let me know if you find something interesting. :) Philo
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sharimila bai



Joined: 21 Feb 2006
Posts: 9
Location: Malaysia

PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi!!!!

It is difficult to communicate with foreigners if we are not good in speaking.One of the reason is because of the slang or accent used.Ours will be different. Anyway, if u tend to speak confidently, u will not face this problem. U will make mistakes, but don't give up.U can also read more english books,newspapers or anything to do with english in order to u to improve in ur vocabulary and grammar. as u learn more new words, u will tend to use them while communicating and it would help u to overcome your fears and to feel more confortable. try to talk in front of mirror or try to use english as much as possible by preventing ur mother tongue. Im not saying that don't use ur mother tongue at all, but try not to use it all the while,Try switching into both language and if possible use english more.Just a small opinion from me.all d best.
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mingping



Joined: 23 Feb 2006
Posts: 44

PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2006 10:52 pm    Post subject: To Philo Reply with quote

Thank you for your suggestion.
I always practice my English listening ability by tapes, cds etc., but when i try to communicate with foreigners, I found it is very hard to follow the person, who speaks very fast, and I found it is verey hard for me to speak a correct sentence, either in grammer or in structure. I hate my broken English. I wanna to improve it.
I have got so many useful listening material, for example, CNN,and ABC.but I don't think I find the right way to touch with English.
Could you help me?
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pavilion



Joined: 09 Mar 2006
Posts: 75
Location: US

PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2006 11:56 pm    Post subject: Re: To Philo Reply with quote

mingping wrote:
Thank you for your suggestion.
I always practice my English listening ability by tapes, cds etc., but when i try to communicate with foreigners, I found it is very hard to follow the person, who speaks very fast, and I found it is verey hard for me to speak a correct sentence, either in grammer or in structure. I hate my broken English. I wanna to improve it.
I have got so many useful listening material, for example, CNN,and ABC.but I don't think I find the right way to touch with English.
Could you help me?


I know I am going to sound like a broken record, but practice makes perfect. The only way you are going to adequately learn English is by using it, and not being afraid to make mistakes. If a native/fluent speaker is speaking too fast, ask them to speak slower. Let them know you are having a hard time following them and ask them to enunciate, because when natives speak fast, we tend to kind of slur words together, making it difficult for a non-native to understand. The best thing would be to find a native speaker who you can talk with who will help you learn and correct your mistakes. You just have to keep immersing yourself in the language. Learning languages takes time! If you need anymore help, let me know! Smile
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Philo Kevetch



Joined: 01 Feb 2006
Posts: 564

PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello mingping -

Please read pavilions' excellent advice...especially the part about asking people to "please slow down and speak more clearly"!

If at all possible, find someone who "really wants" to talk with YOU. Often, "native" speakers are busy and many (too many?) people want to "practice English" with them.

What are your interests or hobbies (other than English)? Try joining (or starting) a club or group in your town (or at your school?) and advertise meetings / activities in English.

If you have access to an English language "soap opera" ( daily drama - not a "sit-com") via cable/satellite/internet, watch/listen to it everyday for one year.

Don't read the captions - just listen for one year! Using this method helped me learn to speak a foreign language. I hope it will help you, too.

"Learning languages takes time!" (more good advice from pavilion). Be patient and don't give up. :) Philo
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mingping



Joined: 23 Feb 2006
Posts: 44

PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 10:31 pm    Post subject: Thanks Reply with quote

Philo Kevetch&pavilion:
Thank you very much for your help.
pavilion wrote:
Quote:
If a native/fluent speaker is speaking too fast, ask them to speak slower. Let them know you are having a hard time following them and ask them to enunciate, because when natives speak fast, we tend to kind of slur words together, making it difficult for a non-native to understand. The best thing would be to find a native speaker who you can talk with who will help you learn and correct your mistakes. You just have to keep immersing yourself in the language.


I have encoutered such cirsumstance. A native speaker spoke so fast that I can just grasp some main words inside his sentences. The worstest is that I was the meeting interpretor at that moment. How bad it is. I felt so disgraced when a person in that meeting pionted out my mistakes when I tried to translate it. Since then, I don't want to translate anymore because I don't think I am good enough to be an interpretor. Right now, I am trying my best to practise and improve. I am trying to grasp any chance to communicate with foreigners.

Philo Kevetch wrote:
Quote:
If at all possible, find someone who "really wants" to talk with YOU. Often, "native" speakers are busy and many (too many?) people want to "practice English" with them.

What are your interests or hobbies (other than English)? Try joining (or starting) a club or group in your town (or at your school?) and advertise meetings / activities in English.

If you have access to an English language "soap opera" ( daily drama - not a "sit-com") via cable/satellite/internet, watch/listen to it everyday for one year.

Don't read the captions - just listen for one year! Using this method helped me learn to speak a foreign language. I hope it will help you, too.


Yes, you are right. Normally, those native speaker are busy with their job or talking with other people. I have a little chance to talk with them. That's a problem. In my town, there is no club or group in English. That's another problem. But I have hobby, that is, see "soap opera". I have access to "Friends" and "Sex and City". I think "Friends" is more easy to understand without reading captions.

Anyway, learning language takes time. I have to be patient to continue my studying.
Thank you both sincerely. Very Happy
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RedRose



Joined: 21 May 2004
Posts: 2735
Location: GuangZhou, China

PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2006 7:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't read the whole thread yet. but this title attracted my attention.

My friend, whose English was pretty good, suggested that watching English porn TV was an effective way to learn English. I took his advice....unfortunately, his method didn't work on me at all!! By watching English porn, I didn't improve my English.

However, I have improved my english by watching some amazing movies, such as Titanic, Forrest Gump, etc.
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kevin_knight



Joined: 21 Mar 2006
Posts: 2
Location: California. USA

PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2006 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also have the same problem. I think I am a shy people, I do not like talk with other people. I affraid that I say the wrong english. I wanted to change this situation long time ago. However, I did not change yet. When I read some books, I got interested in them. But I did not do well on my English class, which hurt my feeling.
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mingping



Joined: 23 Feb 2006
Posts: 44

PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2006 11:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
porn TV

RedRose, in my mind, I think that you use wrong word. It may be pop or opera etc.
What do you think about my opinion? Mybe there is another meaning for the word "porn"

kevin_knight, from the location information, I think you are under English circumstance, which is very precious. How could you waste it? As you know, everybody just focus on themselves, so that the mistakes you made just a tiny,slight and small thing to the people around you. Don't be afraid of error. In fact, I always say like this to myself to encourage myself.
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lancesky



Joined: 07 Apr 2006
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2006 6:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hello,I'm a chinese college student. I admire your occupation.It is a honor for me to give your some advice.Are you heard of Li Yang,the creator of Crazy English.His works are so moving.Maybe he is a real inspiration to all the English learners.Blurt out is so useful.Just try it.
Good luck!
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Afroz



Joined: 07 Apr 2006
Posts: 10
Location: Shangqiu, China

PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2006 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@RedRose: English "porn"? Are you sure you mean "porn"? Maybe you meant something else like mingping said. Smile

@lancesky: I've heard of Crazy English though I must admit, I've never read any of his books in detail. I live in China and many of my friends have told me about him. From my limited knowledge of him, I think that his "Crazy English" is only useful to learners of informal, spoken American English. Now, there's nothing wrong with that, but problems arise when students start using "Crazy English" to write papers/compositions. When I tell them that such language is not appropriate for English writing (especially formal writing such as research papers), they say "But this is what Crazy English teaches us" (Trust me, I've seen this happen). Crazy English is fine, but one must not use it beyond it's boundaries, namely, informal, spoken American English. Some of his advice I agree with, but not all. If my friends are right, he advises English learners to read quickly. I would not advise that. Don't force yourself to read quickly. Read at your natural speed. With time, you might improve... or you might not. There's nothing wrong with reading slowly. Many native speakers read very slowly.

Well, I haven't read the whole thread, but this page doesn't mention anything about podcasts. I think podcasts are a great way to improve various aspects of a student's English. Examples are: ESL Podcast, TOEFL Podcast, English Through Stories, ESL Cafe, The Bob and Rob Show, English Idioms and Slang. The first 4 are courtesy of ESLPod while the last 2 are courtesy of Englishcaster. If you would like to see all of them on the same page with a little description in Chinese and English, you can have a look at The Listening Room on my website Shangqiu Online. (Sorry... some shameless self-promotion there. Wink)

Hope I was of some help! Smile
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RedRose



Joined: 21 May 2004
Posts: 2735
Location: GuangZhou, China

PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2006 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Afroz Nissar, I am sure I meant porn! that's what my friend recommended! As a result, I had learnt nothing from English porn but some strange words like orgasm, twisted... however, that's not helpful to English-learning.

PS: I just visited your site, it is great!! It looks like a blog. lemme guess your occupation...you are an English teacher, right? I wish I were your student. you would make a great teacher.
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Afroz



Joined: 07 Apr 2006
Posts: 10
Location: Shangqiu, China

PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2006 6:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hahaha!!! Laughing I think it's hilarious that your friend recommended watching that to improve your English!

You're right... I am an English teacher! Very Happy And I love it! I'm glad you like my site! Smile It isn't exactly a blog though. The main page is just for some random accouncements. Shangqiu Online has a separate section for blogs called The Bloggers' Cafe where some friends (students) and I have blogs. Anyone can have their own blog. I encourage them to write in English on their blogs because it provides them with a more relaxed atmosphere to practice their writing skills. It's much more fun than learning from a textbook at least! Smile If any of them request it, I also give suggestions on how to improve their writing. I think it's a good way for everyone to release whatever is inside them, be it frustration or happiness. Smile
Besides the blogs, there is also a forum, a photo gallery, a movie review room and so on. Feel free to visit or even become a part of the community. Smile I'm sure the site's users would be able to learn a lot from you!

haha!! I'm also glad that you think I would be a great teacher! Very Happy Thank you very much! To be honest though... I don't think you need a teacher. If I didn't see your location, I would've thought you were a native speaker!! Besides, I'm sure Guangzhou has way better teachers! Smile
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Shangqiu Online.
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Bettyunec2005



Joined: 13 Dec 2005
Posts: 11
Location: Wuxi, China

PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2006 3:50 am    Post subject: Can you help me to improve my English Reply with quote

I'm a Chinese girl ! Rolling Eyes
English is my second language, and I learned it since I'm ten years old. So my English is very poor. I want to improve my English. I know if I want to improve my English, it's not as easy as I think. It has several processes. I'm bad at writing and listening. I can not hear the type clearly, and sometimes I can not understand what they are saying. If I write an essay, there must be having several grammar problems in it. So every time I can not get a high mark on writing. I really want to improve my English. Who can help me? Crying or Very sad
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