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Practising English on your own

 
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Kennen



Joined: 26 Nov 2010
Posts: 45
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 5:26 pm    Post subject: Practising English on your own Reply with quote

Of course everyday long-term talking to native English speakers on a multitude of topics is a top priority and a paramount factor for developing good English speaking skills by learners of English. However, in addition to this, self-study and practising English on one's own are indispensable, and substantially accelerate success in English. Communication with native English speakers can't encompass all aspects of mastering English adequately and thoroughly, especially vocabulary, grammar, potential in-depth content of conversations suitable for real life needs of students for using English. It's possible and effective to practice English (including listening comprehension and speaking) on one's own through self-control using transcripts, books, audio and video aids. My articles on English learning methods are applicable to self-study and self-practice as well.
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alawton



Joined: 27 Jul 2009
Posts: 45
Location: Austin, TX

PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 4:04 am    Post subject: ESL Articles Reply with quote

Where do I find these articles? I am looking for something like that. My students are always looking for activities to do at home. Thanks!

Andrew Lawton
http://drewseslfluencylessons.com
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Kennen



Joined: 26 Nov 2010
Posts: 45
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 5:25 am    Post subject: Practising English on your own Reply with quote

Hello Andrew,
My informative project of articles is intended solely as exchange of information for the purposes of knowledge improvement and idea production for learners and even teachers of English which can help them in their English activities. If you are interested in my articles, you can find them in this forum in the Adult Education section. Please read my posts titled "How to practice English comprehension and speaking", "Methods for mastering English conversation and vocabulary", "Learning English idioms". I also believe that the value of oral translation from a foreign language into English with self-control is underestimated by English teaching specialists for self-study and self-practice of English conversation, vocabulary and grammar. I intend to present in the near future my views on effectiveness of oral translation with self-control to master English.
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Kennen



Joined: 26 Nov 2010
Posts: 45
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 5:04 pm    Post subject: Value of oral translation into English Reply with quote

Have you noticed that interpreters have to possess the most thorough knowledge of a foreign language (especially of conversation, vocabulary and grammar)? Perhaps foreign learners of English can achieve fluency in English also through oral translation from their native language into English with the methods described in my articles on English learning methods. It is possible to exercise self-control (that is to check yourself) this way when practising speaking in English every sentence in ready-made materials with both a foreign language and English versions.
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alawton



Joined: 27 Jul 2009
Posts: 45
Location: Austin, TX

PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 4:22 am    Post subject: Oral Translation Reply with quote

I agree with you. Many ESL experts are very against translation from language 1 to English. I learned Spanish doing just that (English translation to Spanish). I really do feel that I am a more effective teacher when I teach English to a group of Spanish speakers. I can really be specific on what an expression or a verb means. What would Steven Krashen say? The problem, of course, is for those of us who teach English to students from all different backgrounds...


Andrew Lawton
http://drewseslfluencylesson.com
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Kennen



Joined: 26 Nov 2010
Posts: 45
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 8:07 pm    Post subject: Value of oral translation into English Reply with quote

I have to think over how to present my views on effectiveness of oral translation from a foreign language into English convincingly for self-practice of English conversation, vocabulary and grammar. My views in this regard do not apply to classroom teaching and classroom learning of English, because an ESL teacher teaches English to students of various ethnic backgrounds and therefore oral translation into English is simply impossible.
But I firmly believe that oral translation into English is effective in practicing on one's own English speaking, vocabulary and grammar with ready-made materials (using self-check) in a more logical, thorough, in-depth way as to content than casual talking to native English speakers. Practicing English on one's own through oral translation into English with self-check may be a quicker way for developing fluency in speaking English than casual talking with limited content in English to native English speakers. Anyway practicing English on your own accelerates mastering of English. Please express your views in this issue.
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Kennen



Joined: 26 Nov 2010
Posts: 45
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 3:20 am    Post subject: Practising English Reply with quote

All explanations of English pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary to learners from different ethnic backgrounds have to be done in English only at English classes. As you know there are English courses in English only for learning and practising all four skills in one course in each lesson (listening, speaking, reading and writing alongside pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary). Four skills English courses include textbooks with audio and video recordings for all levels including for beginners and are suitable for self-study as well. There are also online English learning courses in English only.
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longshikong



Joined: 26 Oct 2009
Posts: 87

PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 2:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Oral Translation Reply with quote

alawton wrote:
Many ESL experts are against translation


It's not just experts. Many ESL teachers who've never learned another language, ban it entirely from their classroom (at least that's my memory of teaching in Canadian private schools). Could it be a subconscious inferiority complex--the students have more language (learning) skills and knowledge than their teacher? Canadians of all people should realize language immersion in and of itself doesn't make a near-native speaker. There are many immigrants who after decades still can't get by on their limited English.

Conversely, there are many EFL teachers here in China who will indiscriminately pepper their classroom English with Chinese phrases and vocabulary in hopes students will understand them better, or worse, switch to a cross between Pidgeon and Chenglish.

Kennan Although I'm an advocate of translation in the classroom, I'm not sure of the value in self-study.

As a student of Chinese, I remember the first time I tried translating a Chinese paragraph that I thought I knew into English. However, after doing so, I realized that I only inferred the meaning of some expressions through context. Upon checking the precise meaning with Chinese friends, I found my assumptions partly erroneous.

That being said, I did recommend self-translation to Praxis, the Shanghai-based providers of ChinesePod.com; SpanishPod.com; FrenchPod.com; etc. in 2007:

Quote:
May I suggest a series of revision lessons every 10 or 20 lessons which employ vocab and grammar of preceding lessons. They could be in the form of translation exercises with an English dialogue given at the beginning along with any new vocab (if applicable). After hearing the English, a pause is provided in which the listener has to guess at how to convey the meaning in Chinese. Following the pause, (variations* on how it could be translated in) Chinese could be provided. It would be an empowering way for students to actively revise language learned and test their communication skills. Resulting comments on such lessons might prove extremely useful in clarifying misconceptions about how to express something.

* Discussion might address different ways to express the same meaning and any nuances in meaning between them.


I currently spend 25-35% of class time with an adult beginner class cumulatively reviewing language covered (at the beginning of each class). I or my Chinese TA translates into Chinese a set of sentences, questions and/or a dialogue for them to translate back into English. If need be, I'll silently mouth vocab or rearrange the syntax of the Chinese to remind them of the English. I know I could be doing more drilling and rapid fire substitution work with picture prompts and the like, but I honestly cannot think of a better way of reviewing the vocab and expressions covered and clearly demonstrate what they (should) have learned, not to mention highlighting the differences between L1 and L2.


I, myself no longer think in English when I want to express something in Chinese, unless of course, I'm trying to express something I've never expressed before in Chinese. Those are occasions where having someone to ask: "How do I say this in Chinese?" would only add to my Chinese proficiency, not detract from it.

Kennan, as an advocate of self-translation, I'd be interested in your opinion of DuoLingo:

Quote:
Learn a language online for free and help translate the web. "After re-purposing CAPTCHA so each human-typed response helps digitize books, Luis von Ahn wondered how else to use small contributions by many on the Internet for greater good. At TEDxCMU, he shares how his ambitious new project, Duolingo, will help millions learn a new language while translating the Web quickly and accurately -- all for free."

http://www.ted.com/talks/luis_von_ahn_massive_scale_online_collaboration.html?utm_source=newsletter_weekly_2011-12-07&utm_campaign=newsletter_weekly&utm_medium=email

http://www.duolingo.com/
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longshikong



Joined: 26 Oct 2009
Posts: 87

PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

By the way, do you realize this is the TEACHER Discussion Forum. You may want to post this topic on the STUDENT Discussion Forum where I'm sure you'll get a lot more feedback. If you do, kindly post a link here. Smile
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andrewgessman



Joined: 01 Nov 2011
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 10:50 pm    Post subject: self-teaching Reply with quote

I agree that students should be encouraged to “self-teach” in order to help them become independent and more self-sufficient learners. This should be the goal of all educators in all fields. My goal is to teach ESL and US History/Civics in tandem, and I am trying to formulate effective ways to encourage students to do independent study tailored to their interests and needs. One avenue I would like to explore is having students select newspaper stories that they find interesting, study them on their own, and then present them to their peers. Another idea I had (that would apply to higher level ELLs) would be to have students listen to/analyze sections of famous speeches from American history, preferably ones from the modern era that students could watch and/or listen to as originally delivered.
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longshikong



Joined: 26 Oct 2009
Posts: 87

PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 3:43 am    Post subject: Re: self-teaching Reply with quote

andrewgessman wrote:
My goal is to teach ESL and US History/Civics in tandem, ...


Making history relevant to their lives is of utmost importance to maintain interest and motivation. Earlier this week, upon telling Shanghai Scholastic's director their after-school English curriculum is the most ambitious in China, he admitted parents questioning the value of teaching too much about American history and civics (to the 8-12 yr range). Seems they're using the same readers they supply to American schools-- not sure if they use or even publish any intended for ELLs
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