Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Is your English going places?

"Going places" - Staring to be successful

  • "Traveling is a great way to practice my English". 
  • "The success of my language competence is directly related to the success of the person I speak to in understanding me. "

In addition to contradictory comments above, here are a few assumptions about English as an international language: 

Some people think that traveling around the world without mastering a little English is usually a disastrous experience.

So we can conclude that learning the native language they speak in South Africa, Bhutan or Zanzibar or Curacao is a waste of time.   

Dealing with different English accents is not such a big problem that most people make it to be. In most cases, speakers from different nationalities CAN understand each other and communicate in English.

Using a language is like riding a bike - you never completely forget it.

Watching a movie or TV show with or without subtitles in English makes little difference. Even English native speakers resort to subtitles or closed captions at times. 

Any other comments to add to this list?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The joy of repetition

The pain and gain in repetition.

No pain, no gain.
No sacrifice, no victory.
Success only comes with hard work.
When someone decides to learn a foreign language, they invariably stop to think about the BEST method to achieve their goal. Which method is the most effective – audio-lingual, translation, communicative, lexical, comprehensive?

Of course, it is important to choose a method you most identify with – that suits your leaning style and learning routines.

What most matters, though, more than any method, is being willing to practice, to rehearse, to repeat what you have learned many times, often to EXHAUSTION.

Can I get an American or British accent? Will I be able to sound like a native speaker?
The answers to these two questions will vary, usually beginning with the famous phrase: “It depends on …”

The fact of the matter is that the questions are RHETORICAL to some extent, i.e., they can´t be and don’t need to be answered. But one answer that I tend to go for is:

Yes, but you have to repeat the new language as many times as possible. You have to repeat consciously and conscientiously. You have to see the value in unending training, until you get sick of it.

More importantly,

You have to be aware of what you are repeating and make a concerted effort to better your performance the next time you use the language.

Take inspiration from professional sportspeople – who train and train hours on end until they get it right.

Make the words come alive by feeling a sense of ownership in relation to them. In order for that to happen we need to “toy” with words first. We need to repeat them until we become confident to use them.

Now, without looking back at the text:

How many times have the words repeat and repetition been used in this post?