Monday, August 10, 2009

Contemplating about learning English.

There are myriad English language courses here in Russia and almost each of these English language schools offers a unique method of learning English. Most of them promise you a magical way to boost your English language proficiency up to an incredible level through an intensive deep immersion (which usually lasts up to one week) into English speaking environment. Sounds impressive, doesn’t it? Especially when you look at their impressively high prices that try to convince you that their teaching quality is also that high.
What these coaching institutes usually forget to mention is
  • that whom this ambience is comprised of – teachers and English learners with different levels of English competency. Some of these students can even barely speak English. :)

    So, don’t succumb to the temptation of believing in magic. :) Magic doesn’t work with the language! Hard work does. It doesn’t make sense to spend that much money for the opportunity to study English in a pseudo-English environment with pseudo-Native speakers. :) A good teacher, of course, is very important and you need someone who would correct your mistakes. But, even the best teacher in the world will not make your English fluent until you actively begin to work on your language by yourself. And the Internet can help you a lot in your pursuits of mastering a good spoken English. In order to be able to say that your English is fluent you must speak English without any long pauses and awkward phrases. Because even if you know thousands of English words, comprehend 100% of English speech and texts but can hardly speak, you indeed do not know English at all. What you really know is a sort of English Sanskrit :) because this type of English is nothing more than a dead language.

    Recently I’ve come across a blog -
  • that, which contains very good lessons
  • that provide you with and lots of useful phrases. Such blogs may significantly improve your spoken language if you are doggedly persistent in making your English fluent. Practice, practice and practice, which means you have to speak, speak and speak. There are plenty of web sites out there that can help you and....they are free! And please remember - No pain, no gain!

    Mahdi said...

    Hi, English diary! as usual, it was a riveting writing and I enjoyed reading it. since I think we are going the same way, which is learning English, I thought it might be useful for you if I make some comments. I hope it doesn't cause any irritation:
    Line10) that whom ... : u use 2 pronouns at the beginning of the noun clause! I think you'd better omit "that"
    Line14) "don’t succumb to the temptation of believing in magic" :it doesn't make sense because "succumb" has negative meaning itself. I think u mean exactly the contrary!: "So, succumb to the temptation of believing in magic" (by the way, very nice expression!"succumb to temptation")
    Line30)"that contains... & that provide...": these clauses are "non-defining relative clause", so u can't use "that" instead of "which". it is one of the most common mistakes that we, learners, usually make.(in this sentence I used "that" because in it defining relative clause!:D)
    We can also chat and discuss on the Internet. and I'd appreciate if you do the same for me. I mean reading, if you have time, and making comments and corrections to my writings.

    English-diary said...

    Thank you Mahdi!
    I very much appreciate your comments and corrections. No, I do not feel irritated at all but gratitude for your valuable comments.
    I was thinking to suggest some corrections to the texts on your blog while I was reading them but I wasn’t sure weather you like it or not :).
    Regarding to “succumb” - I have seen the similar expression in a book. It was like - “We should not succumb to the arrogance of success…” So, my thinking was why not to use something like that here. However, it may be that my usage of “succumb” is not entirely correct.

    I like the idea about chat! We just need to arrange the time that works for both of us.

    Mahdi said...
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Mahdi said...

    thank you for the tip, I rewrote it and I think you are right it was strange. I have this habit that I always try to write as complex as I can and I can't help it!!! :D
    about chatting these are my IDs:
    YAHOO: mahdi_physics2002
    GMAIL: mahdi.seif

    either of them will work for me, so you choose!

    English-diary said...

    BTW, do you have a Skype name? I just prefer Skype for chatting.

    jerry said...

    love to see this discussion! It’s great to see you all working through the issues and also, it’s great to see recommendations for testing. In the end, it’s what your actual users do and prefer that should be your biggest driver in making these decisions.

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