Your post reminds of something. Every so often I speak with students that have passed the TOEFL exam. While this clearly demonstrates an advanced knowledge of English grammar, doing well on the TOEFL exam doesn't always translate to being able to speak well.Originally Posted by blacknomiLearning a second or foreign language is supper HARD. I've been learning English for more than 10 years. During my childhood and adolescence, English was an subject that was not used to communicate but to pass monthly stupid test. During college, English was evev farther away because we had different majors at school. Mine is education, all textbooks and projects are done in my mother tougue. In the past decades, English was taught in a rote learning way, every student seemed to be a ROBOT who can response to all questions AUTOMATICALLY without any one second hesitation. We had to memorize endless and tedious rules and vocabularies in order to pass the tests, and to get the certificates or degrees.
Now, it's changed. We teach English in a more communicative and interesting way, but the result is not what I expected. Students don't need to talk with foreigners, what turned out to be is the purpose of learning English is JUST not to fail in the exam. THAT's IT. I don't see any students who learn English for a communicative purpose. Say 1 out of 50 would do that. Pathetic, our education system sucks.
The most reverberating dispute on language learning is the lack of natural, practical and physical language environment. You can easily create an atmosphere of learning a language by turning on your TV and stay tune to English programs, or listening to English radio all over the world thru broadband internet. But, how to practice your speaking ability?
Learning English is one thing, speaking it is another.
When I write an essay, I can pause to ponder over the tense. When I talk, I have to manipulate two codes. Switching codes is not an easy task because of different grammatical systems. It's easy to make mistakes that even you want to slap on yourself.
If you have a conversation with a foreigner, it's a headache.
What makes real conversation difficult?
(C) performance forms, like hesitations, false starts, caughs...etc
(D) colloquial language, like idioms, slangs or reduced froms
(E) rate of delivery
(F) stree, accent, rhythem and intonation
(G)Interaction, like negociation, attending signals, turn taking and topic nomination, maintenance and termination.
It's a chain of listening and responding.
I agree this is a rather good language forum where gibberish topics are forbidden. I'm not saying topics other than language are worthless. But there's a one bad, how can learners practice speaking ability here? hehehe.
Sorry for bad grammar. :wink:
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