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  1. #1
    chichi47 is offline Newbie
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    Trouble with English Expressions

    I have been writing in English for years (for school assignment). However, there seems to be a problem that I can not overcome: English expression. I remembered that my academic supervisor used to comment on my writing and told me that it was off-putting to read my paper. Hearing a negative feedback like this does discourage me quite a bit. It is also shame for me to admit that I have been living in English-speaking countries for several years already. The problem is when it comes to writing, my brain just gets stuck. I don't know if there is actually a way for me to improve my English writing. I mean on the part of English expression. Trust me, over the years I have been using online reference tools and applications to check for grammatical errors. I do not see my hard-work has been paid off so far. Plus, the worse thing is that sometimes I am not even able to tell whether a sentence I create (construct) is universally comprehensible or sound very much foreign-alike. Anyway, I do need help on this issue.

  2. #2
    billmcd is offline Key Member
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    Re: Trouble with English Expressions

    What you have written here doesn't look that bad to me but I don't understand your academic supervisor's expression, "off-putting". First, define "off-putting". Second submit another sample of your writing.

  3. #3
    i_am_vib is offline Newbie
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    Re: Trouble with English Expressions

    I have exactly the same problem in my writings. when I try to write an essay a lot of thoughts are coming up in my mind, but when I try to reveal all this stuff on a paper I have a trouble to find an appropriate expression in English. My native language is Russian, and when I can't express something in English I'm trying to find an appropriate expression phrase in Russian and then translate it into English. However, I always get bad feedback from my teacher, because of some phrases which are wrong. When I ask her what phrase I could've used instead of the teacher always try to give me something else, but I feel that the given phrase doesn't express my thoughts in the way that i wanted. So, I found that probably English doesn't have vocabulary as big as Russian vocabulary, or maybe the teacher doesn't strong enough. Anyways, now I'm trying to google some phrase and If Google finds something exactly the same somewhere on the web, I use this phrase in my writing with thought that at least somebody else used the same phrase in his writing.

  4. #4
    chichi47 is offline Newbie
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    Re: Trouble with English Expressions

    That's pretty much what I choose to do to rescue my writing. I guess it is probably the influence of my native culture, often time I do find my writing very much foreign-alike. I mean that a native English speaker can pretty much tell that it is from someone not speaking English as the first language. My British supervisor often used the term 'off-putting', meaning that she finds it very disturbing when she spots a wrong English expression in my writing. It took me nearly two years to overcome her constant negative comments. I am not the kind of person looking for positive feedback. However, I do need help with English expression, which is the main problem in my writing. When it comes to academic English writing, idioms, rarely, are used. In short, it is not gonna help much if I crack all the English idioms. This would mean that it is a long shot for me to get my writing near native-like level. I think that I am interested to learn some techniques, such as what are some good ways to train a person to be able to tell if a writing is foreign-alike. I provide a sample of my academic writing below. How can I actually make sure that my writing is error-free in terms of English expression?

    The following is a sample of my academic writing.

    This study characterizes online Chinese ESL forums with an aim to refute grand-narrative. Postmodernism liberalizes the approaches to pursue knowledge and, knowledge, is no longer universal and finite. The dialectic view of postmodernism illuminates a deconstructed picture of ESL learning contexts with Chinese learners. The online learners of adult ESL literacy are not only self-autonomous but also their learning is interest-oriented. Their subjectivities are not defined on the dimension of the primitive identity such as gender and race. Instead, it is through the literacy practice, taking part in the forum discussion that they perform fragmented, provisional and contextual identities. Presumably, partly because the ESL learners are not subjected to Chinese social etiquette and partly because the hyper-real context draws on their English-self, the learners take more initiative to construct their ESL literacy and leave their “Chineseness” behind.

  5. #5
    i_am_vib is offline Newbie
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    Re: Trouble with English Expressions

    You got here pretty big vacabulary. I mean when I write my essays I use a lot less vacabulaty... otherwise it would make my writing more vulnerable to mistakes.. I mean if you are sure how to use the word in a sentece correctly, then go ahead otherwise it would be better to use some simple word to avoid to go wrong.

    By the way here's the tip (maybe you knew about this)
    When you are not sure how to use the word in the sentence just simply google this: How to use <your word> in a sentece, and it will find out all the ways of using your word in the sentece

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