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  1. #1
    Suthipong is offline Member
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    Default Does writing ability helps improving speaking ability of English learners and why?

    Is it true that writing ability helps improving speaking ability for English learners and why?

  2. #2
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does writing ability helps improving speaking ability of English learners and why

    I see no reason why the ability to write English well should have any effect on one's ability to speak the language well.

  3. #3
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    Tullia is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Does writing ability helps improving speaking ability of English learners and why

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    I see no reason why the ability to write English well should have any effect on one's ability to speak the language well.
    Indeed; I suspect it's a case where correlation does not imply causation. There may well be people who have excellent written and spoken English, but those two facts are more likely to have a single root cause than to have influenced each other directly.

    That said, I suppose any practice of English will help improve your overall standard, so writing practice would help spoken English slightly - for example by making you more comfortable with producing the vocabulary yourself. However I would also say that there are many other things you can do to improve your spoken English that will cause a much more significant impact than writing would!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Does writing ability helps improving speaking ability of English learners and why

    However, excellent speech will help writing, because facility with expression is developed solely by the speech skills (we've been using language for 200,000 years, but have been writing for an average of merely 2000 years).

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Does writing ability helps improving speaking ability of English learners and why

    I have come across many students who had good grammar/writing but were not good at speaking. The reverse is less common.

    (These students came from educational backgrounds that focused on grammar and writing)

  6. #6
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    sherishine is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Does writing ability helps improving speaking ability of English learners and why

    It depends what kind of character you inherited.

    Since I am not certain how your brain works, I can merely share my own experience, which may or may not help you for an answer.

    If you ask me how to pass the speaking section of an IELTS test, I would probably persuade you to spare more time on the listening part, that is, you may try to temporarily forget your 'old' accent, and melt yourself into the sound and rhythm of the scripts read out loud from the tape. In this way, you may improve your pronunciation and catch up with the script’s pace.

    However, if you ask me how I learned to SPEAK English, I would say "it is a different story." Genuinely, I didn’t really speak much until I fostered up my writing skills. I am a person that has more intimacy with math rather than a language. I need pen and ink to clarify the thought. I need to see how differently it may look, if I arrange the words in another way. Extensive imitations through ‘listening to the tape and repeat’ doesn’t work so much for me, for I would not use the structure of their conversations if I don’t like them.

    It sounds paradoxical, but as for me, learning how to write is rather essential for uttering my own words.
    Last edited by sherishine; 18-Apr-2012 at 06:09.

  7. #7
    Suthipong is offline Member
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    Default Re: Does writing ability helps improving speaking ability of English learners and why

    Quote Originally Posted by Suthipong View Post
    Is it true that writing ability helps improving speaking ability for English learners and why?
    Edited: Title; Does writing ability help improving speaking ability for English learners?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Does writing ability helps improving speaking ability of English learners and why

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    However, ... we've been ... writing for an average of merely 2000 years).
    Only 2,000 years? That seems awfully little to me.
    I cant seem to find an answer.
    Last edited by JohnParis; 18-Apr-2012 at 17:10.

  9. #9
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Does writing ability helps improving speaking ability of English learners and why

    In my teaching I have come across many older French learners of English who could read and write perfect English but were very poor at speaking. The French education system used to concentrate on teaching written English grammar and comprehension. There was little or no teaching of spoken English. I know at least one French English teacher in his sixties, who is quite capable of teaching written English but can hardly converse in the language at all.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Does writing ability helps improving speaking ability of English learners and why

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    In my teaching I have come across many older French learners of English who could read and write perfect English but were very poor at speaking.
    Very similar to my experience of learning French in the 1950s and 60s. When I graduated (English and French), I could write academic essays on Corneille, Racine, etc, translate fairly abstruse texts from English to French and vice versa, and discuss (in English) arcane points of French grammar. None of this helped much when I went to France. I couldn't understand the strange language the French actually spoke, and they were most amused by the pompous, unnatural words I uttered.

    In those days, all my lectures at university were in English - I remember the frisson that went through the department when Professor X announced that he would deliver a lecture in French. Fortunately, it was a spoken version of formal written French, spoken slowly and clearly, with no confusing French accent, so we understood what he said.

    In my early teaching career, I taught French, something I never dared admit to French people.

    Forty-five years later, I can still read French with little difficulty, and write it reasonably well, but do not enjoy attempted conversation with French speakers; neither do they!
    Last edited by 5jj; 19-Apr-2012 at 08:13. Reason: typo

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