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Thread: poor english

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    #1

    poor english

    I am from Asia and work an engineer. My English is still poor after living and working in the US for more than 20 years. The irony is that I have been making efforts to improve my English but never saw any significant improvement. My career is severely hindered by my English. I wonder if I am alone. Or most people would speak very good English after 20 years.

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    #2

    Re: poor english

    Quote Originally Posted by aha123 View Post
    Or most people would speak very good English after 20 years.
    My experience is that people who have been living in a country for more than 20 years, generally have a good command of the language in question, especially if they have been making some effort to learn it, though it greatly depends at what age they started learning that language and their aptitute for learning languages.

    I think it would be a good idea to think about what aspects you want to improve. Your message contains a few mistakes. For example, here are two sentences in which either a word is missing or the word order is wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by aha123 View Post
    I am from Asia and work an engineer.

    Or most people would speak very good English after 20 years.
    Do you see what I mean?
    Last edited by Chicken Sandwich; 27-Jul-2012 at 00:58.

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    #3

    Re: poor english

    I came to the US at age 28.

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    #4

    Re: poor english

    Quote Originally Posted by aha123 View Post
    I came to the US at age 28.
    Did you begin learning English at age 28 as well or did you have some prior experiences with English before you came to the US?

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    #5

    Re: poor english

    Well, you have definitely come to the right place to improve your English. From what you have written above I wouldn't say your English is poor. You might have made a few mistakes, but I have seen worse from native speakers. Living in the country for 20 years doesn't necessarily imply that a person's English will be perfect. There are numerous examples of people having lived in another country for decades without being able to speak that country's language. Quite often this is because they live only in a community with natives from their own country and don't have any contact to the outside world.

    Maybe you could let us know where you think your weaknesses are and some of the experienced teachers here can point you in the right direction. Personally I would suggest that you attend some English classes for adults. In addition to this you should do a lot of reading, listen to the news and talkshows on the radio, and watch some good quality TV programmes. Try to communicate as much as possible with English speaking people: join a club, find a hobby group or attend evening classes in subjects you are interested in, basically anything which makes you talk to other people in English.

    TomUK

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    #6

    Post Re: poor english

    I would recommend you to record an audio-diary everyday on your computer or your cellphone. The thing is don't expect everything to go smoothly from the first day. It will take some time till you enhance not just your grammar, but the rhetoric and your speech rate.
    As was mentioned above, just get into situation where you can use English. The main purpose of the language is to communicate. There is some strange interaction between our language and our emotions. I speak Russian, Kazakh, English and little bit Korean. So, sometimes it is easier for me to express one idea in Russian, another in Kazakh and in English. Based on my experience I can say that the more you read, listen and, most importantly, produce whatever you acquired. Don't just listen, but analyze, have your own opinion on the videos from TED.com, listen to podcast from Eslpod.com. and etc.
    My best regards, Yerzhan

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    #7

    Re: poor english

    A good way to improve your English Knowledge is reading all the time.

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    #8

    Re: poor english

    Quote Originally Posted by gabrielteacher View Post
    A good way to improve your English Knowledge is reading all the time.
    I agree with gabrielteacher. Reading helps alot. And reading aloud - even if only to yourself - helps too. You can try re-reading one paragraph several times. Your fluency will improve each time you repeat the paragraph.

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    #9

    Re: poor english

    Hello aha123, I think you want to learn a language you have got to work on it or spend time with a language. My uncle lives in US for about 15 years and when he was in Lithuania 1 years ago he had an accent in his native language. Spending time with a language helps a lot. Do what you like to do read a book, listen to the radio. I been learning English for about 3 years and I understand a lot, TV, Movies, Radio etc. Steve Kaufman has learned more than eleven languages and now I know that he works on his Czech I suggest you to try LingQ.com you can create lingqs and listen to English podcast. Just work on it and you will progress step by step. Best wishes!

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    #10

    Re: poor english

    I think listening to audiobooks should help. Try to listen and repeat, this should improve your pronunciation.

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