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  1. #1
    Bj Francis is offline Newbie
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    Default How do you learn English?

    Hello Learners
    I am an ESOL Teacher and I am interested in finding out from a student's perspective who are currently learning English and those that have studied English.

    Would appreciate it if you could tell me:

    1. Some of the reasons why you are studying English? (work, social etc)
    2. What type of teaching activities does your teacher use?
    3. Does your teacher talk too fast?
    4. Are you confident in the classroom? How can your teacher help with this?
    5. How much studying if any, do you do outside of the classroom?
    6. How can teachers help your learning?

    Thank you
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 09-Jan-2014 at 08:55. Reason: Changing 'prospective' to 'perspective'.

  2. #2
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    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: How do you learn English?

    Welcome to the forum.

    Even though this is not technically a question about the English language, I think it will be seen by many more English learners in the "Ask A Teacher" section than in the "General Language Discussion" section, so I have moved it here for now.

    If other moderators or the admins disagree with me, the post might get moved back again (just to let you know).
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  3. #3
    Bj Francis is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: How do you learn English?

    Thank you

  4. #4
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    Boris Tatarenko is offline Member
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    Default Re: How do you learn English?

    Hello.

    Let me begin


    1. I'm learning English because I'm going to live in Australia, it's my dream. Moreover I'm an admirer of English. I really can't imagine my life without this language. Finally, I want to link my life to languages and one of them is English.
    2. Honestly, I don't have a teacher. I'm learning English by myself at home. Sure, I have a school teacher, but we've just one hour (one lesson) per week and we do nothing useful because my classmates don't interested in this language like I'm interested. It's a huge problem.
    3. When I'm talking to my teacher (she lived in the US) and I completely understand her, but I wouldn't say that she's talking fluently. Probably she doesn't want to strain me.
    4. I'm very confident in my language skills. There's one thing which I'm not sure - listenign skills. I understand films, movies, cartoons, ted videos, but I can't say the same thing of exams listening part.
    5. I should say that it's a good question. I'm learning English everywhere: in the underground, at home, in the school. Whem I'm taking my dog out I'm talking to her (yep, her) in English and people, who hear that, probably think I'm weird guy. I don't care .
    6. If I have any problem I'm trying to find out an answer by myself. If I don't find something helpful I ask UsingEnglish. My school teacher would be the last person who I'd ask. Not because I don't like her, just because we don't have enough time to solve my problem.

      I hope I helped you.
    Please, correct all my mistakes. I should know English perfectly and if you show me my mistakes I will achieve my dream a little bit faster. A lot of thanks.

  5. #5
    User1291 is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: How do you learn English?

    I am done with English classes. I do, of course, still learn something about English on a near-daily basis.

    1.)
    Well, there's the standard answer "the whole world understands it", of course.
    Also, I am studying computer science and not only is many a professor a foreigner but pretty much everything we are taught is either riddled with English expressions or relies on English literature entirely.
    English also greatly helps in acquiring information in the web.

    2.)
    Our teacher used your standard teaching repertoire:
    - "Listen and repeat" (CD)
    - "Listen and answer questions" (CD)
    - "Listen and ..." (CD)
    - spoken grammar exercises in pairs
    - discussion about the exercises and/or the topic they covered"
    - reading parts of a book or an article aloud (in turns)
    - discussion about books or articles we had read
    - oral presentations
    - etc.

    Reading (silently) and Writing was mostly left as home exercises and I must say, I much prefered it that way.

    3.)
    No, he did not. And I would advise against changing the pace at all.
    Trust me, I'm hearing impaired and I absolutely hate it when people want to "help" by talking in a sloooow and o-ver-pro-noun-ced way.
    Not only does it make both you and the one you're talking to feel like an idiot, it also makes you - contrary to what everybody appears to believe - harder to understand.
    It's meant to be kind, I know, but it's a kindness I usually ask my partner to refrain from after the first sentence they speak that way.
    If it's already disturbing me, I can only imagine how much more it must irritate a non-hearing impaired person.

    And not only does it mess with your listening capabilities, it also messes with your way of speaking.
    An example - and that's about the only fault I can find in my former teacher:
    I cannot seem to forget how we used to pronounce certain words incorrectly. "Photography", for instance.
    Our teacher would go like "No,no, it's pho----TOgraphy".
    That's a perfectly fine thing to do, I think ... but please do remember to say it in a normal fashion afterwards.
    For when the student would continue to read after repeating the properly (over-)pronounced word a few times with the whole class, it would always sound like
    "When Alice showed the pho----TOgraphy to Bob, ..."
    Even now, years later, I always have to remind me not to overpronounce it quite as much.

    4.)
    I remember being rather confident, and I think it was because we would constantly use English. Our teacher was adamant about speaking nothing but English in, inbetween, before or after classes - even privately or when passing us on the street - with us. (It actually startled me when I once overheard him speak German on the phone.) In classes, he would also not tolerate students talking to each other in anything other than English.
    Probably not much of a problem in the UK but even if you do happen to know the mothertongue of your students, do not use it (except when translating, of course).

    5.)
    I don't exactly "study" English anymore.
    But other than learning vocabulary for an exam, I did never really do anything for the English classes that I wasn't explicitly required to either.

    Nowadays, I sometimes come across an expression I do not know and look it up (or ask here about what I do not find, I suppose).
    Since discovering this forum I also sometimes look at issues other people post about here.
    But that's about it.

    6.)
    Well, I think I already said most I would recommend:
    - speak English and only English and make your students speak nothing but English, your students will grow more accustomed to the language and will be more comfortable with using it
    - suggest them an English-English dictionary
    - speak in a normal fashion, so the students can train both listening (by hearing you) and speaking (by imitating you)
    - make the students speak every chance you get, so they have to use what they are supposed to learn
    - correct them as much as possible, for nothing does more damage to your progress than learning faults

    Here's hoping you can use that.

  6. #6
    Bj Francis is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: How do you learn English?

    Thank you very much for taking the time to reply to my questions. You mentioned that you are learning English on your own with one lesson per week with your teacher. Unfortunately, if you want to see an improvement in your language learning, you need to consider studying a lot more that one hour.


    You say that you understand your teacher but she does not speak fluently. What do you mean by this as you say that she lived in American? What country are you from. Is she American?
    (4 correction listening skills. Its good you are listening to videos etc but is it English with accents? Perhaps this is causing problems when taking your exams. (5 correction on the underground. in school, when.... You need to find someone to practice speaking English with ...not your dog. Do you have Skype? Forums with others learning English.
    What resources do you use to help your studies?
    Do you think you would benefit from a book illustrating how you should go about learning the English Language?

    Many Thanks

  7. #7
    Bj Francis is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: How do you learn English?

    Thank you very much for providing such an informative reply. Do you think students would benefit from information ( a learning tool) illustrating how to go about learning English in small chunks ?

    Thank you
    Last edited by Bj Francis; 11-Jan-2014 at 16:53.

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