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  1. #41
    Harry Smith's Avatar
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    Re: Pronunciation- younger versus older students

    Quote Originally Posted by The Language Works View Post
    I imagine you know this already: simply put, the younger a student is when acquiring a new language, the more accurate her/his pronunciation will be in the target language (ESL=English).

    "Studies examining students' pronunciation after more than five years of exposure to the second language consistently find that the large majority of adults retain their accent when the second language is acquired after puberty, whereas children initiating second language acquisition before puberty have little or no foreign accent."

    More on the subject here:
    The Effect of Age on Acquisition of a Second Language for School

    According to researchers, this has to do with brain "plasticity." This doesn't mean our brains slowly turn to a hard, dull plastic up to the point of senile dementia; on the contrary, it suggests that the human brain has the ability to change and develop (adapt) over time in relation to new information. The focus is on "neuronal circuits that respond to diverse stimuli and process information." In most cases, young learners have more plasticity:

    "...in early second language acquisition (L2) beginning at between approximately age five or six, children often achieve native-like pronunciation and syntax within a relatively short period of a year or two. The ability of young children to achieve native-like proficiency in a foreign language in a rather short time is a reflection of a type of neural plasticity, and it appears to be related to the distinct characteristics of the young brain."

    More here:
    Neural Plasticity and the Issue of Mimicry Tasks in L2 Pronunciation Studies

    If your student is a Korean native who acquired Russian as a child, she will most likely acquire English pronunciation in the same way a Russian adult would. On the other hand, if she hadn't been able to assimilate the Russian accent, perhaps then she will be coming to the lesson with pronunciation characteristic of a native Korean speaker.

    Good Luck!
    Thanks very much! I have already had two lessons with my Korean Student. She told me that she didn't speak her native tongue as she was born in Uzbekistan. Frankly speaking I don't see any difference between her and my other Russian students. You know Russians also have difficulties with their pronunciation. They don't have the sound [h] and they very often pronounce [kh].

  2. #42
    RedOne is offline Newbie
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    Re: THE Importance of English Nowadays

    I will be an english teacher soon. Im still a student and Im really excited to start teaching. I really think that knowing another language, besides yours, would open so many doors in life. As for me, english is my second language and I love it! I just hope to be able and focused to do the best I can to show my students how important to know english is. Can you Harry give me some tips that could guide me and help me to do my best in teaching? Thank you so much! Luci (from Uruguay)

  3. #43
    Harry Smith's Avatar
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    Re: THE Importance of English Nowadays

    Quote Originally Posted by RedOne View Post
    I will be an english teacher soon. Im still a student and Im really excited to start teaching. I really think that knowing another language, besides yours, would open so many doors in life. As for me, english is my second language and I love it! I just hope to be able and focused to do the best I can to show my students how important to know english is. Can you Harry give me some tips that could guide me and help me to do my best in teaching? Thank you so much! Luci (from Uruguay)
    Dear Luci!
    I'm very happy to read your ideas about teaching English and your love towards this wonderful language. First of all I want you to be always full of energy and think that your profeesion is one of the most important professions nowadays. Secondly you'll have a lot of difficulties in teaching English. Never hesitate and go on teaching. One day you'll feel how easy and interesting it is. When you hear your pupils speak English you will be the happiest in the world. I wish you good luck and a very easy start in teaching.
    Best wishes Harry

  4. #44
    Harry Smith's Avatar
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    Re: THE Importance of English Nowadays

    I was very surprised when I entered my classroom yesterday. In one corner there was a new TV set and a video player. Later in the afternoon I thanked the headmaster for her attention. She said, "It's very important to know English nowadays. Let your pupils watch English films at the lessons too." Now I know how to make my lessons more interesting. Any other ideas?

  5. #45
    Harry Smith's Avatar
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    Re: THE Importance of English Nowadays

    The number of the readers of this thread shows how important English is nowadays.

  6. #46
    Falcon is offline Member
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    Arrow Re: THE Importance of English Nowadays

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Smith View Post
    The number of the readers of this thread shows how important English is nowadays.
    I quite agree.

    I'm Brazilian and I love this language. I've studied English in London for eight months - Dec 2004/Aug 2005 - (I began as basic and stopped at intermediate level) but since this time I didn't stop to study on my own. I'm always buying books, DVD's and so on and searching for ways to get my English improved. My principal difficulty is about when I must use in, on, at, about, to, for, with, -ing forms and other words or when not use them. The big problem also, is that here, in Brazil, everybody speaks Portuguese and I don't have anyone to practise English, so despite understand about 90% or more when I'm watching TV (CNN, BBC and FOX) and also understand about the same percentage when I'm reading something I have this problem when I need to write down or to speak in English.

    I use this forum as a English School because I'm always learning something new around here. However, sometimes I feel ashamed in asking questions that could be too basic for you, but for a guy like me who only spoke Portuguese for 31 years, it isn't easy change the brain just in a few years.

    I'd like to take advantage of this thread and ask for some help to chose a good grammar's book. I bought two books: Active English Grammar (Collins Cobuild) and Oxford Practice Grammar. The first one is compact but easy of understanding (or easy to understand??) but the second one is rather hard to understand. I'm seeking for one grammar that I can learn and understand too much. If know one, I thanks in advantage.

    Well, that's all.
    I know I made lots of mistakes writing it down but I'm here to learn. So I apologise for killing your English but you can correct me as well. It's easiest to me, to learn with my mistakes.

    Thanks for all (or thanks to all?)

    Falcon

  7. #47
    Harry Smith's Avatar
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    Re: THE Importance of English Nowadays

    Quote Originally Posted by Falcon View Post
    I quite agree.

    I'm Brazilian and I love this language. I've studied English in London for eight months - Dec 2004/Aug 2005 - (I began as basic and stopped at intermediate level) but since this time I didn't stop to study on my own. I'm always buying books, DVD's and so on and searching for ways to get my English improved. My principal difficulty is about when I must use in, on, at, about, to, for, with, -ing forms and other words or when not use them. The big problem also, is that here, in Brazil, everybody speaks Portuguese and I don't have anyone to practise English, so despite understand about 90% or more when I'm watching TV (CNN, BBC and FOX) and also understand about the same percentage when I'm reading something I have this problem when I need to write down or to speak in English.

    I use this forum as a English School because I'm always learning something new around here. However, sometimes I feel ashamed in asking questions that could be too basic for you, but for a guy like me who only spoke Portuguese for 31 years, it isn't easy change the brain just in a few years.

    I'd like to take advantage of this thread and ask for some help to chose a good grammar's book. I bought two books: Active English Grammar (Collins Cobuild) and Oxford Practice Grammar. The first one is compact but easy of understanding (or easy to understand??) but the second one is rather hard to understand. I'm seeking for one grammar that I can learn and understand too much. If know one, I thanks in advantage.

    Well, that's all.
    I know I made lots of mistakes writing it down but I'm here to learn. So I apologise for killing your English but you can correct me as well. It's easiest to me, to learn with my mistakes.

    Thanks for all (or thanks to all?)

    Falcon
    First of all, you needn't get ashamed if you don't know anything. I have been teaching English for three decades and still I have a lot of things to learn. As to a good grammar book I'll recommend you to buy "English Grammar in Use". It's a self-study reference and practice book for beginners,intermediate and advanced students. The author is Raymond Murphy. I wish you good luck!

  8. #48
    Falcon is offline Member
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    Arrow Re: THE Importance of English Nowadays

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Smith View Post
    First of all, you needn't get ashamed if you don't know anything. I have been teaching English for three decades and still I have a lot of things to learn. As to a good grammar book I'll recommend you to buy "English Grammar in Use". It's a self-study reference and practice book for beginners,intermediate and advanced students. The author is Raymond Murphy. I wish you good luck!
    Thanks for the tip!

    I was searching for this grammar in "Amazon.com" but I found lots of them by the same author and now I don't know what do I should buy.
    You, being a teacher, noticing my English around here what do you think I have to chose? An intermediate or advanced level? (Well, I think I'm not a begginer...) What do you recommend? Of course I know you don't know me but I think that through these words you can get an idea.
    Just to let you know, I enjoy a lot studying English and want to improve it as fast as I can so I want a grammar which help me to achieve this aim.

    Teachers, I'd like to get all tips about what's the best way to learn English on my own, if you could.

    Cheers!

    Falcon

  9. #49
    Harry Smith's Avatar
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    Re: THE Importance of English Nowadays

    Quote Originally Posted by Falcon View Post
    Thanks for the tip!

    I was searching for this grammar in "Amazon.com" but I found lots of them by the same author and now I don't know what do I should buy.
    You, being a teacher, noticing my English around here what do you think I have to chose? An intermediate or advanced level? (Well, I think I'm not a begginer...) What do you recommend? Of course I know you don't know me but I think that through these words you can get an idea.
    Just to let you know, I enjoy a lot studying English and want to improve it as fast as I can so I want a grammar which help me to achieve this aim.

    Teachers, I'd like to get all tips about what's the best way to learn English on my own, if you could.

    Cheers!

    Falcon
    Yes, you aren't a beginner of course. You'd better start with an intermediate level. The cover is dark blue here in Moscow. What else can I advise you to do? Read the materials of our forum from time to time, watch English films on TV and listen to CNN or BBC news. Finally don't forget to read books in your free time. Cheers!
    Harry Smith

  10. #50
    Falcon is offline Member
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    Arrow Re: THE Importance of English Nowadays

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Smith View Post
    Yes, you aren't a beginner of course. You'd better start with an intermediate level. The cover is dark blue here in Moscow. What else can I advise you to do? Read the materials of our forum from time to time, watch English films on TV and listen to CNN or BBC news. Finally don't forget to read books in your free time. Cheers!
    Harry Smith

    I'll follow these tips!

    Cheers!

    Falcon

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