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  1. #11
    banderas's Avatar
    banderas is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Could novels help?

    Quote Originally Posted by beaverbeaver View Post
    I apologized if anything i said offended you.

    Regards.
    Of course you did not, my friend, at least not me. There is nothing wrong in sharing your opinions and views.

  2. #12
    atlaisha is offline Member
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    Default Re: Could novels help?

    Quote Originally Posted by beaverbeaver View Post
    . I just thought a different learning experience could help atlaisha in getting the most from her talent. Thank you Beaver for helping. Ah, no offence but it's him
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vibovit View Post
    Even though your question is addressed to teachers, I'll speak out of my own learning experience :) in my opinion Nick Hornby's writing is very good for a beginner.

    It's simple and vivid English, with quite a lot of informal, everyday speech.

    It also gives an insight into British culture and mentality to some extent, I think.

    Another book that I felt was of great help to me was Mark Haddon's "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time", a story told from the point of view of a 15 years old boy; an authistic one.

    Very compelling; and with a touch of irony, as I and the protagonist experienced some similar difficulties with communication - such as problems with idioms, the reason being authism in his case, and in mine, being a foreigner ;)

    As a rule of thumb, I tend to choose novels which were written in English, rather than translations into English. There are puns, stylistic devices etc. which you won't find in a book originally written in some other language.
    Thank you Vibovit, I'll check those books. And I believe you are right, books written in English would suit me best, for what I'm looking for by reading is avoid any sense of translating something from another language into English while I'm speaking.

    Quote Originally Posted by beaverbeaver View Post
    this is my personal opinion, if you're aiming at speaking skills, then reading won't do you much good. reading will greatly increase your vocabularies and improve your choice of words. unless you're reading it out loud, it doesn't really add to the speaking skill.

    do you have partner to speak english with ?

    Beavercanal Land English Community
    I am trying to help my speaking skills and I'm spending 4 hours weekly in a speaking class. But I think I can't be inventing words and expressions and sentences the way I want, at lest not yet. I think what I say in English would sound so weird to English natives, I need to find ways to express my mind in the most similar to natives possible.

    Previously, I thought that song lyrics could do, but now I realize the progress is too slow, I rarely find lyrics with different sentences, most of them are saying the same words repeatedly.

  3. #13
    atlaisha is offline Member
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    Default Re: Could novels help?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    Hope you enjoy them - they are pretty colloquial so ask if you have a problem!
    Thank you Anglika, colloquial, this is just what I was looking for!

  4. #14
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    Snowcake is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Could novels help?

    I love Francis Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby and The Beautiful and Damned. Even if these books are not the best to read when it comes to improve speaking skills, Fitzgerald's poetical language is worth reading and enjoying his marvelous stories with rich thematic content embedded in social and historic pecularities. I admire his profound mind and the emotional depth.

    Marc Haddon's 'A spot of bother' is a novel that gives you a funny look into the lives of ordinary people as well as it provides you with English in everyday life situations. It is advisible to look for books with lots of dialogue anyway. As our English lessons at school (a long time ago ) were focused on grammar and exams, I realised that my greatest problems were/are to speak fluently and react spontaneously.

    'On Chesil Beach' by Ian McEwan is a wonderful novel if you like stories about the trials and tribulations of relationships placed on a historical cusp between the repressed 1950's and the liberated 60's.

    Besides, I love reading biographies. I guess there are many interesting biographies you can choose from.

    Other authors I definitely recommend are Oscar Wilde, Agatha Christie and some more, which I just can't think of at the moment.

    As regards learning English by listening to music there is some music, which is both useful and good. Depending on what you like. Music might be a problem concerning artistic license (using wrong grammar is not unsual, if you know the awful song "That don't impress me much' )

    In Germany you can buy newspapers and magazines professionally edited and especially prepared for the needs of English learners. Perhaps you can find something like that in your country.

    Another thing I prefer is to read postings by native speakers attentively and write down expressions and words which I find useful.
    Last edited by Snowcake; 12-Apr-2008 at 00:42.

  5. #15
    banderas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Could novels help?

    [quote=Snowcake;279921]

    Marc Haddon's 'A spot of bother' is a novel that gives you a funny look into the lives of ordinary people as well as it provides you with English in everyday life situations. It is advisible to look for books with lots of dialogue. Since our English lessons at school (a long time ago ) were focused on grammar and exams, I realised that my greatest problems were/are to speak fluently and react spontaneously.
    quote]
    I am with you here, Snowcake.
    It is all about being able to react naturally and spontaneously in a language situation. Thanks for your post!
    Last edited by banderas; 12-Apr-2008 at 00:45. Reason: typo

  6. #16
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    Default Re: Could novels help?

    Not a novel, but useful nonetheless.

    BBC Learning English | Communicate

    Have a go!

    Snowcake
    Last edited by Snowcake; 13-Apr-2008 at 15:29.

  7. #17
    Vibovit is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Could novels help?

    My English teacher (in the UK) recommended us "Alice in Wonderland", praising the book for its top quality English (I think it's true)

    PS. By the way, Haddon is British and hence it's Mark, not Marc!
    I mention this because one won't find "Marc Haddon" on Amazon or AbeBooks etc.

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