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  1. #11
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    I actually reacted to your sport analogy, but delibarately digressed afterwards.

    Remember the title of this post. It's "effective learning", not "the basics of learning."
    Well, participating in a forum for instance seems pretty effective to me, and that's what my point is all about. Sharing one's point of view with everybody, native or not, with teachers around to check up on us, is a good way to practice if you cannot talk to a native speaker as often as you would like.

    FRC

  2. #12
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    I learned English from Chinese English teachers. I have to admit that some of them are really knowledgeable, even the foreigners think they are just amazing at teaching and explaining--GRAMMAR. It's not a bad idea to learn the grammatical rules from a non-native speaker.

    Even you try your best to expose to a rich language environment, no matter you learn from a native or non-native; as long as you don't practice, everything is just in vain.

    Practising English with a native speaker doesn't work to everyone, but the truth lies in "practice makes perfect."

  3. #13
    alexandre42 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Francois
    It's like playing an instrument, or a sport...whatever; if you want to be good at it, you have to learn it from someone who really knows how to play it.
    My former teachers in elementary school were not mathematicians, but they taught me some maths though. Even non-experts can know something you don't, and help you on specific points. The thing is, how do you find out if you can trust them? This is all the more difficult as people are quick to believe they are, or make themselves out to be, an expert. This is a fairly general question, not exclusively pertaining to learning languages. Hopefully reality catches up with people pretty quickly, and eventually either they realize what their actual level is, or they find a smaller pond. But the "get ouf of my way, non-native" attitude (not that I'm saying it's yours) is IMO not the best. Making the extra effort of considering non-expert opinions gives yourself more opportunities to improve, if only by explaining why they're inadequate. A teacher may drop by afterwards, and point out that your explanation is not altogether right, and suddenly, everybody has learned something! And of course the non-expert might be right in the first place, which then turns the question into an ego problem (How darst thou correct me, thou fool?).
    Just my opinion ;)
    Hello François
    Do you speak every day in English ? You seem have a good pratice .

    :)

    FRC

  4. #14
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    Hello François
    Do you speak every day in English ? You seem have a good pratice .
    Hey Alex,

    No I don't, but I used to. Lately, I've been trying to build up my vocabulary and my pronunciation (a bit on the American side). English is not a difficult language, but there are tons of expressions to learn if you want to sound 'right'. Forums are a useful tool, insofar as you're exposed to many questions -- and answers.
    Feel free to jump in!

    FRC

  5. #15
    Taka is offline Senior Member
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    Yes, you are right, my friends, blacknomi, Francois. However, "practice" does not necessarily mean "practical", IMO. Maybe this is specific to Japan, but let me tell you what I think.

    Some time ago, I personally received this message:

    You post some rather elaborate phrasing, some of it almost old fashioned.... Are you working on school projects or just having fun?
    It looks like it is time to update the curriculum. A problem in almost every school system. I think some of it does not prepare a student for real life situations. Just the opposite. The first negative experience may cause them to clamp up.
    Good point! This person really knows what is going on in academic reality. I don't know about other countries, but at least the description is true of the English education here in Japan. In fact, most of the complicated (and old-fashioned, sometimes) sentences that I've posted here are from the textbooks that I use in my class.

    Japanese have long studied English as if it were a dead language. In this educational context, "practice" does not always mean "practical." I think Japanese students work very hard every day. They are industrious, really. And they learn English from the "great" teachers. In other words, they do practice under the great teachers every day. However, this doesn't mean that their study is practical, because there is a strong possibility that the curriculums are, as the person above pointed out, out-dated and not all the great teachers are practically great (some of them might be just good at dead usage).

    I still remember what happened when I first visited the writing lab in the U.S. Before I visited there, I thought I had studied English long enough under good curriculums, so that my writing skill was good enough for academic writing. I was wrong. They made a huge correction in my writing. But I didn't know why such a huge correction was necessary, because I thought I just did what I had done before, following the instruction that I had been given in Japan. It was only afterwards that I noticed there was something that I couldn't learn in Japan: the English that sounds natural.

    I wouldn't say that everything that I received from Japanese teachers was in vain. Nor would I say that learning English from native speakers is the best and only way to learn English. I would just like to say that having your English checked by native speakers is a better way to learn better English.

  6. #16
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    I'm down with that. As for the Japanese syllabuses, I've no idea, but apparently we use a different system in France. English teachers basically have a free hand to do what they want, provided they still do a minimum of grammar etc. One year, we studied Swift for almost 7 months. This makes the quality of the course extremely dependent on teachers' skills. Incidentally, I got an E in English at the SAT French equivalent.

    FRC

  7. #17
    alexandre42 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Francois
    Hello François
    Do you speak every day in English ? You seem have a good pratice .
    Hey Alex,

    No I don't, but I used to. Lately, I've been trying to build up my vocabulary and my pronunciation (a bit on the American side). English is not a difficult language, but there are tons of expressions to learn if you want to sound 'right'. Forums are a useful tool, insofar as you're exposed to many questions -- and answers.
    Feel free to jump in!

    I agree with this . I've known forums since more one year : messages boards BBC , English as a seccond language and this one more recently . I speak not often in English . Sometimes I speak two or three weeks all the day ( except Saturday , Sunday ). Even my colleagues aren't native British speakers . They have a good pratice . This one is able me to improve myself . This year , I had had course 5 days ,around 40 hours, at Royan in English only for improving my speaking . After I felt making a lot of progress.
    I think there is important to keep on speaking every day to progress . Forums are offered this opportunity , unlucky , only for posting messages .

    This exercise is not so much for learning correctly a language . Posting have to be completed by listing reading writing .

    I am reading the book , Bright day, written by JB Priestley . I think that it's too difficult ( for my level ) but I keep on before giving up . I would like so much speaking well. The way is still long ...

    Alex






    FRC

  8. #18
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    Don't be depressed -- even if you make some mistakes, you can generally get yourself understood by native speakers if you speak slowly. Frenchmen often have the sentence rythm wrong, that is, we don't put the accent where it belongs, but if you speak slowly and distinctly, they will be able to put back everything into place. Maybe you can ask your company for private courses, they usually have a dedicated budget for formations. I managed to get some when I worked at JPMorgan, and it was quite profitable indeed.

    FRC

  9. #19
    alexandre42 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Francois
    Don't be depressed -- even if you make some mistakes, you can generally get yourself understood by native speakers if you speak slowly. Frenchmen often have the sentence rythm wrong, that is, we don't put the accent where it belongs, but if you speak slowly and distinctly, they will be able to put back everything into place. Maybe you can ask your company for private courses, they usually have a dedicated budget for formations. I managed to get some when I worked at JPMorgan, and it was quite profitable indeed.
    FRC
    Many thanks for your support.
    :)

  10. #20
    alexandre42 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Francois
    Hello François
    Do you speak every day in English ? You seem have a good pratice .
    Hey Alex,

    No I don't, but I used to. Lately, I've been trying to build up my vocabulary and my pronunciation (a bit on the American side). English is not a difficult language, but there are tons of expressions to learn if you want to sound 'right'. Forums are a useful tool, insofar as you're exposed to many questions -- and answers.
    Feel free to jump in!
    FRC
    Pronunciation is a bit problem for somepeople like me . I've problem with the ends of words like worked , asked ... aks so on .
    Could you advise me ? I'm looking for some useful links to improve this point .

    Alex
    :)

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