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    #1

    Unhappy Please I need advice from Experienced English learners/teachers !!!

    Hello. I am new here. I was browsing on the web and found comments and resources on this forum useful. As a second language learner of English, I am now facing two serious problems which are urgently needed to be resolved; otherwise, I cannot get a job in the education field.

    I am a novice teacher in an China. To acquire a qualified certificate in teaching, I need to pass an exam. I have two problems in English which have troubled me for some time. I dont know what should I do to overcome them. Please if any of the teachers here can share some ideas with me.

    My first problem is on passing a paper called 'error identification'. I need to identify the grammatical errors and correct them in that paper. It is very hard for me. Although I have been English for more than 20 years and maintained a satisfactory proficiency throughout the years, my awareness to grammatical mistakes is unsatisfactory.
    I have acquired an overall score 7 in the IELTS test, like most of my classmates in college, which has proven that we are having similar English proficiency. They all passed that paper but I couldn't.
    Please can anyone share ways on improving grammar awareness?

    My second problem is lexical choice. Having grown up in China, where there is a lack of good/ native language model, I have built up a set of weird set of collocation. There are only a few chances that my mistakes can be corrected because most people near me do not acquire a higher English proficiency than me. I am worrying that I may model bad Englishes to students. It is impossible for me to forgot all learnt 'weird' usage of words now. They have be fossilized in my vocabulary bank. I am worrying I may teach the wrong models to kids now but I cant quit working in the education field because I like teaching a lot. What should I do to have my lexis improved? Can anyone share your language learning experience??

  1. Chicken Sandwich's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Please I need advice from Experienced English learners/teachers !!!

    NOT A TEACHER

    Welcome to usingenglish.

    Quote Originally Posted by Minami View Post
    I am worrying that I may model bad Englishes to students. It is impossible for me to forgot all learnt 'weird' usage of words now.
    I am afraid that your worries are not unjustified. I hate to say this, but your message is full of mistakes and unnatural English. The reason why you are unable to spot mistakes is the very same reason why you make mistakes when you write in English.

    I don't when you began learning English, and what kind of English you were exposed to, but in my opinion, the key to learning English as a second language, is to listen a lot. The Internet provides a lot of opportunities to learn English. For example, try listening to podcasts. Turn on the television to watch CNN, BBC etc. If you have an internet connection, the possibilites are limitless.
    Last edited by Chicken Sandwich; 02-Jul-2012 at 01:15. Reason: typo

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Please I need advice from Experienced English learners/teachers !!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Minami View Post
    Hello. I am new here. I was browsing on the web and found comments and resources on this forum useful. As a second language learner of English, I am now facing two serious problems which are urgently needed need to be resolved, otherwise (no comma) I cannot get a job in the education field.

    I am a novice teacher in an China. To acquire a qualified certificate in teaching qualification, I need to pass an exam. I have two problems in English which have troubled me for some time. I don't know what should I should do to overcome them. Please I wonder if any of the teachers here can share some ideas with me.

    My first problem is on passing a paper called 'error identification'. I need to identify the grammatical errors and correct them in that paper. It is very hard for me. Although I have been speaking English for more than 20 years and maintained a satisfactory proficiency throughout the years, my awareness to of grammatical mistakes is unsatisfactory.
    I have acquired an overall score 7 in the IELTS test, like most of my classmates in college, which has proven proves that we are having have similar English proficiency. They all passed that paper (which paper?) but I couldn't.

    Please can anyone share ways on improving grammar awareness?

    My second problem is lexical choice. Having grown up in China, where there is a lack of good/native language model, I have built up a set of weird set of collocation. There are is only a few chances small chance that of my mistakes can be being corrected because most people near around me do not acquire have a higher English proficiency than me. I am worrying worried that I may model bad Englishes to students. It is impossible now for me to forgot forget all learnt the 'weird' usage of words I have learnt.now. They have been fossilized cemented in my vocabulary bank. I am worrying worried that I may teach the wrong models to kids now but I can't quit working in the education field because I like teaching a lot. What should I do to have improve my lexis? improved? Can anyone share your their language learning experience??
    In order to demonstrate the veracity of Chicken Sandwich's statement that your message is full of mistakes and unnatural English, I have corrected it and marked those corrections in red. I hope this might be useful for you to identify where some of your problem areas lie.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #4

    Red face Re: Please I need advice from Experienced English learners/teachers !!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken Sandwich View Post
    NOT A TEACHER

    Welcome to usingenglish.



    I am afraid that your worries are not unjustified. I hate to say this, but your message is full of mistakes and unnatural English. The reason why you are unable to spot mistakes is the very same reason why you make mistakes when you write in English.

    I don't when you began learning English, and what kind of English you were exposed to, but in my opinion, the key to learning English as a second language, is to listen a lot. The Internet provides a lot of opportunities to learn English. For example, try listening to podcasts. Turn on the television to watch CNN, BBC etc. If you have an internet connection, the possibilites are limitless.

    Thank you for the advice.

    I have been learning English for 20 years in local schools in China. Most ESL textbooks here are not written in native English. There are many people who suffer the same problem as I do in my place. Some of them have learnt English for more than 20 years; yet, they could not communicate themselves effectively in English. I don't how many years it is going to take me to speak and write like a native, but I am aiming at it. I like English and I want to be a good model to my students. Thanks for commenting.

  3. tzfujimino's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Please I need advice from Experienced English learners/teachers !!!

    Hello, Minami.
    I know how you feel. (because I am a non-native teacher of English like you.)
    I'd advise you to use this forum effectively.
    I've met many nice people and excellent teachers here.
    I've learnt a lot from them.

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    #6

    Re: Please I need advice from Experienced English learners/teachers !!!

    NOT A TEACHER


    Hello, Minami:

    Since you do not have many opportunities to practice your English conversation, I have two suggestions:

    1. Read, read, read.

    I do not know your interests. Whatever they are, you will find American and British websites that are devoted to those

    interests. For example, I love journalism. So I regularly read American and British websites devoted to that topic.

    2. Listen, listen, listen.

    Take every chance to hear English in movies, on TV, the Internet. etc. I do not know whether it is true, but some

    famous people claim (repeat: claim) that they learned English simply by watching American movies every day for a

    year.

    *****

    When it comes to learning a language, that old saying really is true: Practice makes perfect.

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Please I need advice from Experienced English learners/teachers !!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Minami View Post
    Thank you for the advice.

    I have been learning English for 20 years in local schools in China. Most ESL textbooks here are not written in native English. There are many people who suffer the same problem as I do in my place. Some of them have learnt English for more than 20 years; yet, they could not communicate themselves effectively in English. I don't how many years it is going to take me to speak and write like a native, but I am aiming at it. I like English and I want to be a good model to my students. Thanks for commenting.
    Are English grammar books written by native speakers simply not available in China? I understand that it can be very difficult in certain parts of the world to even get access to, for example, foreign websites and newspapers etc. Do you have access to any reliable sites or literature written by native speakers? If so, concentrate on them. Try to get hold of at least one decent grammar book written by a native speaker.

    It is unfortunate that you have had to rely on such sub-standard learning/teaching for over 20 years. It is difficult to comprehend how someone who is clearly as devoted and enthusiastic as you are, could still be making such basic errors as "It's impossible to forgot" (should be "forget") and "I am worrying ..." (should be "I am worried") after 20 years of studying English. That is clear evidence that the textbooks you have had to rely on for your own learning are just not up to the job.

    It is good that you have access to this website and I think you will learn (and consequently teach) a lot.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  5. 5jj's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Please I need advice from Experienced English learners/teachers !!!

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    Are English grammar books written by native speakers simply not available in China?
    Yes, they are. And, although few Chinese teachers of English have had much real contact with native speakers*, many of them do a pretty good job of teaching. The accent of the spoken language may not be perfect, and the language taught is fairly formal, with a few ideas on grammar that may be a little dated, but generally the language taught is fine. I am afraid that Minami just may not be very good at recognising errors in language, his/her own, or that of others. S/he has already said that s/he failed the error identification test that all his/her colleagues passed.

    *In 2002, I was one of only about half a dozen British.Americans/Austtralians in a town with 1.4 million inhabitants. As far as I know, there were no others within a radius of about 250 kilometres.


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    #9

    Re: Please I need advice from Experienced English learners/teachers !!!

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    Are English grammar books written by native speakers simply not available in China?
    It is good that you have access to this website and I think you will learn (and consequently teach) a lot.
    Hi emsr2d2,

    I saw four to five famous English grammar books written by native speakers in the bookshops a couple of years ago. It seemed that there was only one which I got it 5 years ago , the first edition was published in 1991.
    Last edited by Winwin2011; 04-Jul-2012 at 22:02.

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    #10

    Re: Please I need advice from Experienced English learners/teachers !!!

    Hi, Minami.

    My experience with English teaching in China is pretty much limited to what I see on this site. What I have observed is that there are serious problems with it. I see books containing plenty of errors and teachers passing made-up collocations, rules, etc. on to their students. 5jj says that there are many good English teachers in China. I believe him because I know he has more experience than I do, but what I see is different. This is why I was very glad to see you say, "I am worrying that I may model bad Englishes to students." It's very good to see such responsibility.

    Others have given you lots of great advice. Your English is quite OK in my opinion and if you do the right things, you should reach a level allowing you to teach students responsibly. Use this forum a lot. Ask whenever you are not sure about something. Expose yourself to loads of native English. This can be done in plenty of ways and you should vary them. Use this. Pay attention to grammatical structures.

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