Student or Learner
Hi! I've been learning English for almost two years, and now I've become an advanced learner/speaker of the language. Since I want to keep improving my language skills, as well as avoiding forgetting everything I have learned and achieved in the language, I am working hard on my listening and speaking skills. Even though my pronunciation is currently good, I am struggling with my speaking skills, because I had the bad habit of not looking for the correct pronunciation of new words and just pronouncing them the way I thought they sounded like. So, it's being quite a tough task to forget the incorrect pronunciations of a few words, and permanently memorizing and replacing them with the correct pronunciations. In any case, I spend at least two hours every day (except during weekends) listening and speaking English, but there have always been some problems that occur when I am practicing my speaking skills which seem to drive me crazy. For instance, I often mispronounce words while reading texts aloud, despite knowing their correct pronunciations. In other words, sometimes I just can't get rid of my accent! I wish to sound more like a native, and my accent is a concept which I really wish to change. Today, I just couldn't feel up to practicing my speaking as I am used to doing, in a more comfortable and relaxed manner - it sounded like my concentration was poor. Last Tuesday and Wednesday, I did not encounter any difficulties reading texts aloud both on the computer and in books when practicing my speaking skills, and I guess this occurred because I wasn't feeling well at all when I was reading such texts.
The main reason for writing this thread and asking for help is that I would like to know whether my learning plan is correct. I heard that the correct order to follow when learning a language is: listening, speaking, then reading and writing. In contrast, my current learning plan doesn't follow this pattern. My learning plan for Friday says that I should begin by speaking during two hours, then listening during more two hours and then writing. On the other days of the week, the general pattern/order is never followed. Is this correct? Is there any problem with not following the general and most recommended pattern (listening ----> speaking ----> reading ---> writing)?
In any case, I have decided to change my learning plan. Beginning in the next week, I'll start practicing my language skills by following the recommended pattern.
So, these are my two questions: was my learning plan correct? Was there any problem with following it? Could you give me tips to practice my speaking skills in a better and more comfortable manner? And also, I would like tips on how to lose my accent, to sound more like a native (like an American English speaker). I am planning to make a video of myself speaking English and posting it on YouTube, and although my pronunciation is quite good currently, I do not want people to laugh at me, nor do I want to sound weird because of the local accent. Note that I do not pronounce all words always with my accent, only some words are affected, and this is what makes me have an accent. It's only a small portion.
1 Follow the order that suits you. The order you give is passive ->active,but that may not be what suits you best. When I was living in Cambodia I was far better at speaking than listening- I could talk OK, but I had a lot of trouble understanding the replies.
2 Nobody will laugh here- we hear all sorts of accents and will try to help. Post the video.