Could novels help?

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atlaisha

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Dear teachers,

One of my problems in English is that I feel like I say all the sentences different from the way a native speaker would say, like I just translate Persian sentences into English and speak them. Some teachers say to solve this case I have to think English, but the matter is I can make myself think English all the time but I undoubtedly will make mistakes and repeat them while doing so and it could add insult to injury!!(I hope I have used it in the right place:oops:)

I thought maybe reading novels would help me.
What do you think should I do? Is reading novels a good way at all? Or should I do something else?

Thanks in advance.
 

banderas

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Dear teachers,

One of my problems in English is that I feel like I say all the sentences different from the way a native speaker would say, like I just translate Persian sentences into English and speak them. Some teachers say to solve this case I have to think English, but the matter is I can make myself think English all the time but I undoubtedly will make mistakes and repeat them while doing so and it could add insult to injury!!(I hope I have used it in the right place:oops:)

I thought maybe reading novels would help me.
What do you think should I do? Is reading novels a good way at all? Or should I do something else?

Thanks in advance.
Absolutely! Try do read in English every day and you should be able to see the difference.;-)
 

atlaisha

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Thank you banderas,I expected to see more opinions.
Anyway could you introduce some good and useful novels that can help me and are not that complicated? Because some time ago I bought a book that I couldn't understand a single line of it, called Far from the madding crowd.Alchemist was the first unabridged book I read in English,though it was a translation.

I'm looking forward for your suggestions.

Thanks.
 

banderas

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Thank you banderas,I expected to see more opinions.
Anyway could you introduce some good and useful novels that can help me and are not that complicated? Because some time ago I bought a book that I couldn't understand a single line of it, called Far from the madding crowd.Alchemist was the first unabridged book I read in English,though it was a translation.

I'm looking forward for your suggestions.

Thanks.

I believe your English is good so I would carry on with books by Paulo Coelho if you liked "Alchemist";-). Have a look at this thread, please:
https://www.usingenglish.com/forum/...ssions/58472-suggest-me-good-novels-read.html
 

beaverbeaver

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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
 

banderas

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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. It really does!
Attention to written English will improve your spoken English. You will pick up structures, tones and ideas from your reading. The more you read, the more mistakes and problems will start to "look" or "sound" wrong to you. Correctness will start to feel natural. Reading has to be combined with listening and speaking as often as possible obviously but I do not think that reading is a waste of time.

do you have partner to speak english with ?

Beavercanal Land English Community
;-)
 

Vibovit

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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.
 
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beaverbeaver

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It really does!
Attention to written English will improve your spoken English. You will pick up structures, tones and ideas from your reading. The more you read, the more mistakes and problems will start to "look" or "sound" wrong to you. Correctness will start to feel natural. Reading has to be combined with listening and speaking as often as possible obviously but I do not think that reading is a waste of time.
I apologized if anything i said offended you, i'm a bookworm myself, i developed myself almost entirely through my readings and i never mentioned anything about reading as a waste of time. I just thought a different learning experience could help atlaisha in getting the most from her talent.

My apology to everyone in this topic esp to Banderas.

Regards.
 

banderas

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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.:up:
 

atlaisha

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. 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;-)
.

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.

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.
 

Snowcake

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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 :-o) 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. :roll:

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.
 
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banderas

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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 :-o) 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!:-D
 
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Vibovit

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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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