[General] I am a newbie

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ken_oy

Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2013
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
China
Current Location
United States
Hello, I’m new here, just wanted to introduce myself a little.
My name is Ken, I’m from China. My native language is Cantonese, and I also consider Mandarin as my native language. Because I learnt both languages as I grew. I am also very good at some computer languages too. So I thought I was good at language learning, until I started learning English.
I have been in US for 5 years. I got my MS in computer science and worked for a small software company for years. I talk very little, because my coworkers only focus on their computer screen, and the language we use? Computer programming languages. When I am home, I talk to my girlfriend with Chinese, so it is hard for me to get more practices.
It is so embarrassing to tell people I am still not good at English after being here for such a while. I finally made up my mind to learn to use English as my another “native” language.
I bought some TV episodes and watched them over and over again, just wanted to figure out how people use English daily. I also tried to imitate how people talk. But I just found out people in my TV episodes might not be normal human beings. What kind of TV shows do I watch? The big bang theory and Star wars (Clone wars). LOL
Anyway, hello to everyone.
:lol:
 

Tdol

Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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English Teacher
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British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
Japan
This is not an uncommon situation, Ken. It is possible to live in a country, especially when working like you do, and not have much contact with the language. What you should do is bother to watch and read as widely as possible- move outside the areas you know and look into others. Read newspapers and magazines (online), so you get to know what people are reading around you in the US, etc.

PS Welcome to the forum. :hi:
 

bilinguallearner

New member
Joined
May 5, 2013
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
English
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Current Location
United States
Hi Ken,
I think its just a matter of priorities- you have to set aside time (a lot, like an hour or two) everyday to both speak and listen to English. And 20 minutes of reading it daily is helpful too with vocabulary. It sounds like you are very busy with your job, girlfriend, etc, so setting aside time may be hard. But like anything in life, if you want to achieve a goal, you have to make that goal a priority with time spent on it, more than anything else. When I was learning languages, daily- I made myself read 15 min, study vocab 10 min, speak with a native speaker 30-60 min, and watch TV or listen to radio in that language for 30 min. If you do these things most days of the week, you will become fluent in English. It make take a while, too- learning languages usually doesn't happen fast. Good luck!

Steph
Check out our European travelogue of ESL experiences at Bilingual Learner or on our Bilingual Learner Facebook page...we are in France right now!
 

Poczta

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Jun 30, 2013
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Norwegian
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Norway
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United States
There is no one single method of learning any language, including English. You have to use different things: talk to people, watch TV, read books, repeat after TV, TV closed captions...

I use this on-line software: On-line Learning Software - Makes Studying More Efficient By Using Spaced Repetitions And Flashcards. It "learns" which words are easy for me, and which ones are difficult. Difficult words are repeated more often until I learn them. It is easy and I made a good progress with my basic vocabulary for the beginners.


RepetitionLearning period com

Best Regards,
Poczta
 

emsr2d2

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Joined
Jul 28, 2009
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
UK
Does your girlfriend speak English? It would be great if you could practice with each other. When I lived in Spain, I shared a flat with an Irish girl but we decided that we would try to speak Spanish in the flat as much as possible. We could correct each other where possible but the main benefit was that we became very comfortable speaking Spanish. In addition, it was great for our vocabulary because if we wanted to say something, we had to find out all the relevant words. Sometimes our conversations were very simple, sometimes they were very slow but the practice certainly helped.
 

TomUK

Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2007
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
German
Home Country
Germany
Current Location
UK
Welcome to the forums Ken.

I have just come across your post. As a fellow student of English let me tell you this: Compared to some so-called English teachers, who have made short guest appearances on these forums, your English is rather good. Naturally, you are still making a few mistakes, but at least I can actually understand what you are writing.

TomUK
 
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