Author Topic: What should a learner keep in mind when learning and practising English?  (Read 10951 times)

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Offline Robert Dunwell

  • Posts: 1252
Robert, you wrongly interpret my mere mentioning of the most important points to keep in mind when learning and practising English. You attribute to me what I did not mean and did not say. In this post I did not intend to cover all important issues on how to learn and to practise each of those seven aspects of learning and practising English. In the past I published separate posts on each aspect of learning and practising English: pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary, listening, speaking, reading and writing. So read all my posts in this forum to judge my English learning ideas better and more objectively.
I think that the one thing in your short essay that I protest against is the title: it is misleading, and doesn't correspond to the text that follows. I would have called it "Planning the language study process." More thought given to the title would have saved you a lot of grief, since you seem to be promising a panacea.

Just throw away your US spellchecker. ;)
I strongly advocate the American spelling. :smoke:
You don't protest against: advise, advice; why should you protest against practise, practice? It's very consistent.:-)

Offline -Dreamer-

  • Posts: 16203
  • Stranger and sojourner
You don't protest against: advise, advice; why should you protest against practise, practice? It's very consistent.:-)
Robert, I just follow the rules, it's not me who invented the current orthographic system of American English. "to advise" is used in the US, unlike "to practise".

Offline Robert Dunwell

  • Posts: 1252
Robert, I just follow the rules, it's not me who invented the current orthographic system of American English. "to advise" is used in the US, unlike "to practise".
I think that we have to agree that there are a number of different spelling systems for English, each of which has its merits and deficiencies. The only thing that is important is that we be consistent within the system we are using. The author was consistent within the British and Canadian spelling systems, which he was conscienciously using. One should either write "colour, centre, practise, traveller, organise, defence, towards, nearly and kerb" or "color, center, practice, traveler, organize, defense, toward, almost and curb".:-)

Offline -Dreamer-

  • Posts: 16203
  • Stranger and sojourner
nearly
:o
It's used in the US, isn't it? And "almost" is perfectly British as well, as far as I know.

I think that we have to agree that there are a number of different spelling systems for English, each of which has its merits and deficiencies. The only thing that is important is that we be consistent within the system we are using. The author was consistent within the British and Canadian spelling systems, which he was conscienciously using.
Yeah, that's true, man.

Offline Robert Dunwell

  • Posts: 1252
nearly
:o
It's used in the US, isn't it? And "almost" is perfectly British as well, as far as I know.
Almost is used in both countries. However, the British show a definite preference for nearly, when appropriate. Nearly is hardly used in the US.:-) In including nearly/almost in the list, I merely wanted to indicate that different language communities have different preferences in word usage.

Offline -Dreamer-

  • Posts: 16203
  • Stranger and sojourner
Almost is used in both countries. However, the British show a definite preference for nearly, when appropriate. Nearly is hardly used in the US.:-) In including nearly/almost in the list, I merely wanted to indicate that different language communities have different preferences in word usage.
Okay, thank you. :)
Robert, can I ask you a question? Are the words "queue" and "motorway" really seldom heard in the US? I've read about it many times, but I heard them in some songs written by American musicians who also live in the States. Is it possible to hear those words in America? Maybe in some parts of the country? Please explain the situation to me, if you know what I mean.

Offline Robert Dunwell

  • Posts: 1252
Robert, can I ask you a question? Are the words "queue" and "motorway" really seldom heard in the US? I've read about it many times, but I heard them in some songs written by American musicians who also live in the States. Is it possible to hear those words in America? Maybe in some parts of the country? Please explain the situation to me, if you know what I mean.
The usual American word for motorway is freeway. The American word for carriageway is highway.
The usual American word for queue is line.  Queue in American English is used in the US primarily as a mathematical (queuing theory) and computer (job queues) term. I have never heard of Americans queuing in supermarkets. They all stand in line.
Of course, some interpollution is to be expected, especially from the US direction.  After all, there are 6 Americans for every Brit and that can't help but create waves.
Can you give specific examples of songs?

Offline -Dreamer-

  • Posts: 16203
  • Stranger and sojourner
The usual American word for motorway is freeway. The American word for carriageway is highway.
The usual American word for queue is line.  Queue in American English is used in the US primarily as a mathematical (queuing theory) and computer (job queues) term. I have never heard of Americans queuing in supermarkets. They all stand in line.
Of course, some interpollution is to be expected, especially from the US direction.  After all, there are 6 Americans for every Brit and that can't help but create waves.
Okay, I see. Thanks for your answer. ;up:
Can you give specific examples of songs?
I'll look for them and let you know if I find.

Offline Bercutt

  • Posts: 70
Robert, you said: "I think that the one thing in your short essay that I protest against is the title: it is misleading, and doesn't correspond to the text that follows. I would have called it "Planning the language study process." More thought given to the title would have saved you a lot of grief, since you seem to be promising a panacea".

My reply: As you should have noticed the title of my post is a question to which I gave my answer in the first sentence of my post. Then in order to have a useful discussion I asked additional important questions of my interest to help learners express their opinion on this topic. So there is no evidence as you say that the title of  my post doesn't correspond to its content.

I agree with the opinion that there should be less grammar learning/practice at English classes and more practice in listening comprehension, reading and speaking.
From my experience I know that it is effective to combine input (listening, reading) with output (speaking and writing). Therefore I prefer communicative English courses that practise those four skills in each lesson and include (integrate) grammar material in thematic conversation and vocabulary practice activities (exercises) in each lesson. So far a lot of learners of English have contacted me and requested that I send them my English learning tips (advice).

Offline sergik

  • Posts: 329
I'm afraid that keeping in mind all those 7 things leaves no free space in your brain to think up a simple sentence, when it comes to speak with somebody. What you need when you study a foreign language is motivation, or interest. And to begin to speak with natives you just gotta get some guts, that's it. Just overcome your fear of being ridiculous, funny, clumsy. Actually, it's more a matter of psychology then gramma or pronunciation you depend on to become a fluent speaker. You need to beleive in yourself, and the rest will follow. That's my point.

 

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