Thursday, December 22, 2011

An Essay from Bouakham about learning English

Lao scholarship student Bouakham ( pictured) has written the essay below to help fellow students learn English...

How to learn to speak excellent English?
(Study smart Study less)

Learning foreign languages is very important and necessary these days, particularly English. Why? Because English is an international language that most people around the world use and learn as a second or a foreign language. English is not only used for communication, making new friends with different people from different countries, but it is also used for international business, education, and relevant with socio-economic development in our country. Moreover, English helps us to get better jobs, and learn new things. So, let’s learn English now.

As we see, English has four most important parts: reading, listening, writing and speaking. They are important and necessary skills which we should have in order to master English. All of them are involved in learning vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation and how to use it. Yes, Speaking is one of the important parts in learning English that we have to master first. Of course, some of us still have difficulties in speaking English when we communicate with other people from different countries in real life. Let’s say, we have to think, translate into our own language, analyze the grammar first, and then we speak out in English. Do you think it is slow? Obviously, when we speak, we don’t have enough time to think and translate it. It’s different from writing because we have time and can write slowly, analyze the grammar and correct the mistakes. Sometimes we still don’t have confidence. We are afraid to make mistakes are shy. Even though I am writing this article, it doesn’t mean I am good at speaking English. My speaking isn’t fluent and excellent, but I would like to share with you some learning guides to speak excellent English. I am very happy to share these techniques with you. I also hope some of you already know them, but some may not.

Anyway, let’s learn and share ideas together whether they work or not. I got these techniques from A J Hoge, a great teacher, founder and director of Effortless English Club (San Francisco, California, USA). All of these techniques are very different and strange from the methods we use for learning English every day. These techniques mostly focus on improving English speaking and they also help us to learn grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation and usage much better, faster and more effortless. There are many people who use these methods to improve their English learning, especially speaking. As a result the techniques work very well. That’s why I’d like to let you to try them. Change the ways you learn English and you will get good benefits. These techniques consist of seven rules for learning to speak English.
Here they are:

Rule 1: Always study phrases, not individual words.
Never study a single, individual word. When you find the new words, always write down the phrases they are in. A phrase helps us to remember and use it better and faster because it gives us more information of what we learn. We will understand and improve our grammar too when learning phrases.

Rule 2: Do not study grammar.
This rule is very strange, but it is very powerful and works. So, stop studying grammar because grammar gives us too much information and teaches us to think and over analyze. We learn and speak slowly. We should learn like a native speaker without grammar study.

Rule 3: Listen first.
This is one of the important rules for speaking fluent English. We have to learn with ears, not eyes. Well, it means we have to listen to understand English. We must listen to English every day if we want to speak excellent English. Listening also helps us to learn vocabulary and grammar much more automatically.

Rule 4: Slow, deep learning is best.
Well, deep learning means repeating what we learn again and again until we remember and never forget it. So we have to learn every word and phrase deeply. “Learn deeply Speak easily.” Then speaking will become automatic and easier without thinking.

Rule 5: Use point of view mini-stories.
Point of view mini-stories are the most powerful way to learn and use English grammar easily and automatically. That’s why we use mini-stories for automatic grammar study. We should learn grammar by listening to real English and listening to the same story told by different people (point of view): past, present, and future tenses.

Rule 6: Only use real English lessons and materials.
In fact, we have to learn real English if we want to understand native speakers and speak easily, fast. So use real magazines, audio articles, TV shows, movies, radio talk shows and audio books for learning English. “Learn real English not textbook English.”

Rule 7: Listen and answer, not listen and repeat.
Hey! This is the last rule and a very powerful way to speak English fast. As we know, we use listen and repeat in school, right? But this rule is to listen and answer a lot of questions. So, let’s learn to answer questions without thinking and our English becomes automatic and fast.

That’s all the seven rules for learning to speak excellent English. Remember that these techniques focus on fluent English mainly, not academic English. If we want to specialize in linguistics or academic English, we have to use different methods. If you want more information, you can find it at ( Thanks so much!

“Good luck & enjoy your studies”

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