Effortless English: Learn To Speak English Like A Native All and all, this book is your free ticket. to. the world of speaking better and fluent English Spoken. for the Spoken English Learned Quickly course may LESSON X. This book ( Learning Spoken English) may be freely published in English or translated. The English portion of this Student Workbook for the Spoken English Learned Quickly course may The Journey of a Wise Man: A fable for English learners. E. 1 .. again = book = lesson = otra vez libro lección ✍. LESSON 1 VOCABULARY.
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PDF | Spoken English is a book designed for second language learners who wish to improve their conversational English. In addition to. This book will help learners during the Learn English Now course. It contains However, learners cannot learn English from this book alone. every week by e-mail, as well as the Free English Grammar E-Book Level 1. .. you'll learn “groups” of irregular verbs that can make it easier to memorize them.
Prepare a structure Take even practice conversations seriously if you want to get better at speaking , because what you do in practice comes out in real situations as well. Prepare before opening your mouth to avoid rambling and frequent pauses. Get your thoughts organized in bullet points in the order you plan to speak. Support your argument Add any statistic, expert opinion, quote, anecdote, or personal experience in support of your assertion you need to think of them when preparing your structure as mentioned in the previous point.
And listen. After the conversation, you should spend few minutes analyzing what went right and what went wrong. Few areas of improvement would be obvious to you, but few can be discovered through feedback from the other person.
Identifying your mistakes is gold. Work on them. Few logistical points to note on the topics that follow: Whereas most conversation topics are in the form of question example: Should violent video games be banned?
Few end in three dots example: If I were invisible for a day… , which means you can take the topic whichever way you want.
Otherwise, your reply would end in seconds. Try to have the conversation for at least five minutes, the longer the better. Without further ado, here are English conversation topics arranged in three categories — beginner, intermediate, and advanced — depending on the difficulty level of the topic.
You can either download the topics as a PDF link at the end of the page or bookmark this page on your browser to access the topics whenever you want to hold a discussion. Beginner-level conversation topics Should cell phones be banned in classrooms? Should laptops be allowed in classrooms? Are single-sex schools more effective than co-ed schools?
Are smartphone and television making children unhealthy, distracted, and irritable? Should we play sports that involve animals and make them uncomfortable? Should schools do away with uniform? Should time on social media sites be limited to an hour a day? Should violent video games be banned?
Should homework in schools be done away with? Should animal dissections be banned in schools? Should attendance in college be made optional? My top-three foods. My top-three travel destinations. My three best friends. What do you like about them? My top-three movie stars. My top-three sports persons. My top-three animals. Which has been your most memorable vacation?
When have you felt the most frightened? Which subject in your school or college days you disliked the most? What has been your biggest success so far? What efforts you made to pull it off? How it changed your life? Which is the best season of the year? Summer is the best and worst of times. What are the three biggest problems your city faces?
Three surprising things about me are… How do you plan a party? What is your dream job? What ten questions would you ask? What is your favorite book? Most successful person I know is… Most memorable moment of your life Worst moment of your life Should internet access be limited?
Have you been bullied? How did you tackle it? Movies are providing cues to people to commit crime. Should the movie content be regulated for this? Should physical education be compulsory up to High School? Should students be graded for their handwriting in schools? Intermediate-level conversation topics Should animals be subjected to scientific and commercial tests?
What impact does social networking sites have on society? Is the grading system used in colleges effective? Do celebrities have higher chance of getting away with crime than non-celebrities? Should nuclear energy be exploited for commercial purpose or abandoned because of associated risks? Are humans to blame for certain animal extinctions? Should we kill animals for food?
Is peer pressure harmful or beneficial to individuals? An English-speaking child learns to put her tongue between her teeth and make the "th" sound.
A Chinese-speaking child learns to mimic the important tones which change. Each of these unique sounds requires learned muscle control within the mouth. I make no apology for the intricacy of this explanation. The neurological feedback and resulting control of the muscles involved in speech is extremely complex.
The mind is involved in a far greater task than simply remembering vocabulary and organizing words into meaningful sentences. If you are learning English as a new language, all of its unique sounds and syntax must be learned.
This is much more than a memory function involving just your mind. Each of these new sound and syntax patterns requires retraining your entire mind, the nerve feedback in your tongue, mouth, and breathing which is proprioceptive feedback , and the auditory feedback your sense of hearing. Even English syntax is dependent on your proprioceptive sense.
The statement, "This is a book," feels different to the nerve receptors in your mouth than the question, "Is this a book? Just as important, however, is the observation that proprioceptive feedback demands that a question evoke a different sequence of feedback than a statement. This is why I have identified partial syntax control in Table 1 as being a shared function of both the mind memory and the mouth as a proprioceptive sense.
If you doubt that the proprioceptive sense is an important part of speech, try this experiment. Read two or three sentences written in your own language. Read it entirely in your mind without moving your lips. You may even speed read it. Now read the same sentences "silently" by moving your lips without making any sound. Your mind will respond to the first way of reading as simple information which is primarily a memory function, but will respond to the second way as speech because of the proprioceptive feedback from your mouth.
Did you also notice a difference between the two readings in terms of your mental intensity? The first reading would elicit the mental activity required when you do a written grammar-based English assignment. The second would result in the same kind of mental activity required when you study English using spoken drills. How quickly you learn to speak fluent English will be directly proportional to your mental involvement when you study. Two skill areas must be emphasized if you want to learn to speak English fluently.
The first is memory which is involved in both vocabulary and syntax and the second is proprioceptive responses which are involved in both pronunciation and syntax. You may be able to learn simple vocabulary-related memory skills with equal effectiveness by using either verbal or visual training methods. That is, you may be able to learn pure memory skills equally well with either spoken drills or written exercises. However, it is impossible for you to retrain your proprioceptive sense without hearing your own voice at full speaking volume.
Thus, in my opinion, it is a waste of your time to do written assignments for the purpose of learning spoken English. Surprisingly, it will take far less time for you to learn both fluent spoken English and excellent English grammar by studying only spoken English first, than it will for you to study written English grammar lessons before you can speak English.
This does not mean, however, that grammar is not a necessary part of spoken English instruction. It is impossible to speak English— or any other language—without correct use of its grammar. My statement simply means that the best way to learn English grammar is through spoken English exercises. See Chapter 3: Grammar and Writing in Spoken English Study.
Inasmuch as spoken English involves multiple areas of skill working cooperatively in real time, it is mandatory that effective spoken English teaching methods simultaneously train all of these areas of speech. Control and feedback training must be simultaneous. It is the important area of the proprioceptive sense which has been most overlooked in current grammar-based teaching methodology.
When any student over the age of about 12 attempts to learn a spoken language, his or her proprioceptive sense must be consciously retrained for all of the new sounds and syntax. Furthermore, to properly retrain the proprioceptive sense of the mouth, the combined feedback from the mouth and hearing must be simultaneously processed in the mind. Simply said, the student must speak out loud for optimum spoken language learning.
Without simultaneous involvement of all skill areas of speech, it is impossible for you to effectively retrain your proprioceptive sense in order for you to speak fluent English. Yet, this is exactly what grammar-based English instruction has traditionally done by introducing grammar,. It is not surprising that you have studied English so long in school without learning to speak fluently. Grammar-based instruction has hindered English learning by segregating individual areas of study.
Grammar-based English training has not only isolated proprioceptive training areas so that it prevents simultaneous skill development, it has replaced it with visual memory training by using written assignments.
Grammar-based language instruction teaches English as though spoken English was an open-loop system. The result for the student is that, gaining English fluency requires far more study time, pronunciation is often faulty, and grammar becomes more difficult to learn. Control and feedback training are not simultaneous in grammar-based English instruction. Grammar-based English language instruction teaches as though spoken English is primarily a function of memory.
Consequently, grammar-based English lessons emphasizes non-verbal written studies of grammar, writing, reading, and listening. All of these activities may increase recall memory for written examinations, but they have little benefit in teaching you to speak fluent English. The only way you can effectively learn spoken English is by using spoken English as the method of instruction. All of your study including English grammar should be done by speaking English at full voice volume for the entire study period.
However, it has been shown that the human brain does many things using both open— and closed-loop control. As suggested in this chapter, spoken English learning would be improved using spoken English study irrespective of whether speech control is open— or closed-loop. This chapter explains four rules which you must follow in order to learn spoken English.
These four rules help you retrain your mind and tongue simultaneously so that you will learn to speak fluent English quickly. You will be surprised by the fourth rule which states, "You must never make a mistake when you are speaking English.
It is important that you speak loudly and clearly when you are studying spoken English. You are retraining your mind to respond to a new pattern of proprioceptive and auditory stimuli. This can only be done when you are speaking aloud at full volume. One of the reasons that your English study in school required so much time while producing such poor results is that none of the silent study did anything to train your tongue to speak English.
The proprioceptive sense is not all that you are retraining when you learn spoken English. There is cognitive learning memory which must also take place.
Grammar-based English instruction has emphasized cognitive learning to the exclusion of retraining the proprioceptive sense. Nonetheless, cognitive learning is an important part of learning to speak English fluently.
For speech to occur, your mind must be actively involved in syntax development. The more actively your mind is involved in spoken English, the more effective the learning process becomes. However, just as you will hinder proprioceptive training by trying to study silently, so you will also limit cognitive learning by reading from a text rather than constructing the syntax in your own mind.
However, after repeating the exercise two or three times, you must close the text and do the exercise from recall memory as you listen to the audio recording. You must force your mind to think in English by using your recall memory when you are studying spoken exercises.
You cannot read from a text. I will come back to this later in Chapter 5: Selecting a Text, because there will be times when reading from a text such as a newspaper is an effective language learning tool.
But when you are doing sentence responses with recorded exercises, you must force your mind to develop the syntax by doing the exercise without reading from a text.
You are not thinking in English if you are reading. Making your mind work in order to think of the answer is an important part of learning to speak English. Proprioceptive retraining is not instantaneous. It will require a great deal of repetition to build the new language patterns in your mind. As these new patterns develop, there will be progression from a laborious, conscious effort, to speech which is reproduced rapidly and unconsciously.
When you speak your first language, you do so with no conscious awareness of tongue or mouth position and the air flow through the vocal cords. In contrast, it requires experimentation and conscious effort when you first attempt to make an unknown discrete sound in English—this single sound, usually represented by one letter, is called a phoneme.
Some new sounds will be relatively simple for you to make. Others will be more difficult. To add to the complexity, each phoneme has other phonemes or stops adjacent to it which change its sound slightly. A stop is a break caused by momentarily restricting the air flow with the tongue or throat. For example, the simple English sentence, "Why didn't that work?
But it may give you difficulty for another reason as well. There are actually two stops in the sentence. When properly pronounced, there is a stop between the "n" and "t" in "didn't" and another stop between the final "t" in "didn't" and the first "t" in "that.
Your objective is not to be able to write the sentence, "Why didn't that work? Your goal is not even to be able to say it just well enough so that someone could figure out what you meant. Your objective is to be able to say, "Why didn't that work? That degree of perfection will require thousands—if not tens of thousands—of repetitions.
Therefore—to be somewhat facetious—the more quickly you correctly repeat a particularly difficult phoneme ten thousand times, the more quickly you will be able to use it fluently. That is what I mean when I say, "The more you speak English aloud, the more quickly you will learn to speak fluently. However, when you construct a sentence incorrectly, you have not only wasted the learning time used to construct that sentence, but you must now invest even more time in order to retrain your mind, mouth, and hearing in order to construct the sentence correctly.
The more you use a sentence structure incorrectly, the longer it will take for your mind, mouth, and hearing to identify the correct syntax. Ideally, if you used only correct syntax and pronunciation, you could retrain your speech in considerably less time. Consequently, you would learn to speak fluent English more quickly. Well, it can almost be done! Traditional methods of teaching English attempt to engage the students in free speech as quickly as possible. Though the goal is commendable, in practice it has a serious drawback.
A beginning student does not have enough language background to be able to construct sentences properly. More to the point, the instruction program seldom has enough teachers to correct every student's.
Consequently, beginning students regularly use incomplete sentences having incorrect syntax and verb construction. The instructor often praises them for their valiant effort, in spite of the reality that they are learning to use English incorrectly. The student will now need to spend even more time relearning the correct syntax.
The better alternative is to derive all initial spoken language study from audio recorded materials which contain perfect syntax, perfect use of the verb, and perfect pronunciation. You would repeat the recorded lesson material which was accurate in every detail. For the entire instruction period, you would work by yourself while repeating the exercise sentences hundreds of times. Needless to say, in two weeks' time, you would have spoken English correctly far more than had you been passively sitting in a traditional English class.
But more to the point, everything you would have learned would have been correct. Your syntax would have been correct. Your use of the English verb would have been correct. And, as much as possible, your pronunciation would have been correct.
To continue the example, say that it was now time for you to begin trying free speech. Yet, we still would not want you to make mistakes. Consequently, all free speaking would be taken directly from the many sentences you would have already learned. Subsequently, you would be given questions to answer which would use the same structure as the sentences you already knew, but now you would substitute other vocabulary words which would be in the same lessons.
I assume that you are a college student or a young professional and that you are highly motivated to learn to speak English fluently. You will do much better if you seek ways in which you can speak English correctly from the very beginning.
Strike a careful balance between free speech and forcing yourself to follow a pattern of correct English use. Do everything in your power to use English correctly. Later, however, you will need to spend a great deal of time talking with others. Nonetheless, every time you encounter new syntax in English, use controlled language drills long enough so that your mind becomes thoroughly familiar with correct sentence structure and pronunciation.
As you progress in your English study, begin reading English newspaper articles aloud. Look for examples of new vocabulary and sentence format. Mark the sentences, verify the vocabulary, and then read—and repeat from recall memory—the sentences aloud until they become a part of your speech. Any language is unintelligible without grammar because grammar consists of the rules used to put words together in ways which convey meaning.
The issue is not whether or not you need to know English grammar. The question is, "How do you learn English grammar best? I had the great advantage of growing up in a home in which grammatically correct English was spoken. As I progressed through primary school and on into secondary school, my language ability matured as a result of my home and school environments. In retrospect, I believe this is what happened: However, when I went to school, I needed to learn grammar.
I—like probably most of my classmates—did not learn to speak because I studied grammar. Rather, I was able to learn how to do grammar exercises because I already knew how to speak. Certainly, I learned many important things about English through grammar study.
But it was of importance to me only because I had already achieved basic English fluency. I did not learn to speak English as a result of English grammar lessons. I also took two years of Spanish in secondary school. We started with basic grammar.
We wrote exercises every day. But we almost never heard spoken Spanish, much less spoke it ourselves.
After secondary school graduation, I could neither speak Spanish, nor did I understand Spanish grammar. Within 10 years of my secondary school graduation, I spent a year in Paris studying French. I had the great fortune of enrolling in a French language school that emphasized spoken French to the complete exclusion of written exercises.
Not only did I learn French grammar—meaning that I learned to use sentences that communicated what I intended to say to a French listener—but because French and Spanish verb construction is similar, I also began to understand the Spanish grammar which made no sense to me in secondary school.
Because I could read and write in English, I had no difficulty reading French. It was a simple transfer of knowledge from reading in English to reading in French. Later, I studied an African language. Because school-based language courses were almost non- existent in that country, all of my language training was done by way of recorded language drills that I adapted from local radio broadcasts.
I also had a university student as my language helper. Yet, I learned how to structure a sentence which is applied grammar and write in that language much more quickly than had I been studying grammar and writing independently of the spoken language. Traditional English instruction for non-English-speaking students has reversed the process with poor results.
Most English classes teach grammar as a foundation for spoken English. The quickest way to teach students to read English is to teach them to speak it first. The fastest way to teach them sufficient grammar to pass college entrance exams is to build a foundation by teaching them to speak English fluently. Whenever the process is reversed, it takes a needlessly long time to succeed in teaching grammar and writing skills, much less fluent spoken English.
The fastest way for you to learn excellent English grammar is to learn it while speaking. When you have repeated the sentences enough times so that they sound correct to you, you will have learned English grammar. But the grammar is learned by speaking, not by writing. Do not misunderstand what I am saying.
You cannot speak any language well without knowing its grammar because grammar consists of the rules used to put words together into meaningful sentences.
In English, we can use a given number of words to make a statement or ask a question by the way in which we order the words and use inflection. Simply stated, placing the words in the correct order is applied grammar.
English is unintelligible without it. The question is, "How will you learn English grammar best? In Chapter 1, I said that effective spoken English instruction simultaneously trains all of your cognitive and sensory centers of speech. When is the best time to learn that the sentence, "That is a book," is an English statement, and the sentence, "Is that a book?
The best time is when you simultaneously learn to speak these two sentences. That would take place while you are learning many other similar sentences so that you will develop a cognitive sense reinforced by motor skill and auditory feedback. You will learn that the order and inflection of the one sentence is a question, while the other is a statement. The sound of the sentence is as much an indicator of its meaning as its written form.
There is also a relationship between good pronunciation and good spelling. I am a poor speller. I understand that I misspell many words because I probably mispronounce them. At some point, everyone who expects to write English well must learn to spell.
Yet, it will probably be faster for you to learn good spelling after learning good pronunciation than it will be for you to learn good spelling without being able to speak. In practice, you will learn the spelling of new English words as they are added to the vocabulary of each new lesson.
I am not saying that grammar or spelling are unnecessary. Rather, I am saying that grammar can be taught more effectively—and in less time—by using audio language drills.
Teaching grammar by means of spoken language has the great advantage of reinforcing the cognitive learning of grammar while using two additional functions found in normal speech—motor skill feedback and auditory feedback. Teaching grammar as a written exercise does develop cognitive learning, but it reinforces it with visual feedback. Though visual feedback has some merit, it is outside the context of spoken English. The single reinforcement of visual feedback outside of the spoken English context is far less effective than motor skill feedback and auditory feedback which are both inside the spoken language context.
The trade-off is costly and retards progress. Far more is gained when you learn to identify correct grammar by the way a sentence sounds, rather than by the way it looks. Though it would not typically be explained this way, it is also important on a subconscious level that you learn how correct grammar feels.
As a function of the proprioceptive sense, a statement produces a certain sequence of sensory feedback from the mouth, tongue, and air passages that feels different than a question.
It would take considerably longer to teach a language student how to write English grammar exercises, and then speak English correctly, than it would to teach the same student to first speak English correctly, and then introduce rules of grammar.
This gain would be greatly augmented,. If you study spoken English for a year, you will gain a great deal of fluency. With that spoken English fluency, you will have a good understanding of English grammar. If you spend the same amount of time in English grammar study, you will have limited English fluency and will have little practical understanding of English grammar.
That is probably why you are reading this book. You have undoubtedly studied written English for a long time, but you still can't speak English very well. Without first evaluating the unique qualities of language, it is often assumed that English study must be divided into beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels. However, a careful assessment of English indicates that it does not use multiple levels of language complexity. The kind of sentences which you use as a beginning student are the same kind of sentences which you must master as an advanced student in order to gain English fluency.
As a beginning English student, you must learn English in the context of full sentences. As an advanced student, you must use the same sentences to perfect syntax and intonation.
Your perceived needs as you begin studying English will significantly influence how you answer this chapter's title question. If you decide that you need beginning English when you start your study, you will spend much time looking for lessons with beginning sentences because English does not speak a beginning language. On the other hand, if you decide that the English used in the daily newspaper is what you want to learn, you can easily find that kind of English language.
I am really asking if beginning and advanced students can use the same level of lessons to learn spoken English. Before you give an intuitive answer, I need to ask the question properly. The question is, "Does English have multiple, specialized language divisions? The answer is, "No, it does not. Historically, many languages such as Greek and Chinese,. Modern English does not even have a specialized construction for folklore.
Many languages in which oral tradition has been preserved have a storytelling form of the language which is distinct from the language used in everyday conversation. In these languages, there are often specialists who recount folktales in public gatherings. Common English has none of that.
In fact, English is so simple in this regard that we do not even have two forms of address for people of differing social standing. French, for instance, has strict conventions regarding the use of "tu" or "vous" when addressing someone. English has many specialized vocabularies. Any student who has taken courses in anatomy, law, physics, automotive technology, psychology, engineering, geology, or anthropology has spent a great deal of time learning specialized terminology.
But the essential English syntax which holds these words together in a sentence is still the language of the street—or the language of the daily newspaper. So, aside from specialized vocabularies, English has no divisions representing varying levels of language complexity.
Almost any individual with at least a secondary school education would make essentially the same evaluation of another speaker's ability to use good or bad English. The exception to the above paragraph would be found in technical documents such as legal briefs and the like. However, this style of English is far from the language used in normal conversation.
There is only one kind of English which you need to learn. You do not need two or more different course levels. This is not to say that English is a simple language to learn.
Far from it. However, the same complexity is in all spoken English, not merely in some higher level. Why have traditional language programs insisted that there must be beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels of English study?
It is not because there are beginning and advanced levels of spoken English. It is because there are beginning, intermediate, and advanced explanations for English grammar. This means that some rules of English grammar are easy to explain.
Some rules of grammar are more difficult to explain. And some are complex enough to require a highly technical explanation. But spoken English is one subject of study, whereas the formal rules of English grammar are quite another. Now I can answer the question, "Do you need beginning and advanced English lessons to learn the language? There is only one level of spoken English. If you are a beginning student, you must start by speaking normal English sentences.
If you have studied English for several years and consider yourself an advanced student, you must continue until you are able to fluently pronounce the words in those same normal English sentences. There will be a great difference in the fluency between beginning and advanced students.
But there is no difference in the level of English sentences they must study. They must use the same. English sentences both to initiate, and then to master, the process which will develop the necessary cognitive, motor, and auditory skills used to speak fluent English.
I need to add an explanation so that what I am saying is understandable. An example of a compound-complex sentence would be, "The Saturday afternoon program was like a two-ring circus; while one part of the TV screen carried the professional football game, the other part showed scores from collegiate games.
But the complexity of the sentence is not in the language level of the sentence. Its so-called complexity is only in the punctuation of the sentence which makes it a complex sentence by grammatical definition.
With very little change, the sentence could become three simple sentences: One part of the TV screen showed the professional football game. The other part of the TV screen showed scores from collegiate games. Thus, when I say that there is no difference in the level of English sentences a beginning and advanced student must study, I am not talking about a grammatical definition.
I am saying that there is not one language that would be used by commoners and another that would be used by the gentry. Even though the example sentence about the TV's split screen is not a sentence we would want to include in the first lesson, it does not represent multiple, specialized language divisions. Not really. Once you understand the "hello"s and "goodby"s in English, you are ready to begin practicing with normal sentences.
Aside from sentences which contain specialized vocabulary, most English sentences use common verbs and syntax construction.
This is the English you want to speak. Use it from the very start of your language study. This is not as difficult as it seems.
Lesson 2 uses complete sentences in past, present, and future tenses. The sentences become slightly more complex as the lessons progress, but every sentence in the entire course is one that you will need to master as an "advanced" student. Your objective is to be able to use each sentence in fluent English speech. The spoken language you want to learn is everyday English. It will remove a great deal of stress if you realize that in the very first week of English study, you are learning normal English.
By and large, your English study will never become any more difficult than it is when you first begin because you will be studying normal spoken English from the first lesson to the completion of your formal study. It was designed for both beginning and advanced students because our students want to learn spoken English, not written English grammar.
For spoken English study, you will need both a written text and an audio recording of that text. It will be easier to make an audio recording using a newspaper text than it will be to transcribe a radio audio program as a written text. In this chapter, I am using the term text to identify a written manuscript.
A newspaper in English is usually an excellent source for a study text. Most newspapers use good syntax, relatively simple sentences, and common expressions. In addition to general vocabulary, newspapers will give you many common political, scientific, economic, and technical words.
Generally, newspapers are also a good source of colloquial expressions. As you begin language study, you will need both a manuscript and an audio recording of the text for pronunciation practice. In your initial selection of a study text, you will be faced with a choice between a printed text from a newspaper or spoken language from a radio broadcast.
I will explain the use of a newspaper as an English text in this chapter because it will help you to understand how the text would be used. This material may be read aloud exactly like a newspaper. If you are using the Lesson Text for your reading, you will have the added advantage of familiar vocabulary and audio.
You may also print each Lesson Text from the downloadable section of the website. You can become very fluent in English -- and develop an excellent vocabulary -- if you continue to read English newspapers aloud.
However, at that point you would not need to make audio recordings. Reading aloud and keeping a vocabulary notebook would be all you would need to do. By this time in your study, I am assuming that your pronunciation and voice inflection would be acceptable. In this chapter, I am merely describing the text itself.
For the moment, I will assume that you would have a teacher who is a first language English speaker. I am also assuming that you would have audio recording equipment. By now you realize that the purpose of using the newspaper is spoken language practice.
You would always read the newspaper aloud, and would frequently read a sentence aloud and then look away from the text, repeating the sentence from recall memory. Everything considered, you would probably find it easier to produce an audio recording from a newspaper text than you would to produce a text from a radio broadcast recording. It would be much simpler to have your English teacher record the text than to have the teacher transcribe the audio recording.
For your study purposes, a printed newspaper text would assure a more precise use of the language, better spelling, and a more easily preserved printed copy. Because live radio broadcasts are difficult to record with inexpensive audio equipment, you would likely have difficulty hearing all of the words. Therefore, it would be easier to get a good text and a usable recording by having the teacher read a newspaper text for the audio recording.
The text would be recorded so that there would be adequate pauses for your study. First, read the article out loud, identifying new vocabulary as you read. Whenever you read a word you do not know, stop and find it in your dictionary. Keep a vocabulary notebook. If a word you do not know is used more than twice in an article, put a check x by it for special study. However, do not check names of places or people.
After you finish reading the article for the first time, review the meaning of all of the new vocabulary words. Study these words enough so that. Always pronounce vocabulary words -- do even your vocabulary study out loud. After you are more familiar with the process, select other newspaper articles and continue reading aloud while you look for new vocabulary words.
When you find a word in a second newspaper article which you have already checked x in your notebook, place a second check xx by it. Any word in your notebook with two checks should be memorized as an important word to know. Whenever you are able to do so, write cognate forms of the same word. For example, to adhere, an adhesive, and adhesion are cognates.
It will be helpful for you to learn multiple cognate forms of a word at the same time rather than learning each form as a new vocabulary word when you encounter it. Association of a single word in multiple forms with one root meaning will result in more rapid vocabulary retention.
It will also teach you how to develop cognate forms of words as you speak English in the future. Verbs should be listed in your notebook by their infinitive form for example, "to remember" rather than by a conjugated form for example, "she remembers".
After mastering the verb's conjugation, it will be far simpler to learn a single verb form than it will be to attempt to learn each form of a verb as an individual vocabulary word. Since you will learn each new verb in all its persons, tenses, and specialized forms, you will learn the English verb so well that you will be able to use every tense and person of any regular English verb.
If you heard a new English verb, you would be able to use every person and tense in a spoken sentence even if you did not know that verb's meaning. Read the article again for meaning. Always read aloud. If you do not understand a sentence, stop and figure out exactly what it means. If some of the definitions you have written in your notebook do not make sense in the context of the article, find the word again in your dictionary and see if it has other meanings.
If a second meaning for the word would make better sense, write that definition in your notebook. If you still cannot figure out the meaning of a sentence, it may be because two or more words are used together as a single expression. Try to determine the meaning of expressions. Look for similar expressions in other articles. If you still cannot determine the meaning of an expression, ask your English teacher for assistance. Reading a newspaper article aloud is an ideal way to reinforce your use of grammatically correct English syntax.
Your goal is to retrain your mind, hearing, and mouth to understand and use English correctly. Reading aloud from a newspaper is one of the best ways to accomplish that.
The great advantage is that you will be reading a large number of different sentences which will all be organized according to the same grammar rules. Thus, you would be learning the acceptable range of the syntax of that language.
That is, there may appear to be many variations from sentence to sentence, yet all of the uses would still be correct. For an example, you would learn that you can place the word "however" at the beginning, middle, or end of an English sentence.
You would also learn that the position of "however" can make a slight difference in meaning, or it can enhance the style of the sentence. In many respects, using the newspaper for syntax development is similar to using it for fluency enhancement and as an aid in conversation as mentioned below.
The same exercises suggested below would be as profitable for syntax as they would be for fluency and conversation. Expressions add richness to all languages. Identify expressions as you read the newspaper. Use a special mark to identify them in articles. Many expressions may be divided so that component words of the expression are separated by non-component words. Try substituting other words while using the same expression. Say or write as many sentences using the expression as possible.
To use an example, you may read a sentence in a newspaper which says, "The Governor announced Friday that he will not run for another term, putting to rest months of speculation about his future intentions. For example, the expression "to put to rest" can be used in the present, "I want to put our disagreement to rest," in the future, "He will put his argument to rest," or in the past, "They finally put their rivalry to rest.
To continue with another illustration, English uses word forms as a type of expression. For example, you may read a sentence in a newspaper which says, "We're getting all kinds of calls from people who are panicking and asking what they can do. In this use of the newspaper, you would simply read rather than alternating between reading and repeating a sentence from recall memory.
You would want to read the entire article aloud for fluency practice. Try reading the article as smoothly as possible without stopping. Read it aloud at least twice. For more fluency practice, continue reading the article aloud until you can read it at the same rate of speed that an American speaker uses when talking. Practice until your pronunciation duplicates that of the American speaker.
Your purpose would not merely be to learn the vocabulary in these newspaper articles, but to learn to speak fluently. Keep practicing until you can read the article aloud so that an American speaker could clearly understand what you are saying.
Fluency is the ability to speak smoothly with proper intonation. Initially use single sentences for fluency drills, repeatedly reading a single sentence until you can read it smoothly.
Eventually, do the same with multiple sentences or paragraphs. Even as a beginning student, there is value in reading a longer passage or entire article without break in order to establish the rhythm of the spoken language.
This is excellent proprioceptive training. Your natural tendency will be to move on to new articles too quickly. In reality, it would only be after you already know all of the vocabulary and can pronounce each word correctly that you would be ready to use the newspaper article to full advantage.
You would not be fully retraining you mind and tongue until you could read the article at normal speaking speed with proper inflection and pronunciation. You would accomplish more in attaining fluent speech by re-reading fewer articles aloud perfectly than you would by reading many articles aloud with faulty pronunciation. In Chapter 2 I said, "You must never make a mistake when you are speaking.
However, using a newspaper article will be a great aid in producing conversation which is essentially free of mistakes.
A newspaper article can give you a great deal of structure for conversation practice. This structure would give both you and your English teacher a defined group of vocabulary words, defined sentences with an understood meaning, and a defined context in which the vocabulary and sentences can be communicated.
Your English teacher could use the newspaper article to structure free conversation. To continue with the illustration, your English teacher could lead you in a discussion stemming from a newspaper article. You could easily have the following discussion after only four weeks of. Notice that your teacher would ask each question twice, expecting that you will substitute a pronoun in the second response.
English teacher: Assuming that you had only been studying English for four weeks, your initial response to each question would be halting. You would also be looking at the printed text when your English teacher initially asked the question. But at least your answer would be word perfect—you would be training your proprioceptive sense by using perfect syntax.
Now you would want to add perfect pronunciation and fluency to that. During typical English instruction, extra attention is usually given to poor performance. That is, when you use a sentence incorrectly, it is corrected with additional drills. On the other hand, when you respond correctly, the teacher moves on to the next sentence. That is not what you would want your English teacher to do for you now. Of course, you would want help with incorrect syntax and pronunciation.
But in order to learn the language effectively, you would want to emphasize correct language use. To continue our example, say that none of the sentences in the above illustration would contain any phonemes which you could not reproduce acceptably. Therefore, your English teacher would continue to drill you on these same sentences until you pronounce them perfectly.