This is probably the most frequently repeated piece of advice for language learners. You will hear it from teachers, webmasters of ESL sites, and people in the in this discussion. For most language teachers, the goal is to have you talking as early as possible and as much as possible. They believe that they should […]
Learning to speak English well may be the best thing you can do to improve your life.
If a student in a language class does not want to speak, the teacher will normally assume they are shy, and will encourage (sometimes force) them to speak. He’ll tell the student: “Speak and don’t worry about mistakes”. After all, speaking practice is more important than making mistakes, isn’t it? Fact: Mistakes are not harmless. […]
This is often given as justification of the “Mistakes are OK” myth. The reasoning is that mistakes are a part of learning, therefore it is pointless to try to avoid them. Fact: While you cannot eliminate mistakes completely, you can speak and write with very few mistakes, even if you are a beginner. The trick […]
This is a more general version of the “foreign accent” myth described in the previous article in the series. It has its roots in the Critical Period Hypothesis proposed by Eric Lenneberg in 1967. Lenneberg suggested that one’s first language must be acquired before puberty (about 12 years of age). After puberty, he claimed, neurological […]
“Studying pronunciation is not important” Many language learners assume their pronunciation is good enough because their teacher doesn’t correct them too often or because other students can understand them. Fact: Those learners are often dead wrong — for two reasons: Most teachers ignore all but the biggest pronunciation mistakes of their students. Normally, they just […]
1. Developing a passion for learning English All English learners would like to speak English well. They are excited at the idea of being able to communicate in English fluently. However, they usually don’t care about the learning process itself. For most learners, learning English is a duty — something that they have to, but […]
Below is an excerpt from Michal’s story, but it is purposefully written in an ugly way. Do you find this excerpt pleasant to read? Today , I can understand the beatles very clearly.Each time I hear a Beatles song,I am delighted and proud becouse i have mademy childhood dream come true. I listen to many […]
Learning to speak English well may be the best thing you can do to improve your life. That’s right. Do you think it would be fun to have access to information that other people can’t get? Talk and write letters to interesting people that others can’t communicate with? Impress people around you whenever you opened […]
In this series, we look at the skills you’ll need to write formal, academic English, and you’ll have the chance to listen to people talking about topics you’ll find at colleges and universities.