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Date: Dec 17 2008

Topic: Speaking

Author: nad1a


MySpace TrackerIt's a common belief that living in a foreign country will make you speak its language perfectly. Then why do most immigrants in America speak incorrectly, even after living there for decades? It takes more than just that, then. Besides living in a foreign country, you also have to pay attention to grammar and pronunciation. But you don't necessarily need to travel for that. Internet and foreign language TV can do the job too. It's only up to you and your motivation!

How do you approach a foreign language? It's both different from the way we learn our first language and, at the same time, quite similar. In a way, you'd have to follow the same sequence. First, input and then output. First, you should be gathering examples of how the language works (grammar) and how things are called (vocabulary), through reading and listening, before you actually start speaking. Second, you start with easy and simple language before you try looking for ways to express more complicated ideas.

Don't force yourself to speak too early or focus on speaking rather than listening and reading. Speaking is immitation so, when trying to speak a foreign language, your goal is to imitate the grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation of native speakers. Speaking should be used to practice the grammar and vocabulary you have learnt through listening and reading. In the beginning, your goal should be to be able to express yourself in a simple but 100% correct language.

This is important if your aim is speaking fluently and correctly. Each time you say something with bad grammar, chances that you say that phrase again increase and it becomes a habit. You should stick to phrases you're absolutly sure about being correct. Try to avoid mistakes, even if you're a beginner and gradually build up your language skills. Anytime you want to say something, make sure you use phrases you have already heard from a native speaker or came across in a text. Don't try to make up your own expressions.

Some people would argue that pronunciation is not important. But if you want to give people a pleasant interaction with you, you should probably consider spending time on your pronunciation. With the necessary technology and persistence you can even learn how to speak with a natural accent. A little talent for imitating sounds would be of great help. Record yourself saying something that you have just heard by a native speaker and then listen to yourself and compare it with the original. While you speak with your American or British friends online, watch for the intonation, the way words are connected in the spoken language.

Finally, you have to be aware of that fact that learning a language is a gradual process. It takes time and dedication. It's not just a book that you can read overnight and be done with it. It takes years before a person masters his or her first language, being exposed to the language almost 24 hours a day. Whereas, with a foreign language, you're exposed to it only a fraction of that time. Living in the country the language is spoken can be helpful, but again, you need the right approach, which in my view is the one described above. After all, this is how I learned the foreign languages that I speak now.


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Dominican Republic

thanks for that

04:59 AM Dec 23 2008 |



very useful and very true. good to  know

thank you 

07:13 AM Dec 22 2008 |



very true

07:11 AM Dec 22 2008 |


United States

ineed learen english please

04:30 AM Dec 21 2008 |




this is really cool!

many times we think that some of these ideas are true.

There are myths in all ours lives until we face off.

 thanks for the cheats!! XD

07:55 PM Dec 20 2008 |




Thank u so much…..

02:26 PM Dec 19 2008 |




Nad,you're amazing. Keep it up and don't mind them haters. You are the best, girl!!!

06:35 AM Dec 19 2008 |



This is just beautiful- It's a piece of collection that I am going to print and will always keep it in my pocket to remember. Thank you for unveiling these myths about learning another language.

07:58 PM Dec 18 2008 |



one more faaaaaaaaabulous work, Nad

thank you so much for that


the no-mistakes part is so right. try to speak from the beginning with no mistakes. anything you learn whether it's the cat and dog thing from first grade or conditionals and inversions; try to learn it correctly and use it correctly. 

05:56 PM Dec 18 2008 |




There you go. 

"Thank you for important facts." 

Correct yourself :-P

02:17 PM Dec 18 2008 |




Thanks for the appreciation, sinam

08:26 AM Dec 18 2008 |

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