Speak English, if you speak at all (to all advanced)

  • Hi, Irine, it’s nice to have you here. You gave quite a reasonable answer to problems I was thinking over too. Yes, we are lack in tolerance, this is the case (and a little bit of humor would be right to the place) (Oh! The prediction has proved – I burst out in poem)
    There’ve been said a lot about self-education and different ways, I myself used such a technique: placed a book in English on a bed-table (an interesting one, of course) and put it this way – read only the book or nothing! And as I had a strong habit of reading before sleep, I was urged to read English. Sometimes I managed to go through a couple of sentences, BUT IT WAS REGULAR, THAT MAKES THE TRICK!
    And audio is good too.
    Writing might be of use as well – this topic was supposed to activate our vocabulary.

  • When written, mistakes get clearer. In previous post of mine I’ve counted two (credit them on my account, Maria). The first is obvious enough -- “activize”, not “activate”, I noticed it as I sent the message. Whereas the second is not so obvious, it’s about “do” and “make”, these words are often confused. I refreshed my knowledge, looked at the dictionary, and found out “do the trick”, though “make the trick” sounds better for me. But who can go against Dictionary?
    This was about the usefulness of writing in English and different points of grammar. And I am open for that sort of discussion.
    Concerning my teachers I’d rather say they all were good. Till now when I visit my native town I try to meet my last school teacher and we have a talk in English, that pleases her much. At the institute we, students, joked that all foreign language teachers got job due to there appearance hence they were young and attractive. But however they knew there job all right.

  • Sorry for not answering at once. I was busy looking for some information about Cambridge exams. Our Headmaster thinks it'll be useful for our schoolchidren to pass such exams so I had to find out if he is right. After a week's search I'm quite worn out but still have very little information. They seem to be fond of using as many words as they can speaking about nothing. And that only proves the great difference in our mentality. We can never speak the same language, I'm afraid. Sorry for being too passionate. I'm really a bit tired.
    Now I'm back to the theme. To tell your the truth, I find it a kind of a rest so thank you for starting that branch.
    As for some methods I can give you an example of a very productive use of audiobooks. My pupils neither could say a word in English without reading it nor could they make up a sentence without writing it which made me very upset. I didn't know what to do. Quite by chance I happened to buy some books with tapes and we started reading them. I made up some exercises to enrich their speaking activities. We also used the "NERO" programme to record their answers. In the end we staged the stories. The success was beyond expectations. Now my pupils can speak English though with a lot of mistakes but that's where grammar should be practised. The thing is that they are not afraid of speaking. If anyone is interested in such kind of work I'll be glad if I can help.
    By the way, is it correct to say "Could someone say a few words ...?" or will it be better to say "Can anyone say ...?" (there're so many "tricks" in English grammar!)
    I'm finishing, thank you once again for the opportunity to "speak" English.

  • Hi, Irine
    Following your question: is it correct to say "Could someone say a few words ...?"
    I think that in questions you should always use "anyone" (according to the grammar rule)
    And I'll take this opportunnity to introduce myself a bit: I'm 28, living in Israel, though studied in Russia my BA in Economics.
    Always read/learning English with great pleasure, but often the problem is TIME...so sometimes I "steal" hours/minutes at work, and read English
    Would be glad to find friends among you - this forum is very nice idea!
    See you soon,

  • Hi, Julia. Glad to meet you. You are absolutely right about TIME. It's always a problem. Nevertheless I can see a lot of young people who are just killing their time. I wonder how they manage...
    As for "some" in questions, in fact it can be used in questions according to grammar rules "when we expect affirmarive answers, or when we want to encourage people to say "yes" (Michael Swan "Practical English Usage" p562). The classical example is: "Could I have some tea?"
    The thing is that when I wrote "Can anyone say..." I understand that while speaking I would say "Could someone say..." Isn't it funny?
    As for the forum I like it, too. I find it a kind of relaxing, though it's again a problem of time.
    Could you possibly write a few words about usage of English in Israel, if you don't mind.
    Bye-bye, hope to see you soon.

  • Hi Irine, thanks for the mini english-lesson, and I always find it useful to discuss grammar issues with other people cause then it is easier to learn/remember something new "from interaction", and with live-examples.
    Regarding English in Israel, I'd say that only in very rare cases I encountered israelis without strong English-basis, though there were some exceptions to the rule...:-)
    My first "steps" in this country were also made with the great help of English, due to my comparatively ''poor" Hebrew (couldn't compete with local "aborigines" for the first couple of years then:-)
    To my surprise (and to my pleasure), every time I couldn't say anything in Hebrew, they asked me to switch to English and "do not bother myself"...so one can definitely "survive" here with English only.
    I haven't got any experience of studying English myself in israeli school, but I read that their method is quite different, and it seems is more effective then the one which was common in russian schools (I'm sure that there are schools in Russia with "creative" approach, but I had no luck to see them myself...)
    If you are interested in more detailed "description" of their english teaching, I can find out for you - let me know.
    So bye for now, it is quite late here...(2am) and my eyes are struggling with the strong desire to see my pillow...:-)
    Have a nice day, Jilia

  • Hi, Julia. Thanks a lot for your quick response.
    In fact I'm very much interested in everything connected with teaching English no matter where.
    I myself started to learn English in quite an ordinary school with, I'd rather say, anti-teaching methods. Then I was lucky to study at the Moscow State Institute of foreign languages. Then I had no practice at all, and when after ten years I was forced to inteprete at some important meetings I was surprised to notice that I know English quite well. I'm thankful to all my teachers and now I'm trying to recollect how they managed to do it.
    Now being an English teacher myself I'd like to be as good and useful for my students as my teachers were for me.
    So any information on this theme will be very helpful for me.
    When do they start to learn English (at what age)? How often do they have classes? What methods do they use? What exams and when do they have to pass? etc.,etc.,etc.
    I wouldn't like to bother you but if you by any chance happen to come across any information I'll be very much obliged to you.
    If it's more convenient for you, you can use my E-mail.
    Can I be of any help?
    Have a nice weekend, don't forget to have a good sleep.
    Bye, Irine.

  • Hi everybody! How is going so far?


  • As I see it, everyone here is eager to speak English but as there's no theme - no discussion. Poor we!
    Perhaps it'll be better to suggest any topic? Can anyone?