Can anybody help with learning, teaching and using colloquial English.
I have a couple of acquaintances, presently living abroad, who would like to have help in learning colloquial English. Do you have any suggestions of how I can help them; perhaps there are some “capsules” someone could suggest which would be helpful in promoting discussions and topics?
Perhaps with a view to travelling.
I would like it to be structured in a friendly and intimate way; respecting that these people do have the Grammar and Basics, but not the fluency required for everyday conversation.
There are lots of "accent reduction" videos on youtube which will give them exposure to English. However, I would suggest, if possible, streaming live radio on the internet - a station like NPR and listening, listening, listening. Also listening to American songs helps - the slow ones! I myself tutor students in "conversational English" or "free talk" as students in Korea call it. I can do this over Skype as well. Here in S. California, my students and I meet at a quiet restaurant and we just TALK! I use a guided approach as I used to use with deaf students. It's a "mother's method" of teaching language. The mother hears a response and embellishes it, modifies it with her own correct imitation, all in a natural method. Sometimes my students watch captioned TV that they record fun stuff like Grey's Anatomy. They'll come to me with questions like, "Alex said, 'Stop dis-sing me, Meredith.' What does dissing mean?" One student was a nursing student and we talked about all the ways to say vomit and pass gas! I use this approach because many years ago, when I was learning sign language through classes, I just WISHED there was someone I could pay to sit and just plain "sign" with me. I KNEW if I had a native speaker and we could talk about everyday experiences, my sign language would soar. There was no one, so I immersed myself in deaf culture by going to every event where deaf people would have me! So I would say one way to help your acquaintances is to ask them if they'd like to Skype trying some of the methods above. If you're busy or they'd like additional practice, I have an ad on craigslist in the Southern CA section. I think I call it free talking conversational English or something like that. I'm willing to tutor at late hours to accommodate time differences.
I don't have the answer to your question because I was learning all of my languages in the most inefficient ways. That is probably the reason why I remember only the one that I use. (My Russian is fading away).
I would like you to see this video. Even if you find it completely useless, one thing it will do for sure - it will make you laugh.
It is very inspirational because it makes you believe that the less stressed you are and more open to "learn as you go" (relevancy first) the higher your chances to succeed. (That is why I am not stressing too much about Daniel not learning French. He will only learn if and when he needs it).
I'm sure you and your friends will figure it out.
Songs and movies are excellent. Speaking is the most important. Sometimes you can understand what is being said, but cannot respond because you never practiced.
One of the most helpful techniques that my first English teacher used - she made us memorize conversations from each lesson (it was British, harder to understand than American). We imitated intonations and spoke with the same speed as the characters. Later when it came to speaking (when a person usually finds himself dumbfounded trying "to construct a sentence using grammar and vocabulary bits", I was firing my bits and pieces that were already there.
"Why are you calling me so early on a Saturday morning?" Really why?
My Spanish is all bits and pieces, so maybe some day...
I hope soon you can say that your friends speak so much better than now.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0yGdNE … x71xR9T2eQ
if it won't open,
"Chris Lonsdale TED Talks How to learn any language in six months"
I'm sure you will like it.
When you move from place to place, I have done from time to time. Basic English is what is really required. Your new area you moved to, by means of relocation for a job or if you are with the Military. Just listen the local conversation around you, at the market at school, on the job. Make new friends when possible and ask about the different new terms or use of the English language you are new too. Break up the states into 50 states, and then break it up again into compass points; like North, South, East, and West. Each area of state has its own local 'dialict' known to its personal own region. Like the people from the mountain areas of the Applicians may talk a little different than the people from the deep south areas. Territories, like Guam, Puerto Rico, American Somoa, for entance, are made up with ethinic groups. English and then local variations of different dialicts will be heard and understood, by the group of people that belong to that particular ethinic heritage. Keep a open mind any language can be learned. Just like in Alaska, you have different Indigious Indian Tribes there. They individually have their own tribal language, then theres local dialect. And English. Start with finding out about the history of early settlers of the region you are teaching about, and learn a little more to understand better where some of the outside influence came into the local English spoken where you are!
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