Thursday, 29 September 2011

Better to speak a little than not at all

As I promised, I would like to introduce in this article some useful advice for students at the beginner level.
They come in class sometimes a little scared, sometimes very determined to study because they have to, but all the time they ask a lot of questions, such as:
When will I be able to speak English?
Will I sustain a fluent conversation in English in four months time, or six months time…?
When will I manage to have an interview  in English?......   
There are very many questions like these, but I noticed that the major requirement coming from all my students is about the ability to speak the language. The students can perform a lot of tasks, but when I ask them to make a dialogue in a certain situation, they fall short of words (they cannot find their words).
What is the explanation?  Beginners usually have the tendency to think in their mother tongue, and that is why they want to translate everything from a language to another. This is not a good habit to develop for the future, so when they try to express themselves in English, first they think in their mother tongue, then they translate. Which is time consuming and very difficult. It is complex to translate sentences from a language to another, task which is not appropriate for beginners. I usually have a saying: “translations are for translators, not for students”.
So when you try to say something, first remember the rules that apply to that language, meaning using a subject and a verb, and also pay attention to the tense of the verb. It is difficult, but not impossible. You will see.


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