Monday, 17 October 2011

Making progress (1)

I have written this article due to the fact that my students ask me about various ways of achieving proficiency in their studies. Moreover, I receive questions like these: “I am going abroad in two months. Will I be able to speak English then?” or “ I have a presentation due. Will I manage?”or ” What can I do to make progress in a short time?”.
You should know  that there are no “wonder courses” and nobody can guarantee you full progress in a month or two (especially if you are at the beginner level).
First and foremost, you need determination. Be prepared to sacrifice some of your leisure activities for study. If you are currently attending a course, try also to supplement it with reading, vocabulary and speaking exercises. ( I do not recommend grammar exercises because you can practice it better in conversing)
During social interaction, you use few tenses, but you ask questions, so make sure you phrase them correctly.
Revise the tenses and the rule(s) for the questions.                                    
If you do not understand a sentence, ask the person to repeat it like this:”would you repeat, please?” and not like this: ”What did you say?”( A common mistake subjected to interpretation ).
Last tip for today: if you do not have the time for reading and studying, just watch a film that you like with the subtitling in English. This way you will learn new  vocabulary.         
The most difficult part about these conversation classes is that there is no textbook available only for the speaking skill. At my classes I use a special set of speaking exercises based upon general and particular themes for conversation adapted to various fields. Sometimes I include practice sets on presentations, phone conversations and “Small Talk”. 
More on this topic you can find here.

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