In my last post, I pointed out that the kind of mistakes that you read about on the Internet are mistakes that English speakers make, not ones that English learners should watch out for. So the obvious question is: what should English learners look out for?
Before I present my list, I should warn you that these come from my experiences working with mostly Japanese speakers, so the mistakes you see here may or may not be a problem for people whose native language is closer to English.
manyEnglish learners often use "many" in sentences where it's not natural like this:
"These days I have many days off"
It is much more natural to use "a lot of" in positive sentences:
"I've had a lot of days off lately."
"Many" is fine to use in negative sentences:
"I haven't had many days off lately."
I sometimes browse through Twitter looking at things with the #English hash tag to re-tweet out to my followers. Today I came across this one:
I clicked on the link, and found pretty much what I expected to find: a list of mistakes that English speakers make in written English. These are precisely the kind of points I used to teach to my American high school students.
But these are NOT the mistakes that English learners need to focus on.
The lists of English mistakes you read about in these lists come from writing and grammar teachers' frustrations with the writing of native students. Native students already know a language that they call "English". But their teachers have this other language that's also called "English" but is really a totally different form of the language. It's the...
A question on an English language forum got me thinking about ways to improve listening practice. One of the best ways to improve is to watch videos or listen to audio that you also have the text available for. Here are a few ideas for where to find them:
- YouTube - A couple months ago, Google announced that they'd started turning on automatic captions for YouTube videos. Of course, that means that the captions are going to be done by machine, and therefore won't be perfect. But it's still better than nothing. Most videos still don't have captions, but you search for only videos with captions (see below).
- Mixergy.com - This is a specific show that I watch and listen to. The host, Andrew Warner, interviews successful entrepreneurs, mostly from the online...
How to thinking in english....???
When I practise to speak english. I always repare a sentence with a native language then I translate it to english to speak.
I knew it wrong for speaking english. But how to thinking in english. Plz give me advice. Thanks in advance
Here's my opinion, based on just the little bit of writing that I saw in your question. I don't think that you should expect yourself to be thinking in English yet. I think that you will need to spend more time studying the language. How much more time? Probably another 500 hours. That includes the time that you spend watching English movies, studying vocabulary, practicing writing to people, and...
Don't correct. Re-write.
Steve Kauffman put up a blog post yesterday: The role of correction in language learning - very limited and only with permission. His basic claim is that corrections don't work very well. People don't remember the corrections you made. Even when someone does intellectually understand a structure that they're messing up, they still may not be able to produce the correct version when the pressure's on. And frequent corrections interrupt the flow of conversation and potentially de-motivate the person.
All good points, but I want to propose an amendment. Assume that someone has come to you looking for corrections. Assume that you're not interrupting them. (I agree with Steve's suggestion that written corrections are better, because they're easier...