Speaking English: In a Grand Fashion*
As an older English-speaking “expat”, who came at a later age, I have problems speaking the local language. Like so many people, especially Americans, I have struggled to learn many new languages with limited results. I always thought that it was just ME.
My stay in a large local city hospital was an eye-opener to the problems that even well-educated native-speakers have in conversing in English. Here is what so many medical professionals told me.
- Even though they studied English for many years and mastered the intricacies of its grammar, they cannot confidently speak the language. They are “tongue-tied” by the grammar.
- Often, they were taught by non-native English-speakers with “unique English accents”. Therefore, they learned an English accent that is difficult for native English-speakers to understand. And, conversely, they cannot understand native English-speakers, even those speaking with a standard American accent.
- They just do not have the opportunity to speak frequently real, everyday English with real English-speakers, who can help build their ability to speak English naturally.
- They have not had the best method for learning to speak.
BEST LEARNING METHOD
Whatever foreign language you want to learn to speak, the best learning method seems to be:
Face to Face: We all know that conversation involves much more than speaking words. Hand gestures, body positions and facial expressions are equally important. To best learn to really speak, you and your teacher need to see each other in a natural environment.
Total Immersion: One of the biggest problems is translating constantly from your native-tongue to the new language while trying to speak. Your brain gets jumbled up switching between languages. The best way to learn to speak is to be totally immersed in the new language.
Designed for You: We all have had problems taking classes in which we get bored with the subject or that progress at the wrong speed. What usually happens? You quit. The best lessons are designed for you so that you enjoy learning and stay with it.
*Speaking English: In a Grand Fashion
Learning to speak English, or any other language, in a grand fashion, doesn’t mean that you have to come to your lessons dressed in the latest style. This “grand fashion” means that you are able to speak easily and with confidence.
What are your experiences learning a foreign language?