A new method

Several years ago I attended English courses here in Minsk. Our group was quite good at grammar but we were too shy to use our oral English skills in classroom. Then our teacher invented  a special system for us.

A person who said even a word in Russian without teacher’s permission got a Black card. It were just pieces of paper. One side was all black and from the other side she wrote different penalties.  Sometimes it was funny… but not for those who got them I think.

And the other part of those system was an exercise called “3 minutes of glory”. But we called it “3 minutes of shame”. Every lesson began with little lottery among students. Those one who “won” it must speak for 3 minutes in front of the audience. We didn’t have any specific topic for such appearances so every student set up  his own topic. We heard a lot of different stories: one student described his summer in Turkey, a girl was speaking about her plans for the future, other guy was trying to translate his favorite song from Russian…

At first, this exercise was so difficult for us. We had to overcome our fears and start speaking. After several months we found out that it is funny and we are not afraid any more. So we began to speak and sometimes we needed even more than those 3 minutes to finish our stories. Yes, we made lots of mistakes but it didn’t really matter for our teacher at those time. She wanted to make us feel more confident.

My English is not perfect still but due to those courses I’m not shy to use it any more.

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  • Hey Mary,


    Your teacher's methods were creative. I know Speaking English is hard with a group who share the same mother language but there always a way to beat it. Just keep up using English as an important part of your life.

    Try to record your speaking about any topic, you don't have to read about the topic before your speech, then listen to what you have recorded, try to write it down on a paper. Then, check our your grammar mistakes. Then, by time you will get developed.


    Thanks for sharing your experience with us



  • Very nice method and useful for those who feel hesitation while speaking in beginning.

    When I joined my English class, after three months of joining there was some punishment, if any one speaks in their native language, they were punished.


    Thanks for sharing, Mary.

  • i also felt like as your story when i joined to English course last year. I was so shy and scare to communicate in English language. Well its over for me scaring but still need to practice for speaking. And i can't forget about MyEC bcz i used it a lot in 2009 for improving my skill, still i am using this site but i am not a regular user now a days. 


    Well, nice blog!!! Thanks for sharing with us .........:)

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