Practice English with Tanya

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Practice English with Tanya

Dicussing different topics, sharing ideas, improving grammar and vocabulary

Members: 1283
Latest Activity: on Thursday


Dear friends! At first, I organized this group for all of us to be able to master our English in all possible ways and for those who are learners to get the answers to their questions. Besides, I sincerely believe that to understand what we all desire and strive for we should understand what we mean first af all. And the only one language that is able to unite us is English. A few months have passed and now I see that you are interested in such problems like pollution, differences in cultures and others. Your positive attitude to the problems of the whole mankind makes me feel that this world is in reliable hands of the new generation. So, let's go ahead with new discussions. It is one of the best ways to know one another better. I appreciate all your opinions. Please, feel free starting new discussions.

I am asked the same question time and again. So, I decided to place my answer to it here.

I'd like to answer  your question "What is the best learning technique in studying English Language?"

I believe that only perfect knowledge of grammar gives us possibility to speak English fluently. Fluency of speech doesn't mean that you know all words. By no means! Even native speakers don't know all words and sometimes look up dictionaries. Fluency means that you can always express your mind clearly, correctly and literary. Sure, the richer your vocabulary is, the easier it is for you to speak. But I'd like to say that if you knew grammar better, you would speak much better English with your present vocabulary. So, the following are my recomendations for you and all other students who want to improve their language:

1. You should combine different ways of learning: grammar, vocabulary, idioms, listening, writing and spoken practice.

2. You should revise or learn grammar in the appropriate sequence. I can recommend the following one checked out by my 25-year teaching experience:

Parts of speech and simple constructions like "It is..", "There is...", "have", "have got", etc.
Modal verbs in the present
Tenses (first, all The Present Tenses, then all The Past Tenses, The Future in the Past,
Sequense of Tenses, Reported Speech, The Future Tenses, The Passive Voice)
Modals in the past
The Verbals (Gerund, Infinitive,Participle)
The Moods
Special constructions, inversion, etc.

I can also recommend you Raymond Murphy"s Grammar book "Essential and English Grammar in use".

3. As to the vocabulary. You can enlarge it greatly reading English fictions or other literature using good dictionary. I can also recommend some literature for those who are interested in academic vocabulary.

a) Michael McCarthy. Academic Vocabulary in Use.

b) Rawdom Wyatt. Chech your English Vocabulary for TOEFL.

4. Idioms. There are a few famous authors who write such kind of literature. One of them is Robert J. Dixon and his "Essential Idioms in English". But I like another one much more. He gives better explanations and more examples. I can email you this book if you tell me your address. I've already sent it to
many members of my group and they all like it very much. You can read one chapter of this book if you enter the discussion "Idioms and Phrasal Verbs".

5. Listening. There is a lot of listening material in the net. The podcasts are the best because the audio files come together with the scripts.
Here are some sites:

http://www.eslpod.com/website/index_new.html

http://www.dailyesl.com/

http://www.britishcouncil.org/professionals-podcast-english-listening-downloads-archive.htm

To improve your listening skills the technique should be the following:

a) First, listen to it as many times as you need to understand what it is about.
b) Read the script and translate all new words (it is better to write them out together with the translations and transcriptions; in this case you will remember them better)
c) Listen again paying special attention to the new words.
d) Do it until you hear each word clearly.

6. Writing compositions or essays is the must. But it makes sense only if you have someone to check them out and to explain your mistakes.

7. And we all need as much spoken practice as possible. You should use any opportunity to speak English, especially with native speakers. If you do, tell them to correct you. Otherwise they will not (at least Americans).

I think, it is a good idea to combine all these ways of learning. Actually, it is very boring to do the same for long. It depends on how you feel. If you want to learn grammar today, just do it. If you want to listen or read, it is OK. Got it?

Have I answered this question? If not, please, go on asking.

Sincerely yours,
Tanya.

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Comment by Suela on May 4, 2009 at 22:55
Hi Tanya

This tragedy the human being has to keep in its memory as an alert to take care of our planet as it deserves. The damage caused in the nature will take long to recover it, but human lives will be lost forever.

Suela
Comment by Spidy on April 28, 2009 at 15:09
Nice information, but bad events. I know this disaster and my mother told me about it. God bless all the dead people and also alive people.
Good to be here......
Comment by Tanya on April 26, 2009 at 15:46
Hi, my friends! Today is an anniversary of the hardest Europen tragedy. 23 years have already passed but we still suffer of that disaster. Here is some information for those who don't know.

he Earth can remember the main events which have taken place in its depths and on its surface: ice ages, volcanic eruptions, meteorite falls, floods, deluges... Some of these events are usually called disasters if they destroy the stable lifestyle of humans or the animal kingdom, and lead to tragedies over vast areas. The consequences of the Chernobyl nuclear power station explosion on April 26, 1986, are related to such events. Although the exact amount of radiation released is unknown, "an estimated 260 million curies of radiation were released. This is approximately 200 times more radiation than was released by the bomb dropped on Hiroshima" (Sywenkyj, 2002, para. 1). Seventy percent of this radiation fell on Belarus. Now, 20% of its forests and 6000 square kilometers of its agricultural land are still contaminated. About 109,000 people have been relocated, but many still live in highly contaminated areas.
Many people have studied this accident, and many, many DIFFERENT facts and conclusions have been made, and the entire truth is very difficult to obtain. Only one fact is true to everyone: this was a terrible tragedy and it has affected everyone in Europe. Today is Memory day devoted to that sad event. About half million people died. Let us pay the last respect to them.
Comment by Tanya on April 16, 2009 at 16:41
Dear friends! Thanks for taking part in our discussions. I'd like to say that upcoming Sunday is a great holiday for all Orthodox people. My country is Orthodox as well as Russia and Bulgaria. This Sunday is Easter and we celebrate it independently of our faith. It is tradition. Being non-religious, I'd like to say that Jeasus existed and his ideas gave the beginning to the new world philosophy. Although it might have been not his ideas. Anyway I congratulate all Christians with Easter. And we say here:"Jeasus is alive" meaning that his philosophy is alive till now. Happy holidays to all Orthodox!
Comment by Michelle Kuiper on April 1, 2009 at 13:57
Great to be here. May Success find you in your studies :)
Comment by Tanya on March 31, 2009 at 8:40
Dear friends! I am glad you like my new activity.
Comment by Spidy on March 29, 2009 at 13:41
Hi Tanya
Thanks for the invitation and thanks too for helping me to find it.I hope I will be able to practice with you here.
Spidy
Comment by Irina Tarabrina on March 29, 2009 at 7:37
Privet, Tanya. I didn't know what you intended to discuss here. I added a discussion to start the activities in your group. I hope you don't mind. :) Poka
Comment by Enfais on March 27, 2009 at 18:50

Hi Tanya, I appreciate your invitation.
 

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