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When you first start learning the French language or the German language, or any second language, the fastest way to "open mouth, insert foot" is to use idioms like the one I just did. Idioms can make for idiots. Not really, but I love alliteration. The initial response of my students when I impart that advice is "What's an idiom?" An idiom is an expression or phrase, where the meaning of each individual word does not add up to the message being conveyed. The whole is not the sum of its parts in this case. Therefore, the meaning of an idiom is not at all predictable. This is why they don't tra
Why listening does not always improve your listening skill? How you can improve your listening skill effectively? What to do if you are too lazy to search for good listening materials? To improve your English listening skill is really easy. All you've got to do is listen to a lot of English... Right? Well, yes. But also no. The thing is there are some problems with this way of thinking. Why? For example, do you find yourself listening to English, but sometimes stop
English wasn't his first language. I was once coaching a young man of Chinese origin in public speaking, *Sam, who was extremely fearful of speaking before groups. Apart from the universal fears of 'being nervous', 'making a fool of himself', 'not being interesting' and 'being judged by others', his overriding fear was that of feeling humiliated in front of his peers because English wasn't his first language.
Why don't students understand when faced with a listening comprehension task? Larry Lynch suggests seven possible factors...
Most students will say that listening is difficult, if not actually admit that this is their weakest skill. The problem comes down to two main points. The first stems from the fact that the pace, choice of vocabulary, phrases, and grammar, and the inflection or intonation is completely determined by the speaker. The listener has only one chance to catch the meaning of a word or phrase. Comparisons can be made with reading, because the writer similarly determin
Mastery of English as a second or foreign language (ESL or EFL) comes down to how well a student speaks. He may write well, for example, get high marks on tests, or even have an accent nearly identical to a native speaker; but if he can't express ideas, opinions, or instructions clearly in a conversation, few would call him proficient. Language is for communication after all, and that primarily means speaking.