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Hello I am new to here. My mother tongue is Cantonese and I like to polish my English.

It's known that English has two different versions : spoken and written. I have been learning English since I was a child and my written English is not too bad because this is what I have to master in order to pass most exams. However, when it comes to speaking in English I often don't know what to say and struggle for words. Though I am in a city where many Englishes live and work in, I hardly make any native friends, what means, I lack an language environment. My problem is:

How can I learn more about the spoken version of English - the way that natives speak? Can you suggest some free online material focusing on spoken English?

Looking forward to your reply. Emotion: smile
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PatrickluiHello I am new to here. My mother tongue is Cantonese and I like to polish my English.

It's known that English has two different versions : spoken and written. I have been learning English since I was a child and my written English is not too bad because this is what I have to master in order to pass most exams. However, when it comes to speaking in English I often don't know what to say and struggle for words. Though I am in a city where many Englishes live and work in, I hardly make any native friends, what means, I lack an language environment. My problem is:

How can I learn more about the spoken version of English - the way that natives speak? Can you suggest some free online material focusing on spoken English?

Looking forward to your reply. Emotion: smile

Hello Patricklui,

I work in an ESL program, and I know that your situation is very common. Some students speak better than they write or read. Some read, and often write, better than they speak. Some are more or less at the same level in everything, but these seem to be rare.

I'd suggest listening to English on the radio and watching some English television, if possible. (Be careful which programs you choose. For one thing, given your location, it may make more sense for you to listen to British English than to listen to North American English. For another thing, some shows aren't much like real conversation.)

Also, when you can, listen to people speaking English around you (possibly on a bus or while you are having something to drink or reading a newspaper someplace.) Do you think these speakers sound like you sound? Do they abbreviate things you might not abbreviate? (example: Want to go? or even Wanta go? versus Do you want to go?) Do they use different inflection (raising and lowering the pitch of their voices) than you usually do? Would you understand a lot of what they said if they slowed down?

**My strongest suggestion is to take a class in conversational English, if you can. Look for a class that focuses on practical communication.** An intensive conversational class (one that meets frequently and for fairly long amounts of time) would be good, if you could manage it. Again, try to find a class that focuses on conversation (not on writing, not on reading, not on reciting long passages, not on learning about literature, not on a combination of these things). Talking, listening, understanding, using, asking questions, learning more.

Another possibility (perhaps hard to find and not cheap) would be a class that focuses on pronunciation. (This is more specific than a class that focuses on conversation.) Still more specific would be working with a speech coach or therapist who focuses on accent reduction. You might not need either of these two. Try other things first.

Spend some more time on this forum, particularly in the areas where you think you need help. I think Www.eslcafe.com is another good forum. See what other people are doing to improve their speech.

If possible, ask a few proficient English-speaking acquaintances for feedback and suggestions.

Practice saying common phrases the way you have heard proficient English speakers say those phrases.

Good luck!Emotion: smile
(unecessary quoting removed by mod).

Thank you so much for your detailed suggestions. I agree that attending conversational class would be most helpful to me. In Hong Kong, as a matter of fact, there're countless English schools and numerous English classes, some of which may not be that useful however. Anyway, I know that it's important to practise the language, but I hope to get some insights into the spoken version of the language, you know that this is very different from the way I am used to in academic writing. Thanks again for your advice and I will try the ways you suggested. Emotion: smile Also I will often come to here.
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.


Hello,

I am new to here. My mother tongue is Cantonese and I like to polish my English.

It's known that English has two different versions : spoken and written. I have been learning English since I was a child and my written English is not too bad because this is what I have to master in order to pass most exams. However, when it comes to speaking in English I often don't know what to say and struggle for words. Though I am in a city where many Englishes live and work in, I hardly make any native friends, what means, I lack an language environment. My problem is:

How can I learn more about the spoken version of English - the way that natives speak? Can you suggest some free online material focusing on spoken English?

Looking forward to your reply.
Hello I am ritin». My mother tongue is teluge and I like to polish my English.
It's known that English has two different versions : spoken and written. I have been learning English since I was a child and my written English is too bad because .I was write all exams in telgu. However, when it comes to speaking in English I often don't know what to say and struggle for words. Though I am in a city where many Englishes live and work in, I hardly make any native friends, what means, I lack an language environment. My problem is:

How can I learn more about the spoken version of English - the way that natives speak? Can you suggest some free online material focusing on spoken English.could pleace give some metral in my mail.

<e-mail removed by mod>
todey on suturdey i wos in store,and i bougete grousery.
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Close! I know what you mean (I think). I am a native English speaker (who is attempting to learn French and Spanish so I know this is hard, please keep trying, you are getting there! Emotion: smile), and I would write that as:

Today is Saturday, so I went to the store and bought groceries.

or maybe, more simply,

Today is Saturday. I was in the store, and I bought groceries.

If I said, "on Saturday" it would more indicate that today is not Saturday. "was" would be my cue that Saturday is sometime in the past. So "today" in that sentence would not make sense. If I wanted this other scenario to be true, then I would write it as,

On Saturday, I was in the store, and I bought groceries.

Notice the second comma in the above. That is because "On Saturday" is what we call a dependent clause, so you have to have a comma. If you just say "today", you don't need it. The "on" makes you need it. Google "5 comma rules" for more information. You may also want to review English vowels. esl.about.com has some good information.

Also, days of the week are capitalized. Figure if it's on a calendar or a map, or in a phone book, capitalize it. So this covers proper names, months of the year, cities, countries, states, etc, also.

Like I said, you are doing good so far and making progress. The key is not perfection, but rather communication. Please keep trying! Emotion: smile