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Hi Openmind,

It's quite obvious that you make mistakes when you're learning a new language. Native speakers, in general, do not care if a foreign learner makes grammar mistakes when he or she speaks. Instead, people will likely volunteer their corrections, and you will learn how to use grammatical structures correctly.

I'm most aware of the fact that it's quite impossible for absolute beginners to think in the target-language, however, pre-intermediate students can already choose to think in a new language. And I hope they do.

I would never expect a learner of English to start with Chaucer or Shakespeare, or a learner of French to read Voltaire. Instead, a beginner could choose to read fairy tales written for children, for instance. You will learn something new every single day, and very soon you will be able to switch to slightly more advanced texts such as short stories written for schoolchildren, and so on.

I have made it very clear a couple of posts ago that you need to listen to audio materials in the target-language. This way you will learn how to speak the language. When you read, you will broaden your vocabulary and learn new grammar. You will also learn how to spell, which is important. You can check the pronunciation of unknown or new words in a pronouncing dictionary or a good regular dictionary.
Englishuser
Hi Openmind,

It's quite obvious that you make mistakes when you're learning a new language. Native speakers, in general, do not care if a foreign learner makes grammar mistakes when he or she speaks. Instead, people will likely volunteer their corrections, and you will learn how to use grammatical structures correctly.

So are you saying that the average English student starts communicating with native speakers with the understanding that they will volunteer grammar corrections? How many people who want to learn English use have access to native speakers? How many students of English are capable of approaching a native speaker in order to practice their English with them?

Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
Hi Openmind,

It depends on where the student resides whether they will 'have access' to native speakers or not. If you move to England, for instance, you will have access to native speakers. Many English people correct foreigners when they make mistakes - which is very good for the foreigner as they learn by making mistakes, so to say.

People who do not live in an English speaking country, but who wish to improve their English, could do so on a website like this one. In here, you get to interact with native speakers who can answer any grammar related questions you as a learner may have. You can also improve your English by attending conversation classes at an English language school.
Englishuser In other words, you need to change your daily habits if you're serious about improving your language skills.

Hi Englishuser! Nice to see you again.

I totally agree with you when you claim that it is essential to change our daily habits if we want to develope our language skills. I had similar experiences in learning foreign languages. For instance, when I was learning English only at school, I mean I was doing grammar exercises, writing essays, learning by heart new vocabulary, I felt that I was doing a big effort, but my results couldn't satisfy me. I had to begin looking for opportunities to use English as often as it was possible. Like here, in this forum. Besides, I started to read English literature and magazines.

What is your trick in learning vocabulary Emotion: wink (for example), or maybe you are a native speaker and you don't have to learn English words Emotion: big smile

Divine
Hi Divine,

It's very nice to see you as well. I usually learn English words when I read English texts, that is, in context. Often I check new words in a dictionary, though, if I feel I'm not absolutely sure about what a word means. Also, when you use a dicionary, you can learn other possible meanings of the same word, so in a way you can kill two bords with one stone. Recently, I've noticed how poor my knowledge of vulgar slang is. I suppose it has to do with the fact that I normally fancy 'quality literature', and people hardly ever speak vulgar English to me. Of course native speakers of English don't learn new words as often as non-native speakers (in general), but native speakers certainly don't know all the words there are to know in English. Actually, I would be very surprised should I ever meet a person with such an excellent command of English vocabulary. What about your vocabulary in your native language? Would you claim you know all the words in your first language? What about words used only or mostly by specialists?
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
Well, may I ask what country are you from????? If you came from my country which is Malaysia, and you didn't have a good place to learn good English. This is because my country has lots of language, and mostly the english is the worst, but not all of them. Some of them influence from their parents, which was weak at English. For example Chinese, children seldom speak English as their parents are weak in English and they speak chinese with their friend too. The only chance they speak english is when they are having english lesson. In fact, some of they miss the chance as they hate english!!!!! If you are European, you will be amazed that what kind of english we are speak. But now, we are starting to concern about english and some of our subject start to use english besides BM.