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英語島Newsletter
天天閱讀英語島,在這裡感知世界,汲取英文的養分。
 

英語教學實驗室的外籍顧問們,多數都在學習中文,透過學習的過程,他們可以更了解學生學習一門語言會遇到的問題,我們訪問了其中兩位顧問,他們的答案讓人感覺安心又充滿力量。

許多學生的問題不在於「技巧」出了問題,而是「感覺」自己英文很差,英文裡有一句話叫做:演久就成真。(Fake it till you make it.),無論技巧好壞,試著模仿母語人士的說法語氣、節奏、表情以及自信的感覺,假裝你的英文很流暢,反覆練習,直到你真的可以自然而然地讓英文從嘴巴裡流露出來。

外籍顧問Chris:「別擔心,我的中文也沒你好」

As a Chinese learner, I know some of the trials of learning a new language. Now, I realize that our experiences are pretty different, especially when it comes to confidence building. One main privilege I have is that, as an English speaker, I have a huge safety net in the knowledge that my language is understood pretty much worldwide, to some degree or another. When my Chinese inevitably fumbles into some incomprehensible muddle, I’m never too far away from an understanding ear. But realize this is also a setback - I don’t get to make enough mistakes to really learn, and while I can feel comfortable and get my point across, it’s very easy for my language learning to stagnate. To some extent you need to be forced to communicate: if you can always retreat into your safe zone then you may never venture out.

Another big issue I have noticed with English learners is that they can be pretty mean to one another! Small mistakes that some of my students make are viciously picked upon by other students in situations where a foreigner wouldn’t bat an eyelid. Contrast that with the Chinese language learner being constantly praised for only slightly mispronouncing “ni hao”, constantly being told that “you’re so good at Chinese!” So don't be afraid to make mistakes; just be afraid of not learning from them.

 

外籍顧問Justin:不是你不會,只是你沒想到

Living in Taiwan, I am both an English teacher and a student of Mandarin. Because of this, I can empathize with my students about the struggles of learning a foreign language. Fortunately for me as a Mandarin student, I’m forced to use it all the time in Taiwan. Unfortunately for many students learning English here, the time available and opportunities to use English can be limited due to work environments and commitments. In order to erase errors, you need to know why you made those errors. Every student is unique and has different strengths and weaknesses learning English. Not surprisingly though, many Taiwanese actually know English grammar rules but forget to apply them when they speak or write. It’s understandable because English is quite different from Chinese!

I have noticed a large disconnect between speaking skills and writing skills. Often, writing in English is much better than speaking because people have time to think about what they write and apply the rules, but during a conversation, speaking needs to be immediate. Imagine how slow and boring a conversation would be if you had to take ten seconds to think about sentence structure and grammar before you actually respond!

One critical element for learning a new skill is that you have to use that skill to become better. The students that have the greatest improvements in English are often always the ones that put in the effort to learn and use English every day.  

 


Audible English Lab
本期英語島教學實驗室由Claire和Chris說給你聽

 


 文/Chris Owen, Justin Chen, 王妍筑

企劃/英語島教學實驗室

本文收錄於英語島English Island 2017年12月號
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