My thought and responses to "Why My Englsih Is So Bad?&

My thought and responses to "Why My Englsih Is So Bad?&

文章Wayne » 週日 10月 02, 2005 2:13 pm

This topic drew much of my interest; therefore, I went to the meeting despite the fact that my vocal chord was still suffering inflammation. Since I could hardly talk, I decided to put my words in print and posted them on the Forum. The following are my humble thoughts to the questions asked in the discussed materials.

Q1: What are the best ways to learn and live with English?
A1: Use it; use it as often as you can. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, but do learn from mistakes. With regular practice of English, your English will get improved. Your good English skills are not built in one day.

Q2: Is the effort worth it so far?
A2: Certainly! The more time and effort you put in, the more you’ll learn.

Q3: Which is better, paper or electronic dictionary?
A3: I prefer paper dictionaries although an electronic dictionary is sometimes handy.

Q4: What is wrong with Taiwan's English learning environment?
If the teachers of middle schools, high schools, and colleges all apply TESOL (Teaching English as Second or Other Languages) methods in schools, our students may be able to learn English rather than study English. Unfortunately, since we do not have enough qualified ESL teachers, and/or some qualified teachers are reluctant to teach with TESOL methods, the current environment won’t change much in the near future. Also, our students do not have enough time to spend on English learning. Let me ask, “How much does English a student read a day?” “How much English does a student speak a day?” If students read and speak enough English each day, then the current situation may improve significantly. On the other hand, teachers must be able to excite students’ interests in learning English – note: not studying English.

Q5: Is it really that hopeless?
A5: Not really. If we learn English in the “right” way, there’s hope to change the status quo.

Q6: Who and what can really help us?
A5: Qualified ESL teachers, not those native speakers or speakers of English as second language who don’t know how to teach ESL classes.

Q7: Are TOEIC, GEPT 全民英檢 and other test certification services money sucking scum?
No. Since TOEIC does not involve speaking and writing, it’s less convincing. On the other hand, even though one passes the advanced level of GEPT, he’s still far from being a native speaker. Nevertheless, these tests serve as a relative standard for someone’s English level. No one is forced to take such tests. If one is required to take and pass such tests, he must pay for it. Therefore, these test services are not sucking the examinees’ money. It’s no free lunch as to take such tests.

Q8: Please suggests a way to solve this problem and compose an open letter to Mayor Ma, an imaginary English teacher or anybody, and read it to the rest of the groups.
A8: I don’t think that simply a letter can change this problem.

Q9: What don't you like about your English?
I don’t like my English in many ways. For example, I do not have sufficient vocabulary. I cannot tell the differences among synonyms. My listening comprehension is very poor. I do not speak English fluently. Just to name a few. Actually, there is a very long list.

Q10: When will you ever satisfy with your English?
Never in my life will I be satisfied with my English. The main reason is that I am too old to remember things.

Q11: How much effort/money are you willing to pay?
A11: I’ll make as much effort as I can. Money-wise: As much as I can afford.

Q12: What do you think the government can do about it?
The government should train English teachers of elementary schools, middle schools, and high school as ESL teachers and require them to use TESOL methods to teach English instead of the traditional cramming method. Eliminate those English teachers who cannot use TESOL methods to teach English. Revise the curriculum of English education and create a stronger English-learning environment.

Q13: Are there any known effective/proven short-cuts?
A13: Absolutely no way! Whoever says he can make you succeed in English in three months is a liar. I am not talking about improving one’s English. To be able use English with good listening, speaking, reading, and reading skills takes very long time to succeed. For example, one can neither learn 5, 000 words, including their usage, nor remember and correctly use 2,000 idioms quotations, or proverbs in three months, and then some.

Q14: Is this all just a wild goose chase?
A11: I do believe the saying, “No pains, no gains.” Another similar saying goes, “ As you sew, so shall you reap.” All in all, one must learn the “gimmicks” of learning, or studying, English; otherwise, he’ll get half the results with twice the efforts.
Knowledge is power -- when shared.
文章: 1500
註冊時間: 週四 5月 13, 2004 10:53 am
來自: Taipei, Taiwan, Pandemonium

文章technobabel » 週一 10月 03, 2005 3:02 am

Sorry for making the "English situation" more complicated than it had to be. May I remind everybody that this is still a "happy-go-learning" world. And I will make sure it stay that way for a long long time.

When choosing a topic of discussion, I had two basic approaches.
1. aim high, shoot low
2. aim low, shoot high
I am not abandoning Yoyo, I am just dancing slowly away from it.
YOYO member
文章: 1188
註冊時間: 週六 5月 14, 2005 8:42 pm
來自: Eastern Seaboard

文章technobabel » 週一 10月 03, 2005 2:34 pm

Typical Taiwanese English learning venture started out as a matter of aim low, shoot low. At first most of your targets appear to be low, so, one just need to aim low, but occasionally a target presents itself to be unexpectedly high. Then, it is a matter of aim, shoot and miss. In the real world, depends on what you do, not all targets are low and easy. Some higher targets take years of training to be shot down with ease.
I am not abandoning Yoyo, I am just dancing slowly away from it.
YOYO member
文章: 1188
註冊時間: 週六 5月 14, 2005 8:42 pm
來自: Eastern Seaboard

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