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2006年5月10日 (水)

Improve your English fluency

◆The following tips will help you improve your
English fluency.

◆Before trying to talk, practice listening.

A good way to do this is to go out with a group of
native English speakers, who will talk to each other
more than you if your English is not fluent.

As you listen, focus on understanding the
conversation overall rather than on trying to catch
every word

◆Realize that the spoken forms you hear may bear
little resemblance to the “idealized” written
forms.

As in the example below, both the pronunciation and
usage may vary significantly from what you learned
in school.

A: Jew ee chet? ? Did you eat it?

B: No, jew? ? No. Did you?

Most Japanese know that the correct usage is:

A: Have you eaten yet?

B: No. Have you?

◆Do not forget to be careful about your
pronunciation and intonation.

You may become so involved in following the
conversation, thinking of the words you need to
express your thoughts, and composing sentences
in your head that you might totally forget to
pronounce your words carefully.

◆Do not use a dictionary.

If you can not think of the word or expression to
express your thoughts, use synonyms or explain
using other words.

Constantly referring to a dictionary impedes the
development of fluency, the essence of which is
using the language knowledge you already have
to communicate.

If you remember what you were trying to say after
the conversation is over, this is the appropriate
time to look up the words or expressions.

◆Do not worry about making mistakes.

If you listen to native speakers of any language,
you will hear them make pronunciation mistakes and
grammar and usage errors as well.

They are too busy trying to communicate to worry
about attaining linguistic perfection.

◆Realize that Japanese and English discourse styles
differ dramatically.

Japanese tend to talk one at a time without
interrupting, whereas Americans interrupt each other
frequently.

You should expect to be interrupted, more so,
in fact, than native speakers, because we impatient
Americans may not wait for you to get the words out.

If you are cut off, simply follow the conversation,
and interject your views when possible.

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