Feelings and Motivation
The following questions concern your feelings about your language learning experience.
1) Many language learners feel very negative about their learning experiences. They say they feel discouraged, frustrated, impatient, or confused by the difficulties of learning a language.
Have you ever experienced any of these feelings? Can you explain?
2) Others say they feel shy or embarrassed expressing themselves in the foreign language.
Have you ever felt this way? Can you explain?
4) If you have experienced some of these feelings, what did you do to overcome them?
3) When you are learning a language, are you usually:
a. highly motivated, and do everything possible to learn the language.
b. quite motivated, and try to do what you can to learn the language, but it is not your priority.
c. not very motivated, because you are too busy or tired to concentrate on it. You are learning out of necessity.
d. not very motivated, because you find learning languages boring.
6) Do you give yourself encouragement, by saying things to yourself like: “I’m doing okay” or “I’m right, I know it.”
Do you have any other comments about your language learning experiences that you would like to tell me?
1. Be patient with yourself. It takes a while to learn how to speak English well. Remember to give yourself time and treat yourself well.
2. Do everything everyday, but only do ten to fifteen minutes of the more boring tasks. If you want to improve listening skills, just listen to the radio fifteen minutes rather than an hour. Do ten minutes of grammar exercises. Never do too much English. It's better to do just a little bit every day rather than a lot only twice a week.
Make mistakes, make more mistakes and continue to make mistakes. The only way you will learn is by making mistakes, feel free to make them and make them often.
- Learn how to speak English about the things you like doing. If you enjoy speaking about the topic, it will be much easier for you to learn how to speak English well in a shorter amount of time.
What You Need
- Willingness to make mistakes
- Friends who can speak English with you
- Books or internet resources in English
I am often surprised at how focusing on the "stress - timed" quality of English helps students improve their pronunciation skills. Students often focus on pronouncing each word correctly and therefore tend to pronounce in an unnatural manner. By focusing on the stress - timed factor in English - the fact that only principal words such as proper nouns, principal verbs, adjectives and adverbs receive the "stress" - students soon begin sounding much more "authentic" as the cadence of the language begins to ring true. The following lesson focuses on raising awareness of this issue and includes practice exercises.
Aim: Improving pronunciation by focusing on the stress - time nature of spoken English
Activity: Awareness raising followed by practical application exercises
Level: Pre - intermediate to upper intermediate depending on student needs and awareness