--

--

コメント

スポンサーサイト

上記の広告は1ヶ月以上更新のないブログに表示されています。
新しい記事を書く事で広告が消せます。
管理者にだけ表示を許可する

09

11

コメント

Learn from mistakes... but "How?"

Some of you who pay a regular to visit my blog (I’d like to say “Thank you” to each of you with my big smile and hug, folks!) might know that I write short pieces daily on a bulletin board called "Quick Write Forum". Because the concept of Quick Write (QW) is to write as much as possible in a limited time, usually within 10-15 minutes, without scrutinizing the piece to enhance writing fluency, the final product usually contains grammatical errors, careless typos, questionable word choices, and the lack of logicality depending on the QWers’ writing skills. When I finish writing a QW product, I go over the whole piece once or twice, and post it on the bulletin board. I often find errors or mistakes related to grammar or structural matters when I see my writing displayed on a screen, but I rarely identify the ones related to vocabulary or semantic aspects by myself. That doesn’t mean that I can write fabulous grammatically-constructed sentences and passages. I mean I can revise my own pieces from grammatical or syntactic perspectives to some extent. I’m sure most of the high-intermediate or advanced English language learners are capable of doing that.

It might be safe to say that we’re aware that we can learn a great deal from our own mistakes because those mistakes are ours, not others. The mistakes we’ve made will tell us a lot about our understanding of the whole thing. But I guess for most of us, the question is "how to do that by ourselves"... Okay, now let me share my little story. Two days ago, I learned from my own mistake... Oh, well, I dare not to call it a “mistake”. I’d call it a “venture-yet-to-be-successful” for my own sake. In QW 090911 “The Difference Final”, I used the word “premise” whose meaning I attempted to imply here was “something assumed or taken for granted : PRESUPPOSITION”, borrowed from Merriam-Webster Online. For some of those who regularly or occasionally take the TOEIC test, the word “premise” may be more familiar in its plural form “premises” as “a house or building, together with its land and outbuildings, occupied by a business or considered in an official context” according to Oxford Dictionary of English. (By the way, which is official or more common, “Oxford Dictionary of English-ODE” or “Oxford English Dictionary-OED”? My SII e-dictionary adopts the former, but newspaper/newsmagazine articles available online seem to prefer the latter. So confusing.) I was waiting for an opportunity to use the word in its singular form in my piece, so I ventured to do that.

I am really, really fortunate to have a friend who spends time reading my pieces and gives me constructive and helpful feedback. The usage of “premise” in QW 090911 turned out to be a good topic for our productive discussion. The word “premise” primarily means “a previous statement or proposition from which another is inferred or follows as a conclusion ” or “an assertion or proposition which forms the basis for a work or theory” according to ODE/OED. I was sort of ignorant, or less aware, of the primal meaning of the word, and used it as the secondary or derivative definition of “something assumed or taken for granted (Merriam-Webster Online)”. That was the main source of the confusion that the use of “premise” in QW 090911 caused, I analyzed. So, I can put this episode like, “The intention was good, but you needed a lot more work, Aya!”

That was good. That was lucky that other person located my questionable word choice and I had an opportunity to delve into the word and its usage. But what if there’s no one who points out such potential source of learning? How to deal with the errors that we’d pass by not knowing there are some? I don’t have any quick fix here, to my regret. The only thing I could think of is that we just scrutinize, scrutinize, and scrutinize our own products, especially when we try using the words or grammar constructions that we’ve never used in our pieces. Not only consulting with multiple dictionaries, such as ODE/OED, LAAD (Longman Advanced American Dictionary), Merriam-Webster, and other online dictionaries, we’ll need to Goggle the words and phrases we’re going to use, and how they are actually used, or not used, until we convince ourselves that it’s okay for us to use them. It’s obvious that it does take time and effort, but we need to stop for a moment and consider: If we avoid using new words, if we always use same, simple, safe words, if we refuse to take risks in the course writing practice, yes, "practice", we won’t be able to make ourselves a better writer. I was never satisfied with my elementary-school-ish writing when I was preparing for the STEP 1st grade essay questions 6 or 7 years ago. Now, I'm a little more proud of my “ambition”, not my “ability” which I here carefully submit, that I have for my writing and writing practice.

It’s so early to say anything on the effect or efficacy of the daily QWing because the project started only three months ago. Recently, I’ve come to think that I need to do both QWing and authentic essay writing, which should better be posted as a blog post like this. I’ve already committed myself to do daily QWing of 10-15 minutes until the BBS celebrates 1000th thread, so I’ll keep on writing short pieces for almost 3 years to go. While keeping this ball going, I should also write essays or blog posts once in a week or two to “enjoy” scrutinizing every single word I select for my piece. It’s surely going to be a tough work, but that’s the way that I can possibly educate myself. Above all, I LOVE WRITING, so there should be no problem for me, right?

learn_from_mistakes.jpg
スポンサーサイト
管理者にだけ表示を許可する

プロフィール

Aya

Author:Aya
English learner

検索フォーム

Designed by

Ad

上記広告は1ヶ月以上更新のないブログに表示されています。新しい記事を書くことで広告を消せます。