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QW 050312 “Much More”

The initial purpose for me to take Skype English lessons was to secure time and opportunities to speak English with someone every day. The daily English language teaching surely gives me opportunities to speak English, but it’s completely different, and it should be, from what we do with English speaking friends and colleagues in real world. In real world communication, you need to co-construct conversations with the interlocutor by seeking topics that may interest both parties, presenting your own ideas and thoughts in intelligible manners, repairing what you really wanted to say when you’re not understood or mistaken, taking turns naturally and equally, and ending conversations in proper manners. I was completely aware that I needed to practice speaking with someone intensively to be a really good speaker of English who can pull off all those things aforementioned.

In real world communication, you cannot always choose what you talk about. Sometimes you may need to talk about the things that you’re not familiar with or have no idea of. You may need to maintain conversations while quickly coming up with how to respond without the help of any background knowledge or preparation. That was one of the things that I wanted to do with tutors on Skype English lessons. That is why I intentionally didn’t pre-study the article of the day before taking lessons. I wanted to put myself in a situation which is a bit more authentic in a sense that I can never prepare for anything.

After four months passed since I had started taking lessons, however, I’m now thinking that I need to do something much more. Much more than just co-constructing conversations with tutors spontaneously. Almost all the tutors are so cooperative and professional in maintaining the conversations because it’s their job to let us “talk”. It seems like my “honeymoon period” with them already passed, and now I’ll need to face the reality. The reality that I need to invest much more of my energy to be a really good speaker of English. I’m on “Operation Vowels” to improve my pronunciation and neutralize my L1 influenced accent, but I think I should work on another area of speaking. That could be a richer variety of vocabulary use and sentence construction, or discussion skills or pragmatics. If the area is identified, then I’ll need to consider how to develop it. My English learning life goes on.

(50 minutes / 400 words)

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Aya

Author:Aya
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