~ Discuss with a teacher, in pairs, or in groups ~ Then share your results in a classroom discussion ~

1) To begin with, in groups or in pairs, select the questions you¡¯d like to talk about. 

2) Then, in pairs or in groups, ask questions and share ideas in your conversations .

3) Finally, share your ideas (each individual) in a classroom discussion (with all pairs/groups).



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~ Dialog ~ Topic 1 ~ Studying English ~ Choose questions ~ Samples are below ~


1) For how long have you been studying English? Off and on or continuously? Explain.

I¡¯ve been studying English forever, since I was in elementary school. I don¡¯t remember exactly, but maybe I began in the third grade. It was boring. Didn¡¯t learn anything.


2) Who was your first English teacher? What do you remember about that class?

The school used the audio-lingual approach/army method. Simply, the teacher made sentences, and the students repeated them time and again. Then we would write in books.


3) How often do you study English? Do you have a favorite place? Who with?

I study English at home every morning. I usually listen to a radio program but sometimes tune in to educational shows on TV. I also use textbooks and the internet. By myself.


4) What is your favorite way to study English (speaking/listening/writing/reading/other)?

I like watching movies with subtitles. I guess that¡¯s listening (watching?) and reading.

In that way it seems to be a passive form of studying. But I¡¯m learning at the same time.


5) Why are you learning English? Do you need a reason? How about to make friends?

I think I just like languages in general. The world uses hundreds of different languages

every day. It seems to me that language more or less created our cultures. Interesting.


6) How do you use the Internet to study English? What websites do you use?

I use social media. I have a few accounts and many contacts. I try to use my English there.

It can be stressful, because it's difficult to know what other people actually think.


7) What forms of social media can you use when you study? Are they helpful?

I use various chat group forums (facebook). They are easy to join and, most of the time,

the members are eager and helpful. You just have to take the time to find them (locally).


8) Do you think it is necessary to learn textbook grammar? Why or why not?

Some grammar is useful, but I think lessons focusing on grammar are a waste of time.

Maybe grammar is ¡°over taught¡± in non-native countries¡¦ and testing doesn¡¯t help.


9) How can learners improve their pronunciation? How important is it?

Pronunciation can/should be learned online. It¡¯s just a matter of practice and repetition.


10) What is the difference between fluency and accuracy? Which is more important? Why?

Accuracy is the formal part, like grammar, and fluency is communicating ideas on time.

Both are important, but fluency, the ability to express yourself, is much more important.



More questions ~ the original 25 questions ~




~ Topic 1 ~ Studying English ~ Food for Thought ~ Internet ~


Fluency versus Accuracy: Fluency is the native speaker pace of speaking that is achieved when the learner of a second language is confident and communicative. Accuracy is the grammatical output a non-native speaker produces. It involves word order, selection of vocabulary, the use of verb tenses, and the blunders that social norms imply.


Fossilization: Interlanguage is the place where all language learners reside. Too often it¡¯s a bus stop or terminal. Fossilization is a phenomenon of second language acquisition (SLA) where learners turn their second language into a dinosaur of their own making. They fail to learn new ways of speaking and fall into the comfort of their present (permenant?) way. 


Lingua Franca: Also known as a bridge languagecommon languagetrade language, or link language is a language used to make communication possible between people who do not share a native language or dialect. Particularly when it is a third language, both speakers struggle with their dialects. These dialects often transfer into English pronunciation. The confusion is compounded by lack of patience.


ESL/EFL: An ESL classroom is one in which English is the primary national language. On the other hand, an EFL classroom is one in which English is not the native language, as is true of most Asian countries, where it is common to learn to speak more than one foreign language. For these reasons, ESL is typically the term used in North America, whereas EFL is more often the term of choice in countries where English is not the native language.


A Contrastive Analysis Approach: Language teaching practice often assumes that most of the difficulties that learners face in the study of English are a consequence of the degree to which their native language differs from English. A native speaker of Chinese, for example, may face many more difficulties than a native speaker of German, because German is more closely related to English than Chinese. This may be true for anyone of any mother tongue (also called first language, normally abbreviated L1) setting out to learn any other language (called a target language, second language, or L2).


Intelligibility: The idea that pronunciation is unavoidably diverse, due to the fact that English is a global language, is a matter of common knowledge. If speakers of English from various backgrounds, cultures, and countries can comprehend and communicate, the idea of ¡°correct pronunciation¡± is no longer relevant. In other words, intelligibility is the priority versus having a particular accent or dialect.



                                         ~ More questions ~ the original 25 questions ~






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