Thirst for a new culture

Keywords: Languages and Communication , culture , languages , learning

For us to communicate clearly in our native language and in second and more languages to come we need to engage in activities that put us out there such as the following:

When Japanese junior and senior high school students try to improve their English pronunciation, their biggest obstacle is “surrounding eyes”

Keywords: japan , english , high school students , japanese high schools , japanese students , learning languages , linguistics , pronunciation , schools , students , teaching english in japan

It can be disheartening to see students with excellent English abilities purposely lowering their level of proficiency to “fit in” with their classmates. However, it’s also an understandable thing to do when you’re young and impressionable.

The Disconnect Between Speaking, Reading, and Writing

Language, Language classes, Language fluency, Language learning, Language skills, Speaking tests

Tips from a Language Lover

One problem I noticed early on in my language learning career was that I was always better and more comfortable reading than writing and especially speaking.

One problem I noticed early on in my language learning career was that I was
always better and more comfortable reading and writing than speaking.

I never really had much trouble writing short paragraphs and reading comprehension
exercises were fairly easy. Heck, when I had to write a research paper, my only
real concern was getting close to the required length.

But speaking was a completely different monster. Most times when I was asked
a question in class, I would respond with my go-to phrase “je ne sais
” (I don’t know). Listening exercises were a special torture
because I was so used to hearing my classmates slowly pronounce every single
syllable with a weak to non-existent accent that hearing a native…

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syntactic priming

syntactic priming

Keep It Simple Activities

Syntactic priming is the process that takes place when we make predictions upon hearing certain grammatical patterns which guide us to guess the string of words that are more likely to be uttered next based on our previous encounters with those patterns. Basically we are constantly building sentences based on what we hear, which are next confirmed or then reformulated. We hypothesise. We fill gaps. This is one of the reasons why listening -far from being a receptive process- is very much an active skill.

A very productive activity for any language level is to have students engaged in some “syntactiv priming” from a reading passage or the transcript of a listening extract from the textbook after it has been read or listened to and they have done some work around it.

Here is an extract from a reading passage from Sure Intermediate, Student’s Book, Helbling English. Free sample from…

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