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Jest to blog Bartosza Goździeniaka.

Thinking

Posted by Bartosz Goździeniak
Bartosz Goździeniak
An English teacher and proud of it.
User is currently offline
on czwartek, 19 wrzesień 2013 in Learning English

The obvious

Many people imagine that when they're learning English they really think about what they're doing and concentrate at their hardest. This isn't that obvious since we are very often used to doing many things at the same time, and many thoughts cross our minds. Yet, this entry is not about concentration, but about thinking.

 

The right words, the wrong time

In my teaching career I have quite often been faced with situations when my students made correct sentences but their phrases didn't make any sense at all in a given situation. I have tried to figure out why this is happening and the only conclusion I can draw is that they focus too much on the form, not the content. When you're learning a foreign language you need to cope with quite a difficult, dual task. First, there's the vocabulary and grammar; second, there's the actual message.

 

Example

Let's think of a lesson when we revise present time tenses. I start and ask my student about his daily routines and after I get all the answers the roles change. The first question is: 'What time do you have lunch?'. OK, I answer that usually at 2 pm. The next questios I hear is: 'What do you do at 2 pm?'.Can you see it? The words are all right but the question, in fact, doesn't make any sense at all.

 

Prevention

The only advice I can give to students is that before you say anything think twice. Simply double check your message. It can't be done easily, especially when we're not yet conident with the language you're learning. Take time to think, speak slowly but fluently. Nobody is going to be mad at you because you speak slowly, but they can get annoyed when you talk nonsense.

I am quite aware of the fact that students might feel the pressure of speaking correctly as far as both content and form are concerned. This is really stressful. I'm going to cover dealing with stress in my next post.

Thank you for now!

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