How to fall in love with the English language?

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How to fall in love with the English language?

#1  Postby punter18 » Sep 29, 2010 5:43 am

:grin:

No, really. I'd want to know that. As far as my English goes I don't think I speak it as well as I write. While I talk to a few friends of mine who are comfortable with the language, I find that the speaking part takes a lot more effort on my part. And that bugs me quite a lot. :whine:

Christopher Hitchens contends his students that they should love English literature as much as he does. I find this an interesting proposition. I'd also want to love English literature. Tell me what should I be doing about it?

PS: The thought just struck my mind in the morning and I wanted people's views on it. As vague as this post may look, please don't mind it.

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Re: How to fall in love with the English language?

#2  Postby gleniedee » Sep 30, 2010 3:37 am

Tell me what should I be doing about it?



OK, I'll tell you,but you probably won't the answer:

READ for pleasure, not less than 3 books a week. Plus at least one newspaper a day every day.
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Re: How to fall in love with the English language?

#3  Postby mmmcheezy » Sep 30, 2010 3:40 am

I agree, pleasure reading is a big component of it. Give us a list of genres/authors you like and we can offer recommendations! We have a lot of bibliophiles around here, myself included, who would be more than happy to help.
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Re: How to fall in love with the English language?

#4  Postby pearlgirl » Sep 30, 2010 3:45 am

Wait, what? You mean you aren't in love with English already? :naughty2:
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Re: How to fall in love with the English language?

#5  Postby GenesForLife » Sep 30, 2010 4:43 am

Wrt speaking, I'd recommend lots of practise, and watching lots of movies and stuff.
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Re: How to fall in love with the English language?

#6  Postby Viraldi » Sep 30, 2010 4:45 am

I confess that reading with a British accent for me is all that will take me to read long literature, books, et al. And it also coincidentally gives me a smooth understanding of what I`m reading.
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Re: How to fall in love with the English language?

#7  Postby Preno » Sep 30, 2010 12:30 pm

punter18 wrote:Christopher Hitchens contends his students that they should love English literature as much as he does. I find this an interesting proposition. I'd also want to love English literature. Tell me what should I be doing about it?
Since when is Hitchens an authority on language learning? Personally, I don't give a shit about English literature and I reckon my spoken English is pretty okay.

The idea that your problems with spoken English specifically are going to be solved by reading more is just unspeakably bizarre. What is going to help you is, of course, speaking English. In case you can't find someone to speak to, you can always try speaking to yourself.
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Re: How to fall in love with the English language?

#8  Postby GenesForLife » Sep 30, 2010 12:44 pm

Well, in one way, reading more can build a vocabulary up, and that can improve the spoken language.
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Re: How to fall in love with the English language?

#9  Postby Blip » Sep 30, 2010 1:38 pm

I recommend reading (good) poetry written in English if you want to fall in love with the English language. And also, try writing some yourself.
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Re: How to fall in love with the English language?

#10  Postby Mazille » Sep 30, 2010 1:40 pm

Get an anglophone girl-/boyfriend. No easier way. :coffee:
- Pam.
- Yes?
- Get off the Pope.
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Re: How to fall in love with the English language?

#11  Postby natselrox » Sep 30, 2010 1:43 pm

There's a transgenic procedure. It'll cost you like...

Or maybe read the 8000 pages of the Ayodhya verdict.
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Re: How to fall in love with the English language?

#12  Postby GreyICE » Sep 30, 2010 2:19 pm

For speaking?

There's one way to learn to enjoy speaking. No, it's not been said on this thread: Enjoy communication.

You have to enjoy the process of give and take involved with conversation. You have to have ideas worth communicating, and learn the joys of watching your audience's face change as they learn and agree with you, suffer the frustrations of not being understood.

Want to speaking? Go over to the school or library. Volunteer to help kids learn math, learn to read, something along those lines. Kids are the best audience, if you can speak to them so they understand, you can talk to them.

When you enjoy what they learn from you, you're done. All that's left is mastering a handful of rhetorical devices, practicing explanations and passing ideas until you are great at it, and learning to think about what other people are saying and understand it, rather than ignoring it to make your own point (many people are good at give, and good at take. Very few are good at give and take).
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Re: How to fall in love with the English language?

#13  Postby punter18 » Sep 30, 2010 3:09 pm

Thanks for the replies, people.

gleniedee wrote:
Tell me what should I be doing about it?



OK, I'll tell you,but you probably won't the answer:

READ for pleasure, not less than 3 books a week. Plus at least one newspaper a day every day.


Books are great; I usually read them for pleasure. May be from now on I will make a more conscious effort of seeking pleasure while reading them. I don't hold the same opinion of newspapers though. As all articles are written by non-native speakers, I feel that they don't fulfill my need to learn more elaborate English, for instance. Probably reading newspapers online of reputed journals of US & UK might help?



mmmcheezy wrote:I agree, pleasure reading is a big component of it. Give us a list of genres/authors you like and we can offer recommendations! We have a lot of bibliophiles around here, myself included, who would be more than happy to help.


Alright. I prefer non-fiction. Anything that touches upon topics like religion, patriotism, economics, leadership, dietary, or even business-related issues (I am writing these from top of my head) would interest me. I do not have any specific preferences though. Not that I have anything against fiction novels either. If you have, or anyone, has some recommendations to make, I am open to it. BTW, TIA! :angel:

pearlgirl wrote:Wait, what? You mean you aren't in love with English already? :naughty2:


Not quite. Or at least not as much as I'd want to be. :confused:
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Re: How to fall in love with the English language?

#14  Postby trubble76 » Sep 30, 2010 3:22 pm

Considering that your written english is better than many natives, I don't think you have much to worry about. :cheers:
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Re: How to fall in love with the English language?

#15  Postby natselrox » Sep 30, 2010 3:24 pm

Hook up with Katrina Kaif.
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Re: How to fall in love with the English language?

#16  Postby GenesForLife » Sep 30, 2010 3:31 pm

trubble76 wrote:Considering that your written english is better than many natives, I don't think you have much to worry about. :cheers:


Guess it isn't always that written English should indicate ability in spoken English and vice-versa, I've had first hand experience, have scored 9 and 8 on the IELTS Speaking Test both times I've taken it, but only returned a score of 7 for writing. :scratch:
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Re: How to fall in love with the English language?

#17  Postby trubble76 » Sep 30, 2010 3:33 pm

GenesForLife wrote:
trubble76 wrote:Considering that your written english is better than many natives, I don't think you have much to worry about. :cheers:


Guess it isn't always that written English should indicate ability in spoken English and vice-versa, I've had first hand experience, have scored 9 and 8 on the IELTS Speaking Test both times I've taken it, but only returned a score of 7 for writing. :scratch:


No, but being adept at one will without a doubt help in t'other.
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Re: How to fall in love with the English language?

#18  Postby natselrox » Sep 30, 2010 3:34 pm

trubble76 wrote:
GenesForLife wrote:
trubble76 wrote:Considering that your written english is better than many natives, I don't think you have much to worry about. :cheers:


Guess it isn't always that written English should indicate ability in spoken English and vice-versa, I've had first hand experience, have scored 9 and 8 on the IELTS Speaking Test both times I've taken it, but only returned a score of 7 for writing. :scratch:


No, but being adept at one will without a doubt help in t'other.


Unless you have a form of aphasia!

(Boy! I'm on a roll tonight!)
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Re: How to fall in love with the English language?

#19  Postby I'm With Stupid » Sep 30, 2010 3:39 pm

punter18 wrote:Probably reading newspapers online of reputed journals of US & UK might help?

Well yeah.

There's also a myth that you need to speak to a native speaker to see any improvement in your speaking. It's bollocks. Obviously being under the supervision of a proper teacher will help you weed out the mistakes, but any English-speaking you can do will help. In fact, if you can, find people who don't speak your language, because it will force you to only use English.

It's fairly typical for people living in areas where English isn't the first language to have much better reading and writing than speaking and listening. So another thing you could do would be to listen to English-language radio. The BBC iPlayer radio content is available all around the world, and Radio 4 in particular has a wealth of different programme types. Other than that, you wouldn't be here if you weren't interested in all of the lectures that people often post. Remember that half of a conversation is listening.
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Re: How to fall in love with the English language?

#20  Postby I'm With Stupid » Sep 30, 2010 3:41 pm

trubble76 wrote:
GenesForLife wrote:
trubble76 wrote:Considering that your written english is better than many natives, I don't think you have much to worry about. :cheers:


Guess it isn't always that written English should indicate ability in spoken English and vice-versa, I've had first hand experience, have scored 9 and 8 on the IELTS Speaking Test both times I've taken it, but only returned a score of 7 for writing. :scratch:


No, but being adept at one will without a doubt help in t'other.

Not always. The most common reason why you'll fail to understand a non native speaker will be their pronunciation, and written English cannot help with this.
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