El Poder de Leer y Hablar en Voz Alta

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Escribió por: Keith, un profesor de inglés en Verbling

Algunas personas tienen miedo de su propia voz. Tienen miedo de cometer errores, de sonar como un extranjero, de tropezar en las palabras, o de quedarse inmóvil y no decir nada. Estos miedos paralizan y mutilan los estudiantes del idioma. El poder de su voz es una manera de superar esos miedos y mejorar su fluidez en otro idioma.

Leer y hablar en voz alta en un idioma extranjero es muy potente. Cuando se habla y se escucha en otro idioma, tres cosas se pasarán. Primero, su dicción en ese idioma mejorará. Segundo, tendrá más confianza hablar ese idioma. Tercero, su sonido en ese idioma se convertirá en algo natural y cerca de un hablante nativo.

Pues, se dice que no habla en voz alta en público. Se daría vergüenza si otros lo vieron. ¡No se preocupe! Encuentre una habitación tranquila o jardín desierto por 30 minutos o más. Cierre las puertas y el mundo completo. Cuando no hay distracciones, se puede concentrar en la lectura y el habla. En el principio, recomiendo que use lecturas fáciles. No es importante que entienda todo lo que lee. Esta actividad es sólo para mejorar su dicción y fluidez del idioma y nada más.

Hay muchas cosas que se lee. Se ponga su niño interior. Lea libros para niños. Entonces, encuentre artículos interesantes en el idioma que ya lee en su lenguaje. Está bien hablar las mismas lecturas una y otra vez. De hecho, su cerebro comenzará a ver los patrones si se ve los mismos materiales más de una o dos veces. La frecuencia es más importante que el tipo de lectura. Lo importante es que se lee en voz alta con frecuencia y de manera regular. Antes de que se dé cuenta, tendrá más confianza  y ser capaz de hablar como un nativo.

Keith

Sobre el autor: Keith Walters ha dedicado su vida para ayudar a otros con el aprendizaje de idiomas. Tras estudiar español y se graduó con una licenciatura en español, Keith sabe lo que se necesita para lograr fluidez en otro idioma. Vive en Fénix, Arizona, EE.UU. y ha enseñado español e inglés.  Keith publicó su primer libro, So You Want to Learn Spanish?, en 2012 y se vende en el sitio de Amazon ahora. Enseñar en Verbling, Keith puede personalizar sus lecciones para alcanzar sus objetivos. Por favor, visita su perfil aquí.

The Importance of Making Mistakes

Chiara

By Chiara Della Santina, an Italian teacher on Verbling

Nobody likes to be wrong. Nobody wants to look stupid.

That’s why learning a foreign language can be scary: because making mistakes feels exactly this way.

I have been both a language teacher and a language student for many years, therefore I have experienced both ends of the spectrum. And my conclusion is that making mistakes is the best and most efficient way to learn and become fluent in another language! How can we overcome the fear of sounding goofy in the face of our teacher, then? Or even worse, the fear of being laughed at by our classmates?

The answer is simple: let’s look at mistakes in another way. From another perspective. What if we could look at mistakes and see wonderful opportunities for improvement instead of scary moments of public ridiculing?

In this article, I will explain to you why I am such a convinced supporter of mistakes and hopefully will help you feel less scared of making them.

  • What is a mistake anyway?

In the eye of the students, a mistake is something frowned upon; something to be desperately avoided. It’s that word, or even that specific sound that they should have learnt how to pronounce by now, but still haven’t. It’s that “weird” sentence structure that makes sense in their head but not quite as much when they say it out loud. It’s the evidence that proves to the teacher that they didn’t study hard enough or that their teaching methods were not as effective as hoped. It’s the moment when they know that they are about to give everybody else who is in the same room a big fat laugh.

Well, I agree with you: put in these terms, making mistakes sounds like really scary stuff.

Let’s have a look at the other side for a moment, though. In the eye of the teachers, a mistake is a wonderful golden gate! A bright, shiny gate onto the student’s difficulties and unspoken doubts. It’s the red thread that finally leads to the dissolution of all hidden knots that cause problems and difficulties along the student’s learning path. It’s the only way that teachers can spot out both existing and potential struggles and hinders.

So, rest assure: teachers welcome mistakes! In fact, they are looking for them in order to know how to proceed and shift their targets. They are nothing else but indicators of what may need to be changed in their teaching methods, what may need to be integrated to the students’ existing knowledge and they help them predict future problems. Not even for a second do teachers think “oh my God, this student is really dumb!”

Ok, does this sound less stressful than the previous scenario?

  • Playing with the language is fundamental for a better understanding.

Moving words around helps students to learn sentence structure. Playing with stress and intonation enhances a more natural pronunciation and expressivity. Juggling with verbs and prepositions boosts confidence and makes it easier for students to predict language patterns.

All these techniques are so helpful and make such a great difference when learning a new language. But can they be performed without making mistakes? The answer is no. Of course not. Even in this case, making mistakes is a necessary step along the way. In this case, mistakes are the equivalent of street signs: they show you where it is allowed to go and where it is not. Think of when you were a child. How did you learn how to speak besides listening and repeating what you used to hear? You probably went through a phase where you used to make up new words or phrases. Did someone call you stupid? Probably no. Most likely, they simply told you that that particular word did not exist or that phrase didn’t make sense. This way you simply learnt what worked and what did not work. The logic is the same, only now you are an adult and therefore more aware of what you do. Being an adult doesn’t mean that you have to stop having fun. You can be a totally respectful example of a grown up person and, at the same time, play with words and grammar as much as you like!

  • For a moment, then, let’s imagine that mistakes are nothing but healthy steps along the language learning process. Let’s believe that they are the best tools that we have in order to teach ourselves how to speak correctly. Do we still find it scary to learn a foreign language? Probably, the answer is: not really. If we aren’t afraid of making mistakes, learning a language goes back to being a great, enriching experience that allows us to be able to naturally interact with people from the country that we love as well as experience and understand their culture better.

In conclusion, remember: mistakes are the best way to learn a language. Change your attitude towards them and use them in your favour:

  • Make mistakes often: the more you make mistakes, the faster you will improve.
  • Learn from your mistakes: study your mistakes! Note down recurrent mistakes and next to each of them write your corrections and teacher’s feedback so that you can always refer to it when you look back.
  • Be happy when you make mistakes and think: now I know how to say it better!

 

Chiara1

Chiara was born in Italy, but has spent most of her adult life studying and working between Dublin and London. Originally, she is from a lovely town in Southern Tuscany. She was raised bilingually in English and Italian. She did a Master’s in Linguistics at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London and is a CELTA and TEFL certified English and Italian teacher. She has always shown a deep interest in languages, communication and teaching. In fact, she can speak 5 languages and has a long experience of private tutoring, teaching in class, one-to-one and online. Her students range from teenagers, all the way up to professionals and retired businessmen. At the moment, she is a full-time teacher of English and Italian, and teaches Italian on Verbling. Whenever she has time for herself, she plays tennis and takes yoga classes to explore the in-depths of human nature. She has an inquisitive personality and has lots of hobbies, like reading about philosophy and ancient religions, traveling, knitting and singing. She is very creative and loves her job.

¿Qué podemos hacer para desarrollar una excelente sesión de prueba en Verbling?

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Autor: José Antonio Maldonado Popa, Tutor ELE en Verbling

Basado en mi experiencia personal en sesiones de prueba en el sitio Verbling.

Creo firmemente que la cooperación y el intercambio de experiencias es una de las piezas fundamentales en el trabajo de los profesores de idiomas, y en este caso específico, de los profesores de español como lengua extranjera.

Para nadie es novedoso que cuando nos rompemos la cabeza buscando nuevas ideas para nuestras clases pues lo primero que hacemos es buscar información en internet. Lo que encontramos entonces es, no solamente recursos e ideas, sino también sitios o blogs donde nuestros colegas comparten su experiencia.

Por eso en este pequeño artículo quiero hacer un humilde aporte y me refiero principalmente a lo que podemos implementar en nuestras sesiones de prueba en el sitio Verbling.

En mi caso particular cuando un estudiante de Verbling me envía un mensaje de pedido de tutor ahí comienza mi pobre cerebro a tratar de diseñar algo que pudiera ser, primero, lo suficientemente cálido para romper el hielo, segundo, lo suficientemente útil para que el estudiante entienda como se van a armar las lecciones según sus necesidades y niveles, por último pero no menos importante, lo suficientemente cautivador para que el estudiante se sienta motivado a continuar.

He aquí, sin más preámbulos, lo que usualmente hago en mis sesiones de prueba (en inglés o español):

1. Antes que todo darle una calurosa bienvenida no solamente a tus clases particulares sino también al universo de Verbling. Esto hará sentir al alumno como parte de una comunidad y como parte de un proyecto conjunto comprometido en que él o ella aprenda el idioma en cuestión. También le puedes decir que la sesión se dividirá en tres partes: primero, donde van a conocerse (esta parte es muy importante ya que puedes tomar notas de interés para preparar las clases), segundo donde se conocerá el por qué y para qué quiere aprender español (por qué=causa/para qué=fin) y tercero fijar los días y los horarios en que el alumno desea tomar sus lecciones.

2. Ahora llega el momento de conocerse. Puedes decirle al alumno/a que este es un buen momento para hablar de él o ella, de su profesión, de sus gustos, lo que no le gusta a nivel personal, lo que le gusta hacer en su tiempo libre, preferencias, etc. Esto nos dará una idea del perfil del estudiante para personalizar las clases. Cuando termine es muy aconsejable que le hables de ti para que el estudiante se sienta cómodo.

3. En esta parte del por qué y el para qué es muy conveniente explicar la diferencia entre ambos porque usualmente se cree que es lo mismo. Siempre explicarle al alumno que la razón de un punto de partida y el fin que queremos alcanzar son dos cosas diferentes es algo muy provechoso. Ambos procesos son esenciales y precisan estar claros y bien definidos en el alumno.

4. Y tercero pero no último, podemos arreglar con mucha calma la frecuencia de clases. Muchos alumnos te preguntarán cuál es la frecuencia más aconsejable y en mi caso personal siempre aconsejo arrancar con dos veces a las semana y después el estudiante decidirá si reduce o aumenta esta frecuencia. También tener claro los días y horarios que se tomarán las lecciones es importante para que no haya confusiones posteriormente.

Como ven, queridos colegas, esto puede ser tomado como un buen plan para un excelente comienzo con el alumno. A veces cuando el tiempo se acorta pues empleo el tiempo restante en un test de nivelación. Este último puede ser hecho en la sesión posterior a la sesión de prueba ya que el que utilizo que es el del Instituto Cervantes (http://ave.cervantes.es/prueba_nivel/default.htm) y puede resultar un poco largo. Consta de 30 a 60 preguntas e incluye una prueba de comprensión auditiva y lectora. Hacerla me ha traído buenos dividendos ya que puedo anotar los contenidos gramaticales y lexicales que necesitará el alumno en sus próximas sesiones a partir de los errores que cometa en la prueba.

Para terminar, los exhorto estimados colegas, a que no tomen esta guía como algo definitivo y estoy abierto a sugerencias para que estas sesiones de prueba sean ejecutadas de forma magistral en beneficio nuestro, y en especial, de los alumnos.

Jose

Profesor de inglés y español como lengua extranjera. Estudió Pedagogía en el Instituto Pedagógico “José de la Luz y Caballero” de Holguin, Cuba. Trabajó como profesor de inglés en diferentes grupos etarios, desde alumnos de secundaria hasta estudiantes universitarios. Actualmente reside en Buenos Aires, Argentina donde se especializó en la enseñanza del español como lengua extranjera y que se ha convertido en su pasión profesional . Padre, esposo y cubano de pura cepa.

5 things teachers are really thinking during class

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Worried about what your teacher really thinks about you? Don’t be! Denette, an English teacher here on Verbling, writes what teachers truly think:

  • You don’t need to say sorry, or apologize for your writing, reading, pronunciation, listening, or speaking level. Take a deep breath and think positively; Don’t forget I am also studying a new language and I make the same mistakes with my teacher. Be proud of your amazing self; I am!!
  • I think your accent is adorable, and I wish you believed me when I complimented you in class. We are all working to improve our accents and speak like a native speaker, and with time your speech will naturally improve.
  • You are improving, even if at times you may become frustrated with your progress. Learning a language takes time, and everyone fluctuates with their understanding and speaking of a new language. I promise you are improving, so don’t quit. Be patient with yourself.
  • I am curious about what you find interesting and exciting. You will learn and retain more if the class topic is interesting to you. Seek out classes that excite you, not lessons that put you to sleep. Give feedback about what you like and don’t like about our classes, this helps me provide the best lessons for you.
  • If something is too hard, too easy, if you want more speaking, more writing, more listening, more music, more chocolate, less vegetables… please tell me. I love new ideas—especially your new ideas.

About the author:

Denette Kenison is a language loving, globetrotting and curious lass. She is currently learning Brazilian Portuguese, and how to be one of the cool kids who tells clever jokes. She Loves Macaw parrots, and teaches English here on Verbling.

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“Creativity is intelligence having fun” – Albert Einstein

7 dicas para você passar em entrevistas em inglês

Hiring process horizontal banner set with people waiting for recruitment interview flat elements isolated vector illustration

Hiring process horizontal banner set with people waiting for recruitment interview flat elements isolated vector illustration

 

Você vai fazer uma entrevista naquela empresa dos sonhos. Está indo bem e parece confiante de que a vaga é sua, quando de repente o entrevistador pergunta se pode conversar em inglês. Você não pode negar. E agora?

Essa é só uma das situações onde se preparar para uma entrevista em inglês é útil. Grandes empresas atuando no Brasil hoje utilizam deste artifício para filtrar candidatos que não dominam bem o idioma. Além disso, se você estiver pensando em trabalhar no exterior ou conseguir uma vaga pela internet, mandar bem na entrevista é essencial para sair com a proposta de trabalho debaixo do braço.

Para não ser surpreendido, confira as 7 melhores dicas para você sair de uma entrevista de emprego em inglês com um sorriso no rosto:

  1. Seja Educado

Educação é essencial em qualquer lugar, ainda mais em uma entrevista de emprego em inglês. Você pode estar com o nervosismo em alta e uma boa dose de educação pode ajudar, gerando empatia na pessoa que está do outro lado e deixando o ambiente da entrevista mais leve. Antes de fazer uma pergunta, diga “may I ask …”, gaste o seu “you’re welcome” a cada “thank you” recebido e também agradeça quando for necessário.

  1. Seja formal de acordo com a vaga

Adaptar-se às situações onde você está inserido sempre vale a pena. Em uma entrevista de emprego em inglês não é diferente. A ideia aqui é ficar atento à forma como as comunicações anteriores com a empresa foram feitas e ao perfil necessário para a vaga que você está concorrendo.

Caso sua entrevista seja para postos ligados à empresas mais sérias, como firmas de direito e consultoria, vale a pena manter uma linguagem mais formal. Evite gírias, contrações (como “wanna”) e vícios de linguagem, como a repetição de “you know” ou pausas como “ãnn..”.

Já se você está concorrendo a uma vaga que exija menos formalidade – como bartender, atendimento ao público em certos eventos e até em novas empresas de tecnologia – vale a pena se soltar mais. Foque em ser espontâneo e usar o vocabulário em inglês com o qual se sente mais confortável. Gírias leves e um tom mais descontraído passam a ser apropriados. Mas atenção: o exagero também pode causar uma má impressão. Evite ir fundo demais, como na troca de “you” por “ya” e “because” por “cause”.

  1. Mostre humildade

Nem todas as entrevistas que você fará serão para vagas de emprego onde o inglês fluente é exigido. Para vagas onde o idioma é requerido apenas a nível básico ou intermediário, não é vergonha alguma pedir desculpas antecipadamente e dizer que seu inglês não é fluente. Isso pode preparar o avaliador para eventuais gaguejos ou erros gramaticais na hora de falar, além de mostrar humildade. Você também levanta a oportunidade de dizer que ainda está estudando e se esforçando no idioma – determinação e trabalho duro são fatores muito valorizados no mercado de trabalho.

  1. Quebre o gelo

Muitas vezes ficamos um pouco nervosos e ansiosos em entrevistas feitas em português, imagina em entrevistas feitas em inglês. Uma boa tática é tentar quebrar o gelo com questões rotineiras antes da entrevista começar. Perguntar como o entrevistador está (“How are you doing today?”) é sempre um bom começo. Se a entrevista for feita pela internet, este é o momento de verificar que seu áudio e vídeo estão funcionando de forma correta (“Do you hear me clearly?”).

  1. Prepare-se para perguntas comuns

Não importa a empresa ou a posição, há certas perguntas que todo profissional de recursos humanos acaba fazendo para a maioria dos candidatos. Preparar-se para elas – e algumas podem ser difíceis de responder – é importante para que você não fique naquele silêncio constrangedor enquanto o outro lado espera uma resposta. Algumas das perguntas mais frequentes em entrevistas de emprego em inglês são:

Tell me about yourself. – Me fale sobre você.

How would you describe yourself? – Como você se descreveria?

Why do you want this job? – Por que você quer esse trabalho?

Can you tell me about your last job? – Você poderia me contar sobre o seu último emprego?

What were your responsibilities? – Quais eram suas responsabilidades?

What are your strengths and weaknesses? – Quais são seus pontos fortes e fracos?

Why should we hire you? – Por que deveríamos contratá-lo?

  1. Aprenda o vocabulário específico

Dependendo da entrevista, você pode se ver obrigado a usar palavras específicas ao ramo daquela empresa. Por isso, é interessante estudar o vocabulário adequado para não se complicar na hora de falar. Caso vá trabalhar no mercado de ações, por exemplo, palavras como “stocks”, “equity” e “profit”, além de jargões da indústria como “blue chips”, “bull” e “hedge” podem ser úteis. Se for trabalhar com marketing digital, vale a pena ficar atento à siglas como “SEO”, “KPI”, “CPC” e palavras como “ads”, “branding” e “keywords”. O mesmo vale para outros setores.

  1. Pratique

Essa talvez seja a dica mais importante. Para você chegar na entrevista preparado e mais confiante, é essencial praticar. Você já estudou algumas das perguntas mais frequentes e um pouco do vocabulário necessário, mas imaginar as respostas na cabeça geralmente não é a preparação adequada para uma entrevista de emprego em inglês. Nessa hora, vale praticar na frente do espelho e repetir as prováveis perguntas para si mesmo. Assim, você vai se adaptando com as frases que usará e pode ir melhorando suas próprias respostas.

Caso você precise treinar para uma entrevista, você pode falar com um professor de inglês em Verbling.com e pedir para que ele(a) faça o papel de entrevistador e mude a forma como faz as perguntas, inclusive pressionando e fazendo questionamentos mais específicos. Se for aquela vaga dos sonhos, vale considerar uma preparação mais longa com um professor particular, focando no vocabulário que você espera utilizar e nas perguntas que poderão ser feitas.

E aí, gostou das dicas? Então comece a se preparar já! Boa sorte!

Sobre o autor:

Pedro Silveira é um explorador. Experimentou o estilo de vida americano nos Estados Unidos antes de se mudar para a China, onde ficou por 2 anos. Trabalhou com traduções e localizações de jogos, busca notícias sobre futebol em diversas línguas e acredita na imersão cultural como a maneira mais rápida e eficaz de se aprender um novo idioma.

 

Forget About Fluency: Rethinking Your Language Learning Experience

Business person in ready position on track for running and chasing his aim

Fluency: The ability to speak or write a foreign language easily and accurately.

Proficiency: A high degree of competence or skill; expertise.

When you step back and imagine yourself speaking a foreign language, what do you see? Do you see yourself strategizing with a coworker in an overseas business office? Having lunch with your new foreign friends at a cafe? Perhaps you appreciate knowing the more “colorful” words in a foreign language; you imagine yourself responding with the perfect retort to the elderly neighbor next door who hates your music playing and frequently swears at you in Russian. Regardless of where your imagination takes you, not everyone shares the same vision of how they plan to utilize a new language. We all have different motivations and use language for different purposes. Yet, most of us adhere to a linear language learning process that contains no personal customization.

DON’T BE DISCOURAGED

Language learning schools, textbooks, online softwares and games define our perception of language learning — a process for the masses with the end goal of helping you achieve fluency in a new language. Yes, fluency–the Mount Everest of your language learning journey.  Maybe you are just starting to learn a language, or still have far to go. You might look at all these boring programs and books that promise fluency overnight and tell yourself, “It’s hopeless. I’ll never be fluent.”

Many of us share the perception that anything short of reaching fluency is failing – which couldn’t be further than the truth.  Being able to enjoyably connect with anyone in a foreign language is an incredible accomplishment. It is one interaction you would never have without learning new words in a new language. And guess what? You don’t need to be fluent to share such an experience.

FORGET ABOUT FLUENCY

What if you forgot about fluency and everything you think is expected out of a language learner, and instead focused on a much more tangible goal? What if you asked yourself: “How can I be proficient in a particular area of a foreign language that is most useful to my life?” The answer won’t be 400 hours of studying (the suggested time necessary to reach fluency). Depending on the topic, it could be as low as 4 hours. Benny Lewis, a polyglot famous for speaking over 10 languages, managed to speak to a Polish local after studying Polish for just one hour. He didn’t focus on abstract goals; he focused on a tangible goal he could accomplish easily.  

Rethink your language learning goals and make them less intimidating and more attainable. It will truly simplify your process and make your efforts instantly rewarding. Come up with a first goal that you know will keep you positive and energetic early in your learning process. In fact David Zen, a Los Angeles based multi-linguist, only recommends to “[learn] stuff you can start using immediately in any conversation… The more of a connection there is between the material and your life, the quicker you’ll remember and be able to use it in real life.” Numerous polyglots follow the exact approach that David Zen highlights, and so should you.

CREATE AN ACTION PLAN

Our team at Verbling created a simple worksheet (which you can download herethat helps language learners like you define your first goal in learning a new language and quickly visualize an action plan. Commit to learning a foreign language at least one hour a week (if you do not commit to a routine, your results will be very difficult to achieve). Set a reasonable deadline for achieving goal #1. Try to keep this deadline anywhere between 3 weeks to 3 months (anything longer than 3 months could take away your sense of urgency). Print this page, fill out the worksheet, and put it in an easily accessible place. That way, you can easily remind yourself of your goals.

LANGUAGE LEARNING WORKSHEET: IDENTIFYING GOAL #1
I am learning ________________. (Example: “English”)
Why am I learning this language? (Example: “to qualify for an engineering job overseas”)

 

GOAL # 1
Based on my previous answer, what is an interaction I would like to have in a foreign language?  (Example: “acing an interview for the job of my dreams”)

 

MY PLAN
What kind of vocabulary do I need to learn to be able to accomplish goal #1? (Example: “technical terms specific to the engineering field”)

 

What grammar rules do I need to learn to accomplish goal #1? (Example: “past and present tense when talking about my past and current work experiences”)

 

How many hours a week can I devote to learning? (Example: “2 hours a week around my work schedule”)

 

What is my deadline to reach goal #1? (Example: “I want to apply to jobs by October, so my deadline is September 30”)

 

TAKE OWNERSHIP

Now that you have a feasible goal in mind, how do you ensure that you set yourself up for success? Assuming your goal requires speaking and listening, Verbling is a perfect fit.  

Most language learning services define the language learning process for you. They have rigid curricula and quizzes that are not necessarily focused on the topics you want to cover to reach your goal. Verbling is an open platform with no rigid curriculum; Verbling does not force you to learn a certain way or a certain topic. On Verbling, you can learn what you want, when you want, with whatever teacher you want. You own your language learning process. Work together with one of Verbling’s hundreds of qualified teachers to create a customized plan that covers the exact topics you highlighted in your worksheet to accomplish your initial goal.

Share your language learning goal worksheet with your Verbling teacher. Ask him or her, “How many lessons would it take for me to become proficient in these topics? Do you think my deadline is realistic? How can you help me achieve my goal?” For example, if a student decides that his first goal is to learn enough Italian to be able to discuss Italian “calcio” with other soccer enthusiasts, he should ask the teacher, “Will 10 lessons with you help me learn how to diss Mario Balotelli to my Italian soccer friends?” No matter what your teacher’s response might be–or where their soccer allegiances lie–you will know how to accomplish your goals a whole lot faster than you originally thought.

 

About the author:

Alex Alpert is part of the Verbling team and speaks Hebrew, Spanish, and English. Alex has a BA in Economics and International Relations from Boston University. Aside from managing business development and marketing for Verbling, Alex enjoys traveling, comedy, music, and Capoeira.

Os 8 Erros de Pronúncia Que Os Brasileiros Mais Cometem em Inglês

Word portuguese made with block wooden letters next to a pile of other letters over the wooden board surface composition

“Brazilian?” Muitos estrangeiros tem facilidade em identificar que somos do Brasil apenas pela nossa pronúncia do inglês. Quem já foi pro exterior sabe que mesmo nós que somos daqui conseguimos identificar outros Brasileiros na rua só pelo sotaque no idioma. Isso não acontece por acaso. O português e o inglês tem certas diferenças de pronúncia que são de difícil compreensão para nós brasileiros.

Foi pensando nisso que fizemos esta lista com os 9 erros de pronúncia que os brasileiros mais cometem em inglês. Confira:

  1. Palavras com R

No português, a diferença de pronúncia do R se dá com a duplicação da letra. É assim que diferenciamos a pronúncia de “caro” e “carro”, por exemplo. No inglês, tal diferenciação não existe. Em geral, as palavras com R tem a pronúncia mais parecida com o “RR” em português, enquanto que o “R” simples no nosso idioma é mais usado para palavras começando com “W” ou “H” no inglês. Veja alguns exemplos:

Palavras com W e H – pronúncia semelhante ao nosso R

Who, Whom, Habit, Hair, Head, Honey, Hope.

Palavras com R – pronúncia semelhante ao nosso RR

Red, Rare, Read, Rabbit, Room.

Pra não deixar passar, vale lembrar que algumas palavras omitem a pronúncia do H quando este é a primeira letra, como em Honest ou Honor.

  1. A pronúncia do “TH”

O “TH” tem duas pronúncias diferentes que confundem muitos brasileiros que buscam aprender inglês. Não é por menos, já que os sons utilizados não aparecem no vocabulário do nosso idioma nativo.

No primeiro caso, o “TH” pode ser vocalizado, quando tem som semelhante ao “D” em português, como nas palavras: weather, brother, there, this e although. No segundo caso, o TH é não-vocalizado e tem som mais semelhante a um “F” em português, como nas palavras Thursday, theater, teeth, death e birth.

  1. O S no começo das palavras

Muitas vezes pronunciamos palavras em inglês começadas com S como se começassem com “ES” em português. Porém, a pronúncia do “E” está incorreta em inglês e o S deve ser verbalizado sozinho. Veja os exemplos:

School, Standard, Story, Spirit, Stumble, Sport, Student

  1. Y e I

Algumas palavras em inglês possuem o “Y” fazendo o som que é mais familiar para nós como “i”, enquanto outras possuem um som que para os brasileiros lembra o “ai”. Veja alguns exemplos:

Palavras onde o Y tem som de “i”:

Happy, Pretty, Baby

Palavras onde o Y tem som de “ai”:

Shy, Sky, Fly, Satisfy

  1. Verbos no passado – ED

Quando conjugamos verbos regulares no passado, na maioria das vezes acrescentamos o “ED” ao final da palavra. Assim, “play” vira “played” e “stop” vira “stopped”. Entretanto, pronunciar o “ED” de forma completa é errado, já que o “E” é omitido na hora de se falar a palavra. O mais correto é pronunciar a palavra como se o “E” não existisse. A pronúncia de “played” por exemplo, ficaria “playd”, com um D quase mudo, enquanto que “stopped” ficaria “stopd”, também com uma pronúncia bastante leve do D.

Para palavras terminadas em CH / SH / K / S / P / F, o “ED” continua sendo adicionado ao final, entretanto o D passa a ter som de T. Assim, “walked” é pronunciado como “walkt” e “watched” como “watcht”.

  1. Palavras semelhantes

Assim como no português, o inglês possui palavras com pronúncia bastante semelhante que, quando ditas de forma incorreta, podem deixar o ouvinte sem entender. Para não pedir para alguém abaixar o banco (please, seat down) ao invés de educadamente pedir para que se sente (please, sit down), é importante identificar essas palavras semelhantes e estudar sua pronúncia para não cometer erros na hora de gastar seu inglês. Veja alguns exemplos comuns:

“Quite” (Bastante), “Quiet” (Quieto) e “Quit” (Desistir)

“Loose” (Solto) e “Lose” (Perder)

“Cheat” (Trapaçear) e “Sheet” (Folha ou Lençol)

“Sit” (Sentar) e “Seat” (Assento)

  1. Vogais na hora de soletrar

Um estrangeiro se apresenta e você não entende bem o nome. Pede para soletrar e pronto, aí que a confusão começa. Os sons mais simples do português – as vogais – estão enraizados na nossa cabeça. Para a maioria dos brasileiros que querem aprender inglês, internalizar a pronúncia bastante curiosa das vogais é muitas vezes complicado. Veja a pronúncia correta:

A – lembra um “ei” em português

E – tem som de “i”

I – a pronúncia correta é “ai”

O – parece fácil, mas o som é um pouco diferente do português. Em inglês, fala-se “ou”

U – algo como “iú”

Uma boa dica é praticar a fala do alfabeto inteiro, de A a Z, de forma rápida. Depois de muitas tentativas e erros, o cérebro se acostuma a “pescar” o som correto das letras mesmo em momentos de pressão.

  1. Vogais semelhantes

Algumas vogais em inglês aparecem nas palavras com frequência de forma diferente do português. O uso de “ea” em palavras como “seat” e “beat”, por exemplo, soa estranho aos nossos ouvidos. Esta falta de compreensão da pronúncia pode ser um problema, já que muitas destas palavras possuem outras palavras semelhantes. Em inglês, o I em palavras como “sit” e “bit” tem um som sem paralelo na língua portuguesa. Mesmo em “vivo” e “tiro”, por exemplo, a pronúncia não é a mesma. Nesses casos, o “ea” tem som mais parecido com o nosso “i”, pronunciado de forma direta e curta. Já o “i”, em inglês, tem um som mais prolongado, quase como um híbrido de “i” e “ê” em português.

Veja outro exemplo:

Deaddad: A mesma lógica é utilizada aqui. O “ea” leva uma pronúncia mais prolongada, enquanto em “dad” a pronúncia do “a” é bastante semelhante ao nosso “e”.

 

Gostou das dicas? Agora é hora de estudar bastante pra não cometer os mesmos erros. Se você falar com um estrangeiro e não for reconhecido de cara como brasileiro(a), está no caminho certo! Bons estudos!

Sobre o autor:

Pedro Silveira é um explorador. Experimentou o estilo de vida americano nos Estados Unidos antes de se mudar para a China, onde ficou por 2 anos. Trabalhou com traduções e localizações de jogos, busca notícias sobre futebol em diversas línguas e acredita na imersão cultural como a maneira mais rápida e eficaz de se aprender um novo idioma.

 

Do you want to learn a foreign language? “Play the game” with an expert

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By Federico Porcari, an Italian teacher on Verbling

Sports can be real training for life. Things that you learn in a sport can be useful in other real life situations like learning a foreign language. For example, if you want to play tennis you have to enter the court and begin to play. But you can’t play all by yourself. It wouldn’t be tennis anymore! You need at least a partner and your game is highly influenced by the person that is playing with you, by his or her level and the attitude on the court.

At the tennis club where I used to play, they always said: “If you want to improve, you have to play with people more skilled than you and observe their way of playing”. And it’s so true!

When I played tennis with people that had a higher level of playing than me, my way of playing improved, too. In a short period of time I felt myself a better tennis player and it was also easier to play.

And the rhythm improved, too. The rhythm is so important! You have to reach a rhythm that is higher than that one you had when you used to practice alone and you will begin to play automatically, without conscious effort.

In the same way, if you want to study a foreign language, you need to practice the language. You have to play! So you need a partner to practice the language you’re learning.

And if you want to improve, you need to practice with someone who is at a much higher level than you, who uses the language correctly, and is patient and willing to help you improve.

So, learning a foreign language takes place with the help of other people and with collaboration. The crucial point to language learning is collaboration and interaction with others.

In fact, individual problem solving is less effective than group problem solving under the guidance of a person who is more skilled in the task–fluent in a foreign language, a better tennis player than you, etc.

If you try to perform a task by collaborating with somebody more skilled than you and who is also willing to help, you will be able to achieve a new, higher level of knowledge.

In order to learn a foreign language, we need to practice the language with an expert. Where can we find that kind of person? It’s easy! At Verbling, you can practice a language with a native speaking tutor, someone who is able to give you the right advice on how you can improve.

When we learn a language, we need to develop four main skills at the same time: reading, writing, speaking and listening. All of these skills can be developed by using Verbling’s online platform based on Google technology. With Google+ Hangouts you can have a video conference and talk to your tutor; you can also share text and videos in a real-time mode.

You will realize how easy and fun it is to read a book or a newspaper, to watch a movie scene, to write a text and to communicate in the target language with the help of a native speaking tutor.

Interacting with a tutor will allow you to reach a higher level of knowledge and understanding than the level you would have reached studying alone or without the cooperation of your proverbial tennis player–your language tutor.

The Verbling platform gives you the opportunity to create a permanent studying process while staying comfortably at home, to practice the language without losing the progress that you have already achieved.

So, you just have to book the court for your next Italian game!

federico

About the author:

Born in Rome and graduated in Economics, Federico Porcari lived in several Italian cities like Milan, Turin, Naples and Rome and always had a passion for Italian language and literature. He obtained the DITALS certification for teaching Italian to foreigners at the University of Siena and began a collaboration as a teacher at one the of most important language schools in Rome. Among his interests, there always was a curiosity for new technologies and for the utilisation of e-learning methods so he took part in the creation of the online teaching department in the school he was working at. Becoming a part of Verbling teachers gave him the opportunity to develop even more his online teaching methods in the high-tech environment with the constant support of Verbling’s staff. He strongly believes in the e-learning system and finds that Verbling offers an ideal environment for both teachers and students. You can take Italian lessons with Federico here.

6 Easy Steps to Paraphrasing in English

Attractive vintage secretary taking notes with notepad and pen

Written by Charlie Baxter, an English teacher on Verbling.

How satisfying is it when you tell someone a new and impressive piece of information that makes them go “ahh, I did not know that”? When you manage to deliver the news with accuracy and coherence in your own words?

However, the problem I find is that sometimes I can’t remember all the information I learnt and I end up losing their interest or I recall facts in the wrong order and I go away frustrated and deflated, not having the right vocabulary at hand.

Well, I have found a helpful solution to this problem and I would like to share it with you. It is especially powerful for language learners, as you are exposed to new vocabulary in the right context. This is much better than memorizing lists of words. Why? Because it is applied learning – meaning you are using the new information directly in the way it will be used in the future. A fantastic memory trick!

What is the solution?

It is a step-by-step method of how to properly re-tell or paraphrase a piece of information.

Paraphrasing is when you express the meaning of something written or spoken using different words.

I noticed when teaching the skill to my students that it is a very powerful technique to increase not only your vocabulary but also your coherence, fluency, grammar and even pronunciation. Now string those together and you have a well rounded speaker of English.

However paraphrasing isn’t always easy because it involves such a lot of language processing. Luckily I have come up with 6 simple steps to help you achieve the perfect paraphrase.

What will you learn in this article?

In this article you will be taught how to paraphrase effectively with step-by-step instructions along side an example. Let’s go straight into it and show you how to paraphrase!

Step 1: Separate the information

  •   Choose the relevant paragraph(s) you want to paraphrase
  •   Separate the sentences

Step 2: Highlight content words

Choose words that carry the meaning of the sentence.

Content words are:

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Step 3: Create new content words

A synonym is a great way to expand your vocabulary and to link those words with correct associations.

What is a synonym? It is another word that is more or less interchangeable with the word at hand.

e.g.

  • the picture was hard to describe
  • the picture was difficult to describe

“Hard” and “difficult” in this example have the same meaning, so they are synonyms of one another.

Step 4: Complete the new sentence

Simply string the new words together with whatever you feel goes well, using any different function words you like to complete a full sentence.

Function words are:

Screen Shot 2015-08-03 at 5.24.38 PM

Step 5: Review

Now write this complete sentence down and read it back. Does it make sense? If not, ask yourself what you are not happy with and why. This helps your coherency skills.

Then look at the original and ask yourself if the new sentence is missing any information you want to include. Is the new structure different and starting to lose the original meaning? If so readjust it until you are happy.

Step 6: Record yourself

Once it is perfected, record yourself and listen back. This is so important because you need to become your own teacher. Play it back listening for pronunciation errors.

Pronunciation errors can be broken down into:

sentence stress – what words you emphasize

word stress – what syllable you emphasize

intonation – how up and down your voice goes during the sentence

e.g. A question will usually go up at the end (“Are you okay?”)

individual sound – are you creating the right vibrations in your mouth?

e.g. “chicken” or “kitten”

Confused?

Lets use a real example to show you what I mean.

Original Paragraph:

“As we sailed through the placid channels off Chile’s mid-Pacific coast, all was silent. Our wooden ship—painted yellow and blue and built in the style of a traditional fisherman’s boat—quietly cut through the sapphire waters between the small, low-lying islands of the Chiloé archipelago. On either side, grey, gravelly shores gave way to green hills beyond and nearly cloudless skies above. Here and there, livestock grazed around ramshackle, corrugated-tin farmhouses. Occasionally, a tuxedoed Magellanic penguin would softly swim by.”

Step 1: Separate the information.

Choose the relevant paragraph(s) you want to paraphrase and separate them by sentences.

“As we sailed through the placid channels off Chile’s mid-Pacific coast, all was silent.

Our wooden ship—painted yellow and blue and built in the style of a traditional fisherman’s boat—quietly cut through the sapphire waters between the small, low-lying islands of the Chiloé archipelago.

On either side, grey, gravelly shores gave way to green hills beyond and nearly cloudless skies above.

Here and there, livestock grazed around ramshackle, corrugated-tin farmhouses.

Occasionally, a tuxedoed Magellanic penguin would softly swim by.”

Step 2: Highlight content words

Choose the words that carry the meaning of the sentence.

“As we sailed through the placid channels off Chile’s mid-Pacific coast, all was silent.

Our wooden shippainted yellow and blue and built in the style of a traditional fisherman’s boat—quietly cut through the sapphire watersbetween the small, low-lying islands of the Chiloé archipelago.

On either side, grey, gravelly shores gave way to green hills beyond and nearly cloudless skies above.

Here and there, livestock grazed around ramshackle, corrugated-tinfarmhouses.

Occasionally, a tuxedoed Magellanic penguin would softly swim by.”

Step 3: Create new content words

The synonym is a great way to expand your vocabulary and to link those words with correct associations.

Sentence 1:

sailed = navigated / went on a sea voyage / cruised / rode the waves

channels = stretch of water / sea passage / waterway / strait

Chile’s = Chile’s (as this is a proper noun we do not change it)

coast = coastline / seashore / waterside / water’s edge

silent = still / hushed / noiseless / peaceful / tranquil / soundless

Sentence 2:

ship = boat / vessel / craft / ferry / cruiser you

painted = coloured /  decorated / tinted / dyed / sprayed / coated

yellow = lemon / amber / gold / blonde

blue = sapphire / sky-blue / azure / cobalt blue / teal / turquoise / cyan / sea blue

built = constructed / erected / assembled / put up

style = manner / way / technique / method

fisherman = angler / fisher / rodman / piscator

boat = barge / craft / dinghy / tub

cut through = phrasal verb meaning to go through instead of going over it – soar

waters = sea / ocean / waves / lake / river

islands = archipelagos / islet / isle / ait /

Chiloe = Chiloe (proper noun is not possible to change)

archipelago = extensive group of islands

Sentence 3:

shores = seashore / seaside / beach / coast

hills = dune / hillside / mound / bank / ridge

skies = heavens / airspace

Sentence 4:

livestock = cattle / animals / herd / farmyard animals

grazed = eat / bite / chomp / champ / forage

farmhouses = cattle ranch / ranch / large house / mansion

Sentence 5:

Magellanic Penguin = Magellanic Penguin (proper noun is not possible to change)

Swim = paddle / wade / move / float / glide

Remember that this is an exercise to expand your vocabulary. The most accurate word is the original but what is important is the ability to discover words that closely resemble the meaning.

Step 4: Complete the sentence

Simply string the new words together with whatever you feel goes well, using any different function words you like to complete a full sentence.

“As we navigated through Chile’s coastline it was very peaceful.

Using a vessel tinted lemon with cobalt blue parts, constructed in a manner similar to an anglers barge we soared through the waves between the islet Chiloe group of islands.

The view all around was of seaside, beautiful mounds and open to the heavens.

We were surrounded by cattle casually chomping away at grass nearby their ranch.

Now and then a Magellanic Penguin would paddle past.”

Step 5: Review

Now write the complete sentence down and read it back. Does it make sense? If not, ask yourself what you are not happy with and why. Then look at the original and ask yourself if the new sentence is missing any information you want to include. Is the new structure different and starting to lose the original meaning? If so, readjust it until you are happy.

“As we navigated through straits off Chile’s coastline all was peaceful.

Our vessel – tinted lemon and cobalt blue and constructed in a manner similar to an anglers barge – soared effortlessly through the waves between the group of unassuming small islands that are known as Chiloe.

A 360 degree view of monotone, stoney seaside bordering rolling hillside and open to the heavens.

Scattered cattle casually chomping away at grass nearby rustic old ranch houses.

From time to time a black and white Magellanic Penguin would effortlessly paddle past.”

Step 6: Record

“As we navigated through straits off Chile’s coastline all was peaceful. Our vessel – tinted lemon and cobalt blue and constructed in a manner similar to an anglers barge – soared effortlessly through the waves between the group of unassuming small islands that are known as Chiloe. A 360 degree view of monotone, stoney seaside bordering rolling hillside and open to the heavens. Scattered cattle casually chomping away at grass nearby rustic old ranch houses. From time to time a black and white Magellanic Penguin would effortlessly paddle.”

Conclusion

You just learned a step-by-step method on how to effectively summarise and re-tell a news article in your own words.

So the next time you read an interesting article, take the time to break the information down into understandable chunks. Highlight the content rich words and phrases. Create a synonym list and then string the words together in a full sentence of your own. Compare the new sentence with the old one, and ask yourself, “Is it grammatically correct and coherent?” Then tell a friend your newly learnt piece of interesting information. Pat yourself on the back for firing and wiring English neurons that have already helped improve your speaking ability.

You are helping your brain connect and increase new vocabulary at a fast rate and truly challenging your coherency skills. This really is a powerful technique that everyone wanting to take their language learning to the next level should do regularly.

What have you learnt from this paraphrasing exercise?

  • How to break up information in bite size chunks
  • What to look for when searching for key elements (e.g. content words)
  • A way to expand your vocabulary by finding synonyms
  • When to check for structure length
  • How to turn a previously written piece of work into your own coherent passage
  • How to turn a passive learning experience (reading) into an active exercise (writing)

charlie

About the author: Charlie Baxter is a professional English teacher from the UK. He has a TESOL certificate and coaches adult learners in conversation and IELTS / TOEFL preparation. He has a BSc in Psychology and is a Master Practitioner in NLP. He has taught English online to 100s of students. For more great hints to maximizing your language learning, book English lessons with Charlie here.

Verbling teachers can teach from anywhere

Shelley1

By Shelley-Ann Elms

Ever wanted to teach your native language to foreigners? Teaching can allow you to travel the world or make a great living right here at home. Shelley-Ann Elms is an English teacher on Verbling, currently teaching from sunny Trinidad and Tobago! In this article, she shares the best parts about living on the island of Trinidad, with the flexibility as a Verbling teacher to work right near the beach.

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“If I lived in your country with those lovely beaches, I’d never want to work!” This was the comment not too long ago from one of my students here on Verbling from Gibraltar, as I showed her some Google images of my twin-island home.

Every student I’ve encountered so far on Verbling has no idea about the Caribbean country of my origin. Well what can I say about it……. Sweet Trinidad and Tobago! In a nutshell, my country is small, there are happy and intelligent people living here, and we have many gorgeous beaches.

It is known as “The Land of the Hummingbird,” and “Trinis” (local slang) introduced the steelpan music to the world.

So why did I decide to tutor on Verbling? Well, despite having a passion for my sixteen year vocation and wanting to earn extra income, I genuinely like learning about new cultures! Every culture is unique, but I think Trinidad is doubly special because of the number of cultural traditions that have been preserved and cross-pollinated by generations of migrants from all over the world, all in one small island. This makes Trinidad constantly abuzz with artistic and cultural activity.

My experience so far teaching a foreign language on this site has been great! I can work anywhere I have a good internet connection. Verbling makes tutoring convenient for me. I can pack my laptop and charger and sail on a boat to my family’s beach home on a smaller island off the mainland known as Monos Island. There I can tutor near the beach and hear the sounds of the splashing waves of the ocean and seagulls. After work, you can guess where I’ll head off to!

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I’ve taught English to many students on Verbling and they’ve taught me about their cultures! Learning a foreign language is a must. It is useful to increase global understanding, to improve employment potential, to make travel more enjoyable, to increase understanding of one’s own culture and, best of all, to make lifelong friends.

To my students past, the only tips I can remind you about learning English is; “Open your mouth and just say it!” and “Practice, practice, practice!”

To my future students, I look forward to working with you! I can’t wait to learn about your culture, and tell you more about mine.

Shelley3

About the author: Shelley-Ann Elms has taught over 95 hours as an English teacher on Verbling. Her students know her as a “dynamic and pro-active” teacher who “goes the extra mile.”