Try to imagine what it was like when you first started learning to speak your native language.
It’s just impossible to imagine, isn’t it?
The language journey when we are infants starts in a relaxed atmosphere where we are encouraged to talk freely without fear of making mistakes. With a lack of self-consciousness*, we talk and talk eventually developing our abilities to communicate our needs and wants.
When we go to school, some of us slowly start to become more self-conscious. Instead of learning that making mistakes is part of the learning process, some of us learn to associate making mistakes with failure. This can inhibit our ability to learn to speak another language.
So how do we meet this challenge of learning a second language?
Focus on COMMUNICATION.
Try to get your ideas across when speaking.
Speak as often as you can. This is the only way you can improve your speaking skills.
Try also to develop your listening skills. It's a good idea to watch films with English sub-titles to help develop your listening and reading skills
When reading try to get the overall idea of what is being said. At first, you will understand very little.
It takes time and PATIENCE to develop understanding.
Here are a few common mistakes made by some students when speaking and writing English.
Prepositions are one of the hardest parts of a foreign language to learn, even at an advanced level as they function so differently from language to language.
Incorrect: “I’m going to home”. The preposition “to” should be crossed out.
Correct: “I’m going home.”
Many Spanish speakers make this mistake as they are translating directly from Spanish.
The contraction ‘d can stand for had or would. Be careful when writing the full form. Look carefully at the context.
Incorrect: He said he had be here. Cross out had.
Correct: He said he would be here.
Incorrect: He said he would arrived. Cross out would
Correct: He said he had arrived
The modal verbs can, could, may, might, must, should or would are followed by the base form of the verb. Do no use the preposition “to” after these modal verbs.
Incorrect: They might bringing their aunt to the concert. Cross out “ing”
Correct: They might bring their aunt to the concert.
Incorrect: They can to come to the picnic. Cross out the “to” after ”can”
Correct: They can come to the picnic.
HOWEVER: The modal verb ought is always followed by a to. (Ought is the same as should except that it is more formal and it is always followed by a to)
Also, don’t add –s, -ed, or –ing to the infinitive that follows ought.
Expressions and Vocabulary used in the Article
Literal Meaning: Covered in pavement; as of concrete / asphalt / stones etc
Figurative Meaning: Laid out or made, as intentions, desires, plans, etc.
Another sentence with "paved": Studying a second language paved the way to better opportunities.
inhibit - what does it mean to inhibit something - to hold it back / to restrain / to block e.g. A teacher who makes fun of her students for making mistakes inhibits their ability to develop their skills.
meet a challenge – to deal with a problem or something difficult you have to do
instead of – in place of someone or something
aware – knowing that something exists or having knowledge of or experience of a particular thing
self-conscious (adjective) - feeling lots of awareness of oneself and actions / nervous or uncomfortable because you are worried about what people think about you or your actions.
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