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Syrian Arab Republic

April 19, 2010

First,the younger you learn a foreign language, the better you speak it.
Of course, this rule has exceptions. I started to learn English when I was 11 years old, however I speak very good English. I learned it at a typical school which gave no serious care to it.
If you have difficulty pronouncing "the sixth thunder storm this year" then the solution is Dissimilation.
What is Dissimilation? It's a process in which we change the pronunciation of some sounds to make them easier to produce i.e. "the sixt thunder storm thish year".
And of course you have to practice a lot to produce such sentences.
If you feel that you're not able anymore to learn, then it could be what we call " fossilization" i.e. you can't learn anymore no matter how hard you try.
Fossilization can apply to grammar, words, or any other aspect of a foreign language.

If you feel that you still can’t speak English though you have a great deal of grammar and vocabulary, then this is the problem that most learners face. This can be due to many reasons: you don't practice English very much, or you feel lost; where to start, what to say then, how to say this or that.
You can solve this problem by doing the following:
1- Think in English, and speak in English
Don't transfer your mother tongue's grammar and vocabulary to the target language. Don't think in your mother tongue then perform the target language. You may say: how to do that? You can do that by so much listening to native speakers, watching movies that tackle every aspect of life and imitating them.
2- Don't ever feel embarrassed about yourself speaking English. Be brave, stand tall and speak even if you make mistakes cause if you don't make mistakes now, you'll never speak English because you'll think about the mistakes you might make.

You want to learn English cause you want to get a good job, or you want people to say that you're an educated person? If so, your English is not gonna be as good as native speakers'.
As a matter of fact, we have two types of motives: instrumental and integrative, I guess these words are self-explanatory. If your motive is instrumental, you wanna get a job, you love a girl who speaks English LOL! So you wanna learn the language, then your journey of learning is gonna be too short and will give imperfect results.
If it's integrative, then the results are gonna be as good as expected.

If you're not seeking to improve your English all the time, it's gonna get weaker and weaker until it fades away, so to speak.
For me, a student of English, or any foreign language, is a student for life.

You know something! How do I practice English??
Wanna tell you that I'm almost lonely, I have no one to speak English with...What should I do? Got an advice? LOL.. In fact I speak to myself, I speak in my dreams, and I speak to you guys here on Ebaby!.
Yeah, I rarely see a friend with whom I can speak English, and of course that one would be not that good at English. I have to explain and translate and sometimes spell!!!!!!.
I had two friends only who could speak English like native speakers during university. Unfortunately,the last time I've seen them was about a year ago, and it's likely we'll never meet soon. And, I don't like speaking English with someone whose English is very bad, especially pronunciation.

So, I sit by my computer and watch some movie, I interact with it, speak to the actors and the like. Don't you ever think that I'm a mad guy LOL!.
To me it's like hunger, I long to speak it but unfortunately I don't always get the chance. All I wanna say is, love it, feel it, interact with it.
By the way, I love learning languages i.e. not only English...but I don't have the time on my side. However, I speak some Turkish, I studied three levels, French, got it only by watching TV, Kurdish, it's a local language here in Syria and some neighboring countries, I understand about 90 % of it, and Armenian, only few expressions and words. The same applies to Spanish and Italian.

I don't know if love languages like I do, but it's a good idea to set your goals and go for them.
Ok, do you think that I chat with native or non-native speakers of English all the time? No, I don't simply because I don't have an Internet connection at home, simply because- this is funny- I don't have a telephone.
Again, simply because... I don't know. So, I have to go to some Internet cafe to deliver this article to you, and I don't always get the chance and money to do that. You see how much I suffer! however, I won't give up.

I wish you all the best

Mr. Firass Kaddour
English teacher

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