EDITING : 2017.11.16 목 14:53
The Gachon Herald
Getting Better at English
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Updated : 2013.11.18  17:17:17
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  Error Correction
- Many students are afraid to speak because they feel they might make a mistake, or error. Remember that this is ok and some of the best learners of English are those people who are not afraid to make mistakes and are not shy about speaking! If your focus is to improve your grammar accuracy, if it is practical, tell your teacher or tutor to correct your mistakes as soon as you make them!   This will help you remember them better and if you keep making the same mistake, you’ll surely remember to correct it eventually. Some advanced students were not corrected on certain aspects of their speaking ability when they were at lower levels, which is why they might the same mistake over and over (for example, I once had an advanced student who was really good at English but many times would forget articles in speech-a, an, or the). This is called a fossilized error, and this is because they were not corrected early enough to remember the mistake. But you should also remember that mistakes are ok, and no native speaker is perfect at English.
  Expanding Vocabulary- Students cannot expect to be better at speaking without being active in their learning. To be active as an English learner means to use your dictionary, challenge yourself to a small amount of new words per day or week, and try to use the words in conversation. Of course, you may not remember all the words all of the time, but it certainly will help expand your vocabulary and conversation range when speaking. If you are in a conversation class, focus first on daily common interactions a person might have (ordering food at a restaurant, giving directions, being at the doctor’s office, etc.) and then you can slowly expand to debating controversial issues. 
  Some students in a full class may not feel that speaking to another student is beneficial, that they would rather speak to a teacher only. However, speaking with another student is very beneficial, and students should use this opportunity to build confidence with their partner, and for the pair of you to help each other, politely correct mistakes, and to teach each other, including vocabulary words. In this case it may be ok for you to translate briefly by speaking Korean (but of course only if that is ok by your class rules!).
  Lastly, if you have the great opportunity to learn English in another country, you would really help yourself by not choosing a major city where many other Koreans would be also. Students might like to have friends from their home country around, but of course being around people from back home would only lead you to speaking in your mother tongue, not in the language which is your main goal: English!
  Using English in Videos/TV Effectively- When watching tv shows or media, using English subtitles is certainly the best thing you can to improve your English. But sometimes the English might be too difficult. In this case, try to understand the English in context-that is, you may not be able to understand all of the words, but as long as you can the gist (main idea), you will be able to improve your English by building off learning the main idea. Try to download scripts to the show or movie to read along if that helps, and if you must use Korean subtitles, try to speak with a teacher or classmate in English afterwards, so that you are able to utilize the context of the video program. As with movies or books, choose something appropriate to your level, and slowly build upwards. You cannot give a beginner student of English an advanced English video program and expect that if they listen to a hundred times they would get better! It takes patience to learn a language, and every student improves at different speeds! Improve your English in normal, healthy steps, not huge uneven jumps!
   
Professor Joseph Viskoe

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