与外语爱好者分享学习经验

与外语爱好者分享学习经验

这几天,香港的新冠疫情变得严重起来,政府部门要求公务员尽量居家办公。大学迅速跟进,因此我得以高高兴兴地闭门不出,有更多的时间用于读书学习。

近一年来,我与内地英语老师们有较多的沟通,被大家热爱学习的精神所感动。虽然我现在的职业并非专职教师,但就外语学习而言,仍然有很多经验可以分享,粉丝们从中借鉴了不少理念和做法,取得了较好的成效。无论抛砖引玉、抛砖引砖还是抛玉引砖,只要有利于大家提高外语水平就好。欢迎善意切磋,谢绝抬杠斗嘴。

与大多数外语学习者不同,我很少做练习,也不参加模拟考试,即便辅导别人也不传授应试技能。这并不意味着我考得不好,恰好相反,我在(英日法韩)外语考试中从未失手,我辅导过的学生在高考、中考与平时的考试中亦考出了满意的成绩。我之所以不怎么做练习,是因为考试从来不是我的学习目的。而且英语的语法实在不难,不值得把大量的时间浪费在语法学习上。

我特别注重的是外语输入,大部分的学习时间花在阅读与视听上,比如读故事、看小说、练听抄、勤朗读、常跟读、多背诵,把一篇文章在理解透彻的基础上,再朗读到滚瓜烂熟的程度。也许我不算聪明,经常要朗读一两百遍才能背诵。也许正是我的笨办法,才使我能够在长期与外界交往极少的环境里保持了各门外语较高的水平。

根据我的观察,很多学生和成年学习者对于课文仅仅满足于看过和朗读几遍,在基础不稳、词汇不多、语法不熟的状态下,霸王硬上弓地大量做题,或者进行口头操练。这种边学边练的热闹学习方法,对于岁数较小的学习者可能有不俗的效果;但对于习惯于独自思考的大学生和在家自学的老师们,似乎难以带来学习的乐趣。

常有粉丝反映自己进步甚缓的主要原因是缺乏英语氛围,找不到可以说英语的人来练习口语。但是,我的亲身经历却揭示:英语不好的主要原因是输入质量不高。中学老师们也许会发现:高中生往往言之有物,而初中生和小学生多半翻来覆去就那简单的几句。这说明:小学与初中英语输入的质与量均不足,自然说不出几句像样的话来。

所以,我一直主张加大小学的英语输入量,使学生们在小学毕业时即能掌握三五千的词汇。本来小学的功课并不重,双减之后更是腾出了大量的时间,而且幼年和少年正是发展多语言能力的黄金岁月。很多爱好可搞可不搞,而掌握流利的汉语和英语才是基本素质。童年少年时越是不好好学英语,长大后再发力则更加困难。

至于成年学习者自学精进,应当把注意力放在阅读与视听上。我在与老师们的沟通中发现:很多人谈起主语、谓语、宾语、定语、状语、补语、表语、虚拟语气……都是一套一套,可写出的英语句子却不太正确或不地道。所以,不必再想着翻厚厚的语法书和找个口语班来提高自己的水平,要明白自己进步不快与输入质量有关。保持阅读、视听并且与人用英语交流,这才是不断提高水平之正道。

 

与外语爱好者分享学习经验

Tips for learning English

 

 These days, there has been an upsurge in the COVID-19 cases in Hong Kong. So the government has issued a notice to require the employees to work from home as far as practicable. The University is quick to follow suit and I am happily staying at home. This gives me more time to read and write.

Over the past year, I have been communicating with some English teachers who impressed me with their love of learning. Although not directly involved in teaching, I have some tips to share. My fans have learnt a lot of ideas and practices from my sharing. Your friendly comments are welcome!

Unlike most learners, I rarely do exercises or take mock tests. Even when tutoring others, I don't teach test-taking skills. The reason for it is that I do not study to pass the exams. Some might doubt if I could cope with all the tests and exams. On the contrary, I never failed any test whether in English, Japanese, French or in Korean. And to make it more interesting, the students I tutored did well in the exams too.

I spend most of my study time reading and listening, for instance, reading stories, listening to the recording and radio, transcribing, reading aloud, shadowing, reciting,...etc. Perhaps I am not very smart and often have to read aloud a hundred times before I can recite a text. This stupid approach, perhaps, enabled me to maintain a high level of proficiency in different languages in an environment where I had very little interaction with the outside world for quite a few years.

My observation of children learning English has revealed that parents are excited to see their children singing and cheering in English. This learning-by-doing method may work well for young learners.  But an obvious weakness is insufficient quality input.

As far as school students are concerned, many learners just read a text a few times before moving on to the exercises and mock tests. Perhaps they expect to consolidate their English learning with drills and exams.

Some of my fans often complain that the main reason for their slow progress is the lack of an English-speaking atmosphere and the shortage of English speakers to serve as language partners. Teachers may find that senior high school students tend to speak better, whilst students in junior high school and primary school have little to say. This means that the quality and quantity of English input in primary and secondary schools is not satisfactory.

Therefore, I have always advocated that the quality input of English in primary schools should be increased so that students can master 3,000 to 5,000 words upon their graduation. There is not a lot of homework in primary school, and the ‘double reduction’ has freed up much time. What’s more, children are language geniuses at an early age. I believe bilingual competence should be a part of the basic qualities of a contemporary citizen. The less he learns as a child or teenager, the more challenging English study will be when one tries to learn it later on.

Adult learners involved in self-study should focus on reading and listening. From my communication with some English teachers, I have found that they are impressive for their great knowledge of subjects, predicates, objects, determiners, gerunds, complements, predictive, subjunctive mood... but their written English often teems with mistakes and awkward wording. So, instead of trying to go through big grammar books or looking for oral English training, they are suggested to keep reading, listening, watching, shadowing and communicating with people in English. That's the way to improvement.

 

 

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最后编辑于:2022/2/6 拔丝英语网

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