Picturise this – you have built a house with a fragile base. Will it withstand all weather conditions? You bet that you want to build a house on a solid foundation. Similarly, the language learning is built on a solid foundation of Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing – The four processes that make you a well-rounded English speaker.
It took me years of successes and failures together in using and teaching English language to realize the importance of these four pillars. The Lighthouse effect was only created when I spent hours and hours of teaching English in Paris, where I actually engaged learners to read, write, speak or listen to English to achieve fluency.
Typically, people struggle with listening – comprehending – speaking cycle of English language learning. Most of our Spoken English students realize that they are stronger in writing English language than responding in it.
As we always prophase at the orientation session of Spoken English course at our Training centre, the measurement of success in any communication, Verbal or non-verbal, in English or not, is from the point of view of how effectively Listening is carried out and comprehended.
When I was learning French in the year 2011, I set myself up with a goal that I will successfully complete my 35 hours of Coaching before the expatriation. To my dismay, even after completing the Cross Culture and French program of yet another 35 hours in Paris, didn’t get my Listening and responsiveness up to the mark. Only after being in the moment and on the streets of Paris, is when I started investing deeply in Listening. My biggest aim was to respond fluently and hold confident conversations to manage my routine day in this language. As a TEFL (Teach English as a Foreign Language) trainer, I would encourage my learners to focus on extensive listening for better responsiveness.
3 months of intensive study, switching and giving attention to detail in each skill of learning, and 3 years of expatriation only helped me to learn a new language.
Newton’s third law states that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. So, if you want to gain fluency and accuracy in speaking English, you need to ensure that you switch the mindset and attitude towards learning each of these foundation pillars of English language.
Let us now understand these four cornerstones that builds the Spoken English journey of our students at Nirmiti Academy:
The wishing well to improve one’s reading skills lies in books! Books are a haven of vocabulary, sentences, stories, and many interesting elements that add up to your journey of a language learner.
They help you to discover the culture, personalities, regions, and many new concepts that will expand your senses. With the online books available in thousands of languages, reading has just become easier and freely available.
Some of the most interesting and thought-provoking resources that one must keep handy to upgrade reading skills:
1. Picture / Comic / Creative writing / Puzzle Books
High on engagement, Picture books allow the reader to use words and resonance at beginner’s level. Indeed, Pictures speak thousand words! They are fun to read, visualize, explore, and comprehend better. They encourage you to start using one-word vocabulary, paraphrase the understanding and enjoy the process of storytelling. It also pushes the learner to formulate simple sentences. Language puzzles, crossword, creative passage writing engages the learner and keeps the interest going.
2. A Good Dictionary and a Pocket Notebook
Why a pocket notebook is required when I have a pocket dictionary? Where, a dictionary is your best friend in this journey, documenting the words in a pocket notebook with their synonyms, antonyms, or short sentences will allow the learner to recall them.. As you deep dive into reading with a purpose, you will frequently come across new vocabulary words. By having a handy dictionary, you will be less complacent and not resort to procrastinating on knowing these words. You will find out what the meaning of these new words and jot them down in your personal dictionary. With an eye for detail, you may also jot down the grammar root of each word. This will kick-start your journey to improve your accuracy.
A personal dictionary as a pocket notebook can be referred on the go! You could target to use 10 words in the notebook in your travel time. You could also refer a digital application on your smart phone such as English Grammarly or Dictionary.com to check for the words and its usage. Even for taking notes, you could you Notes App in IOS or Android to ease up the writing process.
3. Read Newspapers
With newspapers, you will not only improve your knowledge of current afairs and social and economic events of your country, but also you will improve knowledge of a language, vocabulary, verbiage and construction of sentences. An approximate cost of Rs. 7 will give you more than 1000 useful words everyday! One could also refer to e-times of any newspaper at no cost! In fact, we have also incorporated adequate reading and presenting newspaper articles in our curriculum.
Today is the era of blogs! Every person has varied interests – food, recipes, fashion, jewelry, fitness, spirituality, yoga, shopping, etc. Whatever your interests – today’s social media platforms will have enough online material / blogs / articles to read about them in English language.One of our communication skills students, Shubhanshu Prakash have really taken his journey to another level by writing few articles. In fact, with such activities, he went on to discover the blogger in him! His abstract writing really stirred souls in our sessions.
Have you ever felt interested till the end to listen to a speaker with monotone and flat? It comes as no surprise when such speeches have low engagement and recall. Hence, as you turn the tables around, you would like your listener to be interested in your topic and every such aim must couple with a good level of modulation and stress in pronouncing the spoken words. This brings life, meaning and more purpose to your speech. For example, in the sentence “He stole my purse”, every primary word enunciated and stressed will change the tone and meaning of the sentence.
Bharti is a homemaker and Hindi originated speaker who has just recently started her Basic English language course. With multiple reading and elicitation exercises, she has now started being more familiar and attempting to speak in English.
In the 2nd phase of our blog, you will experience how to enhance your writing skills. Till then, open up your world of words with reading and you will indeed see yourself familiar and fluent. Remember, coffee and conversations begin with a leaf of a book! Live more lives with the world of books… So, happy reading!
For more tips and techniques in Reading, Writing, Speaking, Listening and Comprehension and improve Spoken English skills, follow our YouTube channel @Nirmiti.Academy. Do check our varied programs in Spoken English and Communication Skills.
Also read: The Power of Gratitude
Join us at Nirmiti Academy, Thane and invest in Brand 'You'. Call us on 9820964553 / 7506375082 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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