LEARNING SPOKEN ENGLISH . . . in half the time by Lynn Lundquist Learning Spoken English … in half the time by Lynn Lundquist Publisher information Public Domain. This book (Learning Spoken English) may be freely published in English or translated into any other language. It may be sold or distributed in any manner (including website publication) without permission from, or royalty payments to, the original author.
It may carry any publisher’s, translator’s, or author’s name and copyright as long as other publishers outside of the original country of publication can publish their own edition. The book’s title may be changed at the publisher’s discretion. The book’s dual purpose is first, to help those wanting to learn English become more successful in that endeavor, and secondly, to be an effective advertising medium for Spoken English Learned Quickly as distributed by www. FreeEnglishNow. com.
As such, our only requirement is that: 1) the English text of the numbered chapters be published as supplied (however, the book’s title, cover, and the content of the front material including the introduction may be altered at the discretion of the publisher), 2) any translation be a true translation of the English text, and 3) the names Spoken English Learned Quickly and www. FreeEnglishNow. com be prominently displayed in the text. Any one of three texts available on the www. FreeEnglishNow. com website may be used: the HTML texts by copying the VIEW SOURCE files, the PDF file, or the Microsoft Word files.
The graphics file (included with the Microsoft Word files) may be used as is or may be redrawn provided that the intent of the individual graphic remain unchanged. For greater interest and sales, we recommend that Learning Spoken English be published using both the translated language and English. The translated language should be emphasized as the primary language with the translated book title in larger font on the cover and each page occupying the left-hand page. English should be the secondary language with the book title in smaller font and each English page occupying the right-hand page.
See the example on www. FreeEnglishNow. com/lsebrazil. pdf. We also suggest that a CD of the entire course be included with the book. See www. FreeEnglishNow. com/help14. html. Index: Introduction Chapter 1: Teaching Your Tongue to Speak English . . . . . 1 Chapter 2: Four Rules for Learning Spoken English . . . . . 12 Chapter 3: Grammar and Writing in Spoken English Study Chapter 4: Do You Need Beginning and Advanced Lessons? 17 21 Chapter 5: Selecting a Text . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Chapter 6: Studying the English Verb . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Chapter 7: Success in Spoken English Study . . . . . . . . 43 Introduction You have an opportunity for a better paying job, but you need to improve your English before you can apply. Or, you want to enroll in a university in the United States, but your English is not good enough yet. You have already taken English classes for two years in secondary school. Maybe you have studied more English at the university. You know English grammar and can write, but you need to learn how to speak English. And you need to improve your spoken English very quickly. This book will tell you how to retrain your mind—and your tongue—in order to learn fluent spoken English.
With the information from this book, you can learn to speak English in half of the time it normally takes. Throughout this book, I will emphasize spoken English. Chapter 1: Teaching Your Tongue to Speak English explains the concept on which this Spoken English Learned Quickly method is built. The remaining chapters tell you how to apply that information as you learn to speak English fluently. I wish you the best of success as you study spoken English. Chapter 1: Teaching Your Tongue to Speak English Chapter Summary: Speech is controlled in your mind by feedback from your hearing and mouth position as much as it is from your memory.
If you want to speak fluent English, it is just as important to retrain your tongue as it is to train your memory. To be effective, however, you must retrain your mind, tongue, and hearing at exactly the same time because they must work together when you speak English. Why have you studied English so long in school without learning to speak fluently? It is because your teachers have tried to train your mind with written exercises without retraining your tongue at the same time. If you want to learn to speak English fluently, it will help you to understand how the human mind produces speech.
However, before looking at the mechanics of speech, I want to draw an analogy from machine control because the analogy closely parallels neurological responses in spoken language. Open-loop machine control Wikipedia describes an open-loop control system as follows: An open-loop controller, also called a nonfeedback controller, is a type of controller which computes its input into a system using only the current state . . . of the system. A characteristic of the open-loop controller is that it does not use feedback to determine if its input has achieved the desired goal.
This means that the system does not observe the output of the processes that it is 2 Learning Spoken English controlling. Consequently, a true open-loop system . . . cannot correct any errors that it could make. For example, a sprinkler system, programmed to turn on at set times could be an example of an open-loop system if it does not measure soil moisture as a form of feedback. Even if rain is pouring down on the lawn, the sprinkler system would activate on schedule, wasting water. Figure 1 shows an open-loop control system. The control may be a simple switch, or it could be a combination of a switch and a timer.
Yet, all it can do is turn the machine on. It cannot respond to anything the machine is doing. Open-Loop Control Control Figure 1: An open-loop machine control. Closed-loop machine control Wikipedia then describes closed-loop control as follows: To avoid the problems of the open-loop controller, control theory introduces feedback. A closed-loop controller uses feedback to control states or outputs of a dynamical system. Its name comes from the information path in the system: process inputs (e. g. voltage applied to a motor) have an effect on the process outputs (e. g. velocity . . . f the motor), which is measured with sensors and processed by the controller; the result (the control signal) is used as input to the process, closing the loop. Teaching Your Tongue to Speak English 3 Wikipedia’s definition of a closed-loop system subsequently becomes too technical to use here. However, as Wikipedia suggests above, a sprinkler incorporating a soil moisture sensor would be a simple closed-loop system. The sprinkler system would have both a timer and a control valve. Either could operate independently, and either could shut the water off, but both would need to be open in order for the sprinkler to operate.
The arrangement is shown in Figure 2. Water pipe Sprinkler Timer Valve Soil moisture probe Figure 2: A closed-loop sprinkler system. If the soil is already moist, the sprinkler will remain off whether or not the timer is open. When the moisture probe senses dry soil, the valve is opened. However, after the sprinkler is on, if the soil becomes moist enough, the valve will close even if the timer is still open. Thus, the sprinkler uses feedback from its own operation to control itself. Figure 3 shows a simple closed-loop machine control. Notice that Figure 3 also shows a calibration function.
Irrespective of whether it is a soil moisture sensor on a sprinkler—or a counter on a machine— there must be some way of setting the control so that it wi l l r e sp on d in a predetermined way. In a Closed-Loop Control Control Calibration Feedback Figure 3: A closed-loop machine control. 4 Learning Spoken English machine application, the calibration function could be a counter which is set so that the machine will produce a certain number of finished parts. Human speech is a closed-loop system Human speech is a complex learned skill and is dependent on a number of memory and neurological functions.
Speech is a closed-loop system because sensors within the system itself give feedback to the control portion of the system. The control then corrects and coordinates ongoing speech. In this case, the mind is in control of the closed-loop system, the mouth produces the desired product (speech), and auditory feedback from the ears and feedback from the nerve sensors in the mouth allow the mind to coordinate the speech process in real time.  When you speak your own language, your mind stores all of the vocabulary you need. Your mind also controls your tongue, mouth, and breathing.
Your hearing is also an important part of the control because your ears hear everything your mouth says. Therefore, what you say next is partially dependent on the vocabulary and other information stored in your mind. But what you say next is also dependent on what your ears are hearing your mouth say, and on the feedback that is coming from the nerves in your tongue and mouth. Because you have spoken your own language all of your life, all of this control is automatic—you do not need to think about it. But when you learn to speak English, you must retrain all of these processes so that they will all work together at the same time.
It is not enough to simply put new vocabulary words or grammar drills into your memory. You must retrain your mind to use all of the new sounds your ears will hear, as well as the new movements of your tongue, mouth, and breathing. Yet, since all of these things must happen together for you to speak fluent English, all retraining of your memory, hearing, and the nerves in your mouth must be done simultaneously. The inter-relationship of these functions is shown in the table below. The meanings of specialized words are given below the table. Teaching Your Tongue to Speak English 5
The Organ or Sense The mind provides: Primary Function(s) 1. vocabulary memory 2. partial syntax control 3. feedback coordination 4. calibration by the speaker to give meaning to the sounds 1. sound production 2. breath regulation 3. proprioceptive feedback to the mind in real time which regulates pronunciation and provides partial syntax control 1. auditory feedback to the mind in real time Comments The mind is the storage bank for vocabulary. Memory is also involved in structuring syntax. The mind uses both auditory and proprioceptive feedback to monitor and calibrate speech in real time.
The proprioceptive sense is involved in both pronunciation and syntax feedback. It is essential for speech control. The mouth and related organs provide: Hearing provides: Auditory and proprioceptive feedback are combined in the mind for essential speech control. Table 1: The three components of human speech and their primary functions. Proprioceptive.  Human speech would be impossible without the proprioceptive sense. (Proprioceptive refers to the sense within the organism itself which detects or controls the movement and location of the muscles, tendons, and joints which are used to create speech. Our mouth, vocal cords, diaphragm, and lungs incorporate thousands of nerve sensors which the brain uses to control the movement and position of these same organs—the mouth, vocal cords, diaphragm, and lungs. Imagine the complexity of pronouncing even a single word with 6 Learning Spoken English the need to coordinate the tongue, breath control, and jaw muscles. Now multiply this complexity exponentially as sentences are constructed in rapid succession during normal speech. Real time. Unlike an open-loop control system, a closed-loop control system monitors feedback and corrects the process as the machine is running.
The reciprocal path between the control, the feedback sensors, and the process itself is instantaneous. That is, information is not stored for later use. Rather, it is used instantaneously as the sensors detect it. In this chapter, I use the term simultaneous to indicate real time feedback during speech. Calibration. In human speech, the mind must constantly monitor the feedback information from both the speaker’s own hearing and the proprioceptive senses which enable the mind to control muscles and create the desired sounds.
Thus, the speaker is constantly “calibrating” the feedback to control speech. To change a tense, the speaker may change “run” to “ran,” or change the person from “he” to “she,” and so on. These “word” changes are achieved by precise control of the muscles used to produce speech. We “calibrate” our speech frequently as we talk. This is why we can misuse a word, verb tense, or some other part of the initial sentence, and still make corrections in the remaining words of the sentence so that the listener does not hear our mistake.
Thus, in Figure 4, human speech is represented as the interplay between the mind, the mouth, and its related organs (represented in the figure by the tongue), two feedback systems, and conscious calibration as the speaker constructs each sentence. In addition, calibration is continuously taking place within the control center—the mind. However, because it is acting on feedback from hearing and the proprioceptive senses, I am showing calibration as acting on the source of the feedback. When children learn their mother tongue, their natural ability to hear and mimic adult speech builds complex proprioceptive response patterns.
A French-speaking child effortlessly learns to make nasal sounds. An English-speaking child learns to put her tongue between her teeth and make the “th” sound. A Chinese-speaking child learns to mimic the important tones which change the meaning of words. Each of these unique sounds requires learned muscle control within the mouth. I make no apology for the intricacy of this explanation. The neurological feedback and resulting control of the muscles involved in Teaching Your Tongue to Speak English 7 Control and Feedback in Human Speech Feedback Control Recalibrate Recalibrate Feedback
Figure 4: Control and feedback in human speech. speech is extremely complex. The mind is involved in a far greater task than simply remembering vocabulary and organizing words into meaningful sentences. If you are learning English as a new language, all of its unique sounds and syntax must be learned. This is much more than a memory function involving just your mind. Each of these new sound and syntax patterns requires retraining your entire mind, the nerve feedback in your tongue, mouth, and breathing (which is proprioceptive feedback), and the auditory feedback (your sense of hearing).
Even English syntax is dependent on your proprioceptive sense. The statement, “This is a book,” feels different to the nerve receptors in your mouth than the question, “Is this a book? ” We can certainly understand that memory is involved in the use of correct grammar. Just as important, however, is the observation that proprioceptive feedback demands that a question evoke a different sequence of feedback than a statement. This is why I have identified partial syntax control in Table 1 as being a shared function of both the mind (memory) and the mouth (as a proprioceptive sense). 8 Learning Spoken English
If you doubt that the proprioceptive sense is an important part of speech, try this experiment. Read two or three sentences written in your own language. Read it entirely in your mind without moving your lips. You may even speed read it. Now read the same sentences “silently” by moving your lips without making any sound. Your mind will respond to the first way of reading as simple information which is primarily a memory function, but will respond to the second way as speech because of the proprioceptive feedback from your mouth. Did you also notice a difference between the two readings in terms of your mental intensity?
The first reading would elicit the mental activity required when you do a written grammar-based English assignment. The second would result in the same kind of mental activity required when you study English using spoken drills. How quickly you learn to speak fluent English will be directly proportional to your mental involvement when you study. The best way to learn English Two skill areas must be emphasized if you want to learn to speak English fluently. The first is memory (which is involved in both vocabulary and syntax) and the second is proprioceptive responses (which are involved in both pronunciation and syntax).
You may be able to learn simple vocabulary-related memory skills with equal effectiveness by using either verbal or visual training methods. That is, you may be able to learn pure memory skills equally well with either spoken drills or written exercises. However, it is impossible for you to retrain your proprioceptive sense without hearing your own voice at full speaking volume. Thus, in my opinion, it is a waste of your time to do written assignments for the purpose of learning spoken English.
Surprisingly, it will take far less time for you to learn both fluent spoken English and excellent English grammar by learning only spoken English first, than it will for you to study written English grammar lessons before you can speak English. This does not mean, however, that grammar is not a necessary part of spoken English instruction. It is impossible to speak English—or any other language—without correct use of its grammar. My statement simply means that the best way to learn English grammar is through spoken English exercises. (See Chapter 3: Grammar and Writing in Spoken English Study. Teaching Your Tongue to Speak English 9 Inasmuch as spok en En glish involves multiple areas of skill w o r k i n g cooperatively in real time, it is mandatory that effective spoken English teaching m e t h o d s simultaneously train all of these areas of speech. This is shown in Figure 5. It is the important area of the proprioceptive sense which has been most overlooked in current grammarbased teaching methodology. When any student over the age of about 12 attempts to learn a spoken language, his or her proprioceptive sense must be consciously retrained for all of the new sounds and syntax.
Furthermore, to properly retrain the Control and Feedback Training Must be Simultaneous Control Recalibrate Feedback Time 0 Figure 5: Control and feedback training must be simultaneous. proprioceptive sense of the mouth, the combined feedback from the mouth and hearing must be simultaneously processed in the mind. Simply said, the student must speak out loud for optimum spoken language learning. Without simultaneous involvement of all skill areas of speech, it is impossible for you to effectively retrain your proprioceptive sense in 10 Learning Spoken English order for you to speak fluent English.
Yet, this is exactly what grammar-based English instruction has traditionally done by introducing grammar, listening, writing, and reading as segregated activities. It is not surprising that you have studied English so long in school without learning to speak fluently. Grammar-based instruction has hindered English learning by segregating individual areas of study. This segregation is represented in Figure 6. Grammar-based English training has not only isolated proprioceptive training areas so that it prevents simultaneous skill development, it has replaced it with visual memory training by using written assignments.
Grammar-based language instruction teaches English as though spoken English was an open-loop system. The result for the student is that, gaining English fluency requires far more study time, pronunciation is often faulty, and grammar becomes more difficult to learn. Control and feedback training are not simultaneous in grammar-based English Instruction. Feedback is largely ignored. Written work predominantly aids visual memory. Control again = ????? book = ????? lesson = ???? Time 0 Figure 6: Control and feedback training are not simultaneous in grammarbased English instruction.
Teaching Your Tongue to Speak English Conclusion. Why has it taken you so long to learn to speak English fluently? 11 Grammar-based English language instruction teaches as though spoken English is primarily a function of memory. Consequently, grammar-based English lessons emphasizes non-verbal (written) studies of grammar, writing, reading, and listening. All of these activities may increase recall memory for written examinations, but they have little benefit in teaching you to speak fluent English. The only way you can effectively learn spoken English is by using spoken English as the method of instruction.
All of your study (including English grammar) should be done by speaking English at full voice volume for the entire study period.  Some researchers think human speech is an open-loop system. However, it has been shown that the human brain does many things using both open– and closed-loop control. As suggested in this chapter, spoken English learning would be improved using spoken English study irrespective of whether speech control is open– or closed-loop.  The terms Proprioceptive Method and Feedback Training Method may be used interchangeably in describing this language learning method.
I will use the term proprioceptive to describe the neurological process but will call the language learning method the Feedback Training Method. Chapter 2: Four Rules for Learning Spoken English Chapter Summary: This chapter explains four rules which you must follow in order to learn spoken English. These four rules help you retrain your mind and tongue simultaneously so that you will learn to speak fluent English quickly. You will be surprised by the fourth rule which states, “You must never make a mistake when you are speaking English. ” There are four simple rules you must follow when you are learning to speak English: 1.
To learn to speak English correctly, you must speak it aloud. It is important that you speak loudly and clearly when you are studying spoken English. You are retraining your mind to respond to a new pattern of proprioceptive and auditory stimuli. This can only be done when you are speaking aloud at full volume. One of the reasons that your English study in school required so much time while producing such poor results is that none of the silent study did anything to train your tongue to speak English. 2. To learn to speak English fluently, you must think in English.
The proprioceptive sense is not all that you are retraining when you learn spoken English. There is cognitive learning (memory) which must also take place. Grammar-based English instruction has emphasized cognitive learning to the exclusion of retraining the proprioceptive sense. Nonetheless, cognitive learning is an important part of learning to speak English fluently. For speech to occur, your mind must be actively involved in syntax development. The more actively your mind is involved in spoken English, the more effective the learning process becomes. Four Rules for Learning Spoken English 13
However, just as you will hinder proprioceptive training by trying to study silently, so you will also limit cognitive learning by reading from a text rather than constructing the syntax in your own mind. If you are studying English with Spoken English Learned Quickly, you may use the written text when you first study a new exercise. However, after repeating the exercise two or three times, you must close the text and do the exercise from recall memory as you listen to the audio recording. You must force your mind to think in English by using your recall memory when you are studying spoken exercises.
You cannot read from a text. I will come back to this later in Chapter 5: Selecting a Text, because there will be times when reading from a text such as a newspaper is an effective language learning tool. But when you are doing sentence responses with recorded exercises, you must force your mind to develop the syntax by doing the exercise without reading from a text. You are not thinking in English if you are reading. Making your mind work in order to think of the response is an important part of learning to speak English. 3. The more you speak English aloud, the more quickly you will learn to speak it fluently.
Proprioceptive retraining is not instantaneous. It will require a great deal of repetition to build the new language patterns in your mind. As these new patterns develop, there will be progression from a laborious, conscious effort, to speech which is reproduced rapidly and unconsciously. When you speak your first language, you do so with no conscious awareness of tongue or mouth position and the air flow through the vocal cords. In contrast, it requires experimentation and conscious effort when you first attempt to make an unknown discrete sound in English—this single sound, usually represented by one letter, is called a phoneme.
Some new sounds will be relatively simple for you to make. Others will be more difficult. To add to the complexity, each phoneme has other phonemes or stops adjacent to it which change its sound slightly. (A stop is a break caused by momentarily restricting the air flow with the tongue or throat. ) For example, the simple English sentence, “Why didn’t 14 Learning Spoken English that work? ” may be difficult for you to pronounce if your language does not use the English “th” sound. But it may give you difficulty for another reason as well.
There are actually two stops in the sentence. When properly pronounced, there is a stop between the “n” and “t” in “didn’t” and another stop between the final “t” in “didn’t” and the first “t” in “that. ” Even though the sentence may be said very quickly, the two stops would make it, “Why didn / t / that work? ” Your objective is not to be able to write the sentence, “Why didn’t that work? ” accurately in English. Your goal is not even to be able to say it just well enough so that someone could figure out what you meant. Your objective is to be able to say, “Why didn’t that work? so perfectly to an American that she would think she had just been asked the question by a fellow American. That degree of perfection will require thousands—if not tens of thousands—of repetitions. Therefore—to be somewhat facetious— the more quickly you correctly repeat a particularly difficult phoneme ten thousand times, the more quickly you will be able to use it fluently. That is what I mean when I say, “The more you speak English aloud, the more quickly you will learn to speak fluently. ” 4. You must never make a mistake when you are practicing spoken English.
When you are learning spoken English using the Spoken English Learned Quickly method, you are strongly reinforcing the learning process each time you speak. However, when you construct a sentence incorrectly, you have not only wasted the learning time used to construct that sentence, but you must now invest even more time in order to retrain your mind, mouth, and hearing in order to construct the sentence correctly. The more you use a sentence structure incorrectly, the longer it will take for your mind, mouth, and hearing to identify the correct syntax.
Ideally, if you used only correct syntax and pronunciation, you could retrain your speech in considerably less time. Consequently, you would learn to speak fluent English more quickly. Yet, before you conclude that this would be impossible, let’s look at a way in which it can actually be done using the Spoken English Learned Quickly language course. (Well, it can almost be done! ) Four Rules for Learning Spoken English Traditional English study 15 Traditional methods of teaching English attempt to engage the students in free speech as quickly as possible. Though the goal is commendable, in ractice it has a serious drawback. A beginning student does not have enough language background to be able to construct sentences properly. More to the point, the instruction program seldom has enough teachers to correct every student’s errors. Consequently, beginning students regularly use incomplete sentences having incorrect syntax and verb construction. The instructor often praises them for their valiant effort, in spite of the reality that they are learning to use English incorrectly. The student will now need to spend even more time relearning the correct syntax.
Controlled language study The better alternative is to derive all initial spoken language study from audio recorded materials which contain perfect syntax, perfect use of the verb, and perfect pronunciation. This sounds restrictive, but, in fact, it can be done with the Spoken English Learned Quickly lessons. Say, for example, that during the first two weeks of English study, you used only the Spoken English Learned Quickly recorded exercises. You would repeat the recorded lesson material which was accurate in every detail.
For the entire instruction period, you would work by yourself while repeating the exercise sentences hundreds of times. Needless to say, in two weeks’ time, you would have spoken English correctly far more than had you been passively sitting in a traditional English class. But more to the point, everything you would have learned would have been correct. Your syntax would have been correct. Your use of the English verb would have been correct. And, as much as possible, your pronunciation would have been correct. To continue the example, say that it was now time for you to begin trying free speech.
Yet, we still would not want you to make mistakes. Consequently, all free speaking would be taken directly from the many sentences you would have already learned. Your teacher would ask questions from the Spoken English Learned Quickly exercises so that you could answer in the exact words of the sentences you would have studied. Subsequently, you would be given questions to answer which would use the same structure as the sentences you already knew, but 16 Learning Spoken English now you would substitute other vocabulary words which would be in the same lessons.
Making the application I assume that you are a college student or a young professional and that you are highly motivated to learn to speak English fluently. You will do much better if you seek ways in which you can speak English correctly from the very beginning. Strike a careful balance between free speech and forcing yourself to follow a pattern of correct English use. Do everything in your power to use English correctly. In the early weeks of English study, this may require that you spend more time repeating recorded Spoken English Learned Quickly exercises than in trying to engage in free speech.
Later, however, you will need to spend a great deal of time talking with others. Nonetheless, every time you encounter new syntax in English, use controlled language drills long enough so that your mind becomes thoroughly familiar with correct sentence structure and pronunciation. If you are using the Spoken English Learned Quickly lessons, repeat the exercises until you can say them quickly and accurately with perfect pronunciation. As you progress in your English study, begin reading English newspaper articles aloud. Look for examples of new vocabulary and sentence format.
Mark the sentences, verify the vocabulary, and then read—and repeat from recall memory—the sentences aloud until they become a part of your speech. Chapter 3: Grammar and Writing in Spoken English Chapter Summary: Any language is unintelligible without grammar because grammar consists of the rules used to put words together in ways which convey meaning. The issue is not whether or not you need to know English grammar. The question is, “How do you learn English grammar best? ” My personal experience I had the great advantage of growing up in a home in which grammatically correct English was spoken.
As I progressed through primary school and on into secondary school, my language ability matured as a result of my home and school environments. In retrospect, I believe this is what happened: for the most part, I used proper sentence structure and pronunciation because that is what I heard in my home. However, when I went to school, I needed to learn grammar. I—like probably most of my classmates—did not learn to speak because I studied grammar. Rather, I was able to learn how to do grammar exercises because I already knew how to speak. Certainly, I learned many important things about English through grammar study.
But it was of importance to me only because I had already achieved basic English fluency. I did not learn to speak English as a result of English grammar lessons. I also took two years of Spanish in secondary school. We started with basic grammar. We wrote exercises every day. But we almost never heard spoken Spanish, much less spoke it ourselves. After secondary school graduation, I could neither speak Spanish, nor did I understand Spanish grammar. Within 10 years of my secondary school graduation, I spent a year in Paris studying French.
I had the great fortune of enrolling in a 18 Learning Spoken English French language school that emphasized spoken French to the complete exclusion of written exercises. Not only did I learn French grammar—meaning that I learned to use sentences that communicated what I intended to say to a French listener—but because French and Spanish verb construction is similar, I also began to understand the Spanish grammar which made no sense to me in secondary school. Because I could read and write in English, I had no difficulty reading French.
It was a simple transfer of knowledge from reading in English to reading in French. Later, I studied an African language. Because school-based language courses were almost non-existent in that country, all of my language training was done by way of recorded language drills that I adapted from local radio broadcasts. I also had a university student as my language helper. Yet, I learned how to structure a sentence (which is applied grammar) and write in that language much more quickly than had I been studying grammar and writing independently of the spoken language.
Traditional English instruction Traditional English instruction for non-English-speaking students has reversed the process with poor results. Most English classes teach grammar as a foundation for spoken English. The quickest way to teach students to read English is to teach them to speak it first. The fastest way to teach them sufficient grammar to pass college entrance exams is to build a foundation by teaching them to speak English fluently. Whenever the process is reversed, it takes a needlessly long time to succeed in teaching grammar and writing skills, much less fluent spoken English.
If you are in a school that is using the Spoken English Learned Quickly lessons and the instructors are also trying to teach supplementary grammar lessons, your progress will be hindered. The fastest way for you to learn excellent English grammar is to learn it while speaking. Every sentence you speak in this Spoken English Learned Quickly course will teach you grammar. When you have repeated the sentences enough times so that they sound correct to you, you will have learned English grammar. The Spoken English Learned Quickly lessons are full of grammar.
But the grammar is learned by speaking, not by writing. Grammar and Writing in Spoken English Study 19 Do not misunderstand what I am saying. You cannot speak any language well without knowing its grammar because grammar consists of the rules used to put words together into meaningful sentences. In English, we can use a given number of words to make a statement or ask a question by the way in which we order the words and use inflection. Simply stated, placing the words in the correct order is applied grammar. The issue is not whether or not you need to know English grammar.
English is unintelligible without it. The question is, “How will you learn English grammar best? ” I think you will learn English grammar better and faster by learning it as a spoken language. The best time to study grammar In Chapter 1, I said that effective spoken English instruction simultaneously trains all of your cognitive and sensory centers of speech. When is the best time to learn that the sentence, “That is a book,” is an English statement, and the sentence, “Is that a book? ” is an English question? The best time is when you simultaneously learn to speak these two sentences.
That would take place while you are learning many other similar sentences so that you will develop a cognitive sense reinforced by motor skill and auditory feedback. You will learn that the order and inflection of the one sentence is a question, while the other is a statement. The sound of the sentence is as much an indicator of its meaning as its written form. Right? Right! There is also a relationship between good pronunciation and good spelling. I am a poor speller. I understand that I misspell many words because I probably mispronounce them.
At some point, everyone who expects to write English well must learn to spell. Yet, it will probably be faster for you to learn good spelling after learning good pronunciation than it will be for you to learn good spelling without being able to speak. In practice, you will learn the spelling of new English words as they are added to the vocabulary of each new lesson. I am not saying that grammar or spelling are unnecessary. Rather, I am saying that grammar can be taught more effectively—and in less time—by using audio language drills.
Teaching grammar by means of spoken language has the great advantage of reinforcing the cognitive learning of grammar while using two additional functions found in normal speech—motor skill feedback and auditory feedback. Teaching 20 Learning Spoken English grammar as a written exercise does develop cognitive learning, but it reinforces it with visual feedback. Though visual feedback has some merit, it is outside the context of spoken English. The single reinforcement of visual feedback outside of the spoken English context is far less effective than motor skill feedback and auditory feedback which are both inside the spoken language context.
The trade-off is costly and retards progress. Far more is gained when you learn to identify correct grammar by the way a sentence sounds, rather than by the way it looks. Though it would not typically be explained this way, it is also important on a subconscious level that you learn how correct grammar feels. As a function of the proprioceptive sense, a statement produces a certain sequence of sensory feedback from the mouth, tongue, and air passages that feels different than a question.
It would take considerably longer to teach a language student how to write English grammar exercises, and then speak English correctly, than it would to teach the same student to first speak English correctly, and then introduce rules of grammar. This gain would be greatly augmented, however, if the rules of grammar were incorporated into the spoken language lessons themselves as they are in Spoken English Learned Quickly. If you study spoken English for a year, you will gain a great deal of fluency. With that spoken English fluency, you will have a good understanding of English grammar.
If you spend the same amount of time in English grammar study, you will have limited English fluency and will have little practical understanding of English grammar. That is probably why you are reading this book. You have undoubtedly studied written English for a long time, but you still can’t speak English very well. Chapter 4: Do You Need Beginning and Advanced Lessons? Chapter Summary: Without first evaluating the unique qualities of language, it is often assumed that English study must be divided into beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels.
However, a careful assessment of English indicates that it does not use multiple levels of language complexity. The kind of sentences which you use as a beginning student are the same kind of sentences which you must master as an advanced student in order to gain English fluency. As a beginning English student, you must learn English in the context of full sentences. As an advanced student, you must use the same sentences to perfect syntax and intonation. Your perceived needs as you begin studying English will significantly influence how you answer this chapter’s title question.
If you decide that you need beginning English when you start your study, you will spend much time looking for lessons with beginning sentences because English does not speak a beginning language. On the other hand, if you decide that the English used in the daily newspaper is what you want to learn, you can easily find that kind of English language. Is there a need for beginning and advanced lessons in English? I am really asking if beginning and advanced students can use the same level of lessons to learn spoken English. Before you give an intuitive answer, I need to ask the question properly.
The question is, “Does English have multiple, specialized language divisions? ” The answer is, “No, it does not. ” There is no high English language spoken by the gentry versus a low language spoken by commoners. Historically, many languages such as Greek and Chinese, have indeed used two levels. Modern English does not even have a specialized construction for folklore. Many languages in which oral tradition has been 22 Learning Spoken English preserved have a storytelling form of the language which is distinct from the language used in everyday conversation.
In these languages, there are often specialists who recount folktales in public gatherings. Common English has none of that. In fact, English is so simple in this regard that we do not even have two forms of address for people of differing social standing. French, for instance, has strict conventions regarding the use of “tu” or “vous” when addressing someone. A U. S. citizen, however, would address both the President of the United States and a young child as “you. ” English has many specialized vocabularies.
Any student who has taken courses in anatomy, law, physics, automotive technology, psychology, engineering, geology, or anthropology has spent a great deal of time learning specialized terminology. But the essential English syntax which holds these words together in a sentence is still the language of the street—or the language of the daily newspaper. So, aside from specialized vocabularies, English has no divisions representing varying levels of language complexity. Almost any individual with at least a secondary school education would make essentially the same evaluation of another speaker’s ability to use good or bad English.
The exception to the above paragraph would be found in technical documents such as legal briefs and the like. However, this style of English is far from the language used in normal conversation. There is only one kind of English which you need to learn. You do not need two or more different course levels. This is not to say that English is a simple language to learn. Far from it. However, the same complexity is in all spoken English, not merely in some higher level. Why have traditional language programs insisted that there must be beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels of English study?
It is not because there are beginning and advanced levels of spoken English. It is because there are beginning, intermediate, and advanced explanations for English grammar. This means that some rules of English grammar are easy to explain. Some rules of grammar are more difficult to explain. And some are complex enough to require a highly technical explanation. But spoken English is one subject of study, whereas the formal rules of English grammar are quite another. Now I can answer the question, “Do you need beginning and advanced English lessons to learn the language? Of course not. There is Do You Need Beginning and Advanced Lessons? 23 only one level of spoken English. If you are a beginning student, you must start by speaking normal English sentences. If you have studied English for several years and consider yourself an advanced student, you must continue until you are able to fluently pronounce the words in those same normal English sentences. There will be a great difference in the fluency between beginning and advanced students. But there is no difference in the level of English sentences they must study.
They must use the same English sentences both to initiate, and then to master, the process which will develop the necessary cognitive, motor, and auditory skills used to speak fluent English. Complex English sentences I need to add an explanation so that what I am saying is understandable. English grammar identifies simple sentences (sentences with one main clause), compound sentences (sentences with two or more main clauses), complex sentences (sentences with one main clause and at least one subordinate clause), and compound-complex sentences (sentences made up of two or more main clauses and at least one subordinate clause).
An example of a compound-complex sentence would be, “The Saturday afternoon program was like a two-ring circus; while one part of the TV screen carried the professional football game, the other part showed scores from collegiate games. ” Of course, this is not a sentence we would expect beginning English students to use. But the complexity of the sentence is not in the language level of the sentence. Its so-called complexity is only in the punctuation of the sentence which makes it a complex sentence by grammatical definition.
With very little change, the sentence could become three simple sentences: “The Saturday afternoon program was like a two-ring circus. One part of the TV screen showed the professional football game. The other part of the TV screen showed scores from collegiate games. ” Aside from vocabulary, any one of these three sentences are beginning level sentences. Thus, when I say that there is no difference in the level of English sentences a beginning and advanced student must study, I am not talking about a grammatical definition.
I am saying that there is not one language that would be used by commoners and another that would be used by the gentry. Even though the example sentence about the TV’s split screen is not a sentence we would want to include in the first lesson, it does not represent multiple, specialized language divisions. 24 Learning Spoken English But it’s too difficult to start with normal English Not really. Once you understand the “hello”s and “goodby”s in English, you are ready to begin practicing with normal sentences. Aside from sentences which contain specialized vocabulary, most English sentences use common verbs and syntax construction.
This is the English you want to speak. Use it from the very start of your language study. This is not as difficult as it seems. If you are using the Spoken English Learned Quickly course, you will discover that Lesson 1 uses normal English sentences, even though it uses only the present tense. Lesson 2 uses complete sentences in past, present, and future tenses. The sentences become slightly more complex as the lessons progress, but every sentence in the entire course is one that you will need to master as an “advanced” student.
Your objective in using Spoken English Learned Quickly is not merely to understand the sentence as though it was part of a grammar exercise. Your objective is to be able to use each sentence in fluent English speech. The spoken language you want to learn is everyday English. It will remove a great deal of stress if you realize that in the very first week of English study, you are learning normal English. By and large, your English study will never become any more difficult than it is when you first begin because you will be studying normal spoken English from the first lesson to the completion of your formal study.
This is how you will study English with Spoken English Learned Quickly. It was designed for both beginning and advanced students because our students want to learn spoken English, not written English grammar. Chapter 5: Selecting a Text Chapter Summary: For spoken English study, you will need both a written text and an audio recording of that text. It will be easier to make an audio recording using a newspaper text than it will be to transcribe a radio audio program as a written text. The newspaper article becomes an excellent text for language study.
If you are using Spoken English Learned Quickly, both the text and the audio recordings have already been prepared for you. In this chapter, I am using the term text to identify a written manuscript. A newspaper in English is usually an excellent source for a study text. Most newspapers use good syntax, relatively simple sentences, and common expressions. In addition to general vocabulary, newspapers will give you many common political, scientific, economic, and technical words. Generally, newspapers are also a good source of colloquial expressions.
As you begin language study, you will need both a manuscript and an audio recording of the text for pronunciation practice. In your initial selection of a study text, you will be faced with a choice between a printed text from a newspaper or spoken language from a radio broadcast. I will explain the use of a newspaper as an English text in this chapter because it will help you to understand how the text would be used. However, if you are using the Spoken English Learned Quickly lessons, the text and the audio recordings are complete and all of the features in this chapter are already built into that course.
Fourteen of the 16 Spoken English Learned Quickly lessons begin with a Lesson Text section. This material may be read aloud exactly like a newspaper. If you are using the Lesson Text for your reading, 26 Learning Spoken English you will have the added advantage of familiar vocabulary and audio recordings to guide your pronunciation. You may also print each Lesson Text from the downloadable section of the website. After you complete the Spoken English Learned Quickly lessons, you will still want to read newspapers as you continue studying English.
You can become very fluent in English—and develop an excellent vocabulary—if you continue to read English newspapers aloud. However, at that point you would not need to make audio recordings. Reading aloud and keeping a vocabulary notebook would be all you would need to do. By this time in your study, I am assuming that your pronunciation and voice inflection would be acceptable. If not, you would need to return to the Spoken English Learned Quickly lessons until your pronunciation was correct. Going from a written text to an audio recording In this chapter, I am merely describing the text itself.
For the moment, I will assume that you would have a teacher who is a first language English speaker. I am also assuming that you would have audio recording equipment. By now you realize that the purpose of using the newspaper is spoken language practice. You would always read the newspaper aloud, and would frequently read a sentence aloud and then look away from the text, repeating the sentence from recall memory. Everything considered, you would probably find it easier to produce an audio recording from a newspaper text than you would to produce a text from a radio broadcast recording.
It would be much simpler to have your English teacher record the text than to have the teacher transcribe the audio recording. For your study purposes, a printed newspaper text would assure a more precise use of the language, better spelling, and a more easily preserved printed copy. Because live radio broadcasts are difficult to record with inexpensive audio equipment, you would likely have difficulty hearing all of the words. Therefore, it would be easier to get a good text and a usable recording by having the teacher read a newspaper text for the audio recording.
The text would be recorded so that there would be adequate pauses for your study. Selecting a Text Using the newspaper for vocabulary 27 First, read the article out loud, identifying new vocabulary as you read. Whenever you read a word you do not know, stop and find it in your dictionary. Keep a vocabulary notebook. If a word you do not know is used more than twice in an article, put a check ( ) by it for special study. However, do not check names of places or people. After you finish reading the article for the first time, review the meaning of all of the new vocabulary words.
Study these words enough so that you know what they mean when you read the article. Always pronounce vocabulary words—do even your vocabulary study out loud. After you are more familiar with the process, select other newspaper articles and continue reading aloud while you look for new vocabulary words. When you find a word in a second newspaper article which you have already checked ( ) in your notebook, place a second check ( ) by it. Any word in your notebook with two checks should be memorized as an important word to know. Whenever you are able to do so, write cognate forms of the same word.
For example, to adhere, an adhesive, and adhesion are cognates. It will be helpful for you to learn multiple cognate forms of a word at the same time rather than learning each form as a new vocabulary word when you encounter it. Association of a single word in multiple forms with one root meaning will result in more rapid vocabulary retention. It will also teach you how to develop cognate forms of words as you speak English in the future. Verbs should be listed in your notebook by their infinitive form (for example, “to remember”) rather than by a conjugated form (for example, “she remembers”).
After mastering the verb’s conjugation, it will be far simpler to learn a single verb form than it will be to attempt to learn each form of a verb as an individual vocabulary word. Spoken English Learned Quickly does an excellent job of teaching English verbs. Since you will learn each new verb in all its persons, tenses, and specialized forms, you will learn the English verb so well that you will be able to use every tense and person of any regular English verb. If you heard a new English verb, you would be able to use every person and tense in a spoken sentence even if you did not know that verb’s meaning. 8 Learning Spoken English Using the newspaper for meaning Read the article again for meaning. Always read aloud. If you do not understand a sentence, stop and figure out exactly what it means. If some of the definitions you have written in your notebook do not make sense in the context of the article, find the word again in your dictionary and see if it has other meanings. If a second meaning for the word would make better sense, write that definition in your notebook. If you still cannot figure out the meaning of a sentence, it may be because two or more words are used together as a single expression.
Try to determine the meaning of expressions. Look for similar expressions in other articles. If you still cannot determine the meaning of an expression, ask your English teacher for assistance. Review your vocabulary meanings regularly with your English teacher. Using the newspaper for syntax development Reading a newspaper article aloud is an ideal way to reinforce your use of grammatically correct English syntax. Your goal is to retrain your mind, hearing, and mouth to understand and use English correctly.
Reading aloud from a newspaper is one of the best ways to accomplish that. The great advantage is that you will be reading a large number of different sentences which will all be organized according to the same grammar rules. Thus, you would be learning the acceptable range of the syntax of that language. That is, there may appear to be many variations from sentence to sentence, yet all of the uses would still be correct. For an example, you would learn that you can place the word “however” at the beginning, middle, or end of an English sentence.
You would also learn that the position of “however” can make a slight difference in meaning, or it can enhance the style of the sentence. In many respects, using the newspaper for syntax development is similar to using it for fluency enhancement and as an aid in conversation as mentioned below. The same exercises suggested below would be as profitable for syntax as they would be for fluency and conversation. Selecting a Text Using the newspaper in order to learn expressions 29 Expressions add richness to all languages. Identify expressions as you read the newspaper.
Use a special mark to identify them in articles. Many expressions may be divided so that component words of the expression are separated by non-component words. Try substituting other words while using the same expression. Say or write as many sentences using the expression as possible. To use an example, you may read a sentence in a newspaper which says, “The Governor announced Friday that he will not run for another term, putting to rest months of speculation about his future intentions. ” Most expressions can be used in different tenses with different people or things.
For example, the expression “to put to rest” can be used in the present, “I want to put our disagreement to rest,” in the future, “He will put his argument to rest,” or in the past, “They finally put their rivalry to rest. ” Notice that in the last phrase, the component parts of the expression are separated: “They finally put their rivalry to rest. ” To continue with another illustration, English uses word forms as a type of expression. For example, you may read a sentence in a newspaper which says, “We’re getting all kinds of calls from people who are panicking and asking what they can do. This form of expression uses two or more words ending in “…ing” to describe two or more actions that the same person is doing at one time. Using the newspaper for fluency enhancement In this use of the newspaper, you would simply read rather than alternating between reading and repeating a sentence from recall memory. You would want to read the entire article aloud for fluency practice. Try reading the article as smoothly as possible without stopping. Read it aloud at least twice. For more fluency practice, continue reading the article aloud until you can read it at the same rate of speed that an American speaker uses when talking.
Practice until your pronunciation duplicates that of the American speaker. Your purpose would not merely be to learn the vocabulary in these newspaper articles, but to learn to speak fluently. Keep practicing until you can read the article aloud so that an American speaker could clearly understand what you are saying. 30 Learning Spoken English Fluency is the ability to speak smoothly with proper intonation. Initially use single sentences for fluency drills, repeatedly reading a single sentence until you can read it smoothly. Eventually, do the same with multiple sentences or paragraphs.
Even as a beginning student, there is value in reading a longer passage or entire article without break in order to establish the rhythm of the spoken language. This is excellent proprioceptive training. Your natural tendency will be to move on to new articles too quickly. In reality, it would only be after you already know all of the vocabulary and can pronounce each word correctly that you would be ready to use the newspaper article to full advantage. You would not be fully retraining you mind and tongue until you could read the article at normal speaking speed with proper inflection and pronunciation.
You would accomplish more in attaining fluent speech by re-reading fewer articles aloud perfectly than you would by reading many articles aloud with faulty pronunciation. Using the newspaper for conversation practice In Chapter 2 I said, “You must never make a mistake when you are speaking. ” That objective will be the most difficult when you first begin free conversation. However, using a newspaper article will be a great aid in producing conversation which is essentially free of mistakes. A newspaper article can give you a great deal of structure for conversation practice.
This structure would give both you and your English teacher a defined group of vocabulary words, defined sentences with an understood meaning, and a defined context in which the vocabulary and sentences can be communicated. Your English teacher could use the newspaper article to structure free conversation. To continue with the illustration, your English teacher could lead you in a discussion stemming from a newspaper article. You could easily have the following discussion after only four weeks of full-time language study. Notice that your teacher would ask each question twice, expecting that you ill substitute a pronoun in the second response. English teacher: “What did the Governor announce Friday? ” Your response: “The Governor announced Friday that he will not run for another term. ” Selecting a Text English teacher: “What did the Governor announce Friday? ” 31 Your response: “He announced Friday that he will not run for another term. ” English teacher: “Will the Governor run for another term? ” Your response: “No, the Governor will not run for another term. ” English teacher: “Will the Governor run for another term? ” Your response: “No, he will not run for another term. English teacher: “When did the Governor announce that he will not run for another term? ” Your response: “The Governor announced Friday that he will not run for another term. ” English teacher: “When did the Governor announce that he will not run for another term? ” Your response: “He announced Friday that he will not run for another term. ” Assuming that you had only been studying English for four weeks, your initial response to each question would be halting. You would also be looking at the printed text when your English teacher initially asked the question.
But at least your answer would be word perfect— you would be training your proprioceptive sense by using perfect syntax. Now you would want to add perfect pronunciation and fluency to that. During typical English instruction, extra attention is usually given to poor performance. That is, when you use a sentence incorrectly, it is corrected with additional drills. On the other hand, when you respond correctly, the teacher moves on to the next sentence. That is not what you would want your English teacher to do for you now.
Of course, you would want help with incorrect syntax and pronunciation. But in order to learn the language effectively, you would want to emphasize correct language use. To continue our example, say that none of the sentences in the above illustration would contain any phonemes which you could not reproduce acceptably. Therefore, your English teacher would continue to drill you on these same sentences until you pronounce them perfectly. 32 Learning Spoken English She would again ask the first question twice, allowing you to respond accordingly.
English teacher: “What did the Governor announce Friday? ” Your response: “The Governor announced Friday that he will not run for another term. ” English teacher: “What did the Governor announce Friday? ” Your response: “He announced Friday that he will not run for another term. ” Now, however, you would not be looking at the text. Your English teacher would ask these two questions until you could answer word perfectly from recall memory. But she would still not be finished. She would now increase her tempo and would expect you to answer accordingly.
She would persist until the two of you were conversing so quickly and naturally that if an American came into the room, he or she would hear a strange redundant conversation in what would otherwise be completely understandable English. It would be just as understandable to that English speaker as any conversation between two Americans in a grocery store. This would continue—maybe for several days of practice—until the entire series of questions from that newspaper article could be asked and answered in fully fluent conversation. You would be worn out by the time you had finished studying this intensely from a newspaper article.
Yet, while others would be in the beginning language course after their initial four weeks of study, you— after your first four weeks—would already be speaking on an advanced level, even though you would only be using a relatively small number of sentences. Congratulations! Using
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