If you’re thinking about altering your accent, try focusing on these aspects of language:
study the characteristics of your language’s sound system and how it differs from English. Start with the differing consonants, which seem to create more misunderstandings.
practice in phrases (not individual words) and how one word blends with the words surrounding it
move your mouth more than you’re used to – open it wider like you’re yawning, spread the corners of your lips to meet your ears! This sounds like an exaggeration, but moving your mouth in different ways is a major component of forming new sounds.
watch Americans’ lips when they speak – watching on TV is OK to avoid any awkwardness, but the Simpsons, Family Guy, or some other cartoon won’t help you.
listen to and imitate sentence stress and intonation and stress patterns within phrases (my favorite activity for this is listening to and singing along with music)
copy what you hear exactly and often (as exact and as often as you can)
This is all I can think of for now, but there are more. I’ll post them as I start to remember them. For now, I hope these help.
So many of my posts are inspired by comments and suggestions from people with the same language questions as you, and I would love to hear what’s on your mind. So, now your job is to comment, call, subscribe, and, of course, like!
This Science Daily article refers to research about how playing with blocks increases spatial development. Interaction during this play time also increases spatial vocabulary.
The researchers found that when playing with blocks under interactive conditions, children hear the kind of language that helps them think about space, such as “over,” “around” and “through.”
So, is there an age limit to playing with children’s toys in the classroom to learn these prepositions? Some classes are academic leaning and don’t allow for much play. However, other groups might be willing to play around, especially if it helps them master prepositions reflecting spatial concepts that are often difficult to explain with words and pictures only.
Why do people say “Eve” instead of just Christmas or New Year’s? What does “Eve” mean?
During the holidays, we say “eve” to mean the evening before the holiday. It is also used when speaking about Halloween. October 31st is All Hallow’s Eve. All Hallow’s Day, or All Saints Day, is November 1st. We usually don’t say Halloween Eve, because (1) it would be redundant to do so, since Halloween, the word itself, comes from an abbreviated form of All Hallow’s Eve, and (2) Halloween Eve, if used, would actually refer to October 30th.
I have heard (and seen on Twitter) people jokingly expand the definition of eve to mean the day before any day: my birthday eve (the day before my birthday), or Thursday is Friday Eve.
People don’t joke about Eve very often, just often enough for me to want to mention it. Remember, if you use eve in writing after a holiday, even if you’re joking, remember to capitalize it!
Sometimes when learning a language, or anything new, we can get so wrapped up in pushing ahead and learning more. More vocabulary, less frequent verb tenses, the exact translation of a phrase, or figuring out why they use this preposition over that!
If this sound like you, take a moment to relax.
As you relax, think about the early days when you were too timid to utter a sentence. What are some of the things you learned in your first class? What are some things you and your first English speaking friend talked about?
My point is that you should take some time and revisit the basics. You might benefit by realizing how far you have come in your studies. You might build your confidence by mastering those grammar points that seemed so confusing last year. You might even find that there, within the first pages of your notebook, or on page 6 of your 400-page textbook, is the answer you’ve been looking for all along.
Should I write in print or manuscript? That is the question. You might also be asking if you should even bother learning cursive at all. Some school districts are already making efforts to remove cursive from some curriculum.
I would argue that many people still need cursive and should learn it. For one thing, adult ESL students associate cursive writing with a mature form of writing, where print seems more childlike. While print is the preferred, and often required, style for people in certain fields, such as science and technology, for anyone learning the Roman Alphabet for the first time, cursive provides a way of doing so quickly and legibly. It is also important for children to learn cursive to practice their fine motor functions. Even if they don’t need it to pass their classes, the benefits of dexterity provided by the muscle toning can help in ways that extend beyond writing. This blog explains some of the more clinical benefits of cursive.
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