设为首页收藏本站我的收藏

大耳朵英语社区

 找回密码
 注册
搜索
查看: 1685|回复: 1

[经验/分享/互助答疑] Speak out! All You Need Is Only Confidence

[复制链接]
发表于 2017-9-6 18:18:19 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
    Many learners have learned English foryears but every time they are to speak English before others, they are usuallyunable to utter a complete sentence. The only sentence they are most likely tofinish probably is "My English is poor." However, it is almost thesame group of learners who often go on the Internet and ask questions about howthey can learn spoken English well. To the disappointment of those people, I'mnot going to answer such questions directly in this article. I'd like to tellthose learners that if you can say "my English is poor" clearly,chances are that you can say much more than that. It is only that you don'tbelieve you can. I write this article not so much to teach you how to improve yourspoken English as to let you know that you should have an idea of how good youare already at speaking English by testing it out before others bravely. Allyou need indeed is only some confidence in yourself.
       Of course, to have confidence in yourself does not mean to haveconfidence without any proof of your capability. Normally, we speak English orany other language to people with the purpose of letting them understand whatwe are saying. To accomplish that purpose, our English speaking should be acceptablein two aspects. One is that our pronunciation should be clear and the other isthat the grammatical structure should be intelligible at a minimal level. Whatdoes that mean? For example, when you pronounce the word "come" whosepronunciation is marked as /'kʌm/, you cannot pronounce it as /ka:m/. If you doso, you'll sound like you are saying the word 'calm'. As a result, manylearners will say that they are afraid of speaking before others and especiallybefore native English speakers because they fear that their pronunciation isnot standard so that their utterance cannot be understood. Although it is bestthat you can make standard English pronunciation, in fact most of the timeideals are miles away from reality. Your pronunciation will only bequasi-standard at the very best. Just reason with yourself a little bit and theproblem will become no problem at all. What is 'standard English pronunciation'anyway? If the Britishers say their English pronunciation is standard, theAmericans will bow to disagree. Vice versa. To make the matters morecomplicated, there are Australians and Canadians who also have their versionsof English pronunciation. Even within an English-speaking country like the UK,there are many dialects of English. It is possible that an Irish cannot fullyunderstand what a Londoner is babbling about the first time he or she comes toLondon. Can the Irish say that the Londoner's English pronunciation isnon-standard? Therefore, to dare to speak out, we should firstly assureourselves that there is actually no such a thing as standard Englishpronunciation. Apparently, we have received so much education on “standardEnglish” that we are not aware of the fact that as a living language spoken bypeople in many countries in the world, English can have many variants just likethe dialects of Chinese in different parts of China. People from different English-speakingcountries have not yet reach a consensus on the matter of standard English.Now, let's go back to the word 'come'. Certainly, you cannot pronounce itas /'ka:m/ because it will cause misunderstanding. But it is acceptable topronounce it as /'kam/, which is close to /'kʌm/ and is less likely to causemisunderstanding. Of course, I'm not encouraging you to get loose on yourpronunciation. I'm only saying that you can feel less nervous about yourpronunciation and that you needn't wait until you think you can make so-calledstandard English pronunciation. Just speak out and see whether others, be themnative English speakers or non-native speakers like your fellow Chinese, canunderstand you. If they can, bravo, you pass muster. If they can't, well, youshould check to see where you are not sounding right and learn to make improvements.
         How about grammar? Compared with pronunciation, grammarstands a greater chance of being standardized. Many people are worried what iftheir English is not standard in grammar so that native English speakers haveno idea what they are talking about. Such worries, although they arereasonable, should not prevent you from speaking out either. If you have noknowledge about the grammar of English, it would be another story. But I thinkthat most learners with even just one year’s experience of learning Englishshould have the bottom-line knowledge of the basic structure of a simplesentence where there is the possible presence of at least one of such componentsas the subject, the predicate, the object, and the adverbial. For example, Jacksits on the sofa. Or, Tom sleeps. On even such a simple basis of Englishgrammar and with a vocabulary of the most frequently used English words, muchcan be communicated with no big problem. Be assured that some elements in thesituation where your conversation is going on come to your assistance. In manycases in the daily life, native English speakers will not say completesentences in order to make themselves understood. On the contrary, they oftenjust utter some words or phrases and that’s enough. For example, in acoffeeshop a customer needs only to say, “One coffee and one muffin, please.”The waiter/waitress will have no problem of taking that order. There is no needto say, “Give me one coffee and one muffin, please.” That costs a lot of moretime and breath. It is the same with speaking Chinese. We often use shortenedsentences and have no problem making ourselves understood. So, just shake offthe psychological burden of thinking that we should use complete and standardgrammatical sentences every time we say something in English. When shopping inan English-speaking country, you can simply say, “How much?” while pointing tothe thing of your heart’s desire.
    One of the sources of fears that preventyou from speaking out in English may be the sense of being inferior as aspeaker of English. Yes, we surely are no native speakers of English. However,that does not prevent us from becoming a user of English at all. Historically,China remained closed to the outside world for quite some time. That period of closuredisrupted her progress of internationalization, leaving her people few chancesof communicating with people the world over. Fortunately, later China reopened herdoor to the outside world, greatly increasing the need to interact withforeigners. It is under such conditions that learning and using English becomenecessary. There are growing chances where we may use a foreign language likeEnglish in one way or another in our life and work. Nevertheless, as English remainsthe lingua franca in international communication, if a person can speakstandard English fluently, he or she will have a thousand and one reasons tofeel proud while many other people can’t help but feeling jealous. By and by, anembarrassing situation has taken shape, where some people who are never contentwith their spoken English usually feel inferior to those people who they thinkcan speak English better than them. However, no matter those who feel inferioror those who feel proud, I’m afraid both group have made a fundamental mistakeabout learning English. We learn English not for showing off but for using itinstead. If you really want to feel proud, you need not even get close to thelegend of speaking like a native speaker. You can feel proud of your English simplybecause you have no problem using English to make yourself understood. We mighthave had too much and too long experience of listening to native Englishspeakers so that we are inclined to compare our pronunciation with theirs. We havebecome very much conscious of the difference between our pronunciation andtheirs. That’s probably why we always have the impression that our English isnot standard and that we have not learned English well enough. Whereas, if youhave the chance of coming into contact with people from non-English speakingcountries, say, India, Japan, Africa, etc., you probably will not regard yourEnglish as very poor. But again, don’t fall into the trap of comparing yourEnglish to others’ any more. As far as I know, the Indians will not appearinferior because their English pronunciation is indeed indecipherable when youfirst hear them speak English. What they really care about is whether you canunderstand what they say. When you point that you cannot understand them, theywill repeat their sentence slowly and more loudly. But they cannot make theirsentence clearer than they first say it. They may finally give up when you tellthem that you can’t understand them even after they have repeated theirsentence several times. They will not feel ashamed of their pronunciation atall. Instead, they will think it may have been the problem with your listening.They think so because they believe that their pronunciation is good enough forcommunication. Before speaking to you, they must have communicated in English withother people including native English speakers. If they will ask a questionabout their pronunciation at all, they will ask why you can’t understand themwhile many others have understood. Based on such a judgement, they areconfident that there is no big problem with their pronunciation. Now thequestion is, since the Indians are so poor in English pronunciation accordingto our judgement and since they think they don’t have any problem communicatingin English with others, what excuses do we have to feel diffident about ourpronunciation? In that case, I suggest that you just speak out next time you speakto someone else no matter whether he or she is a native English speaker or not.If your pronunciation is unacceptable, the one you speak to will point it outfor you because they need to make out what you mean.
Lastly, what are the possible sources of some non-nativeEnglish speakers’ self-confidence in English speaking, you may ask? Some ofthem may be confident of their speaking English for they have received verygood education in English in their country. People in this category are obviouslynot the majority. Most non-native speakers who do not have any fear of notbeing able to be understood are confident that the one they speak to will beable to gain an understanding of what they say. If that is a bet, they win.Yes, while non-native speakers may have problems understanding each other inEnglish, the native English speakers will have less trouble figuring out what theyhear when they are talking with non-native speakers. That is to say, they havemuch greater power of decoding what we say to them than we expect. Of course,it is certain that misunderstanding still happens. However, it may not happenas often as we imagine. That may be why the Indians only care about whether theone they talk to understands what they say but have no worries about theirlevel of English. If they can be understood, they think they have learnedEnglish adequately. Otherwise, they’ll try to sharpen their tools by practicingmore.
With everything said above, my suggestion is that we havesome confidence on our English and just speak out whenever the chance arises.Only by speaking English as much as possible in various situations can we growin our experience of spoken English. Don’t care how others will judge ourEnglish as long as we can make ourselves understood. If your level of Englishcan cover your need to use it in your life and work, it is sufficient for themoment. The time will come when you find that you need to improve your English.Before that, just try to use it and don’t lose it.
来自群组: 英语学习
发表于 2017-11-16 14:20:18 | 显示全部楼层
Wow,It is great.Speak out.All you need is only confidence.For Chinese,we are a little shy to speak English.We are worried if others will laugh us. At fact,nobody care your pronounce and grammar.They only want to know what is your mean.
回复 支持 反对

使用道具 举报

您需要登录后才可以回帖 登录 | 注册

本版积分规则

关闭

站长推荐上一条 /1 下一条

Archiver|手机版|小黑屋|大耳朵英语社区 ( 客服QQ群:19012993  

GMT+8, 2019-3-24 05:19

Powered by Discuz!

© 2001-2017 Comsenz Inc.

快速回复 返回顶部 返回列表