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Why you DO NOT need to sound like a native English speaker!


Minoo

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These days, I see too many English language students wanting to sound like a native English speaker. They feel they need to speak with a specific native English accent while using many idiomatic expressions.

 

This is a hugely ambitious goal for someone who was not exposed to the English language before they were two or three years old. In my own case, I started learning English at the age of six, and although I’ve been speaking and teaching English every day for the past 37 years, I still don’t sound like a native English speaker.

 

So, if you know someone who has achieved this goal as an adult learner, then they’re a genius! For most of us, however, this is a rather pointless and disempowering goal.

 

 Why is this a pointless goal?

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I can think of four reasons:

 

a) When it comes to communicating with others, accent is irrelevant. Whether we sound British, American, Italian, or Chinese, what really matters is how easily others understand us.

 

b) Good speakers and writers avoid using too many idiomatic expressions and complex structures. They keep their language short and simple.

 

c) English grammar is even difficult for natives to master. As a proofreader, I regularly correct and improve native speakers’ poorly written English.

 

d)  Out of the 1.5 billion English speakers worldwide, only 25% are native. If, for the sake of facilitating communication, one group had to change the way they spoke, it would logically be the natives. Why is no-one asking them to lose their regional accents and limit their vocabulary to the 5000 words that are sufficient to communicate in most situations?

 

 Why is it a disempowering goal?

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Our voice and the way we speak is a fundamental part of our personal and cultural identity. If we feel that we must change this important aspect of our identity in order to succeed in life, we’re really telling ourselves: ‘I’m not good enough! I must become someone else, or pretend that I am someone else.’

 

This negative self-image can generate feelings of lack, inferiority, and envy that disempower us. Even if we work with the most brilliant voice coach to change our accent and memorise the whole of the English idioms dictionary, this ‘I’m not good enough’ belief will result in failure.

 

Loss of self-belief and self-confidence is a huge price to pay for a goal that, as I argued above, is totally pointless.

 

 What’s a better goal?

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Instead of wanting to sound like someone else when we speak English, let’s focus our efforts on sounding like our unique self who speaks with a clear pronunciation and uses simple and correct language. Just imagine for a moment how much less stressful and more motivating this goal can be!

 

Also, put yourself in the shoes of the people you interact with in English, both native and non-native. Don’t you think they love the fact that they can understand you easily and interact with you comfortably? Or, do you imagine that they think less of you because you don’t speak like someone from Melbourne, Dublin, or Texas?

 

I’d love to read your thoughts and stories in the comments section.

 

6 Comments


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                                   Hello Head Tutor, Minoo.

                  I totally agree with you.The main thing is that people understand us,

       and we understand them. Keep it simple!

       Regards,

       Omar

  • Like 2
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Butterfly 55

Posted (edited)

Hi Miss Minou,
I have taken note of the definition of fluency, which you had already explained earlier on YouTube with the heading: ' How to speak and write English fluently.'
- What means fluency?
- Which one of these methodes will get you to fluency.


Fluency: speak and write easily and clearly: keywords: with ease - confidence - clarity.
—> you will gradually introduce more complex vocabulary and structures as you continue to expand your knowledge.
—> The shorter and more concist your sentence is, the better.
—> learn everyday vocabulary that you are able to use most of the time. ( Collect them in a notebook, teaching materials and try to rehairse it as often as possible)
—> work on areas of pronunciation that may be affecting the clarity of your message.


Methode: which of these methods will get you to fluency?
- Get a grammar book and a phrase book to study at home, supplement this by watching YT lessons.
- Watch movies, listen to audiobooks and read books, or live in an English-speaking country. ( record BBC breakfast as it is subtitled.)
- Sign up for conversation classes, study with a teacher and practise with other students. (evening classes)
—> conclusion : all of this.
An integrated matter or system that give you a step by step a study plan going progressively from easy to difficult and eliminating the need for explanation in your language. With lots of written and oral exercising, so practise speaking and writing all the time.
So you need an on going teacher support including periodic feedback of your rating and speaking skills. In order to learn what is good and what you need to work on.


My conclusion :   Anglo- link is a great course to start with…it has its own correction system when making exercises.
- Reading challenge, read  ebooks : Macmillian Readers, learning platform for electronic devices. (ebooks which go along with 'read out' - listening of what is said in the ebook.


As for myself: work on New Headway Advanced study book 4th edition Oxford university press; however, I bought it from amazon.com  Amazon marketplace. Along with the ebook version - Oxford learner’s Bookshelf  

Also, the solutions of questions are found on the teacher webside 

https://access.oup.com/eac/productRegistration.htm
https://fdslive.oup.com/www.oup.com/elt/teachers/headway/sb-answerkeys/hw5e-adv-sb-ak-editable-benelux.docx
- Rakuten Kobo Ebook and Audible listening books:  Maigret and the Man on the Bench. by G. Simenon.

- YouTube.com/penguinbooks // Facebook.com/ penguin-books Listen to penguin at SoundCloud.com/penguin-books

 

Edited by Butterfly 55
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Greeshma.Mangineni

Posted

Hi,minoo miss i would like to share one thing about this class.That,i like you order of class about English I learned more English in this classes. 

 

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Greeshma.Mangineni

Posted

And, I like your way of teaching mam and I think there is no end for learn this English.

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