I'm not good at spoken English.

Das Behälter   Thursday, April 24, 2003, 17:32 GMT
Your English is the British English I notice. @:o)
maiko !!!!!!!   Thursday, April 24, 2003, 19:51 GMT
I feel fed up with studying English.I have been living for 8 months in America.or
And I just got married to an American man last month.so,I have a lot of opportunities to talk with native speakers.But I can't speak English very well.Also I can't listen very well.specially TV news!!!!!I know I need to know more vocabulary.How can I remember a lot of words?
Tom   Thursday, April 24, 2003, 21:08 GMT
Thanks, David. Loved your description of the "talk to yourself" technique.
I thought I was the craziest English learner around... but it's nice to see there are others like me. :-)
David Bosch   Thursday, April 24, 2003, 23:46 GMT
Thank you, and indeed, I am a crazy learner, lol.

Das Behälter:
Wie merkten Sie es?
Bin ich zu offensichtlich?

I am very pleased most of you have liked my 'talk to yourself' method, because I think it is the one that has dramatically improven my English mostly; besides the school, dictionaries, news, films, etc.
The 'talk to yourself' method is the nucleus or centre of the learning, because you can spend hours and hours and hours of continuos spoken English. :)
cmhiv   Thursday, April 24, 2003, 23:55 GMT
I have conversation with myself in the shower. I just get so bored in there, I want to do something intellectually. So, I just talk about what I am going to do in the coming days, or what I have done.
David Bosch   Friday, April 25, 2003, 01:05 GMT
That's brill, that is what I am trying to tell the others to do.
Boy   Friday, April 25, 2003, 02:34 GMT
"....Today, I was taking asound sleep on my bed, suddenly, my elder brother came and woke me up, he told me that he opened page builder at geocities, came and guided me how one could start a web site with the help of it. Then I ran downstairs like a tiger and entered to the drawing room where my computer was, then I saw my elder brother was typing something at the keyboard. Unfortuantely, when I just started touching it I didn't know what happened, everything went haywire in my pc, all softwares were opening at the same time and suddenly everything looked okay and what I saw my computer was hung up...."

This situation occured today and later I translated it in my English. Is that what you are trying to say to me to do? I mean It's really fun to translate situations into normal spoken English. But, you know, you don't expect this type of situation over and over again.

By the way, I liked your last conversation very much esp: when you were about to sack by your boss.

I want to know more imaginery situations or ideas.

David Bosch   Friday, April 25, 2003, 18:50 GMT
That's it.
You see, I've extracted some good situations from my mental library:
'There has been found a corpse in your garage, and the police blames you'
'You are the new English teacher in a lower-class high school, and you have to take over the students'
'You are the owner and manager of an internationally-known corp., and you are starting an advertising project through television'
'You are a house interior designer, and are called to visit some house which needs a complete "facial lift" '

WARNING: Some of this situations are difficult to act, need the speaker to be mad, or may result in serious injury. (lol)

From these ideas you can extract some of your own, the easiest way to make these 'situations' is to think on daily life (not applied to murder in your house though) and think on some unnormal situation which could actually happen; well, if you want to go on a voyage to outer space or being kidnapped by aliens you can and is fine by me, until you don't throw yourself through a third-floor window in the real life.
David Bosch   Friday, April 25, 2003, 18:56 GMT
Do you think I should post this method as a new topic in the forum?:)
David Bosch   Saturday, April 26, 2003, 00:34 GMT
Haven't you noticed that after speaking for hours and hours and hours in English, you kinda lose the 'American' or 'British' accent a bit; for example, one morning after a day when I didn't speak English at all I could perfectly immitate the British accent, it was like just perfect, obviously some fluency was lost, but this was really weird, wasn't it? despite one tends to absorb the accent which one is in contact with. Have this happened to you?
Tom   Saturday, April 26, 2003, 10:27 GMT
I've noticed my accent gets better after speaking English for a long time. However, I found it a bit hard to stick to my American accent when I was in England. I felt that subtle British characteristics were sneaking into my accent -- like once in a while I'd pronounce [@] with a bit less of a drawl than usual...
I suppose if I were American, my accent would be far more resistant to such changes. However, I know that Americans living in England for a long time tend to change their accent, too.
Tom   Saturday, April 26, 2003, 10:33 GMT
I have a comment on the example topics you gave for the "talk to yourself" technique. I don't think they are suitable topics for English learners.

Take 'There has been found a corpse in your garage, and the police blames you'. This is a difficult situation. I wouldn't know what to say in my native language. How can a learner concentrate on the form (grammar/vocabulary) if the content is so difficult?

In my opinion, learners should talk about very trivial topics. They shouldn't have to worry about the content. They should only worry about saying correct sentences.

For the same reason, I object to assigning difficult composition topics in English classes. One example I saw recently was: "Name one world problem and describe a reasonable solution." The word limit was 500 words.
David Bosch   Saturday, April 26, 2003, 16:42 GMT
OK, OK, First of all this is neither a test nor a class, and I said those were my topics, that you could make yours the way you wanted.
The purpose is to deal with topics that you haven't touched before so that you can be prepared to talk about anything asked to you.
I agree that some of the topics I gave are not for beginners, but this excercises aim at the 'space filling' (called by me that way) practice, which consists on talk, talk, talk and talk and in the moment when you find you need a translation for a word you need to express in a sentence, run for the dictionary, find the word, and repeat that sentence now with the word included; now you have filled that empty 'space'. With the time after practising this, you would have filled a lot of empty spaces, and hardly forgotten any; you see, it's a method for 'feeding' if we can say you English.

Boy: I suggest you could deal with more common or normal topics, you can make your own, or tell me if I can suggest you some. When you become more experienced in the English field you'll be able to deal with certain topics out of the daily life, which you must be prepared to deal with, because are possible facts, not very common but possible; and these same facts can give you plenty of new useful vocabulary.

The way I work with my own conversations is this:
I talk, and in some moment I find that I cannot say a sentence because of lack of vocabulary (I don't find the word in my mental database), I pause the conversation and look up the word in the dictionary (for this purpose, I've got two dictionaries: German-English, English-German in my buroe near my bed, very handy), once I find the word, I play the conversation and repeat the sentence with the word now inserted till it gets pasted in my mind, and continue; however, I must tell you, when I was a beginner, I prefered the 'talk to yourself' method in 'daily life' mode rather than 'conversation' mode, that means talking about anything that happened, happens or wil happen to you or in this real life, this way you learn mostly the vocabulary according to your life, this is better, because you practise your daily speech in your DAILY CONTEXT.
Dabid Bosch   Sunday, April 27, 2003, 23:14 GMT
Have you already tried one of these methods?, I hope you have.

Good luck in improving your English to the most, some day you'll speak perfectly.
David Bosch   Sunday, April 27, 2003, 23:16 GMT
Sorry, my name is David*