I'm lost during watching English channels!

Boy   Tuesday, September 30, 2003, 05:15 GMT
As a learner, I'm easily lost during watching English channels. I say 'yawn' after watching 5 minutes or so. I've resources in my hands but not materializing in a true sense. I've got some popular English movie channels, I've also got a couple of news channels on my Tv set, but the problem is, I simply don't understand them. I'd like to have fun, I'd like to make watching more interesting not boring as hell. What sort of tools can I implement?

Keep these three points in your mind when you arrange your suggestions.

- I want to improve my vocabulary level.
- I want to improve my pronunciation.
- I want to improve my hearing.

Please, avoid suggesting equipments, movie players and that sort of thing. I simply can't afford them.

An anxious Learner.

Jaro   Tuesday, September 30, 2003, 18:03 GMT
How large is your vocabulary? To be able to understand 98+% of the speech you will need a vocabulary of about 10000 words.

The best way to improve your vocabulary is to read a lot of english books, or to study in english.
If you wan't to improve your pronunciation, then find something about english phonetics on the internet. If you improve your pronunciation, your brain will be able to recognise words much faster.
Being able to understand spoken english is a very important aspect of english language. You can't give an answer without knowing the question.
Jamie On   Tuesday, September 30, 2003, 18:46 GMT
Hang in there, if you watch it often you'll start to get used to the speed and the accents, and you will eventually understand it. If it makes you feel any better I can't understand a few of the national "Arabic" channels very well at all!
Boy   Wednesday, October 01, 2003, 01:26 GMT
<<You can't give an answer without knowing the question.>>

I disagree. I can understand the question but I can't give the answer. My throat becomes so dry, I guess, I lack confidence. It won't need for me to grab 10,000 words in order to comprehend the questions such as "How've you been nowadays?" or "How've you been?" or "How you doing, man?"

I don't speak English at all in my routine life. I don't know how to respond answers to those sort of questions. My mind makes me perplex. I don't know, I ought to give my responses whether in present tense or Past tense or Present Perfect tense. I'm completely messed up. I'm at a loss of feasible words and sentences.

I better understand BBC, then to some extent CNN. Excuse me. Foxnews goes over my head. Whenever I tune in, I feel like I really need to wake up and smell the coffee. The problem is, I lack motivation. I don't tune in channels regularly. Once in a blue moon, I must say. Jaro, your advice was taken wholeheartedly about reading alot of English books.

<<How large is your vocabulary? To be able to understand 98+% of the speech you will need a vocabulary of about 10000 words.>>

I wish I knew. You can detect your vocabulary level when you're using some sort of vocab softwares. Not every learner has to possess them. Definitely, I don't carry the level of 10,000 words. If I did, I'd be rather writing novels not wasting my all energy and time here.

Somehow, I can understand most amount of posts here along with official articles. As a rough estimation, I just come across one or two words in a post.

I'd like to see more posts from other native speakers. I want to untilize the opportunity of having English channels. If there is a movie or documentory going on, I want to accomplish all my aformentioned weaknesses. For that matter, I'd really to know some innovative ideas from you guys. Do you think, Just listening and listening would do the trick. Or do I really need to watch out speakers' stress of words? Do I really need to give an attention at particular accent?

Boy   Wednesday, October 01, 2003, 01:28 GMT
Mistake:- As a rough estimation, I just come across one or two difficult words in a post.
dian   Wednesday, October 01, 2003, 08:16 GMT
I think my problem is almost the same with Boy. I understand well the question in English, but for most of the time, I can't reponse well.

When I listen to the radio that is relaying a news from the BBC or VOA, I understand, may be more than 85% (may be 90%) of the topic that is being said. I understand, for example, that they're talking about peace talk in the Middle East, or American soldiers in Iraq.

I can't response well when asked in English. I always have to stop to think to search for the right words about the topic being discussed.
Boy   Thursday, October 02, 2003, 01:12 GMT

Your written English is very impressive. Where're you from, basically?
Dian, Do you try to speak English sentences fast about a specific topic?
Californian   Thursday, October 02, 2003, 02:39 GMT
I think you guys just need to constantly play American channels to understand them! When I watch the French news the channel broadcasts the subtitles in French underneath, which helps so much! If there is any way to put English subtitles under the English channels you receive, I'm sure it will make a difference.
mjd   Thursday, October 02, 2003, 02:41 GMT
I think subtitles definitely help in matching the correct sounds with the words.
A.S.C.M.   Thursday, October 02, 2003, 03:25 GMT
Boy, have comfort in the fact that your written English is on par with Dian's.

It seems that Boy has more trouble with American English than with British Engilsh. Fine, then I agree with Californian's suggestion of constantly playing American channels. However, I would advise Boy to continue watching/listening to BBC and other British channels and programmes.

dian   Thursday, October 02, 2003, 05:49 GMT

I am from Indonesia (it is located in South East Asia region, not far from Singapore or Malaysia). Where are you from? I am also impressed with your writing. I think your writing is better than mine.
A.S.C.M.   Thursday, October 02, 2003, 06:42 GMT
I'd be jiggered if anyone doesn't know where Indonesia is. It's the world's fourth most populated country.

Dian, have pride in your country and expect people to know about it!
Wingyellow   Thursday, October 02, 2003, 08:15 GMT
Indonesians are the laziest people in the world.
They killed quite a lot of Chinese recently.
So I hate their guts!!!
dian   Thursday, October 02, 2003, 09:32 GMT
Wingyellow, I don't know from where you get the information. I also have heard about the information you mentioned, but it was not based on the facts.

I think we should stick to the rules that we only discuss about language or English language in this forum. I don't want to go further to reply your posting, Wingyellow. I am not interested. I am only interested in learning English. That's why I keep posting in this forum. BTW, where are you from, Wingyellow?
Jamie On   Thursday, October 02, 2003, 16:41 GMT
Ha ha, like people stick to the rules, this forum is a virtual bitchfest.