Do not make mistake

Mee Jang   Sunday, December 21, 2003, 06:38 GMT
Just do not make mistake. Do not wirte or speak until you write or speak a perfect centence. You will learn a bad habit by doing this.

Well, life is not easy. I wish I do not have to wirte or speak English until I will learn the perfect sentence. However, we live an unpredicatable life. I do not know whom I will meet today, and which sentence I will use.

I have been in the USA for 6 years, and I am still making mistake.I am keep telling myself that I am only 6-year old in English language, so I am allowed to make a mistake.

What I have learned from my experience is that we are allowed to make mistake. No one can run before walk. It will take a time, but we need to give ourselves more time.

It is Okay to make mistake. You have right to make mistake.
Jaro   Sunday, December 21, 2003, 09:55 GMT
I would recommend buying an English grammar book and read it thoroughly.
Boy   Sunday, December 21, 2003, 11:51 GMT
It is not saying you to make mistakes but trying to emphasis, that try to learn things without making TOO many mistakes otherwise this will lead you to reinforce a bad habbit of making TOO many mistakes and in that way you can't learn the language efficiently and fast. This was the main motive of the article. For instance, when you are not sure about the usage of preposition 'at', don't use it in your writings unless you are fully sure. Consulting your dictionary and try to look at it how it has to be used. Once you grab a hold of it, use it freely in your writings. This way, you'll learn the language accurately and will always have a chnace to minimize the ratio of making too many mistakes.
dian   Tuesday, December 30, 2003, 04:30 GMT
I don't understand why a person who has been living in the USA for 6 years is not confident with his/her English ability. Is it because of the environment?

I've never been to any English-speaking countries before, in terms of I never stay in that country for a long period (long period means more than 1 year). I feel there will be a lot of improvement if I learn English directly in a country where English is used everyday.

I am not sure about this. Could you tell me more about learning English in the USA or living there? I mean, is it that difficult?
dave   Tuesday, December 30, 2003, 05:41 GMT
I think that the only way to learn English IS to make mistakes. If you never make mistakes, how can you improve? If you are never to make mistakes, does that mean that you should keep your mouth shut until you are ready to speak a perfect sentence? I should hope not. I encourage all my students to speak up and to write as much as possible. Sure, you have to be conscious about your mistakes and how you can correct them, but making mistakes is ok and a way to learn.
Tom   Tuesday, December 30, 2003, 12:23 GMT
> If you never make mistakes, how can you improve?

Dave, for the 1000th time -- by following good examples.
Corey Graham   Tuesday, December 30, 2003, 16:26 GMT
Native speakers are generally the worst at grammar anyways.

With the U.S. teaching Ebonics, Canadiens ending each sentance with eh?, and The Southern states speaking whatever the hell they are trying to speak....dont worry about making mistakes. If some one is going to correct you it sure as hell shouldn't be a north american.

Mee Jang just have fun doing it!
dian   Wednesday, December 31, 2003, 02:20 GMT
But, if a non-native speaker want to work in an English-speaking country or to continue their study, they are required to take TOEFL. You must have excellent English grammar in order to pass the exam.

However, as for me, I really want to take that test. Because, I hope that someday I will be able to continue my study in one of English-speaking countries or working in a multinational company where English is a must. You must get a score of 550 at the minimum for the TOEFL, if you want to continue your study.

If you have any experience in taking such test, could you share here?
Tom   Wednesday, December 31, 2003, 13:34 GMT

You can't be serious. Learners can deform English grammar to the point of incomprehensibility, which is a completely different thing from the subtle type of "mistakes" native speakers make (like saying "ain't" or "He don't look right to me" or "between you and I"). I put "mistakes" in quotes because they occur so frequently that I would consider them correct.

Here's what we mean by "bad grammar" in the context of ESL/EFL:

"The movie not liked to him, too."
"It was unable taking money from."

BTW: Ebonics has a very sophisticated grammar. It's just a different grammar from that of the English language.
mjd   Wednesday, December 31, 2003, 17:07 GMT
Yeah, it would not be wise for someone learning English to heed Corey's advice. When learning a language, one should pay extra attention to grammar. Writing well is just as important as speaking well.
Jay   Wednesday, December 31, 2003, 17:51 GMT
"With the U.S. teaching Ebonics"

You should back this statement up. The U.S., as far as I know, does not "teach Ebonics". We've debated using Ebonics in classrooms, and the debate turned into debacle.
Corey Graham   Monday, January 05, 2004, 20:21 GMT
to Tom:

Do you not travel?

The English language is messed up.

I know I'm not anal enough to care if some one speaks perfect english, because I am North American. We have butchered the language for centuries.

The english language evolves, thats why its an amazing language. Can you honestly say you can read 11th century english? (and I am not talking proverbs either) With people immigrating from all over the world, they bring their own unique dialects with them. So the english language, with alot of help, will evolve like it has done for the last millenium.

Buy a cookie for anyone who can make heads or tails of this script w/ out cheating.
Michal Ryszard Wojcik   Thursday, January 08, 2004, 08:41 GMT
More stuff on the don't-make-mistakes controversy:
- contains excerpts from my email correspondence where I sometimes used really controversial terms to refer to teachers who encourage their students to make mistakes as part of the learning process.
Guofei Ma   Sunday, January 18, 2004, 00:22 GMT
Greetings, chaps:

In my opinion, it is perfectly acceptable for one to make a mistake. However, one should remember the mistake and try not repeat it.

Must English learners only open their mouths or write after they have mastered English grammar? Of course not! They need to practise their communication skills whilst they are learning grammar. If they don't dare to take risks, which may involve making mistakes and being corrected, they'll never make any progress! Of course they need to follow good examples but one is not going to find a good example for every single sentence construction with every single word in the English language.

P.S. I hope there's no more anti-Guofei sentiment here :-) I haven't posted here for a long time partly because I've had no time and partly because people hated me.
Guofei Ma   Sunday, January 18, 2004, 00:25 GMT
The second sentence above should read:
"However, one should remember the mistake and try not to repeat it."

Sorry about the typo.