Learn English with Teacher Joe!

Ask Teacher Joe

You can ask any question of Joe except "How old are you?", "How much do you weigh?", and "How many wives do you have?". Everything else is fair game!

Return to
Joe's Home

Return to
Questions Page

Return to
Speaking Page

Imaginary Practice

Question: Teacher Joe. I am a freshman, and I love English. The same as a lot of students, I am lacking the ability of spoken English. To tell you the truth, I ofen imagine that there is a person standing in front of me, and we make conversations in English. At such times, I "speak" very well. However, when there is a real conversation, I always fail. For example, I once took part in a speaking activity, but I even couldn't say one, single word! I didn't know what to say, and was unable to organize any sentences in my brain. So, I want to ask you whether the conversations I make with myself are useful? What is your advice? ~ From Hongu.

Answer: Hello Hongu. Actually, yes, your way of practicing is a good one. The problem, as with many students, is that one way of practicing is not enough! Besides your self-practice, you also need to listen to natural English, especially if spoken at natural speed. You can listen to a cassette tape or a CD, or you can watch DVDs or TV in English. Listening will help your brain process English faster and at the same time you will learn lots of useful words, expressions and sentences that you will be able to use in future conversations.

You need still another way of studying though. When you practice by talking to yourself, you can never be surprised, because you already know what you will "say" before you even form the words in your mind. You need practice that is a bit more challenging. You should try some of my English quiz games. These have the element of surprise, since you don't know in advance what questions will be coming, yet you can also repeat them several times to reduce your mistakes. Good luck, and let me know how it works for you.

Learn English Idioms Listen to English Language Exchange
Learn English Grammar Learn English Vocabulary Learn Business English

Copyright 2005, Learn English with Teacher Joe