Of course everyday long-term talking to native English speakers on a multitude of topics is a top priority and a paramount factor for developing good English speaking skills by learners of English. However, in addition to this, self-study and practising English on one's own are indispensable, and substantially accelerate success in English. Communication with native English speakers can't encompass all aspects of mastering English adequately and thoroughly, especially vocabulary, grammar, potential in-depth content of conversations suitable for real life needs of students for using English. It's possible and effective to practise English (including listening comprehension and speaking) on one's own through self-check using transcripts, books, audio and video aids.
I believe a debate on practising English by learners ought to focus on how learners can practise the following aspects of using and improving English skills: listening comprehension, speaking, reading and writing. In my view, to thoroughly explore this issue, it is important to take into particular consideration aids, methods, activities, exercises and tasks for practising and improving English skills. Certainly, practising English listening comprehension, speaking, reading and writing is based on English phonetics, grammar and vocabulary skills. They must be included in practising English.
Have you noticed that interpreters have to possess the most thorough knowledge of a foreign language (especially of conversation, vocabulary and grammar)? Perhaps foreign learners of English can achieve fluency in English also through oral translation from their native language into English with the activities described in my articles on learning English. It is possible to exercise self-control (that is to check yourself) this way when practising speaking in English every sentence in ready-made materials with both a foreign language and English versions. I also believe that the value of oral translation from a foreign language into English with self-control (self-check) is underestimated by English teaching specialists for self-study and self-practice of English conversation, vocabulary and grammar.
My views in this regard do not apply to classroom teaching and classroom learning of English, because an ESL teacher teaches English to students from various ethnic backgrounds and therefore oral translation into English is simply impossible.
But I firmly believe that oral translation into English is effective in practising on one's own English speaking, vocabulary and grammar with ready-made materials (using self-check) in a more logical, thorough, in-depth way as to content than casual talking to native English speakers. Practising English on one's own through oral translation into English with self-check
may be a quicker way for developing fluency in speaking English than casual talking with limited content in English to native English speakers. Anyway practising English on your own accelerates mastering of English.
Once you're done with the article about practicing English, you might want to check the rest of our English lessons here: Learn English. Don't forget to bookmark this page.
Author: Mike Shelby