12.4.10

Learning to Speak English Fluently

I have seen learners who have little knowledge of English such as school dropouts from the countryside to learners who have some knowledge of English such as graduates from cities.
They all consider that English is a language difficult to master. They think that they ought to master the rules of grammar and memorize difficult words to speak the language well.
It is a misconception that they carry and the imagined burden they bear is heavy. I think that is the basic problem these learners face.
Let me clear the misconception. Learning a couple of hundred words should enable one to speak English to carry on conversation. Are these words difficult? Has one to look up a dictionary to know the meanings?
No. Are words such as ask, go, come, give and tell difficult?
Regarding grammar, it is not essential that one should study it in a 'technical way' as they do in schools to speak English. If one can the sense of how can, could, would or have is used, one can directly get into speaking English.
It is doing English that matters. What is doing English? It is straightaway using the little knowledge of English one has. Here are some examples of doing English:
Hi.
Hello, how are you?
Fine. Where's Radhika?
She is in the kitchen.
Thank you.
OK!
Experiencing the language can help one master it. One can experience the language by listening to people speaking it, by reading or by watching TV or movies. Or just by talking to oneself, which is nothing but a type of surrogate for reading.
Experiencing English enables you to internalize the rules of grammar and usage. I would hesitate to call rules for grammar because rules come from a study of the language technically. Using the language comes first.
So start today to experience the language. Start from simple steps of greeting someone or giving some simple instructions such as giving directions to a place.
Ganeshan Ramachandran

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