Teach English in Haimen Gongye Yuanqu - Nantong Shi

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In my experience of learning English, among other languages, after my primary Vietnamese language, I've always found that knowledge of contemporary and conversational vocabulary is what really held me back from being able to communicate comfortably and clearly with native English speakers. The first step in accruing such knowledge goes along with most of what is covered about vocabulary in Unit 7: Teaching a new language. The breakdown of choosing what words to teach based on appropriacy and how to use them based on definition, syntax, and spelling is definitely necessary for this stage. Personally, I've found that making flashcards, filling out worksheets, and consistent drilling via tests to be the best way to get a base level retention of such information. However, such methods only offer short term retention, from personal experience. Students will often only use and remember the vocabulary learned either in the classroom or in the context of the classroom, i.e. when talking to classmates about exams or about the class in general. This is why I think constant exercises, sometimes extracurricular, are necessary to build a solid foundation for a colloquial vocabulary. In an ideal world, ESL students would have native English speakers to practice with regularly, as this would expose them to a vast collection of words and phrases beyond what is simply taught in class. Unfortunately, there are two main flaws with this solution. One, native English speakers aren't readily available all over the world and two, some students might not feel comfortable or confident enough to meet up with and practice what was taught in English class. The latter is what I had more issues with, as an ESL student in the United States of America, a primarily English-speaking country. This brings me to another solution: a pen pal. An exercise my ESL teacher had me do that really helped me grow my English vocabulary was to establish a non-verbal line of communication with a native English speaker at my school via written letters. In today's technologically advanced society, this will be even more feasible, as lines of communication could be established remotely through email, text, or various instant messaging applications. Having it as an extracurricular activity or possibly offering bonus points for it would motivate the students to take part in the activity, and further their studies of the English language beyond what a standardized textbook or course could offer them. Finally, this can be kept in check, or appropriate to the context of the school or language center by having the students send a finalized transcript of their conversations with teachers, or if it is a larger class, any student group leaders or representatives to make sure the topics didn't stray into any unsavory or crude topics. In conclusion, conversational practice, especially with a native English speaker, in any capacity, will allow students to have a more immersive, and overall, more effective learning experience with the English language, or any secondary language. It will allow for more comfort when using both the productive and receptive aspects of English as well as faster and more natural syntax skills overall.