Methods for Mastering English Conversation and Vocabulary
By Michael Shelby
What are the Methods for Mastering English Conversation and Vocabulary? I have developed my own unique suggestions on mastering English conversation and vocabulary. They are based on my experience and knowledge and my tips and advice may be valuable for all students of English. I hope that they will become a short but indispensable guide for many learners of English. I have thoroughly read on the issue of effective methods and aids for learning English. Those aids include audios, videos, websites, study books, etc. I want to share with you that information for English language learners. Of course, everyday talking in English to native English speakers on a variety of topics helps best in order to be able to speak English fluently. But relatively few learners of English have such long-term opportunity. To eventually be able to speak English fluently, first of all learners of English must have materials with important content on all everyday topics (audios, videos, printed texts/study books, etc.) for beginning, intermediate and advanced levels of study. The materials must include dialogues, monologues (thematic texts), questions - answers with important content, thematic lists of difficult word meanings and phrases (expressions) with usage sentences and comprehensive vocabulary on all everyday topics. I believe that learners can master English conversation and vocabulary with the following methods.
1. It is important for learners of English to listen to each sentence in conversations (thematic dialogues) in audio materials several times and to see their transcript at the same time and to understand everything in those sentences clearly.
2. It is helpful for learners of English to read (pronounce) each sentence aloud and to compare their pronunciation to the narrator's pronunciation.
3. Next is speaking activity with self-control. It is a good idea for learners to check if they can orally convey the content of those dialogues closely to the original dialogues as much as possible.
It is expedient for them to try to be an actor for both speakers in the dialogues. The most important thing for them is to speak English and to check in the transcript of conversations (dialogues) whether they have made any mistakes in speaking.
Learners can also make their own written questions on the dialogues that require long answers contained in the dialogues to facilitate (make easier) imitation of the dialogues. Alternatively, learners can write key words and phrases or main ideas as a plan to make easier for them to imitate those dialogues.
4. It is useful for learners to prepare potential questions and answers with helpful content on all everyday topics and to practise speaking. To show different ways of expressing a particular thought they can make several potential questions and answers on one point in this speaking activity. There are few websites, including this one, that contain a lot of ready-made questions in English on a wide variety of topics.
5. Students of English can learn a lot of vocabulary on every topic from general thematic English dictionaries. Good thematic English dictionaries provide clear word usage explanations and also a few usage sentences for each word meaning which is especially useful. It is also helpful for students of English to make their own sentences with difficult vocabulary. It is reasonable for them to think about the real life situations where and when that vocabulary can be used.
6.. It would be very useful for learners of English to make from general thematic English dictionaries lists of difficult word meanings and of phrases (expressions) on every topic with usage sentences. Reading those ready-made vocabulary usage sentences many times would help learners remember difficult word meanings. Longman Language Activator Dictionary (unique English Idea Production Dictionary) covers this issue thoroughly. It would also be very practical for learners to make their own sentences with that vocabulary for personal potential use, taking into consideration real life situations.
7. Learners can also master new English vocabulary by reading thematic texts (materials), first of all on everyday topics with important content, for example : Practical Tips and Advice to Make Everyday Life Easier and Better (practical solutions for everyday problems). Such self-help books on settling everyday matters are available at book stores and on the Internet.
It is better for learners to write down unknown vocabulary in whole sentences to easier remember it. It would be effective for developing English speaking skills by learners to practise telling the content of the texts that they have read. As people say, practice makes perfect.
8. Constant review of material ensures solid knowledge and success in learning.
9. It is essential that learners also make use of other important aids on a variety of topics to improve their English conversation and vocabulary skills : audios, videos (English learning videos, travel videos, etc.), Internet resources, English learning magazines, newspapers, newsletters, radio programmes (especially the BBC English learning programmes / materials), TV programmes (educational programmes, documentary films, movies, news), books and e-books on a variety of subjects, online communication with native English speakers (chat, email, Skype).
Good libraries and the Internet have a wide selection of English learning aids.