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第十五周 How to talk like a native speaker 张宁
发布时间: 2019/5/28 10:09:55 阅读次数:

How to talk like a native speaker

Zhang Ning

For me, learning a language is like a deck of playing cards, lying faced down on the table. As you start learning and understanding, the cards start to open up for you. The first thing to note is that on your way to reaching fluency, there is not really any shortcut. There are some apps, like stuff for time-spaced learning that increase vocabulary retention. They save a little time, but in the end, there is no way around working with the material, practicing it until you reach the fluency level. But the second thing to note is that going from fluency to mastery is a much slower process.and it requires more effort. That’s why most people  they just stop at fluency. They know how to speak English, good enough, and they don’t even attempt to venture on , the good news is, to get the benefits of a native speaker, at a native-speaker level, you don’t have to go through mastery in the academic sense. So how do you do it? What is required? Well, I want to give you three areas to focus on.

The first is : work on eliminating your accent. it should be at least minimizing it. This is, in my opinion, the most overlooked aspect of language learning today. But it’s also the most important to reach the level of native-speaker. if you communicate without an accent or almost without an accent, this changes how natives behave towards you unconsciously.

The best way that I’ve found to improve your pronunciation is what I call the perfect-sentence technique.  What you do is to find a native speaker to help you. And you take a book in the foreign language, you open it at a random page, and you read the first sentence. Then, you ask a native speaker to rate you on obvious accent, slight accent, no accent. Then the native speaker will read this sentence back to you. You have to listen carefully and then you repeat over and over until the native speaker tells you , that he can no longer hear an accent. Now, I realize it can take a very long time even just to get one sentence right. But I promise you, if you are persistent and if you patiently work on this, you’ll be amazed by what happens to your accent.

The second area to focus on is using verbs and expressions that locals use. now, we all know the situation that vocabulary can be region-specific. Like, in the us, you use” stand in line”, in the UK, you “queue”. That ‘s all good, but sometimes, the spoken word is so different from what you get in textbooks. You actually have to learn all of these words and expressions one by one.

The third area to work on is adopting cultural traits. What do I mean by that? What does this gesture mean to you? Ok, now , depending on what culture you’re from. This could mean something rude, or mean” why did you do that?” or “how could you”, or “give me food!” interesting! In the middle east, this is just a standard way of signaling” please, wait!” so this kind of traits, sometimes, they are hard to spot, and it takes a lot of active listening.

So all of these three things that I told you, which is pronunciation, and colloquial speech and adopting cultural traits, they all require that you interact with natives as much as possible. If you have the chance to live abroad for a while, that will be great. But even when you are not around natives, your learning must not stop. Because what you can do is you can watch TV shows and films, you can mimic the characters. I also want to encourage you to learn the lyrics of songs. And if I could leave you with one thing today, it would be: work on your pronunciation. Because pronunciation helps any stage of the learning process, even in the very beginning. It’ll speed up everything. And it also is the key to reaching a native-speaker level, or almost-native-speaker status.

 

World No Tobacco Day

                                  高二3班  张晨

Good morning, everyone.

  Today, I want to share with you something I know about a special day "World No Tobacco Day".

  Since the 1950s, the globe has had a large number of studies to confirm that smoking is one of the leading risk factors of lung cancer. In order to cause the attention of the international community for tobacco harm to people’s health, the world health organization set"World No Tobacco Day"on   May 31st  of each year.

  It has been estimated that smokers are becoming younger and younger, even including some middle school students. 

  Nowadays, more and more people have realized smoking can do harm to people’s health. However, some people still enjoy smoking, why? Because some of them think it is a kind of fashion. Some think it is of great fun and others believe that smoking can refresh themselves .

  In fact, smoking is a bad habit and it can cause a lot of diseases. Meanwhile smoking is a waste of money. Besides, careless smokers may cause dangerous fires. Smoking is not only bad for themselves, but also bad for non-smokers. As WHO data shows, there are 430,000 adults who die each year from second-hand smoke.

  This Friday is World No Tobacco Day, I hope all of us to pay attention to this public health threat. Tobacco use is not stylish or empowering. It is ugly and deadly.

  That’s all. Thanks for your listening.

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