Dear Ai - Good advice for ESL Students. Do you have a question about learning English? Why not ask "Dear Ai"? <$BlogRSDURL$>

Thursday, May 6, 2004

How ESL students study in Vancouver??? 

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"Dear Ai, I am preparing for the TOEFL test to enter university in Vancouver. I have never been outside China. I am very nervous about communicating with local people in Vancouver. Could you tell me how ESL students study in Vancouver? Is there a different study method between a non-English country and an English speaking coutnry?" -Vicky from China

"Hi Vicky. Thanks for your e-mail. Many EGG readers live outside Canada and hopefully this answer will help other students like you.

If you are currently in a non-English speaking country, try to build your vocabulary. If you are planning to to go to university, then you will need to know many academic terms. In university, you are required to read English textbooks quickly and efficiently. Also, many students put pressure on themselves to make the perfect sentence or else they do not speak up in class.

However, even if you do not speak in perfect sentences, you can still say enough words to communicate. Most English-speaking people can guess what you are trying to say. To become a good English speaker, you need to make many mistakes! You also need to be a good listener. When I was taking a creative writing course, one of my homework assignments was "eavesdropping on a conversation". I took the bus a lot back then, so I listened to conversations, recorded them in a notebook, and then practiced later.

This is a good way to learn idioms. But be cautious: some people may be offended if they know you are recording them. This is one method I used to study English successfully in Canada."

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