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Learning Languages

Self-Identification

Personal Identity

  1. What views have you changed during your lifetime? How and why did you change them? Think about:
  • religious worldview;
  • political views;
  • attitude to bad habits;
  • attitude to money;
  • attitude to time;
  • views about relationships;
  • views about marriage and family;
  • views about friendship;
  • preference in music, books, movies.

Proverbs

Proverbs:

  1. In for a penny, in for a pound. English proverb
  2. A faint heart never won a fair lady. Spanish Proverb
  3. Protect your brother's privacy for what he knows of you. Arabic proverb
  4. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. Proverb
  5. Give him enough rope and he'll hang himself. Proverb
  6. A woman’s place is in the home. Spanish Proverb

Proverbs and Sayings:

  1. Business comes before pleasure

Slang

Slang Words and Expressions:

  1. Billy lids.
  2. Dead horse.
  3. Dropping the kids off at the pool.
  4. Captain cook
  5. Dog and bone
  6. Dropkick /drop punt
  7. Frog and toad
  8. Gary Ablett
  9. Ben cousins
  10. Harold Holt or Harry Holt
  11. Pork pie, porky pie or porkies (originaly British)
  12. Septic (or seppo) short for septic tank
  13. Trouble and strife

Further Discussion Questions:

Idioms

What Does It Mean?

  1. Let sleeping dogs lie.
  2. If you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen.
  3. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.
  4. A drop in the ocean.
  5. A shot in the dark.
  6. When hell freezes over.
  7. Does a bear crap in the woods.
  8. Take a bull by the horns.
  9. Tarred with the same brush.
  10. There are two sides to every coin.
  11. Banging your head against the wall.
  12. Come down like a ton of bricks.
  13. Take a hike.

Studying English

Questions for discussion:

  1. What images are in your mind when you hear the word 'English'?
  2. Why are you studying English?
  3. What adjectives describe your feelings about English?
  4. How much time and money have you spent on English?
  5. How happy are you with your English level?
  6. Has English improved your life?
  7. Do you wish you didn't have to study English?
  8. What is your best piece of advice to study English?
  9. Have all of your English teachers been good?

Pronunciation

Questions for discussion:

  1. What springs to mind when you hear the word ‘pronunciation’?
  2. Are you happy with your pronunciation?
  3. What do you do to improve your pronunciation?
  4. Do you like studying pronunciation in class?
  5. Do you prefer British or American pronunciation?
  6. What problems do you have with pronunciation?
  7. Is pronunciation very important to you?
  8. What’s the biggest communication problem you’ve had because of pronunciation?

Idioms

What Does It Mean?

  1. He put his foot in his mouth.
  2. That was a piece of cake.
  3. He got a taste of his own medicine.
  4. He is all bark and no bite.
  5. We are all in the same boat.
  6. That costs an arm and a leg.
  7. She is the apple of my eye.
  8. Don’t be a back seat driver.
  9. Blood is thicker than water.
  10. Don’t cry over split milk.
  11. You are driving me up a wall.
  12. Don’t let the cat out of the bag.
  13. Mums the word.
  14. I’ll go with you when pigs fly.

Your Language Goals, Your Learning Style

Questions for discussion:

  1. What aspects of the English language give you the most trouble? listening, speaking, learning new words, understanding grammar or, writing?
  2. How quickly do you want your English to improve?
  3. What level of fluency are you aiming for?
  4. Are you good at memorizing?
  5. What was the best learning experiencing you ever had?
  6. Talk about your interest in learning English language and describe the pleasure of leaning it.

What is more important for efficient communication In English - language skills or expressing yourself?

Questions for discussion:

  1. Different ways to learn English and their advantages.
  2. What drives us to learn English? What stops?
  3. Is it OK to do mistakes while speaking English?
  4. What and how do you feel when you've just become aware of your mistake?
  5. What would you like to do / how would you like to feel when you've just become aware of your mistake?
  6. Why do people sometimes stifle themselves while speaking English?

Accent

Questions for discussion:

  1. Is it really important to have a good accent?
  2. What is accent? Intonation, liaisons, pronunciation? Music, word connections, phonetics? Something else?
  3. Does the transcription present the real phonetics correctly?
  4. Can we become perfect? What should we do for that? How long will it take?
  5. Who are the best teachers? What are the best programs? What would you want from them?
  6. American - British. Let us compare them.

How to learn vocabulary

Questions for discussion:

  1. How many words a day can we learn?
  2. Will the words be learnt by themselves? Is it possible to remember new words after the first time you see them?
  3. What is the main problem of the second language acquisition, the lexis or the grammar?
  4. To what degree can we learn words from the first time? Can they make our active vocabulary at once?
  5. What are the ways to activate our vocabulary?

How can an English teacher help us?

Questions for discussion:

  1. Talking about studies, what can we do by ourselves and what cannot we do?
  2. Do we need a teacher to correct our mistakes?
  3. Can you improve your pronunciation without a teacher?
  4. Can a coach train somebody who is better than he himself (she herself)?
  5. What do we need exams for? Do we really need them?
  6. Do we need somebody who will motivate us or we can motivate ourselves?
  7. Do we need native speakers?
  8. Can we study languages the way children do it?

English teachers and tutors

Questions for discussion:

  1. Talking about studies, what can we do by ourselves and what cannot?
  2. How can a teacher help us?
  3. Do we need a teacher to correct our mistakes?
  4. Can you improve your pronunciation without a teacher?
  5. Can a coach train somebody who is better than he himself (she herself)?
  6. What do we need exams for? Do we really need them?
  7. Do we need somebody who will motivate us or we can motivate ourselves?
  8. Do we need native speakers?

Foreign Languages

Questions for discussion:

  1. How fast can we study new languages?
  2. Do there exist any magic techniques or should we work a lot?
  3. Should we invent our own system of studying languages? Isn` t it better to choose some system from what already exists
  4. What are the best ways you could recommend?
  5. How do you study new languages, with tutorials or with original books, movies, radio broadcasts, and real conversations?
  6. Is it possible to buy a language? The more expensive tutorial the better it is? Isn`t it?

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