A question for the non-native English speakers

in #education3 years ago

This is my 15th year teaching English as a second language in Finland (part-time now) and for the most part, I focus much more heavily on the spoken aspects of language than the written. This is because clients generally need higher levels of spoken skill for day to day interactions and even in emails, 'formal' language is rarely required.

My wife however is not a native speaker, she is Finnish and my daughter is shaping up well as a dual mother tongue speaker. My wife's spoken English is great and is better than her written, which isn't bad, although relatively bland. (After you read this, I will delete it from the blockchain 😉 )

Ok, so my question is how has writing at Steemit (or other places) affected your English skills? Has actively writing improved your abilities even though that was not the goal, and has it affected your spoken levels?

The reason I am interested is because I like to group skill development like I do my workouts (when I workout) by performing compound exercises that hit several regions. For most things and skill groupings it is more efficient and more organic meaning it is less likely to be overweighted in any particular region, better balanced.

There are of course many benefits to developing language skills but perhaps because there is the added reward feedback, people are more likely to invest themselves. Get paid to learn so to speak, which may be a future technology that Steem could run and I may speak about later.

So I am interested in hearing some experiences here in regard to language development as a byproduct of community engagenent. This is of course not limited to non-natives though as I am quite sure my written skills have improved as have many other aspects of my skillset. I am even considering a post or two in terrible Finnish to practice.

The floor (comment section) is yours.

[ a Steemit original ]

This was written on my phone so there may be even more typos than normal


My writing skills have improved a lot when I started the Steemit. I have written over the past month as much text in English than during the whole school time.

I would love to read your article written in Finnish, but do not use your wife to correct the grammar :-)

PS: The content of the post sounds familiar ;-)

you inspire me.

You can delete it now ;-)

I think that writing on Steemit can only improve when you're told what mistake you have made.

The thing that helps my wife is watching tv-shows with english subtitles. Even though you're watching the show, subconsciously you're picking up the grammar too.

yes, there are many ways that can help and I think in countries that use subs instead of dubs it is generally better.

One trick is to read what you write aloud to yourself as often, if it is hard to say, it probably isn't correct. :)

Not am a native English am I, but instead I learned English in school in English school I have.

The most difficult is word for many different things and then explain it well. Right words can be in the lost when of thinking.

No but seriously, I've found Steemit being a really good platform in attempts to improve my writing. Even when working I usually can manage by learning a few new words and expressions, but on Steemit I will seriously have to dig deeper.

If there is a topic I want to post about, I will need to put my English skills to a test to describe the topic even nearly as well as I want to.

I think that this is key when developing content too as taking the extra time helps to improve the quality of thought also.

thank you dear friend @tarazkp for this amazing post actually i had this problem in the beginning i used to make a lot of mistakes, but now i thing everything is changed for today even i prefer speaking rather than writing, because in my opinion speaking skills will be better whatever you do to improve your writing level, the speaking level will be higher thank you buddy.

how has writing at Steemit (or other places) affected your English skills? Has actively writing improved your abilities even though that was not the goal, and has it affected your spoken levels?

It certainly improves the more you write but it improves more when you read from a person who writes better than you. So if you try to write better you will get better, and if you talk with people better in writing
than you and you get used to their 'style' will help you improve.

I don't practice my conversation skills so I'm bad at spoken English, but I'm pretty sure if you improve your writing some of the improvement will get into your speaking and vice versa...

That's how is it for me... Hope it helped.

Yes, thanks. Just trying to gauge people's experience-

OK. Let me share my personal experience. My lingual franca is English tho. But then, my parents have their own tribe/culture as well as their native language. So whenever I go home to see my grandparents, they really do not get to speak English, I would ask them (my grandparents) to speak my native language for me, hence if I don't understand, they point the object they are referring to for me. Its quite a stressful experience but its Fun actually. I get to learn a few tho but wen I go back home, I make it compulsory for my own parents to continue where my grandparents stopped.

I wouldn't say I'm perfect with the native language tho, but I can say with constant practice and constant tutoring from my folks, its been really helpful.

And on steemit, I've met people of different languages too, and I get to use google translate.

But then, I have been able to learn a few things in Portuguese. It's a nice language and I'll love to speak different languages (maybe not fluently) someday.

Thanks @tarazkp

The answer is a big yes. My written English has improved vastly over the five years that I'm writing business plans for international markets, although I haven't done any intentional learning since university. I'm certain that the same is true, or even more true, with regards to the writing of diverse articles on Steemit.

Hmmm I'm not a native speaker, although I learned English at a very young age and now regard it as my mother tongue - in the sense that I think in English and I speak it more freely than Romanian.
I've always written a great deal, even before Steemit, so I don't think it is the platform's merit, if you get what I am saying. But yeah, definitely, writing a lot really improved my English. It's helped me become really familiar with the language, sort of like with an old friend. And since I kind of picked it up (the language, as opposed to studying it), I've always written as if I was telling a story or talking to someone, you know. So yeah, writing and especially communicating with others in English helps a lot.
I've even met some Romanians online who asked that we communicate in English, to improve their skills.

I've always written a great deal, even before Steemit, so I don't think it is the platform's merit,

Yes, I understand and I didn't mean just at Steemit but for many, this will be their first push into long form writing and it will really benefit them the more they write.

I've always written as if I was telling a story or talking to someone, you know.

I know very well :)

Well thinking that writing on steemit ensures that my vocabulary grows, but grammer still sucks. So people need to hear what they're doing wrong while writing on Steemit. At that point it will help becoming a better writer otherwise you won't stop making the same mistakes over and over again.

Try reading aloud back to yourself. It will pick up a lot of the grammatical mistakes you miss if only reading.

Thanks for the tip! Tried it at my new review, but not sure if it helps... (that won't upload to Dtube at the moment hehe :P. Update it’s uploaded)

The writing in steemit and also the reading has improved more my writing skills than the speaking ones. About speaking ones i believe that watching movies or tv shows with subtitles in english helps me a lot, but that only works for people that already have a medium level of english. Another thing that i found here on steemit, its everytime i read some word i don't know the meaning, i look it up in online dictionary or google translate and it helps me grow my english vocabulary ;)

people can use lots of tools to improve or, lots of tools to rely on. personally, I prefer the learning over the reliance.

I'm not sure if this is an old post for you already and maybe you are not reading the comments anymore. I still decided to write one. I usually read your posts once a day but I skipped yesterday, I was in theatre :D

I've been on steemit for a couple of weeks now and yes, my english is getting better. At first it was ridiculously rusty and I had to put a lot of effort even for a small post or a comment. I just usually want it to be as good as possible. (Not now though, it's late and I'm extremely tired.) However, it is getting easier and easier but now I have other concerns. In one of your post you wrote, that one should be judged based on the content and not only english skills even when ones language might sound a bit... hmm.. retarded. Since then I often think about that when writing. How retarded do I really sound? What should I do to sound better? It is kind of difficult to get better fast when I don't really know where are my mistakes. Also for now, I haven't been writing about subjects that I categorize as deep and difficult because I think they deserve better language than my current level. I think a will waste these subjects if I write about them in bad english.. Maybe I shouldn't think so but I do. Some people really do judge content based on language level and I don't want my "deep" content to be less because of the language. I'll have to get better first even if it takes time.

Ok, so my question is how has writing at Steemit (or other places) affected your English skills? Has actively writing improved your abilities even though that was not the goal, and has it affected your spoken levels?

Writing on Steemit and elsewhere has affected my English skills without a doubt. Whenever I write in English I pay attention to grammar and using the correct idioms. The Internet is of great help. It is easy to check everything in a matter of seconds by googling your expressions up. My spoken English has probably been improved by writing English, too. It's all about repetition if you want to be proficient at using a language, that is, both fluent and correct.

I've been a learner and user of English for over 35 years. When I was in school, I learned a lot by watching television. That helped a lot in learning to speak. I started using the Internet in my early twenties at university. That has had a very positive effect on my written skills. But there is no substitute for an open mind and willingness to constantly work on your skills. You haven't even learned your first language without effort. Young children make a lot of mistakes. We've just forgotten how hard it was.

I'd like to say one more thing. Today's young Finns, as a group, are no longer lacking in confidence in their English skills as I have been told they were in the past. On the contrary, my wife, an English teacher, and many of her colleagues have noticed time and again that many of their students tend to be rather deluded about the level of their skills. Some, quite arrogantly, tend to dismiss their teachers as having inferior skills while being in the wrong. Many believe that without the humility to recognize their shortcomings and any real effort to correct them it is possible to attain a high level of skill.

that many of their students tend to be rather deluded about the level of their skills. Some, quite arrogantly, tend to dismiss their teachers as having inferior skills while being in the wrong.

The coddled generation where everyone deserves a prize.

Yes, and it takes little to have them and their parents run to the headmistress to complain. And the school administrators get complains filed on them quite easily, too. According to the national curriculum of 2016, the student is "central". How many of them interpret this is that they have only rights and no duties.

The fact of the matter is that society only has so much money to educate the children and the youth. To provide each and every one of them a curriculum of their own would be rather labour intensive, much more so than society is able and willing to pay for. It is impossible to have a few "central" figures run the show in the classroom without everybody else's education suffering. Even in upper secondary school, many students are emotionally and socially rather immature.

Interesting post. I'm a Japanese speaker and learned English as my second language (now I'm learning German as third one).
For me writing on steemit daily basis helps me to think, structure and tell my idea in a global standard way. We Japanese tend to assume we have commonsense and try to communicate based on it as most of us Japanese grow up in a kind of closed environment among people with less diversity. I notice sometimes others have question marks on their head when I say something and I have to explain things more concretely with a detailed background.
So I improve my communication skills here on steemit (hopefully). Especially writing is good as I can take as much as time to think. I don't have to care about someone waiting for me ;)

From my understanding, all cultures are blind to themselves and it is only when we get out and experience the open world we start to see how narrow we are. the Japanese also tend to be quite orderly and structured based on drilled cultural rules and I think you guys have a rule for everything and every aspect of life. This would make the common sense only common in that environment, perhaps. I think all cultures have similar in some ways.

It is very cool that these days we are not locked in to our experience like the past, even if we are only able to explore digitally.

Thanks for taking the time.

My written english was already good, am only missing the spoken part of it, as here in Uganda the mode of communication is basically luganda. Most people are good at writing and not good at speaking because the mode of communication everywhere from offices, the markets, the bars, is basically the local language luganda. It's hard to fit in if your not good at luganda.
And I haven't found hard time interacting with people on steemit because almost everyone writes in English

I'm brazilian and my english isn't so good, but I believe that we can improve our skills by simply trying to speak, no matter where, when and — what can be considered as insane — why. I strongly believe that, despite all those opportunities I had at middle and high school, the conventional way to learn another language is a way that discourages a lot of people who didn't know their great capacity to learn a whole new language. I hope that we can discover attractive forms of engaging people in educate themselves, because relying on others who are engaged with a unsuccesfull system can be the worst.

Although I'm here, on Steemit, for just one month, I think it's helping me a lot with my English, both written and spoken, because when I'm writing, if I'm not sure of something, I double check and, many times, I read it too.

For written English, Grammarly helped a lot. I can have an instant check on everything I write, and it's free. Typos, grammar mistakes, etc. Unfortunately, my English is still not perfect though, far from it... but it's kind of relieving to see lots of British/American people having way worse written skills while English is their mother tongue.

really excellant post !!!!! @tarazkp

language learning its very inpotance for evry human !!!

Thanks for sharing great post

education are increase our knowledge @tarazkp thanks for besutifull post & photography

Good post.. .. it,s very inportan to everybody

I am a person with poor knowledge of English. but I liked the post and how it was written. therefore, my opinion (not a professional, I'm from Russia) is very good.
she write with a translator. excuse me!)

Hey, @tarazkp, beware: some sort of huge, mythical creature from the ocean depths is swimming around your post. : )

You come to me and help each other.

Well, i'm not a native speaker, i'm russian, but i studied english for more than 8 years both at school and at a private academy, so i think my level of english is quite high. Nevertheless, over the years, i had very few opportunities to practice it and only occasionaly i would read some articles in english or watch movies that are not dubbed in russian language. Even facebook is not that popular in Russia since we here use more VK, so the interaction with foreigner friends was never that much, only through whatsapp. Steemit permits me to write and read english and to develop my english skills because with time we tend to forget what we were taught.

My grades are excellent in junior high school and I have always been really good on English. Steemit made me realize that my skills are quite bad actually. I hope that I improve more over time.

wow from Finland.
A great place to live in, where people's welfare is unconditional, I heard.

It absolutely helps and I've read from others who are writing on steemit to keep their English fresh. I don't write too much on here, but I still enjoy the exercise.

P.S.: Glad to see more pictures of your dog! ^^

spoken is the best way than written in english to well at .as a second language ,if we want to learn this english we will be little succeed.but if we want to acquire it we must be succeed

interesting article on i language

Las escritura en ingles es lo que se me ha hecho mas difícil!!Pero con steemit he tratado de mejorarla

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