quarta-feira, 21 de dezembro de 2011

A Few Steps

Gerson is not just my learner, he is also my friend - a brother. He called me around two years ago, asking me if I could help him with his English.

At the beginning, he had some difficulties, but after starting the exercises from the book I told him to buy, he got better. But it wasn't enough...

Although he has all the theory, it has been quite hard for him to remember it while trying to speak. He often forgets the tenses and still keeps translating to Portuguese the words he doesn't know.

The " forgotten words" is caused by the translation that he still does. It is clear that the dominance of the Portuguese language ( his mother language) is controlling his wish to speak the second language. The best solution is a continuous "describing" exercise to help him to avoid the use of translations.

Regarding his vocabulary, it is a matter of producing input. He needs to create the reading habit and practice self-study to increase his range of new vocabulary.

In other words, he might need a few more months of " Frank Experience" and it can be really effective if he keeps English as part of his routine of daily activities. Doing that he will train his brain to use both languages and diminish the dictatorship of his mother tongue.

Gerson is a few steps of his fluency, but now it is up to his behavior and attitude to achieve it. He has already the proper intonation and his Brazilian accent doesn't interfere with his English. As he already know all the tenses structure, it is just a matter of time for him to be able to get to the level he wants to get.

Keep up and Ultreya

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