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After one has come to know enough basic vocabulary, it is time for him/her to read vigorously such as daily newspaper and periodicals written by native English writers or advanced ESL writers. The content of daily newspapers and periodicals cover current issues. All the vocabulary you need to engage in a day-to-day conversation are there for you to learn.|
I started off at the age of 12 reading bi-lingual tabloids. I then abandoned bi-linguals and stick with the South China Morning Post, Asia's best daily English language paper. Of course, I read a lot of English books borrowed from the libraries. In those days, libraries were also operated by the USIS (United States Information Services) and British Council.
That was 1964 back in Hong Kong. You folks are now lucky as a lot of free newspaper sites are accessible from your home computer on broadband linkup. I strongly advise people to go to Australian, British and American sites instead of wasting time shifting through a lot of mainland sites. We learn from the native writers so we can speak real English.
I have seen a lot of learners making notes of new words to add to their bank of vocabulary. To them, my advice is to stop doing so. It will slow down your reading. Only when a particular word is crucial to your understanding of the whole piece; otherwise, ignore it. As you are reading a lot, the same new word will come up again. After a few times, it will show up in a certain context that you will catch its meaning without any doubt at all. By not burdening oneself with chewing any new word that pops up, one is achieving more reading. The mind will unconsciously pick up the English writing patterns for you. Over time, you will become a brilliant English user.
This method worked for me and I have seen it work for friends who listen to me and practice it.
After reading enough, you will feel confident to pen something down. You will be shocked to find out one day that writing is no difficult task to you anymore. In fact, you will begin to love and enjoy writing. You are in command of a foreign language now, whilst a lot of learners are still struggling with it.
You may wonder why I choose to post in English rather than Chinese. I am a Hongkonger and therefore my Cantonese way of expression and writing won't fit your Putonghua palate. I am not used to writing in Chinese and I also have difficulty typing Chinese characters.
After all, you folks can see that a Chinese can freely express any ideas in neat and simple English only if you know the way and practice it.
A lot amongst us just dream about becoming a good English user. Yet they keep dreaming and asking instead of jumping in.
Hmmmmmmmm, I let you guys sort it out on your own.
[ Last edited by mdoinit at 2005-12-17 08:25 AM ]