The Glad Game > 2010年5月26日のアーカイブ

ホーム > アーカイブ > 2010年5月26日のアーカイブ



Emiko, Naomi, and I met last week and talked about how we should improve our fluency level. The three of us want to talk more fluently, and have been trying hard in our Eiken discussion. Although we’ve made some progress so far, “to become more fluent.” seems a vague goal now. We discussed what is needed the most and decided to set small goals every 3 months.

We call it “Fluency plan.” It has two parts, one for individuals, and the other is for our group. Each of us has her own problems, so we have to find a solution by ourselves. My own problem is stammering when I start to translate Japanese to English in my head. When a topic is familiar, I can speak fluently without thinking, but when I discuss an unfamiliar topic, the Japanese-English translation process makes me speak one word at a time. I want to speak without faltering out in various topics. This comes from a lack of background knowledge and a shortage of vocabulary. I realized that having opinions on various things even in Japanese helps. I feel it’s difficult to speak in English when I don’t have any opinion even in Japanese. To solve this problem, I decided to pick some important vocabulary before discussions. Writing a full speech is cumbersome, and the temptation to read it during the discussion as if I made it up spontaneously is so huge that it’s better not to write it before the discussion.

We decided to say what we think about the article before the discussion part. It’s a short comment, about 1 minute or so, but stating our opinion concisely seems to be what is needed the most now. Since our opinions about everything tended to be very short and it was difficult to have a lively conversation, it will be a good training to say something a little bit longer than we used to do.

As a group, we sometimes encounter an awkward silence when we open up the free discussion part. It’s our custom that the senior member should speak first and young people should just listen. What is more, we are overly polite when some of us start talking simultaneously. Saying “Oh, sorry, sorry. ,” doesn’t seem to be good as we feel more uncomfortable to speak first.

One more thing, I noticed English speaking people tend to speak as soon as other people stop their sentences. I think that’s because English sentences have a verb at the beginning of the sentences, and English speakers state their key opinion first so that listeners can understand what other people want to say easily. On the other hand, the Japanese language places the verb last, and we put an important opinion at the end of our speech, so we don’t know what other people want to say until at the end. We bring this Japanese speaking custom into the Eiken discussion, and that’s why we have an awkward silence between our comments. We should listen to English speakers conversations more carefully and imitate their conversation tempo.

Although we have passions to be more fluent, we didn’t have definite plans for how to achieve it and felt like we were stuck in a rut. It’s good to have a definite plan and “the next step” to proceed toward a long goal. I hope it will work out well.

金曜夜23時のオンライン英会話。先週メンバー3人で直接会って、どうすればもっと流暢に話せるようになるかを話し合った結果、意見を言うときはある程度の長さのまとまった話をすることになりました。具体的には記事を音読した後、その記事についてどう思うかを1分程度のimpromptu speechをします。事前に言うことを書いて読み上げるのは禁止です。あくまでもこのディスカッションは練習の場なので、かっこ悪い姿を見せるのはしょうがない! この”流暢になる計画”は3ヶ月ごとに少しずつレベルアップしていく予定。


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