47. Read the dialogue, listen to it carefully, 7, and say what Anna finds most difficult in learning English.
Are You Happy with the Way You Are Taught English?
Interviewer: Anna, I know you have been learning English for almost five years and you are planning to become an interpreter. What do you feel about learning grammar? Do you think your teacher spends too much or too little time on it?
Anna: Of course, you must learn grammar in any language. After all, you canТt build a house without foundations. But thatТs all we do at school Ч grammar, grammar and more grammar, for half an hour four times a week! We have too many drills.
Int.: So grammar is important, but not too much of it. But should it be taught in isolation?
Anna: No. You need to practise grammar together with vocabulary. ItТs not good when you learn new words but donТt have much practice using them with the grammar youТve learnt.
Int.: With vocabulary Ч is it better to learn a few words at a time and practise them, rather than a lot of words by heart?
Anna: Practice helps you to memorize the words. Also I remember words better if they are related to my interests. I have no problem learning words connected with my hobby which is animals and wildlife.
Int.: One of the problems for learners of English is phrasal verbs Ч to get on, to get along with and so on, and, of course, idioms. Is it a problem for you? Have you learnt enough to cope with idioms?
Anna: TheyТre very difficult. And you have to keep yourself up-to-date with them too. For example, when I first came to England, I used the idiom УItТs raining cats and dogsФ very proudly, and everyone laughed at me because itТs so old-fashioned and the average English person doesnТt use that expression.
Int.: So, make sure the idioms you learnt are up-to-date. Now, how about pronunciation? A lot of students find that hard.
Anna: English intonation is awful! I mean, I think itТs the most difficult part of pronunciation because if you get it wrong, people think youТre rude. Intonation is far more difficult than learning to pronounce words correctly. ItТs important to learn both formal and informal English Ч how to ask for information, how to be polite. Let me give you an example. My English teacher phoned me yesterday asking about something he wanted to know, and I just said УnoФ. Then, when I thought about it afterwards, I realized that I had sounded rude. I should have said1 УIТm afraid I donТt knowФ or something like that. Learning social English is very useful, take writing letters in English for example.
Int.: What advice would you give to people who are just beginning to learn English?
Anna: I find reading very helpful Ч I read books, newspapers, magazines and other periodicals. I try to guess the meaning of words I donТt know from their context. This helps me to read more quickly. But I also look up words in the dictionary and make a note of the most useful ones.
Int.: How about listening to pop music?
Anna: Yes Ч that can be useful, I was a bit disappointed actually, because some songs have such silly words, though the music is lovely. Listening to the radio and watching videos and educational TV programmes in English help me too. Especially listening to the news. I was very proud when I realized that I could easily get the idea of what I was listening to.
Int.: As I can see, learning a language isnТt as simple as all that. You can learn rules for grammar and pronunciation and also for vocabulary, but the most difficult feature of any language is perhaps learning the elements for which there are no written rules Ч for example Уsocial EnglishФ. This means learning about expected ways of behaviour, knowing what sort of English to use in different situations, formal or informal, and how to understand what is said, all that is so easy and natural in your mother tongue.
1 I should have said Ч мне следовало бы сказать
48. Imagine that you are Anna and answer these questions:
Is it necessary to learn grammar?
Should one practise grammar and vocabulary together or in isolation?
Which is better: to practise using new words or learn them by heart?
Are idioms easy to learn?
Why is it important to keep yourself up-to-date with idioms?
Why is it important to use the right intonation when you talk to people?
Why is it useful to try to guess the meaning of words from the context?
What can one do to learn to understand spoken English?
What is the most difficult feature of learning a language?
What does Уsocial EnglishФ mean?
49. A. Match the phrases in English and Russian, find and read out the sentences with them in the dialogue.
1. what do you feel about ...?
2. to get (have) an/the idea of sth (how to do sth)
3. to find sth hard
4. IТm afraid, I donТt know
5. far more difficult
6. I have no problem learning words
7. to make a note of sth
8. to do/to get sth wrong
9. to keep yourself up-to-date with idioms
10. to ask for information
11. a few words at a time
12. to make sure
13. to cope with
a) допустить ошибку
b) вы€снить что-то, получить сведени€
c) несколько слов за один раз
d) боюсь, что € не знаю
e) испытывать трудности в чЄм-либо
f) гораздо труднее
g) € без труда заучиваю слова
h) пон€ть что-либо
i) старатьс€ не использовать устаревшие выражени€
j) что ты думаешь по поводу...?
к) записывать что-то
l) справитьс€ с чем-то
m) удостоверитьс€, убедитьс€
B. Express the same idea using the phrases above.
What does Anna think about learning grammar?
Anna thinks that learning idioms is not easy.
Anna finds learning idioms much more difficult than learning words.
Anna knows the way how to learn grammar.
Anna finds it easy to learn words connected with her interests.
It is important not to use old-fashioned idioms.
If you make a mistake in intonation, people may think youТre rude.
ItТs important to know how to find things out.
It's much more polite to say УIТm sorry, I donТt knowФ than just УI donТt knowФ.
Some people find it useful to write down words to memorize them.
ItТs good to know that you can easily understand what you are listening to.
Be sure to do your homework before five oТclock.
I am sure he can do the job well.
50. Look through the text again and say what Anna thinks about:
learning vocabulary (words and idioms);
learning social English;
listening to pop music, the radio, watching videos and educational TV programmes
51. Imagine that AnnaТs interviewer is asking you the same questions about learning English. Answer them and explain your points of view.
52. A. Listen to the text УLaugh, PleaseФ, 8, and say which of the two is right.
The writer found giving lectures (more difficult/easier) than writing books.
Last year he was invited to give a lecture to (Chinese/Japanese) students.
Most of his listeners (could/couldnТt) understand spoken English.
The writer spoke to the students through (an interpreter/another lecturer).
The writer told the listeners a (sad/amusing) story.
The interpreter made his story very (long/short).
The students (laughed/didnТt laugh) afterwards.
The interpreter (told/didnТt tell) the writerТs story in Japanese.
B. Answer the questions below.
Why did the writer ask the interpreter to translate his lecture for him?