English after advanced blog by Kate Aksonova.

    Why I need one more blog?
    English as second language?

      English as second language?


      All not native speakers of English taught by same scheme – English as second language. Language after your native. In some examples, it could be true, but not in every.

      Language learning never see as important different background of people which came to learning languages. Of course, it will be too difficult to have individual study books, programs for improving skills.

      In my case English first came into my life in age of 7 years. It was advertisement of courses for kids. There were few interested at the end left only me and my neighbour. Later we also stopped, it was total failure.

      Problems with second language? Can’t be true. Problem was in studying, lectures where we tried to repeat how properly said “the”, which was examined by person which saw England only in pictures at study books. It was before internet and all possible resources.

      Was it traumatising to learn different language, not native? For God sake, no. For me English was fifth language and only it became failure. Main question why? Because it wasn’t comfortable, scary and taught that is difficult and impossible.

      Russian, Ukrainian, Polish languages were daily on TV and radio. They were usual languages. After that for me was Belarus language. Did I learned one of them? No, properly. But listened to fairy tales and watched cartoons. No one daily told me that was awfully difficult. And I didn’t learn to read at that time.

      When in University I choose Polish, because it was easy, I also at beginning had problems. I couldn’t understand nothing written or repeat what should be. I was terribly scared about mistakes which could make in conjugations. Was real problem that exam will be disaster for me. Among mother’s friend was found woman with Polish origin, who introduced me to teacher of Polish school. She at first figured out what I knew and started with children’s books. In reality wasn’t such terrible and since that time I haven’t problems with Polish.

      Why I couldn’t show my knowledge in languages? I believe there is one reason. I didn’t read text, I should answer in nouns and verbs and it totally destroyed flow and understanding of language.

      When using chunks of language in conversation I never think that I will use noun with verb and than add collocation with phrasal verb to add.

      Problem is not in number of language, second or tenth. Problem that dissection of language could stay for years in our mind, and endless courses and books are proves that it’s most difficult make from that dissected parts some alive tool.

      My work with English I see like attempt to teach Frankenstein gracefully read poetry. More stylishly should be name this phase as caterpillar in chrysalis, with hope for butterfly with beautiful wings. But in learning language it never could be done easy.

      I am not pessimist. After advanced I think is proper time to refuse theory “English as foreign (second) language”. After advanced I think it’s time to meet the language not from studying. And start to read what read natives, books “How to sound smart” or “Clever words for everyday conversations” (I used most frequently ideas for such sort of books) were written for natives. It’s pleasure, that they also could have problems with vocabulary.

      I try to change my reading lists from articles about Present Perfect to normal usage of language. Like example, read letters which wrote writers and which could be found in internet. To see English as language for daily communication, not like subject of science. To forget that it’s unusual activity, to make it closer to life. To make English as real second language (fine, third at which I write fluently). Language which could be used in daily life. Make it less monstrous is much difficult target.



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      Why I need one more blog?


      Why write one more blog about learning English, if there are billions of them on-line? Because I need this. I still deep in the theme of learning English.

      What was point which inspired me? I made on-line test. Many of them are usual for everyone who learned or study English. 50 questions which in the end will tell you where you are on ladder of learning English.


      It was my result. Advanced. After years of intermediate and rarely upper-intermediate, I receive advanced.

      It’s impossible. Don’t think that tests are complimentary, they are for language schools and language schools need students with less knowledge.

      I receive what I need – advanced level, not certificate, but just proves that my self-study gave results.

      I remember that next level is proficiency or at least advanced without even few mistakes on tests, but here is the end of ladder about which I dreamed since 1997 year when first time came to proper courses of English. Long journey, never it was step after step. To be true, real work began after I started use language daily at creative work, writing plays.

      Now are main questions... What to do after Advanced level? How to learn English or improve it? Or to be happy that achieved unreachable goal. Mistakes are not crucial, I will make them everywhere it had nothing common with level of language acquisition.

      What happens with learning language after Advanced? How to reach Proficiency level and improve your abilities? This questions are now crucial for me and I will try to find answers. Where? In literature about language learning, linguistic and of course I want to see in retrospective how helpful or not were my previous study books.

      Why all this fuss? Because after answering correctly questions I searched by which rule it could be explain.


      I want to reread my grammar books, not only use them like references and find were I reach feeling of “that construction can’t be used”.

      Yes, few years ago I wanted to receive second education – of course it should be English language. Because of finance problems I didn’t manage it. Even didn’t try. Instead I worked with English daily. Now on-line are lots of academic journals, maybe, by self-study I will found ways to draw map how to live with English after Advanced. It’s not in my character to stop, I need to have next target.

      Next post will be on next Thursday. Once a week. I need time to find more resources.


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      Mail: aksioma@neonet.ua


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