talking

Hey, 1 whole hour and no talk English!!!

by 卡梅尔 on January 31, 2012

2 things led up to my first lesson:
I’ve been studying A LOT all hols, and I’ve also been following the exploits of Benni in Taiwan.
And yesterday, I had my first lesson of the year, on Skype, with my teacher XuNi from Xi’an.
I didn’t write my usual story before my lesson that I usually read to my teacher … No, this time my preparation was just thinking about things to say. Obviously I tried to practise talking (see, no hear, my previous posts 🙁 ).
I took a bit of advice from Benni .. I made myself just talk! I talked slowly, very slowly and XuNi was both patient and helpful. She was helpful because she asked me questions that made me think of things to say (note to self: write a list of questions.) And of course she corrected my sentences. I was thrilled because I understood her corrections when she said them.
Here is an excerpt from the lesson .. talking about a guest having to stay in a tent in the back yard because our house is too small!

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Now, about the goal I set myself 2 posts back …

by 卡梅尔 on January 21, 2012

Well, I got very close to having a great long things I could say about what I like doing in different weather situations … but circumstances changed!! My friend who I was going to try it out on got sick and went away for a while … and I didn’t get back to THOSE sentences. Well that’s my excuse, I’m sure I would have at least half succeeded, or I would have given it a go … but … I still can’t talk!!!!

I have a new idea to help me. Even though I have friends on the internet, and a friend that I actually talk with once a week, I fear I am not making any progress. I study all the time. My teacher has suggested I practise repeating what I hear on CDs that I have, ie the audio that comes with the text books, and with novels. I have a lot of them, and I didn’t realise I wasn’t doing much of just that!! I was still trying to learn new words, revise old words blah blah blah.

So lately it has been a lot of revision. I’ve been listening to, and repeating audio from both beginner novels, and my old university text books. I have really enjoyed it, and I feel like I am making progress … but still not talking by myself. Not thinking up my own sentences. I can do this when I’m writing, with the aid of my computer, but I want to just talk!

As Benni the Irish polyglot says: well do it!!!

After watching Benni’s first attempt at talking Mandarin, he speaks slowly, very very slowly, thinking carefully of each word or syllable one at a time, and getting it mostly right, I think I can do that!!! He put this video on the web too, which is brilliant! I’ve never seen a beginner trying to speak before (I have done all my study by distance ed or  correspondence lessons!)

I think what Benni has done for me, is point out that I don’t have to wait for someone to talk to before I can get practise. I have often tried to talk to myself, and that doesn’t really help much. But if I talk into a microphone, and put the results on this blog … ahh ha!! Voila! A reason to put what I have learnt into practise as often as I want. I have just tried it, and my talking is really bad, but I know I’m really bad … might as well share it with the world!  🙂 My mind was stuck on a few words I have revised recently, regarding growing plants in pots … I’d forgotten everything else that I have learnt before that!!!

这么多盆花!

这么多盆花!

I thought I would remember enough stuff to talk (albeit slowly) for 10 minutes. Hence my introduction saying I’m going to give myself 10 minutes to talk about my yard. Well, the recording is much shorter than that, I got to the usual mental block and gave up. Ah well, I failed at that goal too 🙁

Next time I will do a bit of proper preparation. I have great things that I can talk about, like washing clothes, mowing the lawn … can’t wait!

Please feel free to post a comment. I know I use a few wrong words, and wrong tones, so it probably won’t mean anything to anyone, not that anyone will come to my blog to listen. Ha ha, that’s why I’m game to make a fool of myself. Gotta luf!

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