ผมได้รับคำถามจากท่านผู้อ่านท่านหนึ่ง เขาบอกว่าต้องการปรับปรุงทักษะภาษาอังกฤษเรื่อง pronunciation และ grammar เพราะสอบ IELTS ได้ยังไม่ถึงเกณฑ์ที่ต้องสอบให้ได้ เขาเรียนคอร์สส่วนตัวกับครูฝรั่งมาแล้วแต่ก็ยังมีปัญหานี้อยู่ และเขาก็เข้ามาอ่าน blog นี้ได้พักหนึ่งแล้ว ก็เลยเขียนมาถามปัญหานี้
เขาเขียนถามมาเป็นภาษาอังกฤษยาวสักนิด ผมก็เลยต้องตอบเป็นภาษาอังกฤษ ผมเอาข้อความที่เขียนตอบมาลงในวันนี้ให้ท่านอ่านเล่น ๆ และเพื่อรักษาความเป็นส่วนตัวของผู้ถาม ผมจึงไม่เอาคำถามของเขามาลง ไม่บอกอาชีพ ไม่ใช้แม้แต่สรรพนามที่แสดงเพศ ผมคิดว่าท่านผู้ถามไม่น่าจะขัดข้องที่ผมเอาคำตอบมาลงในที่สาธารณะ
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I am not sure if I can tell something useful to you. I have never sat on an IELTS test. And if I did, I might not be able to get the high grade as you.
Actually about grammar and pronunciation you asked, I had talked several times in this blog and this link คุยกับท่านผู้อ่าน. There is nothing special. However, I believe that if we try to do something special with normal efforts but continuously, we must be able to achieve that special thing, usually.
Let’s start with what I am more comfortable with, grammar.
I think what grammar you are expected to achieve in the IELTS test may be a bit higher level than what we are used to while reading daily newspapers. However, in my opinion, grammar means 2 things: rules and exceptions. And sometimes there are more items of exceptions than those of rules. And because of this, some people jump to the conclusion that being good at grammar is nothing but good memory, which I disagree.
In English-speaking countries, people needn’t learn English grammar, because they use it, or to be more correct, they live with it. It is the same that Thai people needn’t learn Thai grammar. People learn grammar gradually and naturally from the first day they learn to listen and speak.
However, for Farangs who want to master Thai, and Thais who want to master Farang language, they must try harder than native speakers because they don’t have the privileges of learning foreign languages since their childhood.
And different people learn grammar differently. Here let me give you an example of one of my friends’ way to learn grammar and mine.
The way my friend learned grammar bores me very much. He opened a good grammar book and tried to remember every rule of grammar, big and small as well as its all exceptions item by item. And he did well in his exam. This method suits him best possibly because of his good memory, but not me.
The way I learned grammar is like this. Yes, I have a good grammar book like my friend, but I don’t try to remember it as though it was a holy book. I try to understand and remember it. If I can remember, it’s okay. If I can’t remember, it’s also okay. Grammar is not my mantra to learn English.
I try and train more in reading. I read what I love that is not too long. When I read, I try to understand the contents, vocabulary (including idioms, phrasal verbs, collocations, slang), grammar, and ‘feelings’ of what I am reading. It is obvious that grammar is almost at the end of what I am interested in. The thing is that usually I understand the way the sentences are constructed, but I may not be able to explain it, or remember it exactly. However, the more I read, the more I understand grammar and, I think, remember it without much effort, even though I don’t try to remember it. There are sometimes that I feel the grammar in the contexts I am reading looks strange, and in this case I will ask the grammar book. Let me boast a bit, I usually did well in grammar section at exam time.
This is my way of learning grammar, I don’t know yours.
In your case it is not a normal grammar skill needed, because of the IELTS exam. My opinion is you should find a way to comprehensively and systematically check your weak points in grammar. After knowing them, the way to work for correcting them should be easier. However, I don’t know the way that suits you best to master grammar rules.
Now come to your second question, the pronunciation.
I don’t think I have anything to tell you because you have learned a lot with native speakers. I guess that they must have told and trained you all things necessary for good and correct pronunciation. So you have already known all theories and practices about how to pronounce correctly. And I have nothing more to add to it.
But if you allow me to say something you probably already know, I must copy what I have suggested in your first question: you should find a way to comprehensively and systematically check your weak points in pronunciation. After knowing them, the way to train yourself and improving them should be easier.
Your required English skills are special, so your training should be specific and selective. How many days is it from now to your next exam time? How many parts do you have to take in the exam? You have to give proper time of training to each part of the exam subjects. The weaker points need more time to train and vice versa.
Frankly speaking, my pronunciation is just for listeners to understand; I think it is just passable to hear, but not pleasant to the ears. I think I have the typical pronunciation problems like most Thai people speaking English. R & l, ch & sh, are just a few examples. I can talk the whole hour in front of the class with no big problem of finding the right English words at the right time and you can understand what I say, but you can find faults with my poor pronunciation the whole hour as well.
You told me that “I got only 6.5 for maximal degree of speaking and writing.” and . “please suggest me how to improve my pronunciation and grammar.” I am not sure if you have some difficulty only in pronunciation or both pronunciation and speaking. The thing is that you may speak well enough for people to understand with frequent wrong pronunciations, or you may be able to pronounce perfectly but not many people can understand what you are speaking, or only a few people can understand what you say and pronounce, or you are able to speak and pronounce so well that everybody understands and admires you.
My question is what your immediate problem about pronunciation and/or speaking is. Put your best efforts specifically there and I am sure you will get a reward for your efforts.
Finally, I have collected some links. I believe you will find them useful more or less
- รวมเว็บข้อสอบ IELTS ฟรี
-Audiobook - 101 Helpful Hints for IELTS.rar-http://www.languagesbooks.com/search/label/IELTS
After complete download, extracting compressed files may required a password which is given at the end of the information about each book/CD.
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