To allow you to speak English more fluently, you need to retrain your brain to think in terms of English. For any training to be fruitful, you need to do a lot of practicing until you get your system into a habitual pattern. We will provide you useful methods and exercises to help you to retrain your thinking process in English.
- The Simple Arithmetic
The simple arithmetic consists of the decimal number system, the arithmetic operators and the equal sign(=).
The decimal numbers are one, two, three, to ten, hundred, thousand, and so on. The numbers are denoted by Arabic symbols(1, 2, 3, ..., 10, 100, 1000...).
The arithmetic operators are add, subtract, multiple and divide, denoted by the symbols +, -, *, /.
Now, let us speak out the arithmetic operations in English. For example, for 4 * 7 = 28, we say, " four times seven equals to twenty-eight."
In doing the above exercises, you are required to force yourself to use only English along your algorithmic process. Whatever arithmetic approaches you choose, speak out every step in English.
- Store and Describe a Picture in English
To overcome the problem that we store the information of an object in our brain as an image which is internally described in Chinese words, you need to restore this information and relate it in English words directly. You are required to follow these steps:
- Look at a picture and describe what you see in English words.
- Close your eyes, and in your memory go through the picture you have just seen, and describe the picture again in English words but silently.
- Repeat the Step 2 but this time speak out your English description.
You can continue to do more such exercise using any picture you see or any real life scene. Do not force yourself to over describe the picture. The important of this training is to get yourself into a habit to re-store unformation in English in your brain, and to retrieve such information directly using English without going through the Chinese-to-English translation procedeure.
- Tell a Story in English
Let us look at the example paragraph below.
Gettingto the university on time for a lecture at 9 o'clock in the morining involves the following steps.First of all you have to set your alarm clock. You will need to do this before you go to bed the previous night. When the alarm goes off you will need to get out of bed.
You should next take a shower and then get dressed. After getting dressed you should have some breakfast. After breakfast you have to walk to the subway station, and then buy a ticket when you get there.
Once you have your ticket you can catch the next train to Beijing Station. When the train arrives at Beijing Station you should get off and then finally walk to the university.
Follow the steps:
- Read out the above paragraph once.
- Memory: Cover up the above paragraph, and ask yourself what you have remembered. Do you remember the instructions in Chinese words? Or in English words? Or mixed?
- Talk about this topic in English from whatever you can remember: In doing so, ask yourself whether any Chinese-to-English translation process has been involved or not.
- Repeat Step 1, 2 and 3. If you remember the instruvtions in Chinese words, read out the paragraph one more time, and repeat Step 2 and 3 again. Repeat this exercise until you believe you have remembered the instructions in English.
- Listen to a topic and Restate it in English
Chinese people also have difficulties in listening comprehension. To a large extent, this problem is also due to theri unfortunate necessity of translating the English sentences into Chinese words and meaning before they can digest and store the information. This extra step impairs their listening comprehension capability because by the time they get the meaning (in Chinese) of one sentence, the speaker probably has alreadly finished the nest sentence. So it wull be difficult for you to follow the story, even though you may know every single word of what the speaker says.
The Training Procedure
- Listen carefully to the above paragraph.
- Try to pick up and remember the key messages while listening.
- Go through your mind and tell yourself what you remember.
- Restate the messages in English based on what you can remember.
- Repeat the above steps 1 to 4, until you can restate the messages in English reasonably well.