View Poll Results: Which is more effective in improving spoken English language for non-native English speakers?

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  • TV, VHS, DVS etc

    40 62.50%
  • Books (Fiction & Non-fiction)

    24 37.50%
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  1. #1

    English language improvment

    Reading fiction and non-fiction books is helpfull to improve ones English language in general. TVs, VHS, DVDs are also helpfull at that. Discuss which method is more effective at improving and boosting the skills for a non-native English speaker's spoken English and why you think so.

  2. #2
    the whitest knight u' know
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    Hearing pronunciation & usage + Seeing text > Just seeing

    I was on a train recently and I was eavesdropping on these people from Europe who happened to work for the BBC and they were having a big discussion about how over everything (besides actually taking courses in a foreign language) people learn the most foreign language from subtitled television.

    P.S. are we doing your homework?

  3. #3
    Black Belt
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    how do you improve speaking from text?

  4. #4
    Relic Shield
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    I've read people in Japan have started learning English from a DS instructional game.

  5. #5

    Quote Originally Posted by miokomioko
    Hearing pronunciation & usage + Seeing text > Just seeing

    I was on a train recently and I was eavesdropping on these people from Europe who happened to work for the BBC and they were having a big discussion about how over everything (besides actually taking courses in a foreign language) people learn the most foreign language from subtitled television.

    P.S. are we doing your homework?
    Heh yeah that's how I learned my basic English ._. I spoke English pretty well at age 13. English grammar classes in school cleaned it up a bit and eventually moving to the US and hearing it 24/7/365 I feel more comfortable talking in English than (I never got when to use then/than >.<) my mothertongue :D

  6. #6

    Yeah, it sounds easier to learn more and improve by actually reading the text and how it is pronounciated. Specialy now with modern DVDs where there are multi languge subtitles available for the viewers. I think books offer a unique type of method of improvement, but i can't grasp of what it is. Btw, I don't have any English language or research related homework, I just thought of posting this and hearing poeples opinions, and learning more.

  7. #7
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    books improve your grammar.

  8. #8

    Quote Originally Posted by layoneil
    books improve your grammar.

    True, that was one part of the English classes, but what's the point of reading a book when you don't comprehend what you're reading?
    If you don't know what's going in, it's a lot harder to remember how to spell / use a tense IMO.

  9. #9
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    You can make a strong case for TV etc, depending on the age (stage of biological development) of the learner.

    The corpus callosum, a series of tissues that connects the two hemispheres of the brain, and controls the flow of information from one side to the next, is not complete until about age 7-8. Prior to this stage of neurological development, dual-language acquisition occurs quite easily.

    During this stage of growth language acquisition, whether in a primary or secondary language, almost always starts with speaking/listening.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by dragoness
    If you don't know what's going in, it's a lot harder to remember how to spell / use a tense IMO.
    watching TV is going to help you spell a lot less than reading a book.

  11. #11

    Quote Originally Posted by miokomioko
    P.S. are we doing your homework?
    lol, the way the OP was written it does sound like it's straight out of a textbook.

    But I agree, definitely I think that you'll learn better from watching a TV show or video than just reading. I mean, isn't it obvious? Being able to hear the words spoken and as an added bonus if they're displayed on-screen is better than just reading. Especially if it's like those kids shows where the character says it, and allows you time to repeat.

  12. #12
    You wouldn't know that though because you've demonstrably never picked up a book nor educated yourself on the matter. Let me guess, overweight housewife?
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    I hav eto say a combo of both.

    Reading can help you a lot when coming to grammar and spelling but tv can help you a lot hearing the words and use visual association.

    It's usually better when learning a language to try and get all types of learning mixed in together.

  13. #13
    the whitest knight u' know
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    I wouldn't consider books written in a foreign language would help anyone learn anything. I think it would be good practice if they at least knew some, but staring at a book written entirely in Japanese, you're not going to get a damn thing out of it unless you can read some of the characters. Even then, I would assume it would be more of a pracitice in recognizing characters that they've already learned and assists in making the learning process permanent.

    But... that gets into a whole different discussion whether this is about learning to speak English just to communicate, or learning to speak it, write it, and read it efficiently.

    I'm still confident that subtitled, everyday television (especially children's shows for the simplicity and news programs for their formality) are much more helpful in learning any language than anything else besides educational materials. Bonus points for being subtitled and close-captioned because, then it's almost an educational piece in itself.

  14. #14
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    Ive heard that the people that 'learn' Japanese from anime become the scum of society in Japan.

    Seriosuly though, ive heard bad things. I guess anime could maybe help a bit in the pronunciation part just a bit, but lol @ nothing but 'konnichiwa kawaii baka desu ne!' But ive heard anime as a whole gives off a horrible perception of how the language really is.


    English.. I dunno, I know a few spanish countries show alot of english stuff, spanish is pretty similiar.. so I guess it just really depends on what language your main is.

    I think learning all those asian/arabic/russian symbols is completly impossible. English from what ive heard is farily simple to learn, but there is a lot of little things that mess people up when trying to learn it, like how one word can mean two or three different things. Meh.

    But I deff think that actually hearing and seeing is the best way to learn and reading only for the things that need to be more indepth.

  15. #15
    You wouldn't know that though because you've demonstrably never picked up a book nor educated yourself on the matter. Let me guess, overweight housewife?
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    Quote Originally Posted by miokomioko
    I wouldn't consider books written in a foreign language would help anyone learn anything. I think it would be good practice if they at least knew some, but staring at a book written entirely in Japanese, you're not going to get a damn thing out of it unless you can read some of the characters. Even then, I would assume it would be more of a pracitice in recognizing characters that they've already learned and assists in making the learning process permanent.

    piece in itself.
    As I understand the OP's post, he asked what would help improve a non-native speaker's english. Not whether they can learn it from scratch.

    AKA my father is from Egypt, he already speaks English, but reading might improve his fluency even more.

    I stand corrected if this was not the OP's question though.

  16. #16

    It helps to actually look up words in the dictionary. A lot of people think they know the definitions of a words they use and how to use them in a sentence. More than a few would would be surprised at how many words they use incorrectly or not quite they way they intended.

  17. #17
    The Mizzle Fizzle of Nikkei's Haremizzle

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    Quote Originally Posted by dietvanillapepsi
    It helps to actually look up words in the dictionary. A lot of people think they know the definitions of a words they use and how to use them in a sentence. More than a few would would be surprised at how many words they use incorrectly or not quite they way they intended.

    Amen.

  18. #18

    i learned english from TV when i migrated to america when i was like 7 yrs old. (blue's clues, discovery channel, scooby doo taught me english :D)
    fast forward to highschool, i was placed in honors english classes.

    if you wanna know how to speak a language, you need to hear how its commonly spoken. 95%+ of the people speak slang, and barely anyone speaks perfect english with perfect grammar; therefore TV and stuff helps more

    ps i hate reading books

  19. #19
    Saint Daahan Von Quitter the 1st
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    hooked on phonics

  20. #20

    Quote Originally Posted by dragoness
    Quote Originally Posted by layoneil
    books improve your grammar.

    True, that was one part of the English classes, but what's the point of reading a book when you don't comprehend what you're reading?
    If you don't know what's going in, it's a lot harder to remember how to spell / use a tense IMO.
    This is why god invented the dictionary. It breaks down words into more laymen's terms making it so everyone, yes even you, can understand those big fancy words. And it comes with spelling and when and how to use it in proper tense!

    But books would only go so far as you would need to hear the context, and regional dialects.

    Which is why Borat is going to be a win of a movie.

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