Friday, July 22, 2011

Grammar Vs. Spoken English

Suppose you’ve already read one of my recent posts, I’m pretty sure you may have believed that grammar is my number 1 basis to learn a language like English. You may be right. We’ll see. 

How d’ you feel about the statement ‘Malaysians speak very formal English’?

I see this is the truth as Malaysians most commonly go to a national school or a national type school where standard British English is generally taught at. The Malaysians are therefore constantly facing a little mess primarily in understanding what the English speak. 

Idioms, proverbs, slang and other literary devices including personification, metaphor and simile – these are merely a quarter of the key elements in the English language that help beautify the art of the language and so do many other languages.

In spite of the fact that these elements are essential in a language acquisition, only will Malaysian school children be exposed in detail when they begin knowing literature components (Bahasa & English) in their secondary school education. In contrast, the emphasis of literature in Advanced Arabic is too little. How come? 

The Malay proverb ‘Melentur buluh biarlah dari rebungnya’ stresses the significance of education at the early age, ever since a baby can see the world. Let’s scratch that for a sec., shall we?

There’s a couple of most popular ‘patterns’ of communication in our daily routine: writing and speaking. I think I’d better put it this way: Writing is formal and speaking is informal. Recalling what I studied in the subject ‘Discourse Analysis’ at Uni, writing is classified ‘formal’ because it’s something well planned and speaking isn’t. I guess if speaking were a well planned thing, a speaker would take time to utter a word and that’s flipping nonsense!  

Thus, grammar doesn’t always come first. It really does especially in essay writing but when it comes to speaking, the English have to take grammar for granted sometimes. Take note whether you determine to speak English so good as the English native speaker.

It seems as though a trend nowadays that informal English is more frequently applied either on TV, radio, daily papers or whatnot. This big exposure of informal English is also seen in English movies. Watching English movies is a means of improving one’s English communication skills. This is very good for a second language speaker like us so we aren’t too much orientated towards formal English which makes us nerdy, hello!

Slang such as ‘guys’, ‘dude’, ‘wanna’, ‘gotta’ is regularly used in spoken English. Go find out yourselves what these slangs stand for or you won’t learn anything. 

Click here to learn more on British Slang:

When interacting, the way you converse with a bosom friend and a lecturer is totally unlike. The way you communicate with your dearest parents and with little children are never the same either. A teenage boy would probably wish ‘peace out’ to his buddies which simply means ‘goodbye’ or ‘see you around’.

Think of abbreviations in modal verbs like shall [ I’ll do it ] and would [ He’d be back soon ]. Now, think of ‘Be’ verbs like am, is, are, was, were as in [ I’m playing computer games ] and ‘Have’ verbs in the subsequent sentences [ She’s gone to work ] and [ I’ve got to go! ].

The English normally seem to leave out such verbs and just pronounce them in abbreviation form that have the second language learners bewildered and blur. And that’s the distinction we can obviously see on Malaysians today who tend to mention word by word. The native speakers won’t get trouble to see what we’re trying to say, conversely we shall.

I’d like to insist on the utmost necessity of learning informal English rather than concentrating too much upon formal English. I’m not telling you that learning formal English isn’t the least bit crucial, yet informal English can never be taken for granted just like that.

My lecturer loved stressing the obligation of an English teacher to speak as much formal British English as possible in class. At the same time, clarify to them any slang terms in our lessons, if any. This kind of step will avoid students’ misunderstanding.

Grammar is to be learnt to make us proficient in the international language. Nevertheless, the essentiality of informal English knowledge oughtn’t to be forgotten. Both of them are equally vital!

In a video I watched via YouTube the other year, this English tutor suggested that learn phrases! Strictly speaking, I’ve no favourite links yet which assist me in phrases. I benefit English movies a lot and learn English phrases from. On top of that, our current film industry has been flooded with American movies. Whether we like it or not, we’ll be served with American English much often. Sooner or later, our English will turn to be so American, to my mind. 

Now, I am gonna leave you with this how-to-speak-English-fluently video. Enjoy watching!

Click here:


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