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Unit 8: Learning foreign languages. Talks

Английский язык: Экспресс-репетитор для подготовки к ЕГЭ, «Говорение».
Урок 8: «Изучение иностранных языков. Переговоры».

Task 1

Give a talk on learning English.
Remember to discuss:
• whether it’s easy or difficult to learn English, why
• which is most important: grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, why
• what you prefer doing: reading, listening, speaking, writing, why
• what you could do to improve your English.

In my opinion, English is easier to learn than many other foreign languages because its grammar is not very complicated. Still, its a tricky language to learn because English pronunciation is very difficult. There are more exceptions than rules and you have to look up words in the dictionary to check up their pronunciation because you can’t rely on rules.

I can’t say exactly which is most important in learning a language: grammar, vocabulary or pronunciation. Of course the main thing in a language is its vocabulary. If you don’t know the words, you won’t be able to express your idea even if you know lots of grammar rules. Some students think that being able to communicate is the most important thing in learning a language and they do not care that they make many mistakes in speaking. However, grammar and pronunciation are of great importance, too. If you mispronounce some word, the meaning can be different and people won’t be able to understand you. The same thing is with grammar. Of course if you omit ’s’ at the end of the verb, this won’t make much difference, but if you mix up verb tenses, people will misunderstand you. In my opinion, we should be concerned with both communicating and accuracy. To sum up, I think that all these aspects are very important for successful communication.

As for me, I enjoy learning English because it is a very beautiful language. I like all activities but most of all I prefer reading. It’s a very enjoyable activity because while reading you can learn a lot of new things, for example, you can learn some information about English-speaking countries. Besides, reading is easier for me than speaking or listening because I don’t have to concentrate and recollect the necessary words. If I don’t know any word in the book, I can always look it up in the dictionary. What is more, when I read English books, I learn lots of new words and enlarge my vocabulary. We don’t have lots of opportunities to communicate with native speakers or to listen to an English speech so reading is the best way to stay in touch with the language. Today we have an opportunity to find plenty of interesting English websites and to enjoy this language.

There are a lot of useful learning strategies that can help us improve our English such as reading English books, using a cassette recorder or watching English films. But in my opinion, the best way of learning a language is to practise a lot. Today we have an opportunity to go to an English-speaking country and talk to native speakers. In my opinion, it’s the best way to enlarge my vocabulary, to improve my grammar and pronunciation and to train my speaking and listening skills. That’s why I’d like to go to Great Britain and take a course at an English school.

1. Why do people in Russia learn English?
2. Does everyone need to learn English? Why?
3. What do you think is the best way of learning a foreign language? Why?
4. Why do you learn English?
5. Is it difficult for you to learn English? Why?
6. Are you a good language learner? Why?
7. Would you like to learn any other foreign language in addition to English? Why?/Why not?

Task 2

Give a talk on learning foreign languages.
Remember to discuss:
• why I it is important to learn foreign languages
• whether it will be better to have only one language on the planet, why
• why you learn English
• whether you are a good language learner, why

In my opinion, learning foreign languages is extremely beneficial. It’s not surprising because Russia is now part of Europe and the whole world. Very little clear and detailed communication can occur among people who don’t have a common language. Besides learning foreign languages helps us to gain a better appreciation of our own language. I believe that knowledge of foreign languages helps to make a person educated and well-rounded. And it is not only the language that counts, but also the fact that it is a way of getting to know different cultures. You can’t broaden your mind if you see the world only from the perspective of your own culture.

Some people think that it will be better to have only one language on our planet because in this case communication will become easier and there will be no need to learn foreign languages. But in my opinion, having only one language is a disaster because it will reduce the diversity of our planet, which s the key to our survival. I think we should try our best to reserve all languages on our planet because a language is the main part of people’s culture and without languages we will lose our great cultural heritage.

As for me, I learn English because it expands my horizons and prepares me for a successful career. If you know English, you can get a better job, more money and people will respect you more. Besides, English attracts me because it’s the language of business and computers. English is also very useful when you travel abroad. When you speak English to people, they’re often a lot more friendly and helpful. More than that, learning English is a good exercise for the intellect, though, of course, it’s a tricky language to learn because there seems to be more exceptions than rules.

I think I’m a good language learner because I’m independent, organized and active. I don’t expect to learn English just by sitting in the classroom so I always look for opportunities to develop my language outside the classroom, for example, I read English books and I use different educational programmes which I can find on the Internet. I try to find out what works for me and what doesn’t. Some students think that being able to communicate is the most important in learning a language and they do not care that they make many mistakes in speaking. As for me, I’m concerned with both communicating and accuracy.

1. Why do so many people learn English today?
2. Do you agree that language diversity is ’the key to our survival’? Why?
3. How many languages do you think are enough for the world? Why?
4. Will English become a global language? Why?
5. Do you like learning English or not? Why?
6. Would you like to learn any other foreign language? Why?

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