An activity to improve fluency in spoken and written English
By Dharmendra Sheth and Hasmukh Umaria
The following may interest you if you are a teacher or a learner of English.
Speaking in one’s mother tongue is easy; speaking in any other tongue is difficult. Let’s accept it.
Non-native learners of English often face two problems when they try to express their views in English. One, they can’t find the right word or expression to convey their message. And two, they find it hard to string words together and form grammatically correct sentences. These problems are particularly noticeable in one’s speech. A number of activities can be carried out to overcome this problem. One of them is “expansion”.
Take an idea, and flesh it out by adding some details, explanation or examples. To begin with, write just two or three lines to expand the main idea. Once you get a grip on how to do that in writing, you might like to expand ideas orally. This activity will invariably help you to build up your fluency in written and spoken English. Let me show you how to expand an idea using some proverbs. You can in fact take any interesting statement for that matter.
- It is the first step that is the most difficult.
Starting something new is often difficult. There are so many doubts to clear, and pros and cons to weigh. As a result, people often hesitate a lot before taking the first step. But once taken, the rest can be smooth sailing.
- Better late than never.
We sometimes do not or cannot do a certain thing when appropriate or necessary. Later we may regret it. Now, if that thing is really important and worth doing, then we should do it, even if we are late.
- A stitch in time saves nine.
Spot a problem, fix it there and then. If you don’t do so, matters can get out of hand and the situation may get worse.
- Cut your coat according to the cloth.
If you spend more than you should, you will have to borrow money and consequently you may run into debt. That’s why it is advisable to live within your means; that is, spend less money than your income.
- You can’t put the clock back.
There is no going back in time once a particular time has passed. Therefore you cannot make things the same as they were before.
- You can’t have your cake and eat it too.
Once the cake is eaten, it is gone. You can’t eat it without losing it. Similarly, sometimes you are in a situation in which you want to use something and, at the same time, you don’t want to lose it. It’s not possible, is it? You will have to make a decision. You can’t have it both ways!
- Patience is a virtue.
Things happen in their own time. You sometimes can’t make things happen. Waiting for things needs patience. Good things often take a long time to happen. Many, instead of waiting, take some rash action, and later suffer or regret. If you can wait patiently, it is a virtue.
- It is easy to be wise after the event.
Some people may tell you what you should have done after seeing the result of your action. It is of no use. Anyone can do that. It’s only after the task is over that we understand where and how we went wrong. It may be too late to mend but that is how we learn.
- Truth will out.
Someone may try to hide something bad that he has done, but sooner or later it will come to light.
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Happy learning, happy sharing!
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