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教育频道 > 外语天地-英语频道 > News English
双语采访:怎样更好学习口语
时间:2006年01月24日18:35 我来说两句(0)  

 
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作者:SAYBOT

  Idit 博士毕业于哈佛大学和麻省理工学院,她是全球知名的教育和新媒体专家。MaMaMedia INC.CEO和创始人。我们就口语学习专题专门采访了IDIT,请她就中国的口语教学以及怎样更好地学习英语口语发表了自己的观点。

  SAYBOT:在中国现在有越来越多的人在学习英语,但是有许多人学了许多年却仍然不会说英语,您觉得最大的问题在哪里?

  IDIT: 为了更好地学会说英语,人们应该坚持练习英语对话。许多中国学生并没有得到充分的口语练习,因为他们没有好的内容。阅读和写做对英语学习者来说是非常有用,但是对口语练习是不够的。而且,人们同样需要提高听力来帮助他们进行口语练习。最后,为了更好地进行英语会话,我们必须熟悉各种发音,比如:美式、英式、澳大利亚式的英语,以及儿童口音、成人口音和各种行业的口音,这样可以用来掌握各种说话的系统并且学习怎样在各种语境和环境下来更好地表达自己。

  SAYBOT:有许多人在中国接受了高等教育,但是他们的语言水平有时可能不如一个本土英语国家的小孩。您觉得根本的原因在哪里?是根本学习方式不同还是其他的原因?

  IDIT: 在中国许多人接受过高等教育,我们可以看到他们阅读和写作能力都很不错,但是他们流利清晰地说好英语的能力却很有限。他们缺少有意义的、吸引人的、有趣的内容来练习口语。我们知道中国人可以学好英语,比如你可以去看看那些在美国留学的人们——他们真的说得很好!所以这是有可能的!

  SAYBOT:在我们传统的英语教学方法中,我们会背好多单词,做好多练习,许多人为了考试而读英语。但是在日常生活中,却使用不出来,您觉得我们传统英语教学离快速掌握英语的方法有多远?

  IDIT: 通过记忆和背诵英语单词来学英语从系统化的角度来说并不是一无可取的。英语学习者的确需要通过一个词一个词地记忆来扩大词汇量。但是这一方式必须结合每天和真人进行有关的生活或工作相关的有趣的日常会话,包括聊一些有关于兴趣和爱好的话题。

  我认为口语结合了以下三种系统方法:1)记忆单词 2)逐词逐句练习 3)把新学到的词句立刻应用到真实的对话和解决问题的场景中——这是学习口语最好的方法

  我把这种学习方法叫做:边学边做。作为学习方法学家,我做了多年的研究发现那些英语学习者:无论是年轻的还是年老的,都不能真正地恰当地掌握和应用新学的知识(无论是数学、科学、技术、商务或者语言艺术等),除非他们能彻底地投入并着手于相关的活动才使这些知识对他们个人来说有有真实的意义。

  SAYBOT:您觉得怎样在英语学习中,是记忆更重要,还是说话更重要?怎样才能更简单地学英语?

  IDIT: 我们学习一门新的语言,最好的办法就是要不断地说!但是记住:不要只和自己说!语言学习者如果他有兴趣学习口语,最好有一位那门语言的母语者,这样可以来倾听他们的对话,并且告诉他们最接近和最相关的表达方式;本土语言者可以告诉他们对话中的相关内容,也可以为他们指出语法和发音中的错误。他们具有丰富的教学知识可以更正他们的口语,鼓励他们、帮助学习者达到一个新的水平。

  任何口语学习者必须经常在日常生活对话中来进行锻炼,否则他们很快会失去热情中止学习。

  这就是“边学边做”理论。但是我们也说:探戈需要两个人才能跳”。也就是说两个人来学习一门语言是一种很好的方法。理想的语言学习者的身边需要一位本国语言者(一个完美的舞伴),他是一位很好的倾听者,他可以理解你的兴趣和动机,他也是一位好的指导者,他知道怎样不断地鞭策英语学习者,使他们进行完美的语言学习舞蹈!

  SAYBOT:目前中国出现了许多英语培训机构,比如以考试类为主的新东方,以提高口语为主的华尔街,您怎么看待这些培训学校,他们会给传统的英语教学方式怎样的冲击?

  IDIT::我没有亲身体验过这些特殊的训练中心和他们的语言环境。所以我不能从亲身体验来评论他们。但是我听说他们收费很高。

  我认为华尔街的英语学习以“英语角”而出名,你可以付费,可以和真人进行真实的英语对话,是一个非常好的形式。我也认为华尔街在使用技术——我指的是软件。虽然我没有使用过,我认为使用技术“边学边做”的理论是很重要的。如果做得正确,技术为英语口语学习的过程带来很大的帮助。

  SAYBOT:说宝堂的口语教学是比较新型的口语学习方法,它是通过人机全方位的互动学习,来帮助大家练口语,这种学习方式和传统的英语学习方法有了很大的不同。您对SAYBOT的教学软件怎么看?

  IDIT:说宝堂公司在英语口语教学中找到了一种完全不同以往的新方法。实际上,他们创造了革命性的教学口语方法。说宝堂用有效的方式将最著名和最有效的学习理论用强有力的技术结合起来,因此达到了前面所说的两大最佳学习方式: 1)边学边做 2)探戈需要两个人来跳。

  而且,说宝堂的产品和服务是为中国英语口语学习者量身定做的。说宝堂用最好的技术来开发设计各种全程生动的教学参与和全互动课程,这样可以随时随地帮助中国人来学习真正地说英语,这样可以帮助他们找到更好的工作、到国外旅游、在商业中决胜,或者得到更好的托福成绩。

  说宝堂和中国传统的英语教学有很大的不同,和其他一些培训机构比如新东方、华尔街也有很大不同。但从另一方面说,说宝堂的产品结合了许多优秀的英语教学的英语教学方式。他与那些传统的教学方法和培训机构模式可以互相合作。这也是说宝堂产品的美妙之处。

  体验了说宝堂的产品你会发现:它具有所有高质量效果英语所具备的一切重要特质: 1)练习真实的生活对话 2)有人倾听并及时纠正你所犯的错误 3)内容非常有趣吸引人,并且和你的每日生活息息有关 4)可承受的价格,随时随地便利使用。所有您所做的只要可以上网和一副耳机!这真是美妙极了。

  SAYBOT:您觉得未来五年内,英语学习方法会有着怎样的改变?是延续传统教学呢,还是会有新的方法所代替?两者之间是否会有矛盾?英语教学的远景又是如何?

  IDIT: 在今后的年月里,在中国人学习英语口语的历程中,说宝堂在创造一个极具影响力的革命。他的服务价廉物美,使用非常方便,在中国任何地方都可以使用。他还将“机会均等”介绍给高质量的英语学习者。在网上有一些免费的样品,每个人都可以试用。产品价格不高,所以每个人多多少少地可以使用。所有想提高英语的人应该来试一下。我非常认真自信地来讲这些话的。

  另外一个非常好的特征就是说宝堂建立了一个可以倾听客户反馈的技术框架系统。从开始的时候,说宝堂就鼓励他们的使用者及时给他们反馈,可以赞扬、也可以抱怨,也可以提供建议,甚至可以建议内容和主题!说宝堂的课程开发设计完全是在用户体验的基础上进行的。他们将以客户的需求为目的:这集中体现在新的WEB2.0里。现在,试问有没有其他的公司做到这一点?

  在中国,找到一位优秀的英语老师很不容易,他必须是流利的本土语言者,可以来听你所说的并及时给你纠正你的发音、水平和语法,也可以在你的学习周期和和你便利学习的时间内教你!如果要达到那样的水平的私人老师将会是一大巨大的开支!而说宝堂把这个变为每个人都可以实现的梦想——这也是说宝堂为中国社会商业教育的进步和发展所做的另一个伟大的贡献!(更多信息,请访问http://www.saybot.com)

  IDIT: Saybot can help you learing spoken English simplely

  Idit Harel is founder, Chairman and CEO of MaMaMedia. Idit Harel has been developing and introducing new-media technologies to kids since the early 80's - the earliest days of the personal computer. One of the first graduates of Harvard's Education Technology Program and the MIT Media Lab, Harel founded MaMaMedia in 1995, in NYC

  Question: In China, more and more people are studying English. About 350 million people per year! But a lot of people still cannot speak English well. What do you think the key problem is?

  Idit: In order to learn how to speak, a person needs to practice speaking on a regular basis. Most Chinese English-learners do not practice speaking often enough. They have no good contexts for doing that. Learning to read and write can be helpful in the English language learning process, but it is not sufficient for learning to how to speak English. In addition, a person needs to practice listening to English speakers in order to learn how to speak. Finally, in order to speak really well, people must practice listening to many different kinds of accents and pronunciations (e.g., American, British, or Australian; children, adults, or various professionals) and to different kinds of styles of speaking (street-speak, academic-speak, media-speak) and learn to respond and express themselves accordingly to fit with various contexts and situations.

  Question: Even among the people in China who received high education, the spoken-English level is much lower than that of young children in any native English-speaking country. What do you think is the essential reason for this phenomenon? Is it the different way they learn English? Any other reasons come to mind?

  Idit: Even among the people who received their higher education in China, we can see that they may be able to read and write well, but have limitations in their ability to speak English fluently and clearly. They lack practicing their speaking in meaningful, engaging, and fun contexts. We know Chinese people can learn to speak English well. For example, look at those who came to study in the USA – they speak really well! So it’s possible!

  Question: Following the traditional way of teaching English in China, we are often taught to recite and memorize a lot of words, and we do many word-by-word speaking exercises. A lot of people study English words for tests. They may do well on these tests, and their vocabulary may be large, but they cannot speak English in their daily lives. What do you think is the reason for this? What’s the best way to grasp the “real” spoken English?

  Idit: Learning to memorize and recite English words in a systematic way is not all bad. English language learners do need to memorize words and practice them through word-by-word speaking exercises, in order to enlarge and enrich their vocabulary. But it must be integrated with additional, daily practicing of speaking with someone real, talking about fun topics from their real daily lives, or work-related topics, or listening and chatting about their interests and hobbies.

  I believe that the combination of the three systems – 1) memorizing words, 2) word-by-word speaking exercises, and 3) applying all newly-learned words immediately to real conversational situations or real problem-solving situation -- is the best way to grasp the “real” spoken English.

  This philosophy of learning is what I call “learning by doing.” My many years of research as a learning theorist indicate that learners, young and old, cannot really appropriate information and own any new knowledge (in mathematics, sciences, technology, business, or in language arts) unless they are thoroughly engaged in hands-on activities that are real and personally-meaningful to them.

  Question: Which do you think is more important: 1) receiving good training in the memorizing of words, or 2) in the speaking of real English words and sentences? How we can learn to speak “real” English more easily and more simply?

  Idit: We learn a new language best by speaking it. Speaking, speaking, speaking it. But: not just speaking to myself! Language learners, who are interested in learning to speak the language, must have a native speaker who is listening to them, and responds to what they say in a meaningful and relevant way; a native speaker who can relate to the content of the conversation, but can also relate to their specific grammatical mistakes and mispronunciation, and has the pedagogical knowledge of correcting and inspiring their speaking, coaching and taking the learner to the next level.

  Any spoken-language learner must experience often, daily, a conversation that is meaningful to him/her, or else they’ll quickly get un-engaged and stop the learning process.

  So it is about the “Learning by Doing” theory, but, we also say “It takes two to Tango.” What I mean is that it takes two people to learn to speak a language. Any learner needs a partner on the other side that is a native speaker (an expert Tango dancer), who is also a good listener, who understands the learner’s interests and motivation, and can be a good coach who knows how to continue to engage the learner in the spoken-language learning dance!

  Question: There are many successful English-Language Training Schools in China, such as, the New Orient and Wall Street English. What do you regard as the best thing about these training schools? How do they enhance the teaching of spoken English?

  Idit: I have never experienced these specific training centers and their learning environments. So I cannot speak about them from first-hand experience. What I heard from others is that they cost a lot and that they are not so good in producing results, that is producing fluent English Speakers.

  I think Wall Street English is known for its “English Corners” where you can pay to come to speak real English with real people – so that’s a good feature. I also think Wall Street English uses technology, I mean software. Although I never tried it, I do believe that using technology is important for “Learning by Doing.” If done right, it can contribute greatly to the spoken-language learning process.

  Question: As you know, we teach Spoken English at Saybot in an entirely new way. It is a revolutionary approach to teaching and learning any Spoken language by using advanced technology and the Internet. Moreover, we designed all the products and services especially for Chinese learners of spoken English. Saybot uses the best technological features for participation and interactivity for assisting Chinese people learn how to speak “real” English. What we do is far different form the traditional teaching of English in China. What do you think of this software and the overall Saybot experience?

  Idit: The Saybot Company is approaching the teaching of spoken-English in an entirely new way. In fact, it developed a new and revolutionary approach to teaching and learning any Spoken language. Saybot integrates the most powerful and well-known learning theories with powerful new technology in the best possible ways -- to enhance the two key features I discussed earlier: 1) “Learning by Doing,” and 2) “It Takes Two to Tango.”

  Moreover, Saybot designed all its first-generation services especially for Chinese learners of spoken English. In addition, Saybot uses the best technological features for creating active participation and interactivity for assisting Chinese people in their learning how to speak “real” English that is relevant for their lives here and now – because they want to find a better job, or travel abroad, succeed in their businesses, or get high TOFEL scores.

  What Saybot does do is so far different form the traditional teaching of English in China and from the other organizations like New Oriental and Wall Street English. But on the other hand - it is also complimentary of these other methods. It can work well together, and that’ the beauty of it.

  The overall Saybot experience has all the important characteristics that are absolutely essential for quality spoken-language learning: 1) Practicing your real-life speaking; 2) Someone listens and corrects you based on your mistakes; 3) Content is fun, engaging and relevant to your life; 4) It is affordable and easy to use - anytime and everywhere. All you need is an Internet connection and a headset! This is fantastic.

  Question: Let’s look into the future, and think about the ways in which Saybot technology and methodology can transform and improve the learning of spoken English in China. Will our technology replace the traditional learning? Or do you think the traditional way will eventually be found better or relatively easier for Chinese people? Is there a contradiction between the two methods, or will they eventually compliment each other?

  Idit: Saybot can create a serious revolution, for years to come, in the ways Chinese people approach their learning of spoken English. Its services are so affordable, and easy to access and use, from any where in China. This will also introduce “equal opportunity” to high-quality English learning. It’s on the Net. There are free samples. Everyone can try it. The cost is not high. So eventually everyone will use it in one way or another. All the individuals who would like to improve their English speaking should give it a try. I am serious.

  Another nice feature is that Saybot created a technology infrastructure that listens to their customers. From the very beginning, Saybot encourage its customers to send feedback – to praise, to complain, to suggest improvements, and even to suggest content and topics! And Saybot is committed to developing curriculum based on the ideas and demand of their customers. They “pull” not just “push” their own ideas – which is what the new Web 2.0 is all about. Now, show me another company that teaches English in this way?

  It is so hard to find a good English teacher in China, who is a fluent native speaker; who can listens and corrects you based on your accent, level, grammar; who can coach you on your terms and at your convenient time! Private tutoring like this, at this level of quality and expertise costs a fortune! And Saybot makes it available for all – which is another one of their great contribution to Chinese society and the development of its citizens, its businesses, and its education.(For more, please visit http://www.saybot.com)

  

(责任编辑:雷涛)



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