LEARNING TO SPEAK AND WRITE WELL Why is it important to speak and write English well?

Think it out for yourself. Have you not often said about some person, “I like to hear him talk”? Or “I love the way the author writes”? That is because you appreciate art in speaking and writing, just as much as you do in a picture or in a lovely, natural scene. Do you want to acquire the same skills that these people you admire possess? Then begin by noticing carefully your own speech. Practice well and often. You may stumble at the beginning, but soon you will acquire new words, new ideas, and a growing ability to express yourself well. Conversation: A Good Test of A Language Ability Your conversation is a good test of your language ability. Does it show that you need to improve your power to choose the right words? Speak more clearly? Tips for being a good conversationalist: 1. 2. Be a good listener. A good listener is polite and alert, and encourages the person talking. Be tactful. Even when people make inaccurate statements, spare them embarrassment. Avoid blunt contradictions like “That’s foolish.” Instead, say pleasantly, “yes, but I think– ” or “That is interesting, but don’t you think – ” Questions about personal matters are better avoided, like “How much did you pay for that dress?” or “How much is your salary?” Be considerate and good-natured. A few unkind words can easily make an enemy of friend. Always be kind in manners, speech and deeds. Be courteous. Give others a chance to express their ideas. Avoid interrupting even when you are fairly bursting with bright remarks. If you are in a group, scatter your attention all over the members of the group. And don’t be ‘me-deep” in your conversation. Speak distinctly. Make it easy for people to listen to you. if something is worth saying, it is worth hearing. Practice pronouncing distinctly the last sound of each word and the last word of every sentence you say. Watch your pitch and volume, and vary them to add interest to what you are saying. Tell people things that will please them. Keep confidences. Don’t gossip. Listen more than you speak, smile more than you frown, laugh with others rather than at others, and always watch your manners, whether you are happy or not.

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Interruptions Long discourses Tactless and offensive remarks Gossip

Checking Your Skills in Speech and Manners While Conversing The following questions will further guide you in checking your skills in speech and manners when conversing: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. Is my voice pleasing? Do I speak distinctly? Do I pronounce my words correctly? Do I use my best English? Do I show an active interest in what others say? Do I occasionally ask a question to draw out a shy person? Do I avoid overworked expressions? Am I cheerful and good-natured in my conversation? Do I avoid unkind words and gossip? Do I avoid interrupting/ Do I avoid monopolizing the conversation? Do I avoid contradicting? Do I avoid changing the subject abruptly? Do I avoid tactless remarks? Do I enter a discussion to learn the truth? Do I avoid questions about private or personal matters? 17. Do I avoid and-ur, so-ur, and other urs by turning my voice off when I stop to think? 18. Do I keep up to date on current topics? Courtesies in Conversation In a conversation, each member of the group must respect the rights of all the others. Tell why the following are acts of discourtesies in conversation. A heated argument between two people Unkind criticisms of a speaker Too many and too long speeches by one person Interrupting a speaker Read the following questions and answers. in each case tell which answer is the more courteous and helpful one. Try to give good reasons for your choice. 1. Mr. Cruz: Anita: Lydia: Mother: Jorrel: Jelly: Is this your physical education day? No. No, Miss Consulta. Our P.E. days are Tuesday and Thursday. Are you ready for school? No. No, Mother. But I will be when I find a handkerchief.

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What to Avoid in Conversations 1. Sweeping statements like “Philippine movies are of a low grade.” 2. A “holier-than-thou” attitude 3. Arguments 4. Insincerity and exaggerations 5. Boastfulness and affectations, pomposity and verbosity 6. “Hogging” the limelight


Tell why the following are discourteous or thoughtless answers in many instances: Nodding or shaking your head to mean yes or no. Shrugging your shoulders instead of speaking. Answering without looking at the person asking the question. Saying “Uh-huh” SPEAK ENGLISH WITH CONFIDENCE

5. Practice speaking English at most instances to achieve confidence
and fluency. Again: To learn English, listen to it, read it, speak it, and write it as often as you can, everywhere you can.

Asking the Right Questions 1. Pretend you are new in your neighborhood. What ten questions can you ask about it? 2. Frame ten questions you would have to ask – a. As a new employee in an office b. If a new family were to move to your neighborhood c. If you were invited to a wedding d. If you were asked to prepare dinner e. If you were going to vote for Barangay Officials Ask questions beginning with the following words: a. In what way j. How long b. Why k. How often c. How l. How much d. When m. Where e. Could n. What f. Were o. Who g. What kind p. How many h. Should q. What time i. Which

Is there an “ideal speaker” of a language? According to language specialists, the ideal speaker is an abstraction. Communicative competence, even in our mother tongue, is relative. We all grope for words, make occasional mistakes, and some of us even pause more than is considered “normal”. But despite these so-called “imperfections”, we do manage to communicate daily! How about our students? What happens when they try to communicate in a system they are still building? Some manage to convey their messages well; others still find themselves abandoning their ideas in mid-sentence, or avoiding communication for fear of making mistakes, for lack of confidence. But little do we know that even native speakers are not “perfect”. As a result of anxiety, fatigue, inattention, or lack of knowledge, they can also produce faulty sentences. Unfortunately, adult learners fall into that illusive trap of perfection too often. Input is very important, not only for the acquisition of language, but also of language, but also for the maintenance and development of a second language. Sources of input are: 1. interlanguage talk 2. listening and reading activities 3. video sessions, songs 4. teacher talk closely related to input is interaction. Students should be encouraged to search for practice opportunities outside the classroom. We suggest that they – 1. Read extensively 2. Attend workshops and plays in English 3. Correspond with pen pals 4. Relax when talking and accept their mistakes as natural in language learning


Making a Request Ask for things courteously, and your chances of getting them will be good. Not this: Mr. Valdez, I need another day for my project. But this: Mr. Valdez, may I please have one more day to finish my project? Not this: Go to the store, Elena, and buy… But this: Elena, please go to the store and buy… Don’t request something or ask permission to do something that your common sense tells you is foolish or dangerous. Unless you can think of at least one good reason why your request should be granted, don’t waste time in asking. Try to foresee objections and plan how to meet them. Back up your request with sound reasons. Even if don’t get your wish, say “thank you” pleasantly.

When making a request of busy person, arrange an appointment with him by letter, in person, or by telephone. At the interview, be courteous. Don’t forget to thank the person at the end. Answering a Complaint When a person compliments you, let him see that you are pleased. Do not respond by criticizing the very thing he is admiring. For example, if he says, “Your dress is very pretty,” don’t answer this with “ I think the color is terrible – it doesn’t become me.” That’s probably telling him “You don’t know what you’re talking about.” Better to just smile and say a pleasant “thank you, I’m glad you like it.” On the Telephone The voice with a smile counts. Especially on the telephone, because the other person cannot see you. He will judge you mainly by your voice. Whether you are tired, disturbed, or busy, let your voice sparkle with vitality. Always remember to be courteous, voice to voice, as you would be face to face. Speak clearly, softly, in a natural tone and directly into the transmitter. Tell by your tone that you are interested. Very long telephone conversations should be avoided. They are not only discourteous or a nuisance, they may also be unkind, as when they block emergency calls. Courtesy also demands that the phone be answered promptly. When somebody is on the phone nearby, be reasonably quiet. Why should you answer the telephone as quickly as possible? What should you do if you answer a telephone and the person who is wanted and not at home? What should you say if you have to call a doctor for someone who is sick and someone using the line? Dramatize some right ways of handling the following situations. You are talking with a friend and the party line interrupts to make an emergency call. You want to ask someone about an urgent problem but you feel it is an inconvenient time to call.

Six Ways to Make People Like You 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Become genuinely interested in other people. Smile. Remember that a man’s name is to him the sweetest and the most important sound in any language. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves. Talk in terms of the other man’s interest. Make the other person feel important and do it sincerely.

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