IntroductionLearning a second language is never so easy. This was proven when our tutor took us through eight week training on learning English. Being a Saudi Arabia national, this was a very trying moment since my country is not Anglophone. My history in English as a language was only in high school which I took as a hobby. This paper is a diary on the vocal journal that I wrote during the eight week training. The last section of the paper consists of the notes that I took about the ten steps we had leant in class on effective listening.
Week 1Being the first week of our training, the tutor introduced us to the various sentence construction structures. This was important as it would help in understanding how to eventually make paragraphs. From the interviews, the tutor had noted that most of us had little problems in spellings. This was driven by the fact that all of us were aware that the college was mainly Anglophone and thus each had taken simple English courses and read a lot of English material (James, & Tarik, 2007).
For the classmates who came from Anglophone countries, they found this first week as a waste of time. Emphasis was made to the use of 5w’s and how in construction of questions. The relationship of place, choice, mode, person, and plurality in formulation of sentences was emphasized. The difference usage of the 5 w’s and how apart from construction of questions was also taught to us in this week. Two lips exercise tongue twister was the exercise of the week. The below poem was used for practice.
“Betty bit a bit of butter, But it was a bitter bite; But a bit of better butterBetty never bit. ” (Broughton, 2009)Week 2After a lot of practice on construction of sentences, the tutor showed us how to use the whole of our body in conversation. According to the tutor, the use of other parts of the body helped the audience to understand what the narrator was saying (James, & Tarik, 2007). Thus even where the narrator and the audience use different accents, use of gestures could help both of them to understand one another.
In addition, use of gestures help in reducing the tension for a narrator who is not confident on the language he/he is using. To understand gestures, the class engaged in treasure activity. Gestures were specifically used to show direction, size, relationship, speed, motioning activity and expression of feelings. Tongue tip and upper tongue twister was the exercise of the week. While each tongue twister given had difficulties in pronunciation, the below tongue twister was hard to almost every student; “Twisty twining twirling tendrils tethering together tightly ten tall trees” (Broughton, 2009)Week 3While the first two weeks dealt with the ability to talk, the third week was all about the ability to listen and comprehend what the narrator was talking about.
This could later be tested in reporting speech. To help us in the listening skills, the tutor took us through the ten steps of effective listening as below.