Posted by: lyonenglishnetwork | September 25, 2012

It’s really important to learn natural English

Books, books, books.

There are a lot of ‘business’ English books out there on the market, all perpetuating what I would call a ‘fake’ type of English. Not that they’re all bad, there’s a lot of good stuff in them like how to find out about something, how to initiate phone calls and do all kinds of other things you might need to do in business.

But when push comes to shove, these books just don’t cut it for me. They miss out on, neglect a whole type of every day vocabulary that is used, nowadays, by most English people.

Over at http://www.elllo.org, there are a lot of examples of this kind of English. Today, I just want to go through and pick out some of this typical vocabulary from the latest post:

http://elllo.org/english/1151/T1198-Julia-Sport.html

Yes, I admit it, I love elllo! I find it strikes just the write balance in natural conversations, not using swear words, but real, everyday English that is so crucial to understanding and speaking if you’re going to relate to most English-speaking people today.

how are you doing?: comment ça va ?
a growing craze: quelque chose de plus en plus à la mode
push-ups: des pompes
crank up the temperature: monter la température (rapidement)
a workout: du travail dans une salle de sport

They don’t teach you that in French schools and it’s one of the reasons why the French can’t get to grips with English. The typical aspect is not to be underestimated.

Paul
paul@lyonlingua.com


Responses

  1. A few more important daily expressions pedagogical books don’t teach:

    ‘What time do you make it?’
    ‘Got any idea where the nearest offy is?’
    ‘I reckon…’
    ‘No way/chance/such luck!’
    ‘I’m just popping round to John’s’.
    ‘You’ll get the hang of it/ get to grips with it – with time’.
    etc.

    Yes, language is culture and the anglophone culture pedagogical books promote through language seems to be of a rather staid sort. Hence, when learners go to England thinking their levels are fine, they may be linguistically lost if they expect to hear the formal stuff these books teach and not ‘real english’.
    I agree with not teaching too much ‘slang’, at lower levels anyway, but I also like to slip in such phrases as noted above.


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