Many scholars believe that learning a new language is like habit formation. It is like nurturing one's good habits and avoiding those that belong to the bad habit domain. Such good habits as activating the 4 skills of English (reading, listening, speaking, and writing) should then be nurtured every day.The more the learners employ the skills in their every-day activities the better the process of acquition should be.
However, skills activation among those doing English in a non-English countries can be a problem. When doing English in an English foreign language (EFL) setting, ones are often faced with the fact that English is almost never utilized in true communication. People do not use English for real communication. English is not really spoken, listened, read, or wtitten, for it in fact only serves as an object of learning. Thus, it is only used in a sheltered setting or a school premises. When out of their school, English is scarcely used.
This situation is indeed different from those doing English in an English speaking countries where English is used for communication in and out of classroom premises. Learners are always exposed to the fact that English is used wherever and whenever they stay or go. They would then "resort" to using English, for this is the only way to survive thier communication with other people.So, doing English in an EFL setting is indeed challenging.
Do we have to give up, though?No! There are tons of example people who have been successful in acquiring English as their second international language. So, what do we do?Remember what an old saying tells us, "Practice makes perfect.". So, it should be true that more practice makes you excel.
Since you are faced with the fact that it is hard even only to get an English speaking parter among the people who live around you, your need to find ways to optimize your English potentials; or, your need to manipulate the weaknesses you are dealing to strengths that can help you excel with your English. So, shift your daily language habits to English:
1. How many of you in fact read English every day? Not many, I bet! so, if not, you might want to shift (a bit) your newspapers. You need to force yourselves to shift your habit from reading one written in your first language into those written in English. It is not necessarily changing all of them into those writtem in English. You might want to buy one edition of a newspaper for one week. So, one edition for one week. Buy one that is published local, so local English newspapers. Turst me, reading local English newspaper is much easier that reading one published in another country.
Simple! Just talk to yoursef when you cannot find an English speaking partner. Record your own voice and listen! Indeed, it is an effective way to raise your confidence! Do it again and again ...and again! You also might want to look up your dictionary for your own reasons.
Secondly, read out loud! This will help you build your pronunciation skills and speaking fluency. You can combine reading out loud with recording. Should be fun!
Thirdly, wish, sing, dan get angry out loud in English!
Force yourself to only listen to all kinds of English programs on your local TV. Really, it is easy to understand. Thus, it helps build your English confidence. Don't forget to have a pen and a piece of paper to jot new things down while watching. Remember, nothing last forever.
Force yourself to retell your day events (experieces) in writing. Keep a diary/journal with you. This way you will never be worried about mistakes at all. Nobody will notice if your are mistaken. You will be carefreely doing your "works". Thus, it helps raise your confidence and in turn your fluency.
To be Continued