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How would you use a native speakers time?

  Tags: Native Speakers
 Language Learning Forum : Advice Center Post Reply
pengin
Newbie
United States
Joined 1811 days ago

13 posts - 14 votes
Speaks: English*
Studies: Arabic (Levantine)

 
 Message 1 of 2
20 September 2015 at 4:40pm | IP Logged 
I have 1-2hr. a week reserved with a native speaker who knows my NL as well.
I'm looking for suggestions on what I should do during these meetings. I am a beginner.
They do not have experience teaching nor do have any linguistics background, so asking for
explicit grammar instruction would probably not turn out well.

Here are some ideas I've thought of:
- asking for sentence translations from my NL -> to their TL.
Just things that I come across through my week that I realize I would like to know how to
express.

- asking for sentence translations, but w/small changes to intuitively grasp grammar.
e.g., asking how to say "I want to go" and then asking "I do not want to go" (simple ex.)

- asking for help w/pronunciation; correcting my pronunciation.

- I would try to make a list of sentences myself, and have them proof-read it. Ask them if there is
a more "native" way of expressing the same concept. sort've like lang-8

- asking about colloquial words/slang and filler words...
ex. travailler -> bosser in french or saying "este" for ummm in Spanish

What would you do if you had a native speaker of your TL ? This is a supplement to my learning,
and I would continue to use other resources to self-study as well.


Edited by pengin on 20 September 2015 at 7:47pm

1 person has voted this message useful



Cavesa
Triglot
Senior Member
Czech Republic
Joined 2997 days ago

3277 posts - 6777 votes 
Speaks: Czech*, FrenchC2, EnglishC1
Studies: Spanish, German, Italian

 
 Message 2 of 2
21 September 2015 at 1:30pm | IP Logged 
Speak, speak, speak, get rid of the fear of making mistakes. Just get the flow going, practice, learn to use all that you've learnt so far to 100%

I know this is hard for a beginner. But you can still start from the topics you've been learning (things like a town, description of people,your hobbies, whatever has your course been serving you recently)

Asking questions is a good thing, however, I suggest you prepared them well. For example, asking out the blue: "What are soome good slang words in your language?" is not a good idea (speaking of experience). How the hell are they gonna remember good ones on the spot and differenciate fast between the common ones you should learn and weird ones only a few people use (or ones absolutely risky to use for a foreigner not that advanced in the language and culture)?

A better question is: "I've read/found online these slang words, are they common?" or "In English, we've got a lot of everyday slangwords related to subject x, like ...., are there some commonly used words like that in Arabic?" etc.

Grammar explanations, that is a waste of time in such a setting, in my opinion. Unless you've got questions about specific examples, differences between various examples regarding a confusing issue and so on. Not only you are not wasting your time this way, asking for things you could read in your coursebook, but a native may have easier time giving context and explanation for the sentences than explaining rules he never had to learn this way.

Basically, the better questions you ask, the better answers you'll get in my opinion.
4 persons have voted this message useful



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