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A post that I wrote 2 years ago

by kw 

Posted: 14 January 2006
Word Count: 288
Summary: I wrote the post as a reply on abbs 2 years ago. I tried to sound like an expert, but now I feel that real experts might find many flaws in it. I eager to know what problems there are in the post.

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Well I¡¯d toss my two cents here

As there are individual differences in second language learning (here specifically English learning for us Chinese), to classify the learning stages is rather strenuous. Thousands of linguists have contributed seas of dimensions to try to figure out language acquisition (My friend Henry is struggling with mountains of such books in Oxford). Yet, all such dimensions have been remaining skeptical. It makes people wonder if we should regard language study as a science. Isn¡¯t language often related to art? Then on, how many learning stages are there in art learning? Yes, we have art schools, but we also have art prodigies.

I do agree to the saying of ¡°functional English¡±, though this term itself is abstract. It can be defined as being able to get by with English on something---to pass an exam, to chat with foreigners or to travel abroad etc. Note here I use the phrase ¡°get by¡±, because you can hardly say your English is good enough in certain aspects. Hence I beg to differ from kwh¡¯s point of view that ¡°one is able to express his or her idea without mistakes¡±. We all still make mistakes even when we already feel very comfortable to command this language. If you are careful, you will find many native speakers make mistakes too. Or take our first language for instance, how many mistakes do we make every day when we speak Chinese? I venture to guess that kwh meant that to such an extent one can express his or her ideas without confusing others.

As kwh aptly point out those two phase may overlap partly for some learners, we might put them as one as well---English learning is once but endless.

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Comments by other Members

old friend at 08:09 on 16 January 2006  Report this post
Hi kw,

For me, this piece presented quite a few problems. Let's ignore the formatting errors. The style is suggested by your first line - about throwing in of your tw cents (American English). However the style that follows is not the easy-going nature suggested by the first line; it is more an academic approach.

The word 'strenuous' is more associated with physical activities rather than mental tasks.
'Language acquisitions' - I know what you mean but 'acquisitions' is not right in this contaxt.I would suggest that you change this sentence and introduce a simpler concept with words like 'how we learn a second language'.
If your friend is studying at an Oford University then it would be 'at Oxford'. If he is simply living in Oxford with all his books then it would be 'in Oxford'.
I don't like the use of the word 'dimensions' - anyway one cannot be skeptical (American) of a dimension unless one knows what you mean by 'dimensions'.
'Comfortable to command'. An awkward phrase. I think you mean
'in using'.
Cut out the word 'such'.

I was completely confused by your last short paragraph and particularly by '...English learning is once but endless.'

Sorry to make so many points.



A few mistakes of my own! .. missed out the 'o' in 'two' and it should have been 'context'. If you find any more, put it down to stupidity.

kw at 01:24 on 17 January 2006  Report this post
Hi Len,

Thank you so much for your comment. That's really what I need to konw.

Richard Brown at 09:15 on 17 January 2006  Report this post

Welcome to WriteWords

Well your English is certainly much more functional than my Chinese, French, German...anything other than English! At least you can express quite a complex point of view and be understood.

Len's right though, there are quite a few departures from standard English in your piece. If you really want to improve your command of the language I think you will need to do something more structured than just posting on WriteWords. Maybe an on-line course? There are many teaching organisations listed in the WW Directory and you could also have a look at our very own WordSchool (click on the Courses tab). We might be able to find a tutor to meet your specific needs.


joydaly at 10:27 on 05 April 2016  Report this post
I have found the support and suggestions by members of YA absolutely fabulous.
Within the YA community, there has been successes commercially - substantial in some cases. And I assume that would be the case for every genre within WriteWords.
So... advertising or exposure of these numerous successes would, I believe, stimulate membership and increase feedback.
And I believe that some type of prompting for inactive members - whether that be an automatic email??? might be beneficial.

In terms of successful authors who move on and do their thing. It might be worthwhile to invest some time in keeping these authors in the folds - with congratulatory and "so happy we've helped facilitate your success" emails. Reciprocity is a very powerful tool.



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