Spelling place names in English can be difficult, especially if the sounds of the letters are similar to the letters of the alphabet in your own language as this can lead to confusion.
Spelling place names in English is not difficult, but it takes a lot of practice for you to become proficient, especially if you are trying to understand spelling over the phone, for example.
Most people read words more accurately than they spell them. The younger the learners are, the truer this is.
Spelling, however, is a very different matter.
Once learners have learnt more than one way of spelling particular sounds, choosing the right letter or letters depends on their either having made a conscious effort to learn the words or having absorbed them less consciously through their reading.
The problem is generally that learners have not had enough time to learn or absorb the accurate spelling of all the words that they may want to write.
This illustrates the need to fully use the fours skills in language learning ; Listening, Speaking, Reading and writing – it is a little like making a cocktail, too much of one ingredient and not enough of another and the cocktail can taste either delicious or horrible.
In language learning, learners need to use all four skills in a balanced way – reading and writing will ultimately help spelling, but practice is needed to become fully familiar with the sounds of words and letters in order to become skillful in spelling words, which will improve with practice.
Numbers can be a difficult part of learning a new language.
New learners often confuse “hundreds” and “thousands”, “fifteen” and “fifty”, “half past six” with “six and a half hours” etc etc etc.
The only way to improve your number skills is with practice.
Start by learning important numbers for you: your age, your address, your phone number.
Then practice well known expressions such as “fifty-fifty”, “One Hundred and One Dalmatians”.
Also try this podcast in which Sue asks Chris 10 questions about numbers in sport.
You will need to listen several times; the first time you listen your main objective should be to focus on the numbers that Chris gives. Are you clear about 100s and 1000s ? Can you recognize times ? Can you identity money quantities? What about dates ?
For the second time of listening, focus on the questions and for the third time, just enjoy the conversation !
TRY THIS QUIZ IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE PODCAST: you will hear the same questions in the podcast as in the quiz. How many numbers can you recognize ? Practice saying all the numbers in the quiz and then listen again to the podcast. Your progress will be AMAZING !
Numbers in sport
After listening to the podcast try this quiz to consolidate your number
skills. You can check your own answers with Chris' attempts.
Aphasia is an inability to comprehend or formulate language because of damage to specific brain regions.
This damage is typically caused by a cerebral vascular accident (stroke), or head trauma; however, these are not the only possible causes.
To be diagnosed with aphasia, a person’s speech or language must be significantly impaired in one (or several) of the four communication modalities following acquired brain injury or have significant decline over a short time period (progressive aphasia).
The four communication modalities are :
Reading and writing,
The difficulties of people with aphasia can range from occasional trouble finding words to losing the ability to speak, read, or write; intelligence, however, is unaffected.[
Expressive language and receptive language can both be affected as well. Aphasia also affects visual language such as sign language.
In contrast, the use of formulaic expressions in everyday communication is often preserved.One prevalent deficit in the aphasias is anomia, which is a deficit in word finding ability.
The term aphasia implies that one or more communication modalities in the brain have been damaged and are therefore functioning incorrectly.
Aphasia does not refer to damage to the brain that results in motor or sensory deficits, which produces abnormal speech; that is, aphasia is not related to the mechanics of speech but rather the individual’s language cognition (although a person can have both problems).
An individual’s “language” is the socially shared set of rules as well as the thought processes that go behind verbalized speech.
It is not a result of a more peripheral motor or sensory difficulty, such as paralysis affecting the speech muscles or a general hearing impairment.
Aphasia affects about 2 million people in the US and 250,000 people in Great Britain.
Though nearly 180,000 people in the US acquire the disorder a year, 84.5% of people have never heard of the condition.
Why do learners have difficulties listening in English?
Why do learners have difficulties listening in English ? This is a real problem for learners of English or any foreign language and there are no real shortcuts, but there are many tips, based on common sense that you can try out, which we will see in the next podcast.
The reality is that if the ear doesn’t work, then everything becomes difficult in language learning, although there is a clear difference between listening (which is a somewhat active process) and hearing, which is a passive process.
However, if you cannot hear the range of sounds that make up a language, then it will be almost impossible to have a chance of developing listening skills. The mystery is, why is there so little focus on developing hearing skills, whilst a lot of effort is put into listening skills.
Your brain is also acting like a filter when it hears English sounds, constructions, rythmns or certain syllables. It is filtering out those sounds as foreign which is causing it to completely ignore some of the more important English sounds.
There are typically 120–150 words spoken per minute in normal audio or conversation and that is a lot of information for your brain to process in very short time. You might feel like you are only hearing a few words that you know really well and you are left guessing what the audio means based on a few words, or worse, you may block and filter them out completely.
You may be reading this and thinking this process is really hard work and it might sound like it takes a lot of time. And, yes, you are absolutely right and you are definitely going to go deeper with your listening but you will see results in the end as a reward for your efforts.