podcast and blog about my English learning

Archive for the ‘Shashi’s pronunciation report’ Category

Shashi’s pronunciation report

Posted by shashi on May 24, 2006

Content studied : What's New At The Linguist

Linguist Digest: volume 1 Issue 23

  Shashi's Recording

  Mark's Recording

It’s been a slow month in the way of system updates so I thought I would take the time to talk a bit about the recent explosion of blogging, and to a lesser extent podcasting, on the internet. I’ll also talk a bit about the things that we’re doing to take advantage of these trends at The Linguist.

Many people don’t understand what a blog is. For many, the word conjures up images of some obscure technical thing. The reality is that a blog is simply a personal web page or journal that visitors can read and comment on. Combined with easy to use blogging software this makes it very easy for individuals to post their thoughts on their personal web page for everyone to view. If bloggers have interesting things to say, then others will be interested in reading them and they will visit the blog.

In a way, podcasts are nothing more than an audio version of blogs. They are distributed in the same way, as all podcasts are in the form of blog posts. Of course, the content of podcasts tends to be a little different and can very often take the format of a radio show but it is a convenient way for an individual to broadcast audio on the web.

At The Linguist, we have a few blogs and podcasts that we run and that we think are extremely useful to English learners… and all language learners for that matter. The first of these blogs, of course, is Steve’s Blog, The Linguist on Language. This is where you will find many of Steve’s tips on language learning and observations on all aspects of language learning from the importance of grammar to the examination of the teaching methods and approaches of others. We also run a podcast on this blog, which means that we periodically will be posting audio files on the blog containing conversations between Steve and other language learning experts and enthusiasts.

We have recently created a new Linguist Community Blog to which we have been posting some more fun features. In addition to news and updates about the system as they occur, we have been posting the corrected writing of our members, anonymously of course. These are posted under the category Members’ Chronicles and make for very interesting reading. You will also be able to subscribe to The Linguist on The Loose podcast here. This podcast includes conversations between Steve and Linguist members. Typically, these conversations will be both in English and then in the native language of the member (Assuming Steve speaks their language). Come and listen and read to what our members have to say. It’s well worth it!

I should mention that both blogs and podcasts can be subscribed to. This way you will automatically receive new posts and podcasts as they are posted. To do this you will have to use a blog aggregator program which is freely available on the web or for podcasts you can find dedicated podcast aggregators. For further information, click on the icons in the RSS Feeds area on both of the Linguist blogs.

Lastly, I want to direct you all to the links at the bottom of our front page. Here you will see links to individual podcasts with our learners and recent writing samples. You will see links to interesting podcasts with Steve in different languages. And you will see links to our Linguist blogs as well as links to blogs of current Linguist members who are blogging about their learning experiences on our site. Visiting these blogs will help you to quickly understand the world of blogging and podcasts and hopefully inspire you to investigate these phenomena further. Of course, any of you who have a blog or who will start blogging and would like us to add your blog to this list, please contact us. Enjoy!


Posted in Shashi's pronunciation report | Leave a Comment »

Shashi’s Pronunciation Report

Posted by shashi on May 14, 2006

Content studied : Your Language Adventure, part 6

Linguist Digest: volume 1 Issue 23

My recording

Steve's recording


The Linguist will link more and more example sentences using this term for you to review. These examples are not from a dictionary. These examples come from the content you are studying. As you study more content The Linguist automatically links more and more examples for you to study.

You can get on The Linguist system and see how these links create examples of words and phrases that are important to you. The Linguist system will ask you to regularly review these words and phrases and to use them in your writing and speaking. You will find that you will be able to remember new vocabulary better than ever. You will also become better at noticing new words and phrases in your listening and reading. This will help you to use them when you need to.

The Linguist is efficient. If your learning is efficient you will make rapid progress. Your success will encourage you to continue. You will feel more relaxed. When you are relaxed, you learn. When you learn, you want to put more time into your learning activities. You will find that you have the time to learn.

Soon you will see phrases and not just words. You will develop a sense for which words belong together. The Linguist system will train this ability in your brain. You will learn to speak correctly by learning phrases. You will not try to remember all the rules and exceptions of English every time you want to speak or write. This is an impossible task.

You will connect phrases to meaning and concepts. When you first learn an English word or phrase you rely on its translated meaning. But this will change. Gradually the relationship between the words and their meaning in English will become more important to you than their translated meaning. Your brain will be building the necessary network to think in English. Soon you will be operating comfortably and correctly in real English without translating into your native language. That is the wonderful thing about The Linguist's linking system, it will make you independent of your native language.

Your listening and speaking activities will also improve your pronunciation. As you are training yourself to notice words and phrases, you will also start to concentrate more on the pronunciation of individual words and phrases. You may start saying them out loud to yourself. You will find that you are taking more initiative in improving your English. If you wish to put special effort on pronunciation you can work on repeating vowel sounds, consonant sounds and full sentence pronunciation at the Pronounce section of The Linguist. Your tutor will give you feedback to help you. If you are especially interested in pronunciation you can seek the help of our Pronunciation Doctor.

Posted in Shashi's pronunciation report | Leave a Comment »

Shashi’s pronunciation report

Posted by shashi on May 9, 2006

Content studied: Steve's corner

Linguist Digest: volume 1 Issue 23

My recording

Steve's recording


What is the ideal learning content for our members?

The Linguist is an input based or content based language learning system. We feel that with an efficient word and phrase learning system like ours, the language itself is the best textbook and the best teacher. The Linguist is just a community of learners and tutors helping you along as you improve your English through reading and listening to as much content as possible.

So, what is the best content to learn from?

Stephen Krashen, who has had a great influence on me and on many language learners, talks of comprehensible content. By that he means content that is just a little difficult for the learner. He uses the term N + 1 content. If the content is too difficult, it is frustrating and destroys the learner’s confidence and flow. If the content is too easy, the learner is not increasing his or her vocabulary and knowledge. This is especially true when reading.

At The Linguist we believe that there are other factors that are important. Any language learning content must be interesting to the learner. We also think that learners should read and listen to a variety of content. While it is useful to concentrate on one subject area at a time, it is also a good idea to move on to another subject area after a while.

If you can listen to content a few times before reading, you will be able to read more difficult content than if you just start reading without listening. It is sometimes a good idea to try harder content in order to challenge yourself. Sometimes N + 2 or N + 3 content is good, as long as you can listen to this content first.

On the other hand, sometimes it is good to listen to easy content. I have always recommended going back to content that you studied earlier. This is often very enjoyable. You will meet the words and phrases you studied earlier. It will help you to become confident enough to use them. I also recommend listening repetitively to easy content when you want to work on pronunciation. When listening to easy content you should repeat phrases out loud as you hear them.

Higher intermediate and advanced learners have no trouble finding content to learn from. The Linguist library is full of good content with both sound to listen to and texts to read. It is not difficult to find appropriate interesting content for the more advanced learner.

However, the beginner and lower intermediate learners have a more difficult time. Most language learners complain about the uninteresting nature of textbook content or “learner content”. At the same time, it is frustrating to have to read content that is too difficult. At The Linguist we have produced beginner and lower intermediate content which can be found in the Easy Starters section of The Linguist Library. “The Power of the Linguist”, a simple story in 26 sections, is one example. I had this translated into Russian and listened to it at least 30 times. I found it very helpful in my Russian learning.

We, at The Linguist, are always looking for ways to provide more easy content, but we want this content to be interesting. That is why we are now publishing our corrected members writing samples on our Community Blog under the heading Members’ chronicles. This is interesting content that is not too difficult. We are going to experiment with also providing audio files of this content to listen to. I am interested to hear the reactions of our learners, especially our intermediate and lower intermediate learners. Please go and have a look and send me your comments.

Remember that listening and reading are the secrets to progress in the new language. The Linguist methodology will ensure that you acquire the words and phrases as efficiently as possible. So keep listening and reading (and reviewing). Our tutors and all of our members are there to encourage you. By writing and then speaking on our online discussions using Skype, you will get to practice what you learn. But most of the time it is just you and the content. So the content is important. We know it. We want to continue to provide the best possible learning content to our members. Your opinions matter to us.

Posted in Shashi's pronunciation report | Leave a Comment »

Shashi’s pronunciation report

Posted by shashi on May 3, 2006

Content studied: Linguist learner of the month

Linguist Digest: volume 1 Issue 23

me in white shirt.jpg    My recording

jill.JPG Jill's recording

Download MP3 files: Linguist learner of the month


Kathy Su, a 38 year-old businesswoman from China who immigrated to Canada two years ago, is April’s Linguist Learner of the Month. She lives in Vancouver and she must often visit Canadian and American clients. She used to employ translators but now she is able to communicate with her clients in English and does not need to hire translators.

Kathy has been learning English for close to thirteen years. She began learning at high school and she continued learning at university. After university, she frequently went to night school and she was enrolled in an ESL class for one and half years when she came to Canada. Kathy says, “Even though I have learned for thirteen years, I cannot speak or understand English. I can only read and write. They always taught me about the grammar at those schools.”

She has been learning with The Linguist system for five months and she really enjoys it because it is completely different from any of the other methods she has tried. Kathy explains:

I don’t need to learn boring grammar anymore. I just read the articles and save the phrases, and then I gradually understand the conventional usage.Also, the articles are interesting and real, not boring and artificial.

Since becoming a member of The Linguist in October, Kathy says that she has learned enough to understand most English television shows; she is not afraid to speak with people on the phone anymore; her vocabulary has increased significantly; and her pronunciation has improved because she always reads content items out loud. Kathy’s husband has also noticed her improvement. He used to speak English better than her, but now she speaks better than him!

Posted in Shashi's pronunciation report | Leave a Comment »

A Talk With Steve

Posted by shashi on April 15, 2006

This is my first talk with Steve. As Steve called me surprisingly I was not prepared with any beforehand notes. Now when I listen to our recording, I find myself been corrected on many occasions. Hope so I could talk more fluently and more correctly next time.

You can find this recording on the Linguist writing blog or you can listen to it directly here.

Listen to recording:  


Posted in Shashi's pronunciation report, The Linguist | Leave a Comment »

The Linguist and Grammar: 2

Posted by shashi on April 11, 2006

There is some conflict going on Steve's blog regarding the learning of grammar. Steve believes that grammar is totally not essential to learn a language and it is wasting of time. Instead of that you should read and listen more and more to get used to English. I have recorded my experiences about grammar and learning English. As I didn’t prepare a note for this recording, on some occasions you may find me floundered.

                                    me in white shirt.jpg 

 My Recording





Posted in Grammer, Shashi's pronunciation report, The Linguist | 4 Comments »

My Linguist content recordings: 1

Posted by shashi on April 6, 2006

Content studied: The Linguist, about learning English    

                            Linguist Digest: volume 1 Issue 12


    My recording  

   Steve's recording

Download MP3 files: The linguist about learning English


English is well established as the most useful world language. The largest demand for second language instruction in the world is for English. Whether we like it or not, English dominates in business, science, travel and popular culture, not to mention the Internet. English is a rather clumsy language, combining the influences of Old English, Latin, Norman French and natural evolution. As a result, English has all kinds of inconsistencies of grammar and spelling to frustrate the learner. Yet English dominates, whereas artificial international languages like Esperanto have never had any following.
Two thousand years ago, or even five hundred years ago, it would have seemed ridiculous to suppose that the language spoken on a small damp North Atlantic island would one day be the world's most widely used language. Certainly Chinese, Latin, Greek, Arabic, or even Mongolian would, at various times in history, have seemed more likely candidates. Who knows what languages will be spoken in another five hundred years? As Spencer Wells explains in The Journey of Man, A Genetic Odyssey (Princeton University Press) "[Although] Sogdian was once the lingua franca of the Silk Road – in much the same way that English is the language of commerce today, by the twentieth century all dialects were extinct but one. "
If you are not a native speaker of English, then I encourage you to read this book in English. This may be the first book that you read in English, but you can do it. Perhaps most of the English content you have read up until now has consisted of short texts or articles. Perhaps the thought of reading a whole book in English is intimidating to you. It should not be.
This book, which contains over 4,000 of the most common English words, is presented in a mixed media format that is at the core of a language learning system we call The Linguist. By reading this book in conjunction with our system, you can be sure that these 4,000 words will become part of your active vocabulary.
This book is printed on paper, the most comfortable and intimate format. Books are portable and convenient. But I have also recorded the contents on a CD so that you can hear the language and allow it to stimulate those neural networks in your brain which respond to the spoken language. Finally, the book is available in electronic format so you can look up words using dictionary software and take advantage of the many functions you will find at our web site,

Posted in Shashi's pronunciation report | 8 Comments »