self-study course you'd be doing with Prof. Kev Nair's
books is founded on facts and not on speculations.
And here are some of these facts:
alone can bring you true fluency
Here's the most important fact on which these self-study
books are based: You're the only person who would
be able to get you to speak English with a high degree of
fluency. Nobody else would. Others would only be able to help
you by pointing the way.
the self-study books we supply give you the ultimate fluency
building help that you can expect to get from any part of
the world. The ultimate help the greatest, the most
effective help. Remember this: These self-study books have
been written by none other than Prof. Kev Nair, the very person
who originated the idea of fluency development through intentional,
deliberate training. He's a person who knows more about
fluency building than anybody else in the world.
web page "Self-study Facts"
would tell you in detail how self-study helps you achieve
a high degree of fluency in English.
English vs. Written English
True spoken English is quite different from the kind of English
you learnt at school or college. What you learnt at school
or college was mostly written English, and not spoken
at school or college, you don't even get to learn the
real difference between the two kinds of English. Result?
When you speak, you try to copy the style of written English. You start thinking in terms of written English grammar,
written English usage and written English vocabulary. In terms
of translating. And you get lost. You try hard to complete
whatever you say into 'perfectly-formed sentences' because
you're under the (wrong) impression that they're
the true units of speech! And you end up gasping in the middle.
And you find it impossible to speak on without faltering.
course, some written-English-minded people might manage to
complete their spoken 'sentences' after straining hard.
But mind you, they wouldn't sound natural. Instead, they'd
sound phoney and highbrow. When they speak, many of them wouldn't
even sound as if they were speaking. They'd sound as
if they were reading! And what many of them say would
often sound like a composition read aloud.
speech practice can't help you become fluent
Suppose that a few people who can only speak broken English
sit around a table and try to do speech practice in English.
You see, they'll only be able to do the speech practice in
broken English. And not in fluent English because
you see, they can't speak fluent English. And if they keep
on doing this kind of speech practice for a few months, broken
English becomes their habit. And not fluent English. This
is so, no matter how good their knowledge of English is.
the presence of a teacher can't improve the situation
because fluent English is not 'corrected' or
'improved' broken English. Broken English, however improved
and made smooth, still has the characteristics of broken English
as its underlying features. Only, it's a kind of 'improved'
broken English. That's all. But not fluent English.
Fluent English is a wholly different stream. Something totally
by heart: Impossible
Mind you, you can't learn by heart all (or even a small proportion
of) the 'speech-units' that are possible in a language, and
then reproduce them as and when required. There are
millions and millions of them. People don't, and can't, speak
that way. And you can't anticipate all the contexts
and situations you'll have to speak in. And you can't
tell beforehand what kinds of questions others might ask.
Or what replies you might like to give. Or how a conversation
might progress. This is one reason why books containing collections
of theoretically-correct sentences or cassettes won't make
if you want to become fluent, you must gain the skill of producing
speech spontaneously without planning it or
preparing it first.
you need is not the skill of reproducing perfectly-made sentences
learnt by heart here and there. What you need is the skill
of going on composing, on your feet, the things you want to
say from moment to moment and of going on saying them
at the same time as you speak along. That is, the skill
of letting a smooth flow of English happen when you speak
about your ideas, thoughts and feelings. And of speaking about
them in a sensible and ordered way, with all the things
you say fitting well together. By putting together pre-fabricated
word groups as well as individual words. And the skill of
filling time with talk, and of keeping the speech flow going
while you're thinking of or deciding what to say next
or how to phrase it. And the skill of having something appropriate
to say in a wide range of everyday situations, so that you're
not at a loss for words or tongue-tied in those situations.
You won't be able to speak English fluently by translating.
Mind you, you can never achieve fluency in English
through any other language.
see, translator-speakers first think in their mother-tongue
and then try to translate their thoughts into English.
Their thoughts do not come out directly as English
speech. And as long as their thoughts don't come out directly
as English speech, they can't become fluent. Here are three
of the chief reasons:
'structures' of most English speech-units are
not similar to the 'structures' of the speech-units
in other languages. For example, the order in which you
should arrange the elements in an English speech-unit is
different from the way you do that in other languages.
of the core words, collocations and conversational expressions
in English don't have equivalents in other languages.
words, collocations and expressions in other languages don't
have equivalents in English, either.
you, the effort to translate stands between your thought and
your speech as a block. This takes away your attention from
the 'matter' of your speech, and forces you to concentrate
on the 'manner'. And then you stop thinking about 'what'
you want to say, and start paying attention to 'how' you say
it. And then, you automatically falter, and your speech-flow
translated spoken English sentences sound stilted. They don't sound natural like the English spoken by native speakers
of speech: Not co-operative
You know, the muscles of your organs of speech are in the
habit of moving and bending regularly in certain set patterns
to suit the demands of your mother-tongue. They fight
shy of working in a different way to suit the demands
of the English language.
mind you, as long as your organs of speech don't readily move,
bend and work in the way the English language demands them
to, you won't be able to speak fluent English.
Audio/Video cassettes containing theoretically-correct sentences
won't make you fluent. No, they won't. Of course, if
you listen to them for hours and hours, you may be able to
learn a few isolated sentences by heart.
this: Cassettes like these contain theoretically-correct sentences
that have been edited and polished (and not naturally-occurring
ones). And theoretically-correct stand-alone sentences like
these may look ideal as examples of usage in classrooms. But
they're precisely the things that won't help you in real-life
situations. There, in real-life situations, the speech units
you use must be those that are produced as part of an ongoing
communicative process in content as well as in form.
The speech units you use will simply have to be those that
you produce on the spot while you're actually engaged in the
act of talking to people, those that you bend and twist and
manipulate in order to suit the verbal and situational contexts.
see, spontaneous speech is always produced under pressure
of time. You speak in the 'here-and-now'. You have to connect
what you're saying now to what you've finished saying. At
the same time, you have to be thinking about, and preparing,
what you're going to say next. And you have to orally
organize everything you say, so that the various speech units
and ideas they carry fit together well and in an ordered way
into a coherent whole. You'll be able to do all this,
only if you know the techniques of 'on-the-spot speech composition'.
containing theoretically-correct sentences won't teach
you these techniques. In fact, these cassettes give you a
false impression: They make you think that spoken English
is made up of ideal strings of complete and perfectly-formed
sentences. They make you think that you'd be able to speak
English if you learn a few one-line sentences. They
don't bring you face to face with such features of
spontaneous speech as starting trouble, false starts, repetition
of syllables and words, hesitations, pauses, pause fillers,
gambits for creating planning-time, incomplete structures,
unfinished word-groups, reformulations, refinements, backtracking,
etc. They don't give you the skill of speaking 'exploratorily'
vocabulary development methods: Not helpful
Are you under the impression that conventional vocabulary-building
methods can help you achieve true fluency. Mind you, they
chief reason is this: Conventional vocabulary building methods
focus on individual words, and not on word clusters. And they
create a wrong impression in your mind a wrong impression
that fluent speech is produced by stringing individual words
together. Mind you, fluent speech cannot be produced
by stringing individual words together. Fluent speech does
not flow out word by word. Rather, fluent speech flows out
in short bursts each burst consisting of a cluster
of 4 to 10 words (with most of the clusters having 5 words
for fluency building, the focus of your vocabulary development
effort should not be on individual words, but on word
clusters fluency-oriented word clusters.