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# How did you non-native English speakers learn English?

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How did you non-native English speakers learn English? [#permalink]

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07 Jan 2013, 17:52
I was born in Germany, but my father was a member of the US military, so I learned both English and German as a child, but am curious how those of you who grew up learning a language that is not English learned English.
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Re: How did you non-native English speakers learn English? [#permalink]

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08 Jan 2013, 01:17
commdiver wrote:
I was born in Germany, but my father was a member of the US military, so I learned both English and German as a child, but am curious how those of you who grew up learning a language that is not English learned English.

I can't say about other non-natives, but in India English has always been treated as just second to mother tongue. We, in schools, start to learn our mother tongue at the age of 7 whereas English at the age of two. More importantly, here English is being touted as the language which can help us to grow our career. Unless its compulsory to speak Hindi, people prefer to be English speaking.
One more thing, some school boards such as ISC teach the toughest English if compared to what others are being taught in schools at that grade. So, for students from these boards, English starts to run in their thoughts.
This is what I can tell you about India's English speaking people.
Regards.
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Re: How did you non-native English speakers learn English? [#permalink]

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08 Jan 2013, 01:55
from my own point of view,not only experience is the best teacher but also exposure..we, africans, have been exposed to english speaking natives especially due to british colonisations dating back in the olden days..and there was no way we could communicate with them except through english..i truly believe that,us non english native speakers,speak the most fluent and perfect english only that we lack some proper accent..but we follow the grammar properly! Hope i have made a positive remark

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Re: How did you non-native English speakers learn English? [#permalink]

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08 Jan 2013, 09:53
commdiver wrote:
I was born in Germany, but my father was a member of the US military, so I learned both English and German as a child, but am curious how those of you who grew up learning a language that is not English learned English.

Any native english speaker can work perfectly well in corporate India. He would have an easier time here than some of the European countries.
Its only for the India's economic situation else Bombay could well have been at par with London/Hong Kong.
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Re: How did you non-native English speakers learn English? [#permalink]

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09 Jan 2013, 19:16
Thank you for the replies. It is interesting to see how global other countries. The US is certainly lacking in that regard.
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Re: How did you non-native English speakers learn English? [#permalink]

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21 Jan 2013, 09:17
Hey!

I'm Swiss and French is my mother tongue. I studied English at school for 6 years (and German for 8 years, which might have helped) but when I started university I could barely speak in English. I never had the chance to practice it. I read a lot of material in English at university, and met a few international students which helped me practice the speaking part. And of course, I won't lie, watching my favourite tv shows is probably what helped the most!
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Re: How did you non-native English speakers learn English? [#permalink]

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23 Jan 2013, 02:47
nouldali wrote:
Hey!

I'm Swiss and French is my mother tongue. I studied English at school for 6 years (and German for 8 years, which might have helped) but when I started university I could barely speak in English. I never had the chance to practice it. I read a lot of material in English at university, and met a few international students which helped me practice the speaking part. And of course, I won't lie, watching my favourite tv shows is probably what helped the most!

I agree :D
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Re: How did you non-native English speakers learn English? [#permalink]

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27 Jan 2013, 00:09
It depends on what region you belong to. At some places, its a language that's learned in schools. While in all countries there are institutions from where You can learn languages and get certified in the same.
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Re: How did you non-native English speakers learn English? [#permalink]

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27 Jan 2013, 02:11
Marcab wrote:
commdiver wrote:
I was born in Germany, but my father was a member of the US military, so I learned both English and German as a child, but am curious how those of you who grew up learning a language that is not English learned English.

I can't say about other non-natives, but in India English has always been treated as just second to mother tongue. We, in schools, start to learn our mother tongue at the age of 7 whereas English at the age of two. More importantly, here English is being touted as the language which can help us to grow our career. Unless its compulsory to speak Hindi, people prefer to be English speaking.
One more thing, some school boards such as ISC teach the toughest English if compared to what others are being taught in schools at that grade. So, for students from these boards, English starts to run in their thoughts.
This is what I can tell you about India's English speaking people.
Regards.

Marcab did a little generalization.

I am from India. I studied in State Government school and English was introduced at the age of 10 or in Grade 5. Every other paper was in regional language till Grade 10 or till I reached 15. So real English started at 15, no doubt this is case for most of folks who were born before 90s and were not living in cities.

But then worldwide exposure of Indian economy paved the way of social uplifting and English was the only way to the top. And gradually English flooded the countries of India and I was one of the beneficiaries.
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Re: How did you non-native English speakers learn English? [#permalink]

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25 Apr 2013, 12:41
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Re: How did you non-native English speakers learn English? [#permalink]

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25 Apr 2013, 13:26
ConnectTheDots wrote:
Marcab wrote:
commdiver wrote:
I was born in Germany, but my father was a member of the US military, so I learned both English and German as a child, but am curious how those of you who grew up learning a language that is not English learned English.

I can't say about other non-natives, but in India English has always been treated as just second to mother tongue. We, in schools, start to learn our mother tongue at the age of 7 whereas English at the age of two. More importantly, here English is being touted as the language which can help us to grow our career. Unless its compulsory to speak Hindi, people prefer to be English speaking.
One more thing, some school boards such as ISC teach the toughest English if compared to what others are being taught in schools at that grade. So, for students from these boards, English starts to run in their thoughts.
This is what I can tell you about India's English speaking people.
Regards.

Marcab did a little generalization.

I am from India. I studied in State Government school and English was introduced at the age of 10 or in Grade 5. Every other paper was in regional language till Grade 10 or till I reached 15. So real English started at 15, no doubt this is case for most of folks who were born before 90s and were not living in cities.

But then worldwide exposure of Indian economy paved the way of social uplifting and English was the only way to the top. And gradually English flooded the countries of India and I was one of the beneficiaries.

100% agree with you. Just would like to add something
Students were basically divided in two broad categories, Urban India and Rural India. In urban areas most of the student were used to go in CBSE or ICSE schools where English was the primary medium of learning. Surrounding culture was also giving these students great exposure to the English. The same scenario was in south India. Because of certain political issues, southern states refused to accept Hindi as second language and that place was filled up by english.
But, this was not the case in rest of the country. i remember, we first introduced with English in the 5th standard (in the age of 10th) and there too english was third language preceded by Mother-tongue(Marathi in my case) and Hindi. Even at the time of completion of our graduate degree we could only speak few english sentences.

The situation changed slowly after 1990 when Govt adopted a new liberal Economic policy and dramatically after 2000 with the IT revolution.
As our UID chief Sir Nandan Nilekani said in one of his speeches that now the English has become language of Aspiration and growth.
Now our state board (Maharashtra Board) as well made English as compulsory subject right from the 1st standard and this is happening across the whole country.

Narenn
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Re: How did you non-native English speakers learn English? [#permalink]

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25 Apr 2013, 15:28
Survival wrote:
Cartoon Network

Haha! In fact a lot of people here in Quebec (French part of Canada) learned English from TV, as we get all the American channels but more or less are forced into French education in elementary and high school. It's a great way to get started. You may not become a master of English litterature, but you can certainly learn how to speak better and recognize expressions through TV. There's nothing like being immersed in a language to learn it quickly, though. Go to (any English speaking country) for a year and you'll come back speaking the language well.

-Ron
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Re: How did you non-native English speakers learn English?   [#permalink] 25 Apr 2013, 15:28
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