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Hi guys, hello boys and girls and welcome back to Robby’s English Harmony video blog. And today I’m going to respond to an email that was sent in to me 19 hours ago at this stage and I think that this particular email merits my video response because it kind of highlights a general issue that happens in the larger foreign English speakers’ community, right?
So I’m not going to be reading the whole email word by word but I’m just going to kind of summarize the email in a few sentences. So basically this particular blog follower of mine says that he was one of the best in the class in terms of English literature when he was in high school and then he says “which evidently means that I should be able to write and speak the language.” But in his case he could write. It’s the typical English fluency issue whereby you can write, you can understand, you can read but you cannot speak. And then he attributes certain percentages.
So basically he says that he would be able to write at 80% in terms of efficiency or whatever and speaking would be only 20%, lagging behind big time, right? And the particular thing that I want to focus on in this video is, “which evidently means” so it kind of even goes without saying that once you are good at writing and reading and the literature lessons or whatever, it means that you should be able to speak full stop. There’s no further discussion. There’s no debates. No further investigation required so to speak, right?
Why We Automatically Assume That Good Reading & Writing Skills = Good Speaking Skills?
So why is it that we just automatically assume? It’s because the traditional English teaching methodology has created this myth because English is perceived as one big subject. So this myth has been perpetuated over decades and even centuries and so we just blindly believed, without even questioning, we just believed that once we are good at reading and writing and understanding that we should be automatically good speakers and if that’s not the case then there’s something wrong with us.
And this particular person finds a problem with himself further down the email, right? He says that he thinks that his biggest issue is the fear of making mistakes and that’s why he can’t speak. Well, obviously that’s also a symptom of the typical English fluency issue but that’s not the reason, it’s just the symptom. You see?
The reason, in a typical English class, in a typical literature class or whatever you do a lot of reading, writing, listening, all that kind of stuff but you don’t practice your speech. You don’t speak a lot and that’s the whole point. There are so many aspects of the English language and they should have been divided into different classes, right?
So when you go and learn English literature you read and write or whatever and then there should be a specifically dedicated class to practicing spoken English. And then if that were the case then you would clearly see that. Okay, I’m lagging behind in my spoken department but it’s all because I haven’t been doing enough practice in the spoken English class or whatever. Then you would clearly see the division between the different aspects of the English language.
But if it’s all bundled up in one big English lesson, we cannot distinguish the different aspects of the English language. And as a matter of fact, I’ve been going on about this thing again and again and again but I had to revisit it because people have been contacting me on a regular basis and this particular email I think was a very good representation because the person said that it evidently means that I should be able to write and speak.
And it’s kind of ironic because there is no evidence but we are just led to believe that yes, it should be happening. But it’s not the case. Just because you can read and write, there is no correlation between your reading and writing skills and your spoken English ability. Maybe some remote, remote correlation. Obviously if you cannot understand and read and write at all obviously you’re not going to be able to speak and vice versa.
If you are very good at reading and writing you would be able to say something, right? It’s not as if you won’t be able to say anything at all. So there is obviously a relationship between those aspects of the English language but the whole point is that – the bottom line basically is that you develop specific aspects of the English language and you are what you do.
Remember – You Are What You Do!
If you are an English reader and that’s all you do you become fluent at reading. If you speak a lot and practice your spoken English, then you become a very good speaker. You become a fluent speaker. If you write a lot and spend a lot of time writing then you become a very, very good English writer. Those are the different distinct aspects of the English language.
So hopefully this video is going to clear that up for you my friend. And yeah, basically on the finishing note let me tell you that the fear of making mistakes is not the reason you are unable to speak fluently. It’s a manifestation if the fluency issue if you will. It’s one of the symptoms but the true reason is you haven’t been practicing your spoken English. If there’s enough practice behind you, no fear will stand in the way of your success.
Yes, it will hamper your performance somewhat but provided that you’ve been doing a lot of practicing and preparing for a specific event for example, no amount of fear is going to render your spoken English facilities totally unusable so to speak.
So thanks for watching my friends and chat to you soon again. Bye-bye!
P.S. Would you like to find out why I’m highlighting some of the text in red? Read this article and you’ll learn why it’s so important to learn idiomatic expressions and how it will help you to improve your spoken English!
P.S.S. Are you serious about your spoken English improvement? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!