Sunday, December 6, 2009

Comprehending a foreign language conversation, why it is so difficult?

Comprehending a foreign language conversation, why it is so dif
Comprehending a foreign language conversation, why it is so dif
In the community, people usually talk about their daily life, politics, recent news, private experience, etc. there are many topics which may be discussed in their daily conversation. Then, how if we become a foreigner in that community, will we gain some information about their conversation? Although we are foreign language learner, have we the ability of understanding foreign language conversation?
In a common school of Indonesia, English as foreign language is taught with the main emphasize of understanding the structure of sentences. Teacher usually demands their student mastering the writing skill rather than comprehending the text or conversation. As a result, students are able to construct the grammatical sentences, but they have less ability to apply English in the real conversation. As my experiences of learning English, I found that there are differences between spoken languages usually used in daily conversations and written language. Those differences may lead us to find many problems in learning English.
The first thing that differentiates the spoken and written language is that spoken language has redundancy. Redundancy can be said as telling information for many times. For example: when you’ve been asked for your condition, you said “I’m, fine…I mean it’s awesome”. It seems that you tell your friend with over expression. However, redundancy sometimes gives the listener more information and time to comprehending a conversation. Learners need to pay attention to the redundancy signal to get an understanding of spoken language.
The other important part of spoken language is the reduced form. This is the most common form which may be found in our daily conversation. Reduced form can be phonologically, morphologically, syntactic and pragmatic. The language learner may feels strange when find a word which is phonologically reduced, such as “dityaeatyet?” (Did you eat yet?) or in the pragmatic situation, for example: when your friend hear your cell phone rings, then he/she will say “John, phone!”.
Comprehending a conversation tends to difficult, especially for foreign language learner. There are many characteristics of spoken language which may not be learned in a formal school, such as redundancy and reduced form. Besides, spoken language involves colloquialism which may also provide idioms and many foreign utterances. Language learners usually find many troubles in understanding it.


10 comments:

NURA December 6, 2009 at 3:24 PM  

salam friend
nice post
thank for information
I know comprehending a foreign language conversation, coz read your article.

Teaching Prepositions of Place December 7, 2009 at 8:24 AM  

Well, the ability to understand a conversation is determined by the number of vocabulary a person has on their brain.

The ability to catch the message from a conversation needs an adequate vocabulary, indeed.

Likewise, a person's understanding in the form of a language (grammar and its linguistic aspects) also contributes greatly to one's capability of understanding a text.

One big mistake of Teaching English as Foreign Language in Indonesia is that TEFL teachers - in the past - offered very very few chances for students to practice and use the grammar they have learned in real/simulated communication.

Best regards,

Irfan TEFL

ekopelancongan December 7, 2009 at 4:16 PM  

salam kembara..

no la..

see u tomorrow can aa..

ngee..

Aryo Halim December 9, 2009 at 1:17 PM  

so difficult when hearing native speaker speaking! Get used to listen, speak and learn english

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