Blog 014. (English version)
Right, from this point onwards, I will add some blog posts which themes are more focused on “speaking”, since the title of this blog implies speaking side of English rather than pencil and notebook.
I am going to introduce some practical methods which are based on the process I had applied to my own learning experience and I kind of invented… (but it has turned out that I was not the first one at all! w)
This time’s contents include the importance of using your voice (outputting) along with accumulating knowledge (inputting) which we normally do obsessively, and possible unfavourable result you might get if you keep learning without outputting.
And there is also about the fallacy of assuming that you cannot develop conversation skill without having the other person to speak to…
(hence people don’t even give it a go unless they pay to set themselves in the situation, and so on…
So, basically this time’s article is about the concept of this blog’s title “An encouragement of soliloquy in English”, and I hope the learning method of “soliloquy” will suit for some of the readers and will help them establishing the habit of “outputting”.
Get your voice out!
First of all, your speaking skill will not be improved by just accumulating English knowledge.
I guess there are still lots of people blindly spending their time for memorising English grammars and vocabularies to get ready for the future opportunities to use them.
“No, no, no, no. I’m not interested in speaking in English!”
“I just want to be able to write.”
“I just want to equip myself with perfect grammar!”
“My goal is just to score a great mark so that I get the certificate for my job hunting…”
If these are the cases, it’s fine…
But if your ultimate goal is to be able to have conversations with others in English, you better realise the fact that…
“accumulating the knowledge”
“using the knowledge you have acquired”
must be carried outat the same time!
This is a crucial matter but is often neglected.
Let’s take electric appliances for example.
Fridge, hoover, microwave… whichever one you purchase, I don’t think you will wait to use them until you have read all the pages of manual and have studied in details with memorising the name of every machinery parts.
Instead, we start using them as soon as we have learnt the minimum necessary information to make them function. We later learn optional small things as opportunities arise…
(Otherwise, we will possibly have to wait for months before we start using them.)
The same thing can be said of learning to speak in English.
Or anything that involves using some parts of our body, such as driving vehicles, sports, playing instruments, and so forth cannot be achieved by just acquiring its knowledge (inputting).
Even if you feel totally uncomfortable and are not good at doing it in the beginning, without going through the process of outputting you yourself will end up becoming just like an operations manual.
Nobody can speak with beautiful pronunciation or can construct the sentence smoothly from the beginning unless you were a native-born person. And even they speak with lots of grammatical mistakes when they are little.
Therefore, don’t be bothered even if you think your pronunciation has got a big influence of Katakana sound…
The most important thing is to say whatever English vocabulary you have loud at any rate.
What sort of outcome will be expected for knowledge collectors?
OK then, what will happen if you just keep stuffing the knowledge in your brain (inputting)?
This could be very dangerous and is said to be one of the reasons why we Japanese are not good at speaking in English.
I guess the people who have gone abroad to study might have experienced to see those who courageously plunge into native speaker’s conversation and totally fit themselves in despite their apparently poor English vocabularies.
And meanwhile, we Japanese who have equipped with the basic knowledge of English grammar and some good vocabularies from compulsory education, are remaining unable to take a plunge, so instead we are just listening and smiling…(and possibly correcting courageous person’s grammatical mistakes in our head.)
The fact is that…
“You are already far behind them at this very point!“
As I mentioned before,
“acquiring English knowledge”
“using the English knowledge you have acquired “
two different skills.
And the reason why I had said earlier that it could be very “dangerous” to just keep storing the knowledge in your brain is because…
if you keep inputting without outputting what you have learnt, your ideal shape which has been created by the repetition of an act of inputting will be well-established in your head, while no progress has been made in reality, and the gap between the “ideal” and the “reality” will become bigger and bigger…
And as a result, the selection of your vocabularies in your head (none of them you have ever used) might prevent you from making timely reaction to the other people’s remarks or simply you’ll become more hesitant to throw yourself into the conversation because you are too worried about making a small mistake which nobody will care at all…
An absolute vicious circle…
And moreover, there is this fact that untouched stored knowledge in your brain will eventually fade away…
Therefore, you better apply your knowledge (outputting), while it’s still fresh.
Creating an environment for outputting ➡︎ “soliloquy“
“OK, but wait for a minute.
I understood that ”inputting” and “outputting” should be carried out with a good balance
…but how can I implement “outputting” where there is nobody I can speak to in English?
I am based in Japan, and have no English-speaking friends over here!”
Well, you are absolutely right.
However, let us think a little bit.
When it comes to “conversation” we’ve got this picture of more than one person exchanging their opinions or impression of the topic, I believe…
But haven’t you ever heard a phrase such as “contributing to the conversation” or “ to establish a conversation”?
Conversation is basically an “interactive” affair… that means before it reaches interactive stage, it must start from non-interactive stage where one person is simply giving opinion or saying some kind of greeting words.
So, I guess we can say that the conversation is simply formed when somebody reacts to the other person’s remark.
In a nutshell,
“outputting” is always carried out before a conversation is getting established.
And moreover, we sometimes catch the scenes where the conversation is seemingly being established but the fact is that there is no interaction going on, and people are just saying whatever they feel like to…
We might find similar situations in an interview of politicians or excited mature ladies’ lunch time conversation.
(My wife is certainly making her way to get to that level! w)
In conclusion, “outputting” is fundamentally no different from
regardless of people’s reaction to whatever you say.
It is also said that “writing things down” is another form of “outputting”.
This is something I am pointing out in the kindle book I have published, which is the fact that the “writing” is non-interactive action until somebody actually reads it.
The skill of writing is said to be developed in proportion to the amount you write… just like people who are involved in online business practice writing repeatedly to master their copywriting skill.
So, why don’t people apply “soliloquy” for their speaking practice which method is practically the same as “writing down” while both are the same “outputting” action?
Well, the reason for this could be pretty obvious…
The action of “speaking” involves the noise / voice, therefore unlike the action of writing, people can hear what you are saying.
There is a fear that people might label you as a “crackpot” at some point…
But anyway, now we know that speaking can be applied for the act of “outputting” without having anybody to speak to!
All you have to do is to create an environment where you can talk to yourself so that people will not suspect that you are a mad person.
Regarding the matter of creating an environment for yourself, I have to say that you already have a great advantage if you are single and live alone.
As I have already said several times, considering the fact of the arrival of individuals’ age along with a globalized society by the innovation of internet and the current position of Japan as a country in the world,
we better regard ourselves as “earth-men/women” before regarding as “Japanese”, and spend some proportion of time a day for speaking English as “earth language” to develop our communication skill, because it will be crucially important in the very near future.
Let us have a sense of “earth-men/women speak earth language” in ourselves, and adapt the “custom of soliloquy” to blend in our everyday life…
Thanks for reading and see you next time.