Another one of my answers was chosen as Best Answer on Yahoo Answers- I love it when that happens! Here is the link to the question on the Answers site:

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index;_ylt=AiCvilSA_O91bQ8APhI307fsy6IX;_ylv=3?qid=20120606005502AAxqwGl

This is the question:

I’m a college student whose native language is not English. I have spent a lot of time in learnign English, and I found my reading and listening skills have improved a lot in the last two years. But my oral and written skills is too poor, so it is difficult for me to communicate with others in English directly. I have been learning English by myself, and my English input ability is improved a lot. Now it is still hard for me to express myself flluently in English, and it is impossible for me to have a English environment. It is hard for me to find someone to help me, all I could have to do with are books and Internet. Is it possible to greatly improve my oral and written skills without a tutor?
Could there be someone help me to correct my mistakes in this representation? I will appreciate it!

It’s really two questions, with the first part asking the question, “Is it possible to greatly improve your oral and written skills without a tutor?”

And here is my answer:

I’d say yes- you can indeed improve your speaking and writing with the right kinds of English courses and by listening and reading a lot.

After 11 years of teaching English full-time, I no longer believe that ‘practice’ is nearly as important as everyone says it is. The real key is comprehensible input: listening and reading that you can understand. Fluency in speaking and writing will come naturally and easily after a lot of comprehensible input.

And then the second part is asking for a correction of the writing. Here is how I corrected it:

I’m a college student whose native language is not English. I have spent a lot of time learning English; my reading and listening skills have improved a lot in the last two years. But my oral and written skills are still poor, so it is difficult for me to communicate with others in English. I have been learning English by myself, and my English input ability has improved a lot. But now it is still hard for me to express myself fluently in English, and it is impossible for me to… It is hard for me to find someone to help me; all I have are books and the Internet. Is it possible to greatly improve my oral and written skills without a tutor?

That’s just the way I’d write it; other people may correct it differently and that’s okay.

And maybe I should clarify: even though it is possible to greatly improve your oral and written skills without a tutor, there are still many benefits to having a great online English teacher! A tutor can help you with pronunciation, writing, grammar, speaking and much more.

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