How Can I Do Shadowing If There Are No Native Speakers Near Me?

Motivating Words

It is true…learning English in immersion is easier. That means living in a country where most of the people speak English to each other on a daily basis. If you live there, you probably work there, and have to speak English in order to live. So it takes less discipline.

Image result for English conversation by native speakers

So learning English in immersion is often easier.

But only so much.

In my own country, Canada, I have seen many examples where people are learning English but they never really get past the level of basic communication. They learn the basics and nothing more. The only advantage to living in an English country is that there are more opportunities to practice English.

Here in Japan, where I now live, I have met several people who speak very good English. They did not learn it in another country. In fact many of them have never been outside Japan for more than a week! Yet their English is very good. Frequently they do not know why their English is better than other people who studied just as much as they did. But the point is that they did it 원어민 영어회화.

There are actually strong points and weak points about learning directly from native speakers.

Strong Points About Native Speakers

Free Speaking
There are many good things about practicing your English with native speakers. The first good point is that you can practice free speech with them. In a language class you practice patterns and drills and move to free speech which is natural. This is good practice, especially because it is authentic.

Instant Feedback
Another good point is that if they don’t understand, they don’t. This gives you direct feedback about how good your communication was. You quickly learn what works and what doesn’t. This is a double edged sword as you may learn some English that works, but is not the best. You may believe your English is good because it works, but in fact it is not the same as natural English.

Natural Expressions
Native speakers use natural English. You will get lots of English to model from, and perhaps more variety than from text books. This can also make it more difficult, since they do not always repeat the same words. They will say the same message more than one time in different words, and that is sometimes confusing.

Explain in Natural English
They can rephrase things if you know how to ask. If you hear something that you do not understand, you can ask them to say it again. Most people, if they have a moment, are polite and will repeat themselves once, but it is almost certainly going to be in different words. A new sentence. They will try to explain what they said, and this is often useful.

Natural Speed
Native speakers also speak at a natural speed. You get plenty of practice listening to that speed of English. Not that listening to slow English is bad… it isn’t. But your target is natural speed. Listening to slow English is like riding a bicycle with training wheels. Sooner or later you need to take off the training wheels. Sooner or later you need to listen to faster English.

Weak Points About Practicing With Native Speakers

No Pattern Repetition
If you are learning English, you can learn faster through drills and repetition. But speaking with native speakers is not going to give that high repetition. You need both free speaking practice, and drill practice to improve fastest, but speaking with native speakers only gives you free speaking practice, and you will not get enough repetition to truly master a word or expression quickly.

Native Speakers are Not Patient
Native speakers have their own priorities and those priorities usually do not include teaching you English. Their conversation will move on and leave you behind. This is especially true if you are in a group. They will speak with one another much faster than you can, and they will move at the speed of the group, not your speed.

Native English is Complex
Natural English is often complex. The same words can have different meanings depending on tone, or depending on the context they are in. For example, “Yeah, right!” can have an affirmative tone, and be positive. Or it can have a sarcastic tone and be very negative. It can be difficult to understand the correct meaning sometimes.

Natural Speed
When native speakers speak at natural speeds, words blend together naturally, and it can be very challenging to understand what the meaning is, and what the words are if they were to be spoken slowly or written down. Native speakers are mostly unaware of this because they do it naturally. It can take a long time to learn English by guessing if you don’t have a regular program of studies and practice routine to help you.

They Don’t Repeat What They Said
If you ask a native speaker to repeat something, they are almost certain to say the same content in different words. This can be very frustrating when you are learning. This problem is exactly what caused me to start making the English Listening site in the first place. People don’t repeat exactly what they said, and that is what you want to hear for listening practice.

Finding the Bridge – Recordings
Using recordings is the perfect bridge between practice with native speakers and no practice at all. By shadowing recordings you practice listening and speaking at the same time. You can repeat many times for perfection. Unlike native speakers who don’t repeat a sentence exactly, recordings can. You can practice listening as much as you need. Recordings can also be made at different speeds. If you want training wheels, you can have them.

Even without contact with native speakers, you can learn a whole language with just shadowing recordings. There are many targeted listening stories recorded and available at English Listening for you to get started now.

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