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Creativity in Learning English

Students often tell me that they can understand what they hear, but they cannot speak well. It is quite difficult to use English correctly just when you need it. To speak fluently requires two kinds of practice. One kind of practice is mechanical practice, doing things such as repetition or imitation. The other kind of practice is more creative. Lets compare these two kinds of practicing English.

Imitation is useful because it helps you exercise the muscles in and around your mouth. As you do more imitation, words and sentences start to become automatic, so you don't have to think a lot. So, imitating language can help you be more creative! It will also help you if you learn lots of sentence patterns, which is why I recommend dictations to my students. As you get better at dictations, you can then try listening to Joe's Jokes and repeating what you hear.

To be more creative is quite difficult. You may be surprised, but one way to be more creative is to study less! If you study just a few words a day, but learn them very well, you will be more successful in using these words in creative ways.

So, what's the best way to be creative when speaking English? The key is to practice! The more you speak, the more you will be able to create new sentences and have interesting conversations. You can practice with online language exchange and by following Teacher Joe's advice for good conversation exchange.

As with any aspect of learning English, being able to speak creatively takes time. I'm sure you can do it though, as long as you keep on practicing. Good luck!

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