starting to sound more natural

Closed RP//yowzariversong

John Smith hadn’t been in the school long. In fact, he had only started working there that year, and he was still quite shy around his co-workers. He was an English teacher, with a doctorate in philology, and people usually teased him about being a simple teacher in a local high school. But honestly he couldn’t see himself anywhere else.

He had been walking through the hallways carrying some books, stacked all the way up until his eye-level, that he needed for the next lesson. Of course he didn’t see the person walking towards him until they both crashed and his books scattered through the ground. He looked up at the woman and his cheeks blushed almost instantly. Of course, it had to be her.

They had been running into each other for the past two months, and getting stuck in all kind of situations, normally to John’s embarrassment. He started to apologise but only managed to stutter terribly, and finally looked down at his books. He knelt to pick them up. “I’m so very sorry, Miss Song,” he muttered, but suddenly got up, wide eyed, “it is Miss, isn’t it? I didn’t mean to offend you, I just…” he added, way too quickly to allow her to speak. He stopped and leaned again silently, suddenly wishing the ground would swallow him up.

Are you self studying a language and have no one to correct your mistakes when you write? Or are you just not ready to have full on oral conversations in the language your learning? Lang-8 is the perfect solution!!

I’m sure many of you guys already know of this amazing website. Basically you write a journal entry in your language of choice (mine is Japanese), and natives will look over it and correct any mistakes. This is great especially if you want to start sounding more natural, something a textbook can’t completely teach.

The community on there is great. You can make friends pretty easily, and once you do that, they’ll correct your entries while you correct their English (or whatever other language you’re fluent in) entries. People actually respond pretty fast after I post my entries!

Some reasons why writing is important:

  • Grammar points will not become concrete in your head until you use them. Even if you read a lot in your language of choice, writing will actually test you on how well you know the grammar.
  • You will most likely look up a couple new words when writing your entry to get your point clearly across. This helps you learn new vocabulary, and it’ll actually stick it your head more since you’re using the word immediately!
  • Once you receive some corrections, you’ll know exactly which grammar points you don’t fully understand and need to look into further.

Some tips when writing your entries:

  • Have a clear topic in mind when beginning. 
  • Keep a dictionary close by, either open in another tab or on your phone. However, try to use mostly words you already know.
  • Stay away from Google Translate!! It will not help you learn as much and is often not reliable anyway.
  • Use grammar points and vocabulary that you’re currently studying as often as possible. You’ll remember them way better once you use them.
  • If you’re a beginner, it’s ok to use very simple sentences. What’s important is that you’re practicing what you’re currently learning. 
  • Be friendly and help correct other people’s entries!

Some topics to write about if you’re a beginner:

  • What were you like as a child? What did you like to do?
  • Where do you currently live? What is it like there?
  • Talk about your favorite trip or most recent trip.
  • What is your daily routine?

I hope this was useful! Lang-8 has been so helpful for me personally in my Japanese studies, so I just wanted to rave about it for a bit.