I’ve got another English learning QnA for you today.
You can check out the last one here: I Can’t Understand My Friends.
I really like these thoughtful and interesting questions.
“Hi Sam, I have some friends who are English speakers from different countries. Most are from America. I think they speak clearly, but when they ask questions, I can’t reply quickly. What can I do? Will your project help with it?”
One of my favourite video games series is Dark Souls.
The game has a reputation for being incredibly difficult and unforgiving.
You’re basically a warrior who has a mission. To complete this mission you have to travel through a world where everything and anything wants to hurt you. You have a sword and shield (or some other type of weapon), and you have to defeat everything that stands in your way.
Sounds like most games, right?
Well, in most games, when you’re about half way thought the game, your character becomes very overpowered… Your weapons are usually very strong, and the enemies can’t really hurt you . Because of this, most games get easier over time…
That’s not the case with Dark Souls.
In Dark Souls, any of the enemies can defeat you at any time. And when you die, you lose everything.
It’s quite a humbling game because it forces you to practise, be patient and focus. If you want to succeed, you have to take your time, get good and learn the patterns of the enemies.
You see, each enemy in Dark Souls has a pattern. When you learn these patterns, the enemies because easy to defeat.
But, Dark Souls isn’t a game for everyone. Many people quit the game because they’re frustrated… They can’t handle it.
These people don’t have the patience to learn how to react and respond to the different enemies.
And it’s the same with English. The English language, like all languages, is made up of patterns. You need to learn these patterns, so you know how to respond and react to them.
One way to do this is to have lots of conversations with people, record them and study them.
It can take a while, but if you’re patient enough, it’s worth doing.
In my new project ‘The Difference’, one of the things I’m going to do is interaction pattern study.
An interaction is a conversation. We’ll look at common conversations between native speakers and study the patterns that they use. But we won’t just do it like a textbook… oh no… we’ll also look at the different ways that the conversations could happen.
That’s because there’s never ‘just one way’ to do something.
‘The Difference’ is a project that I’m making for higher level English learners who need English to improve their lives.
It’ll focus on aspects of English that people don’t talk about very often. The ‘interaction pattern study’ that I talked about earlier is just one of these.
There will be a charge, and it’ll require you to do some work, but it’ll also be very rewarding.
I’ll be releasing more information about it soon – probably starting next week.
If you want to be on the early-bird list… sign up below:
Sam is the founder and creator of English For Study. He's also a lecturer in EAP/Academic English. Apart from making Academic English easy, he likes learning languages, lifting weights and eating good food.