Why do so many students, especially those from China, believe that reciting while they are alone on the playground will make them better speakers of a foreign language. Many of the students that I saw would only speak words found in text books or famous speeches, but never considered having conversations. Many thought that speaking to another student would make them speak worse.
What are your thoughts? I'll share mine after I've seen plenty of ideas from you.
Aria, it's like cooking. If you don't make yourself do it more often, you will not become good at cooking. Same goes for speaking to people. Your brain must be trained to create English sentences as you have a conversation.
Get over your imagined "need" to talk to foreigners in order to get better. Think of when you first learned to ride a bicycle. Your friends were not perfect riders, but you still rode together. If your friend fell, the did not mean that you would have to fall, too. You learned from each other's mistakes. You did not attend a special bicycle school before you rode with anyone. You practiced with your friends.
You don't read books to become good swimmers or to learn to play ping pong. You must practice to get better.
Remember everyone, the goal is not to impress people with your lack of mistakes. The goal is to communicate. If you are going to stay in China all your life, who will you be speaking to? There are not enough teacher/translator/interpreter jobs for everyone who studies English. There are also not enough jobs in foreign companies for you. You will be using your English to speak to friends and to read English newspapers, websites, books and magazines.
Dana, your boss is fooling himself. He is hiding himself, with no chance of developing the ability to speak to others freely. He, and others, cannot hope for success with the limited ability to speak only from memorized dialogues.
Cuty, what is wrong with your environment? There are plenty of others students who want to get better. Speak to them.
Rob/文庆永 , I also taught in China. I'd been there for over 7 years. I taught the students some of these principles, and the successful ones were those who actually spoke to others.
I think it is not enough using mianzi for explaining. That is deep fear I think.
And I think that is not only in english, They are afraid of chinese languages as well.
So I think that is not only the problem of langages.
I heard of a chinese-american's speech I gained a lot.
Maybe their feeling at the cross point. They can tell you more..