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This is now my third blog post, and I hope I will keep adding content to my page. 
I wonder what kind of mood you are in as you read this?
Where are you? Perhaps on a trolleybus? Perhaps slouching on the sofa at home? Or leaning against the water cooler at work?

Who knows? It is a bit weird for me not to really know who I am writing for. I assume that you probably fit into one of these categories:
Maybe I am totally wrong. Maybe you have just stumbled across my webpage. It is a bit disconcerting knowing that you might read this but that I have no idea who you are and indeed, if anyone has actually read what I am writing. There is a certain sense of having to "let go", of releasing my thoughts and putting them out there. It would be really lovely if you left a comment on Facebook saying how you found out about this blog. I suppose I could enable comments here but I am rather wary of getting spammed or trolled. I am not sure I am ready for that as a novice blogger.

This post is turning into a stream of consciousness post. My main aim was to address one of my students' questions about why I have started blogging. So far, this has been a rather convoluted pre-amble, which means I am taking a while to get to my core point.

In the past, I suppose I didn't really think that anything I have to say is of interest to anyone. I may have been right! However, I also have this urge to share. Maybe I will say something to provoke, inspire, or anger you? Or make you laugh or nod in agreement? In any case, you might learn some English.

    So why have I started blogging?


I am not sure really. Maybe it is just the simple human need to communicate. Since I have started writing these posts, I guess I feel some sort of liberation. I have not been editing myself as much as I might in the classroom (where I should be on-topic, relevant, concise, etc.). When I am at work, I need to grade (modify) my language according to the group, level, and other factors. At the end of the day, you are paying me to teach you not to hear me ranting. Writing these posts is one of the ways I have chosen to spend my free time. You are not paying me to do this and you are reading it in your free time. Therefore, I feel liberated to write as I choose.

Part of my agenda is to help improve the standard of English in Lithuania. As far as I am aware, I don't have a drop of Lithuanian blood in my body, but I have chosen to make Lithuania my home and feel a real affinity with Lithuanian people. I want to expose you to as much English as possible. I don't want you to stay on the plateau and not progress. My aim for all my students is the same as my personal language learning aims: I want (you) to find your idiolect. Your own voice. To be able to be yourself in another language. This means making that quip, cracking a joke, catching the nuance, expressing your opinion precisely, etc. These are lofty but valid aims. That is my aim for you. 

Prof. David Crystal writes about idiolect. I like the way he defines it on his website
[id-ee-oh-lekt]
"No, this is not a dialect spoken by idiots. The prefix idio- means ‘personal’ in Greek - as in the word idiosyncrasy, which means a personal habit or eccentricity. An idiolect is your own personal dialect. It’s the kind of language which you - Jim, Jean, Mary, or whatever you name is - make use of, and which makes you different from everyone else. If you think about it, there are so many ways in which our vowels, consonants, voice qualities, words, and sentence patterns differ from person to person that you’d be very unlikely to find two people who had exactly the same way of using language. Everyone has their own idiolect."

 How can you find your own idiolect? 


I believe one of the best ways to learn a language is to focus on lexical chunks, to notice them in context and then try to reproduce them in your own situations and to suit your own communicative needs. So I am going to attempt to pick out chunks of language I have used in this post and help you adapt them in your own speech and writing. The masters of this teaching technique and the people who have inspired my teaching a lot are Hugh Dellar and Andrew Walkley who work at Lexical Lab. You should really all be following their excellent blog posts and Facebook posts. If you are taking my Advanced course at EnglishTeacher, you should recognise their names as they are the guys who wrote our course materials.

Today we were talking about reading for pleasure in English. I am so pleased that everyone in my *Advanced group has been reading in English. Without being prompted they started sharing stories of what they are reading or have just read. Here are some that I remember them mentioning. Extensive reading is a great way to expose yourself to new ideas, vocabulary, and grammatical structures. We all agreed that it is easier to read passively than speak or write. *You can still join us fro Monday if you'd like to. I have a hunch that it will be a very lovely group based on our first lesson today :)

.

I suggested that for me, it seems to work best if I read the same piece of input (paragraph, chapter, article, book) twice: once for content - to understand the meaning, and then for language. Often I would underline or circle things as I go along to remind me to come back to interesting or intriguing chunks of language. If something really stops me from understanding or keep appearing repeatedly, I would then look it up. If I think I understand, I'd carry on reading. The second time I read, I would note chunks down in my notebook and spend time Googling, looking them up in a dictionary, pestering my other half to explain them in Lithuanian and asking all the questions I have about the items. Such questions might be whether it has positive or negative connotations, whether it is formal or informal, whether people actually use this chunk or whether it is antiquated, how to pronounce it, in what other contexts I can use this chunk, etc.

So that is what I am going to ask you to do now. Please read this post again from the beginning. Not to catch the flow of ideas, but to notice language and interesting chunks. Passively I imagine that you understood pretty much everything I've written, but I bet that you don't sound like me. Of course, my idiolect might be unappealing for you. You might not want to sound like this or come across in the same way that my internal voice does. But I am sure there is at least one chunk or phrase or expression that you can "steal" from me and make your own in your own context.


Here we go again. Repetition is the mother of learning and all that!


This is now my third blog post, and I hope I will keep adding content to my page. 
I wonder what kind of mood you are in as you read this?
Where are you? Perhaps on a trolleybus? Perhaps slouching on the sofa at home? Or leaning against the water-cooler at work?

Who knows? It is a bit weird for me not to really know who I am writing for. I assume that you probably fit into one of these categories:

Maybe I am totally wrong. Maybe you have just stumbled across my webpage. It is a bit disconcerting knowing that you might read this but that I have no idea who you are and indeed, if anyone has actually read what I am writing. There is a certain sense of having to "let go", of releasing my thoughts and putting them out there. It would be really lovely if you left a comment on Facebook saying how you found out about this blog. I suppose I could enable comments here but I am rather wary of getting spammed or trolled. I am not sure I am ready for that as a novice blogger.

This post is turning into a stream of consciousness post. My main aim was to address one of my students' questions about why I have started blogging. So far, this has been a rather convoluted pre-amble, which means I am taking a while to get to my core point.

In the past, I suppose I didn't really think that anything I have to say is of interest to anyone. I may have been right! However, I also have this urge to share. Maybe I will say something to provoke, inspire, or anger you? Or make you laugh or nod in agreement? In any case, you might learn some English.

So why have I started blogging?

I am not sure really. Maybe it is just the simple human need to communicate. Since I have started writing these posts, I guess I feel some sort of liberation. I have not been editing myself as much as I might in the classroom (where I should be on-topic, relevant, concise, etc.). When I am at work, I need to grade (modify) my language according to the group, level, and other factors. At the end of the day, you are paying me to teach you not to listen to my rants. Writing these posts is one of the ways I have chosen to spend my free time. You are not paying me to do this and you are reading it in your free time. Therefore, I feel liberated to write as I choose.

Part of my agenda is to help improve the standard of English in Lithuania. As far as I am aware, I don't have a drop of Lithuanian blood in my body, but I have chosen to make Lithuania my home and feel a real affinity with Lithuanian people. I want to expose you to as much English as possible. I don't want you to stay on the plateau and not progress. My aim for all my students is the same as my personal language learning aims: I want (you) to find your idiolect. Your own voice. To be able to be yourself in another language. This means making that quip, cracking a joke, catching the nuance of what someone has said, expressing your opinion precisely, etc. These are lofty but valid aims. These are my aims for you. 

Prof. David Crystal writes about idiolect. I like the way he defines it on his website

[id-ee-oh-lekt]

"No, this is not a dialect spoken by idiots. The prefix idio- means ‘personal’ in Greek - as in the word idiosyncrasy, which means a personal habit or eccentricity. An idiolect is your own personal dialect. It’s the kind of language which you - Jim, Jean, Mary, or whatever you name is - make use of, and which makes you different from everyone else. If you think about it, there are so many ways in which our vowels, consonants, voice qualities, words, and sentence patterns differ from person to person that you’d be very unlikely to find two people who had exactly the same way of using language. Everyone has their own idiolect."

 How can you find your own idiolect? 


I believe one of the best ways to learn a language is to focus on lexical chunks, to notice them in context and then try to reproduce them in your own situations and to suit your own communicative needs. So I am going to attempt to pick out chunks of language I have used in this post and help you adapt them in your own speech and writing. The masters of this teaching technique and the people who have inspired my teaching a lot are Hugh Dellar and Andrew Walkley who work at Lexical Lab. You should really all be following their excellent blog posts and Facebook posts. If you are taking my Advanced course at EnglishTeacher, you should recognise their names as they are the guys who wrote our course materials.

Today we were talking about reading for pleasure in English. I am so pleased that everyone in my *Advanced group has been reading in English. Without being prompted they started sharing stories of what they are reading or have just read. Here are some that I remember them mentioning. Extensive reading is a great way to expose yourself to new ideas, vocabulary, and grammatical structures. We all agreed that it is easier to read passively than speak or write. *You can still join us from Monday if you'd like to. I have a hunch that it will be a very lovely group based on our first lesson today :)

.

I suggested that for me, it seems to work best if I read the same piece of input (paragraph, chapter, article, book) twice: once for content - to understand the meaning, and the second time for language. Often I would underline or circle things as I go along to remind me to come back to interesting or intriguing chunks of language. If something really stops me from understanding or keeps appearing repeatedly, then I look it up. If I think I understand without any help, I carry on reading. The second time I read, I would note chunks down in my notebook and spend time Googling, looking them up in a dictionary, pestering my other half to explain them in Lithuanian and asking all the questions I have about the items. Such questions might be whether it has positive or negative connotations, whether it is formal or informal, whether people actually use this chunk or whether it is antiquated, how to pronounce it, in what other contexts I can use this chunk, etc.

So that is what I am going to ask you to do now. Please read this post again from the beginning. Not to catch the flow of ideas, but to notice language and interesting chunks. Passively I imagine that you understood pretty much everything I've written, but I bet that you don't sound like me. Of course, my idiolect might be unappealing for you. You might not want to sound like this or come across in the same way that my internal voice does. But I am sure there is at least one chunk or phrase or expression that you can "steal" from me and make your own in your own context.

Groundhog Day?

No, let's get out of this loop at take a look at some of the language I have put in bold.
 


But I digress from my digression. I told you that this was a stream of consciousness post - it is meandering wherever my mind takes me (well, maybe not wherever - you are not quite ready for that yet, dear reader!).

Right, that was epic and I need to get some shut-eye = zzzz. I will edit this post later and add some more definitions.

Please like and share on FB if you want me to keep writing! 
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