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I'm really bad at English!

  1. Oct 30, 2007 #1
    When it comes to learning English, whether it's writing, grammar, mechanics, it takes me forever to make sense of it. If I get around 60-70% average in all my English courses, would I still be able to fair in an engineering course? Since I have bad English skills, wouldn't that mean I'd get lost in lectures? A misunderstanding in an instruction perhaps?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 30, 2007 #2


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    I'd say, judging on your writing in this post, that your (at least written) English is pretty good, and that you've nothing to worry about. After all, isn't writing the hardest part?
  4. Oct 30, 2007 #3


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    I agree. You seem o have a decent grasp from what I can see. I wouldn't worry too much about it. I had classes with people that could barely speak a word. Just remember to ask questions when you don't understand and take advantage of having TA's.
  5. Oct 30, 2007 #4


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    Yeah, you may have some comprehension problems, least you would not have posted this in the Engineering forums! Moved to GD.
  6. Oct 30, 2007 #5
    If I was to do some exercises like identifying the main subject, prepositional phrase, subject-verb agreements, modifiers, transitive/intransitive verbs and probably a whole bunch of other stuff I haven't came across yet, I would get confused easily, and especially in the longer sentences. It's frustrating :mad:
  7. Oct 30, 2007 #6
    Try learning an easier language like Greek or Latin, see if that helps...
  8. Oct 30, 2007 #7
    Confused: Don't worry about it, I didn't really do well in English in school and I have no idea what the hell a prepositional phrase, subject-verb agreements and transitive/intransitive vers are. And seriously? You don't need it if you aren't going into linguistics or you're not a professional writer.

    At least, I don't think you need it.
  9. Oct 30, 2007 #8


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    I have no idea how to do that and English is my native language.
  10. Oct 30, 2007 #9
    Nope; it's the conversation part that kills us the non-native speakers :) In fact, some people (like my teacher at the prep school) claim that non-native people pay more attention to the grammar making their writing better than some of the native speakers.

    Back on topic:
    @Confused: When you are classified as "qualified" to study in a programme, that usually means that your English is satisfactory (as well as other skills of you) to continue the study. Such thresholds determined for English proficiency exams are not random I believe. So.. No worries :) Besides if it's an engineering class you will possibly be using a vocabulary of around 300-400 words!
  11. Oct 30, 2007 #10
    good to know english courses are not necessary past highschool :D, i too are bad at english
  12. Oct 31, 2007 #11
    English is not my native language and I'm really bad speaking and writing it, but a lot of my lectures and all my books are on english and I do pretty well in class.

    Dont worry about your english, all you need as a profesional is a secretary.
  13. Oct 31, 2007 #12
    I agree. How about Chinese?

  14. Nov 1, 2007 #13
    My accent is well noticed!
    but i try my best when speaking and writing..
  15. Nov 1, 2007 #14
    Don't worry about it, from what you have written it sounds like your english is great! We had a girl from korea who won the Head Scholar award at our school and she had only been speaking english for 3 or 4 years, she's now studying medicine and is yet again one of the top academic students.
  16. Nov 1, 2007 #15
    Practice speaking often, or try to be around people who speak English fluently- watch Movies from the USA and see how much you can grasp without the sub tittles.
  17. Nov 1, 2007 #16


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    You just reminded me of my high school French classes. We used to watch Sesame Street and other kids shows in French. It helped a lot. Of course, I did feel pretty silly at the time.
  18. Nov 1, 2007 #17
    I use to watch the lion king in zulu when I was 7 haha that was awsome then few years latter watched the lion king in french as well hehe
  19. Nov 1, 2007 #18
    The language barrier can be troublesome when your English is poor. That is, when it comes to non-fictional literature like the ones you read in engineering classes. But I think you can break it if you just learn the "wordings" that take place in the books. One example of that is a friend of mine who learned basic russian to access some books on mathematics. He was able to learn the most common phrasings and went from there. (Sorry, I don't have English as my first language.)

    But there's probably a difference. The language in books like that can be rich.
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2007
  20. Nov 2, 2007 #19

    jim mcnamara

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    quoth verafloyd
    I guess engineers are a separate species - maybe leftover Homo erectus?
    (joke: they design and build, therefore they erect...)
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