English conversation, REAL English conversation, is tricky. Why?
Because real conversation is unlike what you learned in school. In fact, it often feels totally different.
One key difference is the fact that real speech very rarely uses full complete “grammatically correct” sentences. Of course, in school, those are the only kinds of sentences you learned. You learned about Subject-Verb-Object. You learned to avoid sentence fragments.
Then you hear a real English conversation, with real native speakers– and you discover that they MOSTLY use sentence fragments!
This is something I immediately noticed when I read the transcripts for my friend’s Kristin and Joe’s new Learn Real English lessons. I knew that we tend to use a lot of fragments in normal speech, but even I was surprised at just how often we do this.
We constantly speak in partial sentences. We constantly use “run-on” sentences. We constantly interrupt our own sentences and change our thoughts in the middle of speaking. A transcript of a real conversation– that is, a totally spontaneous and natural conversation– is totally different than anything you will find in a textbook.
And that is only one difference– there are many other major differences between real English conversations and textbook-school conversations.
This helps to explain why even “advanced” English students have such trouble when they come to the United States. While these students may have good individual vocabulary (usually formal), they have absolutely no exposure to real spoken syntax or structure.
Worse, they know very little slang and don’t understand the common idioms that native speakers constantly use.
They designed their Learn Real English lessons to fix these problems. They used only spontaneous, totally natural recorded conversations. These conversations were not planned.
Every conversation is between two native speakers– talking naturally. The vocabulary used is casual and natural– with a lot of idioms and slang. The syntax is also natural– lots of sentence fragments, lots of run-on sentences, lots of interruptions, lots of filler words.
This is one of the strengths of the Effortless English system in general– we always focus on REAL speech– the kind that is actually used by native speakers. We don’t care what academics think about how people “should” speak English– we teach you how real people actually DO speak English.