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I am a junior developer who living in Korea.

I think I am quite passionate and active. and I want to be one of famous developer all over the world.

For spreading my area, I try to join Open Source Projects.

But the problem is always English. I often can't understand what the member are speaking at the IRC channel.

As all you know, for resolving an issue We have to discuss in detail. So English is a big problem for me.

And there's no oriental among my Opensource members.

How can I solve this communication problem? if you know someone who can overcome this problem, please give me your opinions.

Thanks in advance.

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closed as off topic by Tom Squires, Jon Hopkins, Walter, ChrisF Oct 27 '11 at 13:46

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rosettastone.co.uk –  Tom Squires Oct 27 '11 at 9:00
In my Country, We study English for 15years since childhood. anyway thanks. –  Sungguk Lim Oct 27 '11 at 9:03
@sunglim I'm a little confused, you specify "oral language" in the question title but then use IRC as your example in the question. Your written English seems fine for this small sample, so if it is purely the oral/speaking part that is causing you issues I'm afraid the only solution is practice. Perhaps teaching Korean to English speakers moving there would help you? –  Kevin D Oct 27 '11 at 9:10
Not a programming question –  sdg Oct 27 '11 at 12:25
I bet this is a big problem for the all Project Manager and Developer in Korea. Samsung and LG do a lot of outsourcing project with Indian and Russian. Most of them feel this problem is bigger than other. –  Sungguk Lim Oct 27 '11 at 14:47

3 Answers 3

up vote 8 down vote accepted

The best way to learn a language is to communicate in it with native speakers and in the context you are intending to use it in. Go on discussing in IRC channels, and ask your peers to reformulate sentences you have not understood. Most will understand that you are still learning English.

You can support this process by speaking with native English speakers face-to-face. Direct, face-to-face communication has the advantage that you have the additional non-verbal communication channel that helps you understand and align with the speaker. Hospitality sites like couchsurfing.org are a great way to find native speakers that are visiting your country.

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"Go on discussing in IRC channels, and ask your peers to reformulate sentences you have not understood. Most will understand that you are still learning English." - I agree with most of what you said, except this part. If everyone is discussing a project, I don't feel that this is an appropriate place to learn English. Having to repeat and reformulate will bog down discussions. I've had phone interviews with people with very deep Indian accents and I had to ask them to repeat 80% of what they were saying. It's frustrating to have to ask and I'm sure it's just as frustrating to have to repeat –  Yatrix Oct 27 '11 at 13:25
Learning English by listening, sure. Learning it by having everyone repeat what they say a different way, no. –  Yatrix Oct 27 '11 at 13:26

Sunglim, I think you're on the right way already, but everything big needs to start small. That's where you are right now and you already know what to do next, so keep moving forward.

As the others have pointed out already, the best way to improve your English is to expose yourself to it as much as you can.

Whenever you have leisure time, find something to do in English. Chat with people on chatrooms, go and watch English movies, watch English Youtube movies, read children's books, go to places where native speakers are and talk to them.

If you still have the possibility, apply for a scholarship to an English/US/Canadian university and spend a year or more there.

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thank you for your nice answer. –  Sungguk Lim Oct 27 '11 at 14:48

Linguists have been studying this in the field of language acquisition and AFAIK the most effective way to learn and understand a language is to do anything you can do with that language outside of the classroom. This means that any of the following is more effective than going through mundane exercises in a class room (much to the chagrin of most education systems):

  • Watching a film with the spoken language, it's okay if has subtitles in your native language. A lot of countries that do teach English as secondary language but have low scores usually have a culture of voice dubbing the TV-shows. This is known from studies in language acquisition field to be the largest contributing factor in countries with high average scores on English tests.
  • Engaging yourself socially with other people with the language in real life conversations or on online chat rooms.
  • Play an English text adventure game such as Zork or the old Sierra On-Line adventure games. Sadly, such games are not made anymore.
  • Reading books, papers, or comics with the language for your own leisure
  • Writing texts, essays, papers, or blog with the language for your own leisure
  • Be coached in the language by a native speech trainer, to help you with those tricky phonemes

And as always the more practice and training you enjoy yourself in, the better you'll be at it.

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