杨澜的外语为什么这么好? 何振梁为什么可以掌握多国语言? 李扬的疯狂英语魅力何在? 北外胡文仲教授通过跟你聊亲身经历的事情,告诉你一些learning strategies。

Be a thinking learner
Be a thinking learner. Find strategies suitable for yourself. Constantly reflect on your study and sum up your experience. Improve your strategies. Now from the story that we have heard, that we have related, we can see that good language learners often think a lot while they are learning. They try out different strategies and then they try to find out if it works for them or not. Which one works for them, and which one doesn’t. And then they decide on the one that works best.(大师强调,我们要做一个学英语的“有心人”。我们应该在学习过程中不断尝试各种方法,并摸索出最适合自己的一套方法。)

Beiwai's past experience
Beiwai has got a lot of experience in training students to learn English well and to communicate. When I was a student here, we used to organise a lot of oral activities. We used to keep a piece of paper in the pocket. And then everybody has a card in the pocket. If you happened to speak Chinese, then I'll write it down. So you'll lose a point. And if you speak English, you'll gain a point. So a few of my fellow students who were very shy and didn't want to speak would try to get away from people so that they would not speak Chinese (English?). And in class there're often speaking pairs and also small group activities. Reading aloud contests are often organized. And then there's an English evening at the end of each term. As you know, there're are still English evenings organized, but not as often as before. By the way, YangLan used be a hostess of English evenings organized here. So probably YangLan learned her first experience on the stage from hosting the English evenings here. Field work, and also summing up learning methods and exchange experiences.(大师回忆了自己在北外的上学经历。口袋里揣着小纸条、小卡片,随时随地寻找练习六合彩白小姐的机会。而大家众所周知的北外毕业生杨澜,在校期间就多次担任英语晚会的节目主持人。她的舞台之路应该就是从北外开始的。)


Be a good guesser
Be a good guesser. Guessing, in a way, is learning. Why do you guess? Because you are curious. And curiosity, is very important for learning new things. If you are not curious about anything, then probably you can't really learn. So guessing is learning. And curiosity is one of the probably motivating forces for learning. You may make a wrong guess, but you learn in the process. It doesn’t matter if you make a wrong guess. But you don't make wild guesses. You use your previous knowledge to make an intelligent guess. (胡教授指出,保持强烈的好奇心,并且依据已有的知识做出合理的猜测和推断,是学好一门语言的好方法。)

Now here I'd like to tell you a story about someone whose name is very familiar to you, He Zhenliang. I think this name is familiar to all Chinese now. Because he was ..er..instrumental, he was a great help in getting Beijing win the bid for 2008 Olympics. He used to be a member of the International Olympic Committee, IOC. Later he became vice-president of IOC, next to Mr. Samaranch. In 1976, there was a table tennis championship held in Pyongyang, North Korea, he was one of the leaders of Chinese delegation. And I was a young interpreter working for the World Table-tennis Conference. None of us knew any Korean. The interpreters were provided by North Korea. So when we went anywhere, we would have the North Korea interpreters translate things for us. After the conference, we went sightseeing, we went to金钢山,板门店,and we also went to see various parts of Pyongyang. When it was half way though the trip, one day, Mr. He Zhenliang called the North Korean interpreter to his side and pointed to the Korean characters. He said, “Does this character pronounce something like this?” And then he said one sound, and the interpreter said yes. “Does this sound like this?” And the interpreter said yes even more surprised. “And what about this, does it sound like this?” He said, “Yes, so you know Korean! I didn’t know you could speak Korean.” Mr. He said, “No, I do not know a word of Korean. But from what you read, I guessed Korean language is an alphabetical language. There’re some consonants and some vowels. So I guessed these are the consonants, these are the vowels. So I made them up and pronounced them. All of us were amazed. Because all of us were with the group all the time and I was a young interpreter and a teacher. But I paid no attention to what the Korean were reading, while they were reading Korean characters. But Mr. He Zhenliang worked out the phonetic system nearly after about ten days. So of course Mr. He Zhenliang was both good at English and French. His first foreign language is French, second foreign language is English. But his ability, his curiosity and also his ability to guess intelligently really astonished us. So no wonder he became vice-president of IOC. I think he has a lot of qualities that we are not aware of. So from this example I really admired him even more. At that time, he wasn't on the IOC. He was only one of the leaders of the Chinese Sports Commission.

Don't be shy
Don't be shy. Now this I've learned from LiYang. I used to go to I used to take walks along the little river behind our university. And every morning I would hear a young man shouting something. I couldn’t hear clear at first, so I went closer and I listened hard. And I found that he was shouting, “Don’t be shy, just try! Don’t be shy, just try...” I thought why did he shout like that. I didn’t know this came from LiYang’s class. Is that right? That’s right, later I found in CCTV program that LiYang told people, “Don’t be shy, just try!” So here I’ve learned from LiYang, don’t be shy. Take the initiative to communicate with people. Don’t worry about your “face”, and learn to speak in public. (胡教授十分认同李扬疯狂英语中Don't be shy, just try的理念。练习一门语言就是不能惧怕丢脸。)

最后,胡教授强调大家一定要有强烈的交流欲望。Have a strong drive to communicate.Talk to your fellow student, your teachers, your foreign teachers or anyone who wishes to listen to you. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. If you have no one to talk to, talk to yourself. Of course talking to yourself is very boring or could be very boring. It’s not the best method. I don not recommend it highly. I think you should really try to find a partner. There is an English Corner and you can go to the English Corner and communicate with others. 能找伙伴就找伙伴,实在找不到就自己对自己说。

Practice as much as you can.胡教授期待我们每个人都成为一个good language learner。



Encountering the Chinese (与Neal Grove 合著,美国Intercultural Press,1991年)



1990年被授予悉尼大学名誉文学博士学位(Hon. D.Litt.)
2004年被授予墨尔本大学名誉教授级研究员(Hon. Professorial Fellow)。


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