Recently came to Moscow Raymond Murphy, the author of the hit, plain and practical English grammar tutorials English Grammar in Use, Essential English Grammar in Use etc. is Also in Use. Writing them, Murphy made his fortune and is now engaged in re-releases, adaptations, clipping coupons. How to get great tutorials and what kind of person the author – judge for yourself: before you record a meeting of the idol of Russian English teachers from the Moscow journalists in a bookstore «England».
– Short CV, please.
– My parents were Irish. Murphy is the same typical Irish name as you… What’s you’re name?
I was born in the South of England, there grew up and went to school, then at University College Dublin he studied history and political science. And had no idea what to do next. I studied not very well and was not going to be a teacher. That is absolutely.
The only thing I wanted was to travel. And the best way to travel for those who speak English is to travel, teaching English. The fact it was set so that it is possible to go without special education. I got a job and went to Germany, so some students had to suffer through this a few months before I even understood something about their native language. And I realized that I did not know. But teaching adults is quite possible. You can even communicate with them outside of school hours, which I did. I lived in Hamburg.
And what the British and teach around the world without preparation?
– Well, no, since the quality of teacher training has increased significantly, they are now required to be qualified, they have become more professional.
So, I decided to get fully qualified history teacher — I on a speciality never worked. Qualified and then picked up again for the teaching of English in Germany. I think I’ll work a little more in pleasure, and then to high school to teach history. Married. He returned to England. Got a job to teach English. All thought, well here’s a little bit popradu and middle school. And finally realized what I need to do, got a qualification of teacher of English, and since doing this, and in Oxford, where I live.
And why did you come to write the books – not enough of those that have?
— The fact that I had students from all continents. And they all came to Britain only for a very short time — so this time should be spent as efficiently as possible, that is, to learn to communicate in the language. But grammar can be learned and at home, what’s the point to go to England to practice grammar. And, besides, we all have our own problems with grammar — that it’s hard for you, poses no problems for ten other students, so why the whole group should do it? In General, there is an urgent need to make the materials for independent work — so I can give everyone what he needs, and he would work at home. So he developed a series of exercises with answers, and all that was left in the library.
Finally gathered some materials and sent them to several publishers asking whether they are interested. Two immediately said no, and one is interested — Cambridge University Press. They first released one of my book, then the other. And the book has gone successfully — so much so that ten years ago I began to reduce the hours of teaching, and then completely stopped.
No, it’s just all the same and life there should be, in the world there are still family, home, TV, finally. And you come home from lessons and sit down to write.
So when I could afford it — books were sold, send some money, and I was engaged in the preparation of new editions, adapting to other languages — Italian, Spanish, will soon be ready adaptation to German, French, there are translations in Chinese and Korean. In Russian adaptation yet. Adapted to American English — they called it Basic Grammar in Use. Please note, they are still thrown out of the title word English — anyone still doubt what language they speak?
Now a few words about yourself, please. Family, children, personal life?
— No kids, have a cat. I love travel. Bad play tennis. What else is interesting?
What is the secret behind the popularity of your books?
I think I just got lucky. And then, I can only tell you what I have in mind these books — and it turned out that, not for me to judge.
— At what age and what kind of readers they are intended?
Is from sixteen and older. This is a book for students, first and foremost. Not for teachers. Not for use in the classroom.
— Yes? And we have her take lessons for a sweet soul.
But I didn’t mean that. I wrote books for the classroom. It is not for scientists, not for grammatical. I tried to use terminology to be simpler, closer to the students — I still remember quite well.
— What are the main difficulties in teaching foreigners?
It depends on the foreigners. First of all, their level of language knowledge — at every level of their difficulties. If teachers want my advice — that advice. Get ready for the lesson very carefully. Well find out their students. And relax — no need to worry too much.
The easiest language is those who he was closest in build and origin — less they all have to learn. The Germans and Scandinavians; in the Netherlands, English is just a second language.
— What advice would you give to those who teach the language itself?
— To whom exactly?
Well… the average student.
— No, you give me the student and I advise him.
— (Pleading) But in General?
— In teaching a foreign language does not happen in common. In life there is General, it consists of particulars.
— (Persistently) Well, after all?
Oh. (Doomed) practice makes perfect. It is necessary to read the language, not to read about the language. I would also advise to concentrate on speaking. Even with yourself to speak — to stand in the mirror and tell myself mirror his life story. Tell yourself whatever you need to tell others when the time comes to tell others, you will not be desperate to find the words. Treat yourself to self-discipline homework — every day, for example, write a diary in a foreign language.
Is this your first time in Russia?
Second. I first visited in 1972.
Who invited you?
— Yes, no. Sam came. I was on vacation in Finland, and there is Petersburg near here and went there for five days. Now you will ask me about the experience.
— Answer. «Moscow is the most beautiful city in the world.» (Laughter in the hall).
— What are you laughing at? Honestly — I was surprised by the amount of color in the city. I didn’t expect it to be colored. Colored home, suddenly a lot of trees. Said that it’s not safe — I believe it completely.
— What do you recommend for those who want to go on language courses in the UK?
UK is a bad country to learn the language. We don’t have a culture of language learning and teaching. I prefer America, and there it put the matter more seriously. England definitely don’t need to come to the beginners. I always terribly sorry. And then, some courses may not be particularly good in terms of food and amenities. But children, for example, gather together and organize themselves for fun so it anyway well.
— Don’t you miss teaching?
— NO! People — Yes. For this class — no. I do not write for lessons and for independent study, so my own experience learning other languages — a useful and still ongoing experience.
— And what languages you speak?
No I do not own. You speak German on a decent level on average — on a good day, but with a light drink. A little French, Italian, Spanish and all the other mixed, entangled.
— How is your Russian?
— You know, I taught Russian at school in 1963. Then it was fashionable. Optionally, instead of lunch. Learned the alphabet. But if you expect me to get you something in Russian to say — alas, nothing clever you will not hear.