Learning English? Here are Some Straight Forward Tips!

Greetings, polyglots! So this post is for all my friends out there who are learning English! I’m going to give some tips for those of you learning English. Before I start, there is one thing I have to say: ENGLISH MAKES ALMOST NO SENSE! It is a combination of so many different languages that sometimes it feels like the grammar just said f*ck it and did whatever it felt like doing. That can be a real challenge for people learning English because it seems like there are no concrete rules, everything kind of changes on a case by case basis.

You must understand that not everything in English can be explained. Some things just are the way they are and you will just have to accept it. But you can do it! No matter what the reason is for learning English, you can master it with practice, practice, practice and more practice. So let’s get started!

 

Stop Translating!

This sounds crazy, but let me explain. I had a Chinese student tell me that he was worried about taking an important test that is in English because he would have to translate from English to Chinese in his head, then solve the problems. This way of thinking is WRONG. As soon as you have enough vocabulary to use, you should stop translating from English to your language IMMEDIATELY. What you need to do is if you see a word you don’t know, use an ENGLISH dictionary and look up the meaning in ENGLISH and look at the ENGLISH examples. Only translate the word to your own language if you truly do not understand the English meaning. You need to learn to think in English. To do this, you must remove your dependence on your own language. Will it make you uncomfortable? Yes. But it is necessary.

 

Learn How to Watch Movies and TV Shows

You shouldn’t just watch a television show or movie in English and let it play while you cook or wash dishes, you must actively engage. What do I mean by that? I mean, you must STUDY the movie or television show. Sit down, choose a movie or tv show, then watch the first five minutes. Stop watching and write down any new words. Study these new words. Then return to the movie/tv show and shadow the speaker. That means, repeat after the speakers within that five minutes. When you feel like you have remembered all these new words and phrases, keep watching until you finish the movie or tv show.

Watching movies and tv shows is EXTREMELY valuable when learning English, but only when you do it right.

Get Used to Being Wrong (A lot)

English is a weird language. Often times, the way you think something should be said is not how it is said at all. So you need to accept that you will make many mistakes and that’s okay! Make LOTS of mistakes, correct them and move on! No one is perfect!

 

Do Not Compare Yourself to Others

One thing that a lot of language learners do is compare themselves to other language learners. They say “Wow, he learns so much faster than me!” or “I’ll never be as good as her.” You must stop thinking these things. The goal in learning English is not to compare yourself to other learners, they are different people, think differently and may have different advantages and disadvantages than you. You must always try to be better than your own previous self. Improving and comparing your studies to where you were earlier.

 

Prioritize Vocabulary then Grammar

English has MILLIONS of words and if you want to express yourself clearly, you need to learn as many as you can. One of the biggest difference between good speakers and great speakers is how many vocabulary words they remember, even if you don’t know how to put a sentence together, having the right vocabulary words will help you express what you’re trying to say. So once you have vocabulary, learn how to put them into correct sentences. You can do this by talking to native speakers, asking questions or watching movies. Remember, deepen your vocabulary as much as you can. Don’t be satisfied with what you know. Try to learn more everyday.

 

Practice Pronunciation Over and Over Again

English pronunciation is quite difficult for many English learners. The sound combinations can be tough to learn, but it is important that you do. If you want to be clear when speaking English practice pronunciation every single day. Try shadowing native speakers (repeating after them) and making the sounds EXACTLY as they do. Record yourself and compare it to a native speaker as well. But most importantly, exaggerate (emphasize) every sound you make until it becomes natural. Don’t be lazy! Slow down and emphasize every single sound to make sure you are pronouncing it correctly. You can practice this with native speakers!

 

Okay, that’s all my tips! I hope it was helpful to you! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me: lilidoescriticallanguages@gmail.com! Do you have any other English learning tips to share?

Happy learning!

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