How to learn English well Some useful notes and ways for improving yo
Feb 20, 2012 English Language Learning (ELL) 2728 Views
How to learn English well
Some useful notes and ways for improving your English.
Shaahin Ahmadi shad, Mahsa Bahrami
All around the world , students of all ages are learning to speak English , but their reasons for wanting to study English can differ greatly. Some students only learn English because it is on the curriculum at primary or secondary level, but for others , studying the language reflects some kind of a choice .Many people learn because they have moved into a target- language community. Many people learn English because they think it will be useful in some way for international communication and travel. The purposes students have for learning will have an effect on what it is they want and need to learn – and as a result will influence what they are taught.(Jeremy Haremr 2007).
English is an international language, which is spoken in international events and is used as the medium of transferring information flow on science. Technology, and culture as well. Research has shown that every human being has his or her own way of learning and that students do not learn as well when that style is thwarted. Many teachers are aware that their students favor different learning styles.
All English learners want to improve their English, but as you know, it can be difficult! For you to learn, you need to work on all areas. The four main areas for you to focus on are: Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening. Here are some proven ways to help you learn.
Reading English is something you can do to help you learn on your own, outside of the classroom. Have a dictionary with you (English/English is best.) to look up new words and then write them down in a notebook. Try to use these new words in conversation it's a great way to learn.
Newspapers are good for higher level students, so for lower levels try reading children’s stories or books which have been especially written for English learners. You won’t learn much if you choose a book that is too difficult or too easy. You should find something that will be challenging, fun and you can learn well from.
When you read don’t worry about trying to understand every world, don’t keep reaching for the dictionary every few seconds! Instead, try and understand the general meaning of the text first and then re-read it for more detail. For words you don’t understand, try learning how to guess the meaning from the context. Look at the other words in the sentence; they will give you clues as to its meaning. Check to see if the English word is a verb, a noun or an adjective. The internet is full of stuff you can read and learn from.
Try keeping a diary; write something in English in it every day, even if it’s very simple. Start with small sentences and make them longer. Again, the internet is a great way to help. Try to make friends online, visit chat rooms, forums, or post comments on blogs. These are all useful tools for you to learn well from.
Writing gives you a good chance to review words you have learned in the past, and allows you the time to think about grammar as you write. Go back and review anything you might have written in the past, when your English was at a lower level, and try to find any mistakes you made.
Think about writing a short story or even a poem; if you have a teacher, he or she, will be happy to check it for you.
Speak as often and as much as possible! This is the best way to learn English! There is nothing better than conversation to help you improve. Whereas, you can practice reading, writing, and listening on your own, it’s obviously better to speak English with someone. The best way to do this is to be in an English speaking environment. Take an English course in an English language school, or better still, learn English in an English speaking destination.
The quickest way to learn English is to surround yourself with English speakers. Also, get into the habit of thinking in English, don’t translate from your own language into English, it will slow you down. When you talk, use the sentences which instantly and naturally feel right to you, these are often the correct ones. Many students learn to develop an ‘intuition’ about English, use yours and trust it.
This might sound a little strange and embarrassing at first, but record yourself talking and listen to your own pronunciation, talking speed and the flow of your speaking. It will give you a great chance to see the areas you need to work on. Finally, it’s fun to sing in English, so learn some English songs and sing your heart out!
This really is a skill that needs to be worked on everyday. Like speaking, it’s better for you to be in a totally English speaking environment. Full immersion is the best way for you to improve your level. Again, nothing can beat learning at an English language school abroad.
It’s also good to watch TV shows, or movies in English. The news can be difficult to learn from for level students, but the more you listen the more you’ll pick up. As an exercise, it’s good to have something you can listen to over and over again . For example, a DVD can be repeated whereas a news report can only be heard once. When listening to something more than once; first, try to catch the general meaning, then, listen a second time for more in-depth information.
Learn to ’shadow’ using a DVD or CD, listen and repeat what you hear said. It’s important to remember that a native English speaker is not going to repeat something 10 times for you to understand, so as a long to term goal, you must focus on learning to get your listening right first time.
3.1 25 Ways to Learn English
Here are 25 things (in no particular order) for you to think about for improving your English.
1. Don`t be afraid to make mistakes. Be confident. People can only correct your mistakes when they hear you make them.
2. Practice every day. Make yourself a study plan. Decide how much time a week you are going to spend studying and stick to it. Establish a routine.
3. Practice the 4 core skills: reading, writing, speaking and listening. They all need to be worked on for you to improve.
4. Use your body clock. If you`re not a morning person, study in the afternoon.
5. Saying that, it`s better not to study just to take a test. Think of the bigger picture. What can you do when you have a good command of English? How will the quality of your life improve?
6. Figure out how you learn. It can be by memorising, reading, speaking, summarising or other methods. Find out how you study best. It can be in a quiet place by yourself or with a group.
7. Review! Review! Review! Make sure that you take the time to review things you have studied in the past.
8. Don`t be in such a hurry to move up a level. Concentrate on the level you are at now.
9. Read graded readers. These books are especially written for your level. Read a whole novel. You can do it! You`ll feel great afterwards.
10. Children`s books have easier words and are a good alternative to graded readers.
11. Read for the general meaning first. Don`t worry about understanding every word, then go back and look up new words.
12. When you learn a new word, think of all its other forms: Beautiful (adjective), beauty (noun), beautifully (adverb).
13. English, unlike Japanese or French, uses word stress. For new words, count the syllables and find where the stress is. Only one stress per word and always on a vowel. Two syllable verbs have a stress on the second syllable (beGIN). 2 syllable nouns (TEAcher) and adjectives (HAPpy) stress the first.
14. . Don`t translate into English from your own language. Think in English to improve your fluency. Talk to yourself…but not on the bus otherwise people will think you have gone crazy!
15. Keep an eye on your punctuation as it can totally change what you`re trying to say. Check out the difference in meaning between these two sentences: “A woman without her man is nothing” and “A woman: without her, man is nothing”.
16. Nobody likes to hear their own voice, but be brave and try it! Record your voice and listen to your pronunciation and intonation. It will help you to identify your problem areas.
17. Use an English/English dictionary as it will help you to keep thinking in English and not translating. If an English/English dictionary seems scary, there are learner`s dictionaries for English students of your level.
18. Keep yourself motivated by looking back at the textbooks and CDs you used in the past. You`ll be surprised at how easy they seem to you now! Congratulations, your level is improving!
19. You are never too young or too old to start learning English. Don`t make excuses not to learn. What are you waiting for?
20.If you haven`t gotten the results you wanted yet, it`s not because you`re bad at languages, it`s because you haven`t found your own special way of learning yet.
21. There are many types of English: British, American, South African and so on. None of these are wrong or not as important. English is English.
22. Keep it up! If you take a break from speaking English, you will find that your level decreases and all your hard work has been wasted.
23. Remember, the way we write English is not the same as how it`s pronounced. For example ``Ough‟ has over 6 pronunciations. Familiarise yourself the Phonetic Alphabet. It will help you correctly pronounce words in the dictionary.
24. Idioms can be difficult to memorise, but they are great fun to use and they‟ll make your English more colourful.
25. M.U.R.D.E.R… What? It stands for the words, mood, understand, recall, digest, expand and review. All of these are great tips for learning.