I hear many students say they spend hours studying English from a Textbook, written in their Native language. Yes, I know one student who used to go to English class where she spent less than 5 minutes in a 2-hour class speaking or reading English. She wondered why she was not learning the language. I know people who can read English perfectly but they have no idea what the are reading because they don´t know the meaning of the words. They have just learned to memorize the words. They wonder why they are unable to speak or understand other English speakers or to read a novel or Newspaper and know that the article is about and they wonder why they are failing their IELTS tests!
Check out these 5 tips for learning English
1. Listen: The more English you hear, the easier it will be for you to copy what you hear. Listening is the natural way to learn a language and is the way you learned your Native Language. Listen to Native Speakers and mimic what they say. Listen to movies, podcasts and spoken books, anything that gets you listening and that you enjoy listening to. Try active listening where you have to listen for certain words or you have to write down what was said.
2. Speak: The more you speak, the more comfortable you will feel about speaking. Start with easy things. Reading out loud and talking to yourself gets you used to hear yourself speak in your new language. Speak with Native speakers in the language, even if it is just to say hello. Just open your mouth and talk whenever you can.
3. Read: Reading, and reading out loud is great practice. You see and hear how the sentences are put together and how words are used. You will also increase your vocabulary. Read for enjoyment not because you have to.
4. Stop Translating. It is hard to stop yourself translating because you are naturally used to thinking in your native language BUT you must stop translating and start thinking in the language you are learning. If you keep translating you will slow down your fluency, not learn your new language as quickly as you want to and you will not be as confident as you want to be.
5. Stop worrying about making mistakes: Learning and practicing are all about making mistakes. If you don´t try you will never learn. Remember even if you do make a mistake it is your message is most important not whether you are saying it in perfect textbook English. If the other person understands you, it’s not important how many ´mistakes´ you make.
*If you wait to be perfect in the language you are learning before you risk speaking or writing in that language you will never speak or write in it.
*Don´t worry that you don´t know all the grammar or cannot use it perfectly. Native English speakers also do not use grammar perfectly.
Learing a language is like driving a car. We learn how to drive a car by doing it. We can make mistakes, we can drive too slowly or too fast but we learn how to drive it. Many of us don´t know what goes on under the bonnet/ hood of the car, how the engine works but it doesn´t matter as we can still drive the car. It is the same as using a language. We don´t need to know the types of grammar by name and exactly why we use it where we do. If you just listen, read and use the words and the way the words are used you will soon be using your new language.