English Faster

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To know how to learn English, it is important to realise that learning English (or any other language) requires familiarity with pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary and cultural contexts. In this article, author Nageeb Gounjaria gives some tips on how to learn English language by mastering these 4 essential features of language learning. 

1. Self-study, join a class or hire a private English tutor.

Self-study through audios and videos is helpful, especially for learning basic English vocabulary and grammar. However, they have their own limitations for teaching more advanced skills. 

Learning English in a classroom with a teacher remains more effective than self-learning, especially in small group situations. The teacher can provide cultural contexts that are an indispensable part of language learning, besides being able to simulate realistic daily life situations. But students need to have realistic expectations; it is not always possible for a teacher to cater to the individual needs of students in a group setting. 

Learning English with a private tutor is the best, tried and tested option for those who can afford it. Preferably an experienced English tutor with the skills to teach English as a Foreign Language and one who shares a similar language with you. Not only you'll spend less time looking up difficult words in the dictionary, you will also, through cross comparison, understand English grammar easier and faster. Most importantly, you will have someone who can guide you, motivate you, and share with you all the shortcuts so that you don't reinvent the wheel.

2. Build on what you already know.

A lot of words in your own language might be similar in spelling and meaning to English (they are called cognates) due to their Latin origin or through acceptance as loan words. By knowing these cognates, you can easily transfer and simply add an English pronunciation to them. You will have loads of English words that you never thought you knew and which you can put to immediate use.

3. Find a logical approach to learn English easily.

If you are not a young learner, it is easier to learn English by using a logical approach (although some aspects of the language might have no logic at all) - mainly through an intelligent organisation of information and memorisation techniques.

4. Create your own English vocabulary notebook.

It helps to create your own English vocabulary notebook. You can organise new English words that you learn under related Themes (e.g. Food) and further categorise then into People (chef, waiter), Nouns (drinks, bread), Adjectives (delicious, crunchy), Adverbs (nice, a lot) and Verbs (eat, drink). For an easier retrieval of information, you can number all the pages in the notebook, and create an Index containing a detailed list of the Themes with page numbers next to them.

5. Set some milestones and take a English Proficiency Test.

Learning English for fun is exciting, but many give up along the way, especially when they hit a wall and don't know how to improve. To keep track of your progress and measure yourself at an international level, it is good to take an English proficiency test such as YLE, KET, PET, CAE, TOEFL, IELTS, TOEIC, ACTFL, BULATS, etc. Taking any of these English proficiency tests at various stages of learning will give you more confidence to keep learning and improving.

Publication date: June 2015

Article URL: https://www.englishfaster.org/how-to-learn-english

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