TIPS ON LEARNING ENGLISH
We would like to offer a few suggestions we hope you will find useful and interesting.
When learning a foreign language, we know it can be exciting, motivating, rewarding and fun but inevitably, at times, it can also be discouraging, frustrating and difficult — it is a bit like a roller coaster. Don't worry, these are perfectly normal feelings and they are part of the language-learning process, so try to be patient, don't be too hard on yourself and even if you're at a point where you feel that you are not moving ahead, you are still learning and progressing!
And now some tips:
1. Repetition: Don't worry if you've heard the same word 10 times or more and still cannot remember it. You will notice that some words will come easily to you and others not. There is nothing wrong with repetition. You will need a lot. It's normal. Repetition is an important element in acquiring a foreign language.
2. Listening: Studies have shown that a person needs hundreds of hours of listening to develop his/her comprehension. Your ear needs to be trained to recognize the new sounds of the language. Internet is a wonderful resource where you can find many interesting audio links for both British English and American English, such as:
An excellent site offering videos and recordings of news stories, in English. Good for intermediates but also for beginners:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/ - to listen to the news from the BBC
—The Voice of America
The VOA's page of news items in English:
—National Public Radio
Listen to news broadcasts and in-depth analyses:
A very good source of sound files for listening to the news in English and for pronunciation:
A site with a lot of links to sound files that will provide a lot of practice listening to English:
http://esl.about.com/od/englishlistening/English_Listening_Skills_and_ActivitiesEffective_Listening_Practice.htmhttp://esl.about.com/od/englishlistening/a/intro_podcasts.htm — lots of links to podcasts in English.
An excellent place to find all kinds of resources for listening to English:
If you live in an English speaking country, watch English TV and listen to English radio stations! Watching TV and other video sources is a very good way of improving your English.
3- Read the local ads and newspapers: Challenge yourself with some reading and observe the sentence constructions. It doesn't matter if you just understand a little bit of it, but what's interesting is analyzing the word order, the tenses being used, the idiomatic expressions, etc…
4. Let the salesperson speak to you :-): If you live in a country where telephone marketing is a fact of life, you will undoubtedly get several phone calls a week from someone trying to sell something. We remember speaking with a student who made us laugh when she told us: “I love it when a salesman calls me! I see it as an opportunity to learn English!” She is right… The salesperson wants to sell, therefore, he or she will likely be more patient and pleasant over the phone.
5. Go to the local stores, attend fairs and festivals, and also use the local services, etc.
Many foreigners hesitate to go to the hairdresser, for example. Some even wait to return home again in order to get a haircut! This is too bad, as chatting a little with the hairdresser may be an excellent way to pick up some new expressions. Again these people are usually friendly, and they want to please their customers. There is no reason why it shouldn't go well. And they will also probably even pay more attention to make sure that your hairstyle is exactly what you want because their reputation is at stake! Usually they will show you pictures of various hair styles so you can choose the one you want. You will see, this might be a fun experience, and you will want to go back!
6. Don't worry about annoying, insulting or embarrassing anyone: If you start your conversations by saying that your English is not very good, "I'm sorry!", then you've warned them and you should feel more confident in speaking. Americans or Brits will appreciate the fact that you are trying and will most likely help you and even offer some polite corrections for any mistakes you may make.
These tips can all be very helpful, but most importantly, don't be afraid to speak and to involve other English speaking people you meet in your language learning!
While speaking to an English speaker, ask him or her if your sentence is correct? Did you use the right tense? How do you say...? What is this called?, etc. Involve others in your learning experience!
And, if you are planning on moving to England, the United States or any other Anglophone country, or you've already moved, and you wish to make some new friends, we can suggest inviting your neighbors to have a before-dinner drink or a cup of tea or even lunch or dinner. Sharing good food is a great way to practice the language, learn new cultural patterns and make new friends.