5 Simple Tips for Learning English the Easy Way
Whenever you are learning something new – whether it is a second language such as English, quadratic equations or learning how to drive a car for the first time – you need to find the learning style that works best for you.
Different people learn in different ways. Some people are auditory learners. In other words, they absorb material best when they really concentrate on what they are hearing. Others are visual learners. These people learn best by looking at the material and processing what they are seeing. Still others are tactile learners who need to work with something with their hands or stimulate their sense of touch in other ways. Similarly language learners also need to find the style that best suits them.
Today, there are tremendous personal as well as professional benefits of learning English as second language. Here are 5 tried and tested easy ways to help all English language learners to build a strong command over English language.
Tip Number 1 – Determine Your Learning Style
To facilitate learning English, the easiest way is to figure out which learning style works best for you. Try out a lot of different styles – listening to audio recordings with no visuals, watching movies or television shows in English, picking up flash cards or other tactile tools that can help you learn faster – and pay attention to which ones you are drawn to more.
It’s also possible to have more than one learning style. For example, you may be a visual and audio learner. Or you could be a tactile and visual learner. It all depends on your personal learning style.
Tip Number 2 – Using Media to Your Advantage
One of the best things about the widespread use of the Internet is that most people have access to practically any type of media instantly and, in most cases, for free.
When learning a new language such as English, it’s helpful to immerse yourself in the language. If you have the time and money, that could mean traveling somewhere where English is the primary language and spending time exclusively in the company of native English speakers.
That may work fine for the super rich, but what about the rest of us?
Go online and download English language versions of your favorite type of entertainment. This could be television comedies, cartoons, news programs, movies or whatever you like. Next watch the programs in English without subtitles in your native language. This will force you to pay attention to what is being said on the screen rather than simply reading along at the bottom.
Your mind will be forced to put the English words you are hearing into the context of what you are seeing. This allows you to make associations naturally and will enrich your English vocabulary. It’s very similar to the way you learned your native language in the first place.
Tip Number 3 – The “Weird Memory” Trick
Another easy way to learn English is to use a weird memory trick that actually works. Think about something that you really like a lot. It could be your favorite movie, an episode of your favorite television show, a song, poem or book.
Then, over the course of a couple of days, go back and watch, listen to or read whatever your favorite thing is until you have practically memorized it. This works best if you start with something you already know by heart, such as movie dialogue you can recite from memory.
Next, find the English language version of your favorite thing. Play that and listen carefully to the English words. Do it again. And another time. And again until you begin to make associations with the dialogue you know in your language with the English translation.
Pretty soon you will be able to recite the dialogue in English from memory just the same way you could in your native language.
Tip Number 4 – Beat the Clock
Some people learn best when they are under a little bit of pressure. So to improve your English skills, you can add an element of tension to the process to stimulate your mind.
Find an English language news or sports program that has a running ticker at the bottom of the screen. Channels such as CNN, CNBC, ESPN will often have a creeping line of text continually running at the bottom of the picture.
Watch the ticker and try to translate the words as they go flashing by. This will be difficult at first because the creeping line moves fast and you can’t back it up and go back. But this added element of pressure will force you to pay close attention and eventually you will be able to read the words more easily.
This is a great way to practice your English skills even after you have become fluent in the language as well.
Tip Number 5 – Interact Online with English Speakers
Do you have a hobby or something you are passionate about? If so, find an online chat room, forum or Google Hangouts devoted to that subject. Given the size and scope of the web, there is certain to be at least one. Make sure it is one where most people speak English.
Interact with the English-speaking people who share your hobby or interest. It will be easier to talk with them because you already have something in common. You can simply listen at first, but when you are confident enough, you can try out your English.
This is a great way to immerse yourself in English because it’s like having English speaking friends that you can chat comfortably with as long as you like and for free, even if they are on the other side of the world.
These English language learning tips were recommended to us by John Smith on behalf of Bangkok’s Language Express, an English language and exam preparation school.
What are the other strategies for learning English as a foreign language that you have found useful ? Waiting to hear in comments!