English Language Learning Tips

Published: 04th April 2011
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Many people ask the question - How long does it take to learn another language? The answer to that is - How much time do you have?



Obviously the more time you study the quicker you will learn. It is also important to speak the language as much as possible even if you make a mistake.



Here are some English language learning tips that will help you to learn English:



English Language Learning Tip 1



The FIRST thing you should do is to listen to and study the PRONUNCIATION of the language. My advice to you is to get this right from day one! Spend time on Spend time on this now and the rest of your study for the rest of your learning period will benefit greatly!



Some languages are phonetic, some are not. Phonetic means that the sounds and the letters of the words always match. There are international phonetic symbols that teach you how to pronounce all the sounds in all of the world languages.



The English language is not a phonetic language. It is ESSENTIAL to first learn the phonetic symbols that relate to the sounds of English words. It is certainly possible to learn English without any knowledge of these phonetic symbols but your learning time will be much longer and most times your pronunciation will be inaccurate inaccurate as you are relying on memorising the sounds of the words for the most part of your learning, just as you had to do as a baby.



I absolutely recommend the learning of the phonetic symbols for learners of English before you open your first grammar or reading book! If you can learn the CORRECT pronunciation at the beginning, it will save you a a lot of extra learning time later. It is much harder to undo wrong learning and have to relearn the word correctly.



I have written a book(including audio CD)that will help you to learn phonetics. "It is called Phonetics for Learners of English Pronunciation"(more information on this at the end of this page).

If you have already started studying English but need some help with pronunciation this book will still help you!





English Language Learning Tip 2



It is better to study a minimum of 20 mins every day than to study one hour per week.





English Language Learning Tip 3



The methods for learning any language are:

Listening

Speaking

Reading

Writing



This is how you learned your own language as a baby! You have proved you can learn one language - you CAN learn another!



However, as a baby you first listened, then copied saying the sounds, then you learned how to read and write. Some language experts say that you do not fully learn your own native language until about the age of 12 -15 years old!



As an adult you have the advantage of being able to read and write already so your learning of another language should be a lot faster!





English Language Learning Tip 4



Listen:

Cassette tapes and CDs that accompany workbooks

Audio books

Songs

Native speakers

Radio and television (news and documentary programmes have the better pronunciation without slang as in some regular programmes).





English Language Learning Tip 5



Read! Read! Read! This is probably the easiest study method as you can do this at your own pace, in your own time and at your own level.



Reading sources:

Course Books (these will probably be the first type of books you will read)

Leaflets

Brochures

Timetables

Menus

Magazines (good for short stories, advertisements etc)

Graded Reading Books (these books are specially written for each of the learning levels)

Newspapers (they may be difficult at first - but persevere!).





English Language Learning Tip 6



Writing: Writing is a powerful way to learn a language. All my language students who wrote an essay every week to give me to correct, learned English much faster than the students who never wrote, and some not even notes in class!



Every time you look up a word in the dictionary you should write this word in a small pocket notebook, small enough to keep in your pocket or handbag along with your pocket dictionary, so that you can use it at all times and all places (eg standing waiting for the bus! ). (See Memorising Vocabulary Tips).





English Language Learning Tip 7



Speaking: Now you are ready to put it all together and start SPEAKING! Try to do this as soon as possible and dont be afraid to make a mistake. If it is a bad bad mistake a native speaker will soon tell you. However a native speaker will not wont always tell you your mistakes! A native speaker will not always understand the grammar of their own language. (Do you?). So may not be able to explain your mistakes but just give you the correct answer.



It is best to do some study with a recognised language school. If you are studying with a private teacher, request to see his/her qualifications. Just because someone is a native speaker of a language doesn't make him. Her a qualified teacher! He/she must have some kind of teaching qualification AND an EFL (English as a foreign language) teaching qualification.



Ways you can practise speaking:

Speak to a professionally qualified native teacher as much as possible. This is the main best source you have as you will learn the correct way from the beginning.



Other students in your class (do NOT be tempted to speak your own native language during class time!)



With native speakers that you might know, or advertise for language exchange!



Visit the native language country so that you can practise with native speakers.



If possible, go and study and or work in the native language country. Obviously the longer you can stay, the better. In six months you should be at least intermediate level and in one year you should aim for fluency, that is, if you stay and mix with native speakers for the entire duration of your stay. DO NOT be tempted to stay with people of your own nationality. You may as well be studying at home and your progress will be much slower!





Helpful Resource for you:

Phonetics for Learners of English Pronunciation



Contact me if you have any questions and I will be happy to help.




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