Learning English is a popular idea among people from 2 to 102 years old all over the world. Why many people want to master the language of international communication, which unites 2 billion people, is understandable. But why doesn't the desire to learn English always end in success? What are the practical recommendations, methods that allow not only to start learning the language, but also to speak it? The components of success are motivation, regularity, effective technique, combination of different tactics.
Start learning English - why, how and when
Having decided to learn English, formulate a goal, estimate how much time you are willing to spend on learning, what type of lessons is closer to you. So you can choose the best technique and achieve results in a short time.
Motivation matters a lot when learning a language. Make a list of what you need English for in order of priority: prepare for a foreign university entrance exam, take part in a vocal competition among English-speaking performers, or chat on an international dating site. Meaningful goals increase motivation, help to cope with difficult moments that arise for any student. A clear goal will allow you to focus on aspects of the language that are important for achieving specific tasks, cut off unnecessary ones and save time.
There are many learning formats - from independent work, lessons on Skype with a tutor, working with the application, learning while watching a movie, to mastering the language through immersion. The independent method is the most difficult: control, evaluation of the results also falls on the student's shoulders, and it is not easy to understand weak areas without the help of a professional teacher or a person who knows the language at a high level. Group or individual lessons are much more effective for those who are learning English from scratch.
How to integrate learning English into the busy schedule of a modern person? We work, study in parallel, raise children, run in the morning, we want to have time to meet with friends in the evening and swim on the weekend. Where can I fit English? Choose a flexible program, there are corporate courses (three times a week the lunch break will be devoted to English, and a teacher for a group is cheaper than an individual teacher), one-to-one online lessons, self-study using video lessons, or something else. Any format will require regularity and effort: then you will feel a positive effect.
Top tips for learning English from scratch
- Start from the beginning - knowing the letters and sounds of the English language will help you learn how to read English words. Use listening, study transcription to deal with stress, the unusual phonetic system of a foreign language. It is the transcription that will help to understand how the letter is read in this context, what sound it forms in combination with others.
- Pronunciation is a difficult task for beginners, but without correct pronunciation it is impossible to speak English. Most of the sounds of English differ from Russian: in addition to transcription, use audio materials, videos, tongue twisters. At the first stage, control is important - to have time to correct an incorrectly delivered sound, to correct an error in a specific context. Those who are learning English from scratch are better off working with a teacher or native speaker at the initial stage.
- Learn words: vocabulary is the foundation of any language. The wider the vocabulary, the easier it is to understand the speech written in books, correspond in social networks and speak for yourself. It is optimal to study words in thematic blocks: a set of words for a specific situation (a trip to the store or to a doctor, an interview), a topic (my home, sports, hobby). Start with basic vocabulary: the name of household items, natural phenomena, animals, relatives, verbs denoting simple actions. Use illustrated tutorials and videos - they help connect visual memory, form associations with a visual image.
- Grammar is the backbone. To move from reading to self-building sentences, learn grammar rules. English grammar is difficult, there are many rules, so learn it gradually, moving from simple rules to complex ones so as not to get confused.
- Practice - it’s for practical use that you’re learning a language. From the very first steps, speak yourself, build basic phrases. As the vocabulary and grammar knowledge expands from one sentence, go to 2-3 on the chosen topic. For language practice, most of all you need an interlocutor - a teacher or a group, but if you are doing it on your own, say phrases to yourself, make up short dialogues. Follow this technique when working on your written speech. Having mastered the spelling of 20-30 words, start to make sentences and short texts.
- Phone apps are great helpers for those who are learning English from scratch on their own. Suitable for those who are able to organize their time: 15 minutes on the bus to spend on English instead of Instagram is within everyone's power. Applications differ markedly in purpose: some will allow you to learn new words, others will offer to listen to books in English with voice acting from famous actors. Look for apps with exercises to test your knowledge - something that self-learners of English need.
- Use the internet smartly. It is full of materials to help you learn the language, and in the open access: grammar schemes, transcription of sounds and sound combinations, dictionaries, audio files, ready-made lessons. If you are active on social networks, find interlocutors who speak English on forums or dating chats, try to leave comments in English to those who inspire you on Instagram, just thank you for the post, recipe or advice.