Learning English as a second language can be a challenging task. But once you get the hang of it, every effort and time you spend studying the language will be worth it. By being fluent in English, travelling will be more fun. Also, you don’t have to wait for the latest best-selling book or Hollywood movie to be translated in your native language to enjoy them. To help you in this endeavour, here are some practical tips on how to learn English effectively.
1. Study phrases not words
When you study English, or any language for that matter, you shouldn’t learn individual words because memorising them makes no sense without context. Instead, you should study whole phrases. Memorising the meaning of words is much easier if you know what they mean and how they are used in a sentence.
2. Learn by listening
While reading textbooks can help you learn the English language, you mustn’t rely solely on them. Textbooks are great for teaching you about grammar and vocabulary, but they may not be too much of a help when it comes to carrying out a conversation. If you want to learn how to speak English, learn by listening and not by reading. By listening more, you’ll be able to learn useful vocabulary and grammar without even realising or memorising them.
3. Prioritise quality over quantity
When it comes to learning any language, it’s all about quality over quantity. Instead of learning dozens of new words in a short time, you should focus on learning one word and repeating it dozens of time. This prevents you from suffering from information overload. In addition, this strategy allows you to place the meaning of words and phrases deeper into your brain. As a result, you won’t forget them easily.
4. Learn grammar with “point of view” stories
One of the best ways to learn grammar is to listen to short stories told in various tenses. This will help you improve your English grammar automatically and more naturally. For example, if a story starts with “I don’t like banana but I want to eat one,” the other story should be “I didn’t like bananas but I wanted to eat one.”
5. Listen and answer, not listen and repeat
If you want to improve your English, don’t use the strategy used by English textbooks, which is to “repeat after the speaker.” Instead of mindlessly parroting the words or phrases spoken by the speaker, you should answer questions asked. For example, if you’re listening to a podcast or video, pause it every 20 to 30 seconds and create a brief summary of what has been said.