Our recent infographic showed the benefits to your brain that learning a language can have, while this article showed how to optimise your brain’s ability to learn by ensuring you get enough exercise, sleep and, rather surprisingly, laughter! But what are the best ways to actually go about learning English?
Learning a language is markedly different to memorising historical facts or a complicated maths problem. As a result, you may need to experiment to find which of the following tips work to improve your English learning.
Talk it out
You’re never going to get better at speaking English unless you practise using it. If you have a colleague, friend or family member who already speaks the language fluently, ask them to help you. This gives you the opportunity to hear how words and phrases should be spoken. Additionally, if you trip up on the pronunciation of something, then a study buddy can help you with these problems.
Write it down
Whether you’re commuting on the bus or train, or watching television with your family, try to note down any words you’re unfamiliar with or have a question about. Keep a notebook to hand so that you can easily write these things down. During your next study session, make a point of reviewing these words and phrases and try to memorise the definitions.
Take your time
When you’re learning something new, it’s easy to get frustrated if you think you aren’t progressing quickly enough. Don’t worry, just take your time because the English language isn’t something you can learn overnight. Allow yourself to move past a difficult vocabulary lesson rather than getting annoyed with yourself. While you’ll have to return to it later, you may find it easier the second time around.
The more you’re exposed to English, the more your skills will improve. Don’t be afraid to ask someone to repeat themselves or if they ask you a question that you don’t understand, to explain that you’re learning the language. Listen for words that you know and try to work out what’s being said, based on the context: these situations can provide the best learning experiences.