Have you found the best way to learn English yet? Do you study on your own or with other people? Do you like studying when it’s quiet and peaceful or when there are lots of people around? Does learning English make you feel nervous? Which English skills do you practise the most? Do you have any good ideas or advice for being a more successful language learner?
What is the best way to learn English?
It is not easy to tell someone the best way to learn English because we are all different and we learn in different ways. For example, some people like to learn through doing, so in that case I would tell an English learner to get together with other people and try to speak as much as possible. And don’t worry about making mistakes! You can always correct them later. Just have fun and communicate.
However, a lot of people (myself included) like to learn through observation, which means watching or listening to other people, so for people like us my advice is to listen to English through podcasts or watch English videos. Don’t put pressure on yourself to speak yet. Relax, listen and enjoy yourself. You don’t need to speak just yet!
Think about how very young children learn. They spend their early years just listening, observing and absorbing the language around them. Then, one day, suddenly, it all comes out! Then they never stop talking! The great thing about children is that they are positive, excited and not afraid to make a mistake. We should learn to be a bit more like them when learning English.
What should I listen to or read in English?
Listen to something you enjoy. For example, if you love sport then watch a football match or a basketball game and listen to the commentary. If you love fashion, then read the latest fashion magazines or websites. Always start with something you love. Find your passion and use it!
How can I learn English by myself?
Well, this is so much easier these days, right? We have access to so much media on our computers and phones that we can always practise on our own no matter where we are. You really don’t need to rely on being with a teacher or other students to learn English. You just need to learn to be a bit more independent. Make a plan, organise your time and use that time alone to connect with English through listening and reading. Find a book you love reading or subscribe to a podcast you enjoy. Just make sure the level is not too difficult for you.
Do I need to understand everything?
No, you don’t! If you can understand fifty percent of what you hear or read then you’re doing very well. Try to understand the main idea and don’t worry about all the other words you don’t understand yet. The advantage of reading or listening to something on your own is that you can go back and check again. In fact, this is the best method for learning English. Read or listen quickly the first time, then a bit more slowly the next two or three times. Take notes, check important words and try again. This is all part of a process.
A very important point you need to remember is that nobody is perfect! So you don’t need to be perfect either! There is no such thing as perfect when you are learning a language. If you aim to be ‘perfect’ then you will always be disappointed. Who cares if you make a mistake? That’s life! So relax and enjoy the process. Don’t be so serious.
How many words do I need to learn?
A lot of English learners feel that they will only speak English once they understand almost all the words, but this is not true! It’s possible to speak English quite well with just a few thousand useful words. That’s not too hard to learn, right? In time you will add to that number but there’s no need to put pressure on yourself.
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What is the best way to learn English?
This is not an easy question to answer because we are all different, but the best way to learn English is the method that suits the type of learner you are. If you like to learn through doing, then find people you can speak with. However, if you learn best through observation, then do lots of listening and reading practice. Just make sure you enjoy it!