Friday, 18 May 2012 22:09

Want to Learn English...But How?

Written by  Ken Ku
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How To Learn English How To Learn English Kaplan International Colleges

What is the best way to learn English, you ask?  This not an easy question to answer, and perhaps my view on the subject is a bit biased since English is my mother language.  However, I may be able to provide some insight as I am currently learning a fourth language: German.  There are three basic principles that I believe are important when learning a language: Immersion, motivation, and practice.

Immersion can encompass a variety of methods.  I agree with the info graphic that one of the best ways is to travel to an English speaking country, or in my case, a German speaking country.  On the other hand, you might not have the means to do that. An alternative is to watch TV shows, movies, and listen to music, all in English.  From experience, I know that if you live in a non-English speaking country, TV programmes and movies in English are not all that easy to come by.  Sometimes they are subtitled in the native language of that country, which may cause you to read subtitles rather than listening to the actors.  If you were in an English speaking country, all programming on TV is obviously in English.  And usually there are no non-English subtitles on regular TV programming, nor subtitles at the movies theatres.  This is why it is preferable to immerse yourself in an English speaking country.

Another reason to move or visit Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, or the United States, is that you will be forced to use English on a daily basis.  Immersion is also a great opportunity to meet new people while practicing English.  This may take some courage while your language skills are still developing, but the native speakers in these countries are generally patient and willing to help. Also, students are usually more willing to talk to other students, since they have more in common.  The more you practice the faster you will be able to pick up the language.  Of course if you're already immersed in the language then obviously you are motivated to learn English.

Motivation.  Staying motivated is important for learning anything, but particularly when the subject takes a lot of time to learn, and may be frustrating. There must be a reason for you to want to learn English.  Remind yourself of that everyday.  And do your best to avoid the trap of only socializing with people who speak your native language. This does not mean you should not be able to have some fun once in a while.  Just remember that you are there to learn English.

Finally, practice.  This is the most important factor.  Now that you have spent some time in another country to learn English, you no doubt want to learn more so that you can improve your skills and not put what you have learned to waste not using it.  Learning a new language is not like riding a bicycle – if you do not use it, you will lose it. You can practice by reading.  Reading fiction, non-fiction, really any genre that interests you will help you work on your vocabulary and writing skills.  However, these books MUST be in English.  Also, when you communicate with your friends via e-mail, letters, postcards, Facebook messages, telephone, etc., remember to communicate in English only, even if the other person speaks your native language!

I hope my entry on this subject has been of assistance to some of you!

Best of luck to you in learning English or any other new language.


PS.  Don't forget to vote!  You can do so here: Infographic: How to Learn English.  Just be sure to put the name of my blog and a link to my article in the comments area!  I could win an iPad 3!  Thanks!

Last modified on Saturday, 19 May 2012 13:39
Ken Ku

Ken Ku

A photographer/printmaker/perpetual wanderer going on a backpacking adventure around the world.  Follow my journey as I discover new places and meet new people!



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