Tag Archives: learn English easy

WHY YOU STILL DON’T SPEAK ENGLISH FLUENTLY AND HOW YOU CAN OVERCOME THIS ISSUE

After years and years of studying English as a subject at school, you expect at the end to speak English fluently, right?

Unfortunately, many ESL students still don’t speak this language confidently. I remember that I was talking with a teacher and I asked him if after high school the students would be able to speak fluently, and he told me that the program wasn’t designed in that way, the purpose of teaching a second language at school was to help to the students to have a general knowledge of a foreign language.

Many people spend money attending to classes, but the problem is that the teacher is so busy with many students, teaching grammar, grading exams, preparing classes and he barely has time to help the students to get fluency.

Another problem is that in a classroom, the students are not able to practice their speaking skills; they usually learn grammar rules and how to translate into their native languages.

After we identified some of the common problems, let’s analyze how you can overcome these obstacles.

 

How to overcome common obstacles to improve your English skills

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My advice would be that you also need to learn English outside the classroom, learn how to teach English to yourself, enjoy the learning process doing what you like.

The traditional way of teaching English is out-of-date; we can use technology to learn a second language. Schools have been using the same methods to teach for decades, but as you know we live in a digital age, and new generations learn in a new interactive way.

Grammar books make me fall asleep; I learn languages by downloading apps like Duolingo on my phone, reading books on my tablet using digital dictionaries.

The best way to learn how to use grammar in a real conversation is watching movies and TV shows, pay attention to the way that the actors speak and learn phrases and general slang.

Another way to learn how to build your own sentences is reading comics, there are some apps that you can download and enjoy reading your favorite comics in English; and if you read a book, make sure that has a lot of dialogues, and pick up phrases that you can use in a real conversation.

Do you like to listen to music in English? Download some apps to learn the song’s lyrics.

If you are not able to practice your speaking skills at school, get a friend to practice with.

You can use these websites:

http://www.language-exchanges.org/

http://www.italki.com/

You can practice by Skype, Google Hangouts, Oovoo, etc.

If you still think that you need some direction, get an English tutor to help you to improve your skills, he’ll provide you with the right tools and guide you need.

These are just some useful tips, there are more methods for learning by yourself, if you know some of them, please comment below.

HOW TO THINK IN ENGLISH

ESL students would like to speak English like they do in their native language in an easy way, but they still struggle trying to think in English, they get frustrated, because they are always translating from their native language into English, and when they try to speak, they can’t think completely in this second language; but I got good news, I’m going to explain to you how you can learn to think in English.

 

Create a bubble

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If you don’t live in an English speaking society you have to create your own bubble or environment where you listen, watch and speak English every day, that’s why you need to do everything in English.

I would say that at the beginning it isn’t easy, but it becomes a habit if you persist and don’t give up.

If you usually listen to the radio, get an app and listening on your Smartphone or other device.

Do you like to read the news? Read some digital newspapers.

Do you enjoy watching American TV Shows? Watch them in English and without subtitles.

The more spend time learning English, the more it’ll become familiar for you and thinking in English won’t be complicated.

 

How to stop thinking in your native language

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First things first, to think in English is a decision that you can make, it’s not about confidence, it’s about motivation. I’d say that it’s easier than speaking, because if you make a mistake you won’t feel embarrassed, but it requires a lot of motivation, because there’s no one there  pushing you to speak and think in English.

To start this journey, you gotta have a good foundation of basic grammar in order that you can build your own sentences, and if you already created your own bubble, the process will be faster because you’ll be learning every day.

In early stages, it’s quite common to use more your native language; you’ll probably be translating instead of thinking fluently. But the point is to use English in your thoughts, not only on your conversations.

In order to exercise your mind thinking in English, I advise you to keep a journal, maybe you can use your Smartphone or a notebook; I suggest first, to start thinking how to describe daily activities in English, if there is a word or topic difficult for you, write it down and study it, you’re going to learn more vocabulary and next time you try to think in the same topic, it’ll be easier and you can move on thinking in another topic. This helps you to organize your thoughts.

Another suggestion would be to prepare some questions and phrases next time you talk to an English speaker, so when you got the opportunity to practice it won’t be hard to keep a conversation going.

 

Follow through, don’t forget your goal

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If you make an extra effort to think everything you can in English every day, you’ll be surprised with the results, instead of thinking “eu quero”(Portuguese), “yo quiero” (Spanish)or “我想”(Mandarin Chinese) you’ll automatically say to yourself “I want”,  and you won’t even know  where it came from, because you won’t be using your native language.

I think the biggest challenge is to overcome the feeling of frustration, because at the beginning you won’t be able to think in English fully, don’t worry that’s OK, after a while, when you’ve learned more about your target language, it’ll be easier and one day you’ll wake up thinking totally in English, and you’ll be amazed.

Every time you make an effort to think in English it is an active exercise to prepare you for a real conversation, and the thoughts start to flow faster every time.

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TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR ENGLISH WRITING SKILLS

 

Is it difficult for you to write an article in English?

Do you think that your English grammar is not so good?

Would you like to become an excellent English writer?

 

Don’t worry, you came to the right place, I’m going to provide you with some good tips to improve your English writing skills, let’s start!

 

Write, write and write

 

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If you would like to improve your writing skills, you need to write every day.

What should you write about?

Well, it’s all up to you, I recommend that you write about the things that you like and you do.

It could be about the family, friends, work, hobbies, etc

You don’t have to write long articles, to start with, you can write one or two paragraphs of 100 words or more, later you can start writing more paragraphs.

 

Read and learn new vocabulary

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If you want to write great articles, you need to read every day and keep learning new vocabulary.

Pay attention to the way how native speakers write and how you can imitate them. If you put on practice these tips your writing will become sophisticated and professional.

 

How to improve your grammar

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If your grammar skills are still not so good, pick up a grammar book and read it every day, you’ll be amazed by what you learn every day.

 

Edit your writing

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If you type on your computer, you have some advantages, because you can edit your writing using MS word, after you carefully edit your writing ask a friend to check it out.

 

The more you work on your writing skills the more you’ll improve.

 

Well, guys, this was the article for today. If you guys liked it, please share it and subscribe.

HOW TO KEEP A CONVERSATION GOING IN ENGLISH: QUESTIONS

One of the problems that I noticed with some ESL students is that they have problems to keep a fluent conversation, because they usually don’t know what to say.

This situation is so uncomfortable and awkward; many students prefer to avoid meeting English speakers.

I struggled with these situations on the past, because sometimes I’m an introvert person, but there are some good tips that I’d like to share with you guys.

Asking questions

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If you have the opportunity to talk to an English speaker, and you start a conversation this way:

-What did you do today?

 

– I went to shopping.

 

Well, allow me to tell you that the conversation doesn’t have to finish there. You can ask follow up questions like these:

Who? What? Where? When? Why?

 

Let’s see some examples.

What did you buy?

Where did you go?

Who did you go to shop with?

How much did you spend? (If you would like to know)

 

Here you have another example:

I’m going on vacation.

 

Questions you can ask:

Where are you going? and why?

Who are you going on vacation with?

When are you leaving?

 

Remember ask a question related to what they told you, and if they mention some important details about their family, job, hobbies etc; ask them about them, because people love to talk about themselves. If you find some common topics maybe you can give some suggestions or talk about your experience to keep the conversation going.

Remember to use the five questions: What? Who? When? Where? and Why?

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You’ll improve your English conversation skills if you work on holding  the conversation.

I hope these tips help you guys, and if you liked this article please don’t forget to subscribe and share it.

 

WHAT KIND OF ACCENT SHOULD YOU CHOOSE?

When you start to learn a language you also need to select an accent, because you’ll be learning that kind of pronunciation.

There are many English varieties, but the most accepted are the American and British pronunciation, I could also mention other varieties like the Australian or Aussie , Canadian, New Zealand or Kiwi, etc

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Around the world people learn whether the American English or British English.

It’s kind of interesting, but I met some people from South America and China who speak some kind of hybrid English, a mix of British pronunciation and American vocabulary.

 

The American and British pronunciation

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When you start learning English you receive classes about pronunciation, if your school teaches the American pronunciation means General American pronunciation. This is the one used by educated Americans, on TV and on radio. As you know the USA have many states and in every region people speak different, however the General American pronunciation is standard.

If you learned the British pronunciation,  then you are familiar with the Received Pronunciation (RP). RP was the one spoken by the upper class the last century, it is sometimes called the Queen’s English, but today nobody speaks like that in England, but people around the world understand it. Nowadays the most popular accent in the UK is the Estuary English spoken in South East England by the middle class.

 

What kind of accent should you pick up?

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This is a personal decision, but there are some points that you should take into account.

Whether you learn the American or British pronunciation, you’ll be understood around the world.

-As you know the United States of America is a big country with a population nearly to 300 millions. If we compare it with the United Kingdom population of 60 millions, you’ll notice a wide difference. The most spoken English variety around the world is the American.

-The British English is considered the English of the educated people.

-The American English has a better choice of movies, TV shows, music, video games, etc.

-Although the Americans dominate the media, there are still plenty of TV shows and movies with British pronunciation that you can watch, for example: Harry Potter, Sherlock, The Lord of the rings, etc.

– The internet has more American English content, for example: YouTube, podcasts, etc.

-You can meet more Americans than British, since America has more English speakers.

 

These are just some important facts; however, it’s all up to you.

Please take notice of the differences, because sometimes the pronunciation changes and you don’t want to be misunderstood.

Some people mix both varieties. I prefer the American English, and I try not to mix it.

Hey, guys! That’s all for today. If you liked my article, please share it and subscribe.

HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR ENGLISH CONVERSATION SKILLS

What’s up guys!!!

Today, I’d like to share some useful methods to improve your English conversation skills even if you live in a country where you have no opportunity to practice.

Let’s start!

Speak, speak and speak

It would be great if you had someone to practice with, but don’t worry if you don’t find English speakers around.

You may use the internet to look for a partner to make a language exchange through Skype, I recommend that you try these websites:

http://www.language-exchanges.org/

http://www.italki.com/

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There are more similar websites, but these ones I mentioned above are really good.

Another thing that you can do is Join a group or club in your city to practice your target language and that’s what I did, I joined  an English congregation, every week I can speak with someone.

Shadowing

Allow me to explain to you this word, perhaps this is the first time you have heard it.

Shadowing is the act of imitating a native speaker talking, especially when you use podcasts.

What I do is pick up a magazine or a book that is also available in audio.

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I choose one or two paragraphs and I focus on the way the speaker talks, for example:  when he stresses the words or how he links one word to another, I try to follow him and record myself and compare it over and over until I master it.

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I practice this method every day 30 minutes, it helps me to say things in a natural and easy way.

Children learn to speak by repetition, we can follow this pattern and speak fluently.

Think in English all the time

90% of the time we think about ourselves in our native language, so try to use English and talk to yourself, at the beginning could be really hard, but after some time it becomes a habit.

 

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If you talk to an English speaker regularly, think in advance about what to say in future conversations.

Something that helps me, too, is to record myself for 10 or 15 minutes, I usually talk about my day or something that  I’m interested and I see what I need to change when I speak.

Read aloud

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When you read aloud you practice your pronunciation and after a while you’ll feel confident speaking, if you create the habit of reading aloud every day for 30 minutes or more, you’ll improve your English conversation skills.

Ok, let me thank you guys for reading my article. I’ll keep blogging more about some useful techniques to help you improve your English, please follow me and subscribe.