Let’s face it, learning a second (or third) language is difficult. Add in the fact that some of us have better talents than others for picking up a language, and sometimes it can seem a challenge that just seems too much.
But that doesn’t mean you should give up. Because no matter what, you can learn to speak English. After all, you learnt your own language and communication skills – so that means you do have the ability to learn to speak English as well.
Of course, if you’re reading this article you either have a basic grasp of the English language or you’re reading it for somebody else. Either way, here are some of our top tips to help you get to grips with the complexities of English, and learn to be able communicate as well as you can.
- Get talking, reading, listening – in short, you actually have to do something to improve your English. It doesn’t actually matter what, just as long as you’re pro-actively trying to embrace the English language.
- Get motivated! Only you know how to motivate yourself. Perhaps you need to set targets – such as learning a new word every day and trying to use it in conversation. Maybe you could set aside half an hour every day to study English in whichever way you choose. Whatever ways you decide to learn, it’s essential to keep motivated.
- Be kind to yourself. If you find you’re struggling – perhaps to keep up with a conversation or read a passage – then it might surprise you that most people are very open to be asked for help. After all, everyone likes to think that they can impart some knowledge, so don’t be afraid to ask someone to speak slower or explain something to you if necessary.
- Don’t expect to become fluent in a couple of weeks. After all, it took a fair time for you to learn your own language as a child, so it’s going to take a while for you to become adept at your new language.
One important thing is to understand how you best learn. No two people are the same, and what works for one person might not necessarily work for you. Try to understand how you best take in new information. You’ll probably find that you most easily learn new things in one of the following ways:
- Listening – You find you take in information far better by listening. You’re likely to understand tone of voice, pitch and speed, and written text makes far more sense when you hear it. For you, ideal learning techniques will include listening to the radio and television, along with reading text out loud so you can hear yourself speak.
- Watching – If you find you learn best from seeing images and visual displays, then you might find traditional English group lessons would be a good way of learning. If you can, private lessons where you talk to your teacher one on one might be even better.
- Tactile – Perhaps you find regular language classes challenging and don’t really identify with DIY learning techniques. For you, perhaps joining a group such as a drama or discussion group would be the way forward. That way your interest is kept and before you know it you’ll be speaking English along with everyone else.
Whatever way you learn, keep at it. English might not be the easiest language to learn, but once you grasp the basics you’ll most likely be very surprised at how quickly you progress.