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Ten Tips to Help You Learn English as a Second Language

By: Sarah Folega - Updated: 2 Nov 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
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The following tips are designed to help you learn English as a second language. It is not easy learning a second language, but with dedication and a passion to learn you will be fluent in English in no time!

Tip 1 – Get A Good Dictionary

If you are a beginner, you may want to start off with a bilingual dictionary. Bilingual dictionaries are useful for comparing certain words to your own language. Remember though, when using a bilingual dictionary, it isn’t just about translating the word. It is also about understanding what type of word you are comparing: verb, noun, how it’s pronounced and so on.

Once you are past the beginner stage of learning English as a second language, throw that bilingual dictionary away (or give it to a friend who is a beginner) and get yourself a dictionary that is English-English.

Tip 2 – Making Time For Learning

30 minutes per day, for 5 days a week is a good study routine. This allows you to study most days of the week, and also gives you a break from learning. Taking time to study English is very important; if you don’t study, you won’t become fluent in the language.

Tip 3 – Show Interest

If you are not interested in learning English as a second language, chances are you are not going to learn to your full potential. If you are interested in learning English, you are much more likely to succeed.

Take the time to explore your particular interests in English. If you are a movie fan, read movie reviews in English; if you are a football fan, go to your team’s website, but view it in English. The Internet is full of amazing resources for you when you are learning English, so make sure to make the most of it.

Tip 4 – Don’t Worry If You Make Mistakes

Mistakes are how we learn; we make the mistake then we learn from it and improve. If you are not sure of the answer, have a go anyway. You may just surprise yourself! And, even if you are wrong, at least you will be able to learn the correct word, phrase or pronunciation.

Tip 5 – Thinking In English

It’s much easier to learn English if you can teach yourself to ‘think’ in English. If you are thinking of what you want to say in your own language, then translating it in your head, you may get confused. Constructing the sentence in English first is a good way to make fewer mistakes.

Tip 6 – Practice, Practice, Practice

The key to being able to speak, read and write better English is to practice the skills you have acquired through learning. Don’t just concentrate on one specific area of English; make sure to practice areas such as basic grammar, pronunciation and other aspects of the English language.

Tip 7 – Remember To Learn (And Love) English Grammar

English grammar may seem boring at a first glance, but it can be interesting if approached in the right way. Remember that learning English grammar will help you understand the language, as well as making you more fluent.

Tip 8 – Find A Friend To Practice With

Finding a friend who is also learning English as a second language, and sharing your learning experience is a great way to progress further.

You can do lots of things together to help you learn like: go for coffees together, speak only in English, swap notes, go to the cinema to watch English movies, and share your experiences.

Tip 9 – Learning How To Learn

All of us have different ways to learn that work better for us as individuals. The important thing is to find out how you learn best. For example, do you learn better by reading, doing, seeing or listening?

The majority of us learn by using a combination of all of these skills, however, finding out how you learn best will help you learn quicker.

Tip 10 – Finding A Good Teacher

Using a qualified teacher that understands English is a step in the right direction. A teacher can set you goals and timelines for learning.

Finally, remember that learning a language is a skill that needs constant use; if you don’t use it, you will probably lose it! A language isn’t just something you can learn and forget about; another language helps you understand the world, different cultures and different perceptions of life.

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The biggest mistake Spanish students make is trying to translate word for word. For example; Cuantos anos tiene usted . Yo tengo 20 anos. Word for word :How many years do you have?I have 20 years. Another error is pronouncing words that begin with S followed by a consonant. They find it difficult to say special instead especial .{ Note: I do not know how to type in the inverted ? mark or the line over N on this computer.}
obbie - 2-Nov-12 @ 5:38 PM
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