If you are wondering how to learn English so that it is enjoyable, productive, and you get the most out of your time, then you might find the following tips useful.
It's important to know why it is worth spending your valuable time on this endeavour, to set yourself clear goals, and to have a focused plan on how to learn different apects of the language.
We generally do things because we have a reason. I cook dinner because I want to eat, I go to school and get an education because I want to have a job. We spend more time on those things that we are motivated to do. There are different reasons why we want to learn English, so in order to become more motivated to do so (and therefore more enthusiastic, and willing to commit the time), it's worthwhile establishing why you would want to learn or improve your English and establish specific goals.
In order to see ongoing progress, it's important to set realistic goals. If you want to study by yourself, rather than having a teacher or going to a language school, this is even more important. Establish how many words and idioms you would like to learn per week, how many grammar points to learn and revise, how often you would like to read an article, watch a movie etc etc. Your goals need to be realistic and fit in with your lifestyle, or you will soon become discouraged and give up altogether.
If you do have a teacher, then this part is easier to do, as the teacher sets the goals, speed and language tasks that you will cover. However, it's still important to consider how much time you will give to going over vocabulary and grammar outside of the classroom. It's VERY important to do all your homework and go through the vocabulary in your own time if you want to see progress.
Whatever level you are in the learning process, you will only improve if you learn more words and idioms. This is a high priority! Find ways that are most effective for you to learn. Are you a visual learner? Do you need to see the words written down to remember them? Then write flashcards for yourself and leave them lying in appropriate places (like the kitchen or toilet). Are you an audio or kinaesthetic learner? Then repeat the words to yourself, or draw pictures, or go through the words verbally with someone else.
Link similar root words together (compel, compelling, compulsive, compulsion), learn vocabulary thematically as I have them listed in the vocabulary lists, learn phrases and collocations, learn words in sentences and contexts, so that you can use the words effectively as well as understanding them.
Expose yourself as much to the language as you are realistically able. Buy magazines, newspapers and books, or find good websites that are at the right language level for you, and set yourself daily, weekly or monthly goals. There are so many materials and free websites with news and views, that there's no excuse! Make sure whatever you find is close to hand, not to difficult, and about a subject that you enjoy. Nothing will kill your enthusiasm quite like boredom.
The likelihood is very high, that most of your communication in English will be throu gh the spoken language. And of course, understanding someone speak a language (especially native speakers) is far more difficult than reading something. So it's important to expose yourself to native speakers as much as possible. Fortunately there is a lot of material on the internet for you to choose from. And watch lots of good movies IN ENGLISH!
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