Wrong ways of learning English
English knowledge is requisite in every field as it has taken the position of the global language. Speaking with fluency in English has become a requirement for achieving a certain standard in different arenas of life. It isn’t a surprise then, that anyone and everyone wants to learn English and acquire the skills for this language.
But before you start to learn English it’s wise to identify the mistakes non-native English speakers make while trying to grasp this language. Learning a new language becomes challenging as it varies from the mother tongue. We find it very frustrating and stressful to unlearn something which has become part of our everyday conversations in our mother tongues. It demotivates us to make an effort, as we think English is impossible to conquer! It also leads to phobia of the language being too tough to master.
So it might come as a surprise to many, that English is not that hard to learn. If you want to learn English quickly, get over your mental block. You can’t learn swimming without jumping into the water.
Many faulty practices impair our ability to acquire this language. The following are some of the wrong methods which we all have followed or are still following :
Translating your native language into English
The translation method of learning English is very popular among non-English speaking countries. We feel that if we think in our mother tongue and then translate it word by word into English, we are going to be English language experts! Make no mistakes, you will keep translating in your mind and others would simply hijack the conversation, which would further push you into a it’s-not-my-thing zone. Every language is different, so try to learn naturally and avoid literal translations.
Never think in your mother tongue and then translate it. It is blasphemy! It will lead to incorrect sentence formation with even scandalous meanings! Think about something in English and express it with your words. Because let’s face it : meanings get lost in translation.
With regular use of this technique, you can make sentences quickly and start speaking naturally.
English is not your mother tongue. To improve the spontaneous use of English and to build a good English vocabulary, one requires constant use of the language. It is a thumb rule, speak as much as you can with yourself and others, to learn English.
Normally people say, “We have less time, so we can’t practice.” That is because we keep pushing it aside and don’t motivate ourselves. No skill is acquired in this manner. You have to practice it regularly to hone it.
Thinking about making mistakes
Making mistakes means you are trying and are on the right path. We fear making grammatical errors and get stuck or start fumbling thinking about the possibilities of making mistakes. The thought itself leads to errors and loss of confidence. The embarrassment of using the wrong word or tense should not stop us from using the language. It is only with more practice that we can improve our language skills. The idea of goofing up will only stop us from learning English or starting an English conversation.
Thinking tenses are confusing
First thing to do is to get rid of the thought that tenses are a mystery. By regularly using the language, you will become capable of using the correct tenses. In English, the following tenses are used most frequently:
- Simple Present: indicating something that is the general truth or happens regularly: She goes to school every day.
- Present Progressive/ Continuous: used for actions happening at the moment: I am eating right now.
- Present Perfect: specifying an action that started in the past and hasn’t finished yet or an action where the time period isn’t specific: He has read The Suitable Boy.
- Simple Past: to talk about something that happened in the past: I slept late last night
- Simple Future: this tense is used for an action which is yet to happen: We will go to the beach tomorrow.
English is about employing these tenses. One has to just figure out the time of the action we are going to talk about and modify the verb or action accordingly.
Follow the LRWS method
There are no two ways to learn a language other than imbibing this procedure in daily life.
Listen to English videos, music, lectures.. Why? You can pick up many words to brush up your vocabulary in this way. Also it will familiarise you with the common expressions and idioms used in the language.
Read, read and keep reading… newspapers, blogs, articles, even instructions on the back of the pasta pack. Your mind would be able to absorb the sentence structures and syntaxes. This in turn will aid you in improving your English grammar.
Write.. yes seems like the most difficult and tedious among all the ways, but once you get to it, you will realise you actually enjoy it. There is no better way to test your learning than writing. Pick up the notebook, fire up your laptop or just unlock your phone and write away.
Speak… as the more you speak is directly proportional to improvement in your English. It builds your confidence and enables quick learning. You become intuitive with the language and respond swiftly and appropriately.
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