So You Want to Improve Your English?

5 Ways To Improve Your English Without Even Trying!

By Kim Rogers

Learning a second language can be a very stressful and arduous task if you let it. Somehow, the words you learn in the books don’t seem to apply very well to real life situations. Those small and seemingly un-important elements the show a person to be in command of not only the language, but the culture of the people who speak it cannot be adequately expressed by words on paper.

So, how do you learn these little secrets of mastering the ability to articulate yourself in another language?

Here are 5 proven techniques that will help you improve your English without even trying, if you are learning to speak English as a second language. Do they really work? Yes. I’ve tried them myself as I’ve had opportunity to live somewhere where English wasn’t the primary language. I found it to be a fun, exciting, and painless way to learn both the language and the culture. The culture is simply learning the way the natives express their own words. The genuine accent, facial expressions, hand gestures, sighs, moans, groans, laughter, smirks, and other things that go along with everyday conversation.

Regardless of how extensive or not your vocabulary is, if you master the ability to “sound” like you know the language and can speak it, people will be more than generous to assist you.

1. Watch Movies!

Watching movies is always a fun thing to do. In order to get the most out of your movie watching experience, if your vocabulary is limited, watch a movie in English that you are very familiar with in your own language so you always know what’s going on. Try not to translate as you go because you lose blocks of conversation this way. Instead, watch the picture and listen. Hear all the words, but determine what’s going on by the pictures you see and the words you’re hearing that you already know. Believe it or not, other words will sink in too, and so will the accent and everything else that went with what you saw and heard.

As your vocabulary grows, expand your movie selections to other movies you’d like to see but are only available in English. Try to be able to see the film more than once if possible.

According to the location and type of film you intend to view, you will be able to experience different accents, and other cultural expressions of the English language. Pick and choose the things that you think will suit you best. If it doesn’t work out, pick and try something else! Have fun with yourself and your efforts.

2. Watch Soap Operas

The place where extreme expression and limited vocabulary meet! This is such a fascinating way to learn a foreign language. Every accessory that goes with the expression of a word is demonstrated on a soap opera. “Outrage” expressed with a word, facial expression or two, and perhaps even a subsequent face slap, all of that being understandable in any language. “Love”, another universal subject, or violence, good versus evil can all be discerned quickly and easily on a soap opera. Plus, soap operas are naturally designed to allow anyone just tuning in to pick up the story quickly. The characters are easily loveable and deliciously “hate-able” so you turn to it again and again to see what’s going on, and not only improve your English each time, but reinforce what you’ve already learned.

3. Read the Comics/Funny Papers

Very non-stressful! Pictures with words, or words with pictures, however you want to look at it, it’s a great way to learn! For each thought presented there are words that match a picture, and vice versa. It doesn’t matter if you read comic books, or the comics in the Sunday newspaper, read whatever will make you laugh and cause you to enjoy learning at the same time.

4. Read Children’s books

If you know any little kids between the ages of 5-8, try reading one of their books to them. Usually little kids know their favorite books by heart, so if you stumble a little, they’ll be able to help you.

If you enjoy this method of improving your English, and you find yourself to be pretty good at it, then try reading a few Dr. Seuss books. The rhyming will challenge you, but once you master it, your pronunciation of English, and your delivery will have been considerably refined and improved.

5. Take a service job like waiter or waitress; bartender, or sales person.

This type of job can be done if you have a decent vocabulary of verbs, and know how to say “I, we, she, he, they”, etc. The only other thing necessary is a working vocabulary of things relevant to your specific tasks and goals.

For example, as a breakfast waitress, you want to be able to ask if they want their eggs, “scrambled or fried”, if they want “more coffee”, if everything is “alright”, do they want “anything else”, and the total of their bill in their own language!

If you sell real estate, you’ll want to incorporate words like “mortgage, loan, co-sign, 30 year fixed”, etc.

If you sell shoes, you need words like “how does that feel”, are they “too tight, too loose, to short in the toe, to big”, etc.

The longer you work at your job, the more your working vocabulary will improve.

6. Learn these two sentences and you’ll be set for life . . . seriously!

“How do you say (blank)”, in English (Spanish, French, etc.), and “What is that called?” (Point if you have to, and smile too). Smiling is a universal language. Once I learned how to ask these two questions, I was on my way to being conversant in the language of my choice!

I could use my limited vocabulary to ask the question and then when I got my answer I would repeat it a few times to make sure I was saying it correctly, and “BAM” I had a new vocabulary word. And, because I asked my question to the best of my ability in the native tongue, the natives realized my sincere desire to learn, and helped me!

7. What happens if you make a mistake?

Nothing. The world won’t come to an end, and you haven’t embarrassed yourself to the point where you can’t show your face again. Just apologize if that’s what’s called for, or laugh at yourself, make the correction, and count it as a learning experience.

Once I was in a restaurant and I wanted to ask the waiter for a “to go” box, however, I was speaking to my kids in English, and trying to think of what I wanted to ask for in Spanish, and I promptly and incorrectly asked him for a “house to go”. He looked at me kind of funny, but he was very courteous, and didn’t laugh until I laughed.

I’ve committed other language faux pas as well over the years, all of which have been a learning experience, and if given enough time, will become a humorous story as well.

Kim Rogers has lived and worked in the Caribbean, Denmark, and along the Mexican Border. Kim has developed 101 Words that will make You Sound Smarter Right Away! To read more got to [http://www.soundsmarternow.com]

To your success

Michael W

Michael W

 

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Overcoming Problems In Learning English

Problems in Learning English and How to Improve Them

By Ryan Kent-Temple

Are you having difficulty learning English? Are you saying to yourself “If only I could learn English better, I could do so much more.”? If you are answering yes to these questions, I’m sure you’re wondering how you can do that. In this article, I would like to explain some problems many English learners face, and ways to improve your English that are simple and can be fun at the same time.

Problems in Learning English

Poor English Vocabulary

Vocabulary is important when learning a language. Any language, of course including English, has thousands and thousands of words. In many cases, even those native speakers of the language do not know all the words of that language. there are just too many to learn. In fact, according to many sources I have come across, there are only 800 words that you must know to converse in English. That list is too long to display here, but a good start is to read through that list and see how many words you know. You may surprise yourself in the amount of words you are familiar with. I have posted the list on World English club, and you can go over it there. Another problem people face in learning English vocabulary is that they learn new words, but they tend to forget what they have learned quite soon after the just learned them. So what can you do?

How to Improve your English Vocabulary

There are games to play and methods to learn to improve your English vocabulary. The best simple method I want to suggest is this; just make a list. Now there is more to it than just making a list, so keep reading. Once a week, make a list of twenty five words using the World English Club Vocab lists, or choose words from other popular websites. As you are compiling (or making) your list, make sure to write down the definitions if you are unsure of them at the time. Do your best to study and learn these new words. Now break the list down into five words a day. On your first day, study your first five words. On your second day, study your next five words. Now here’s the trick; after your second day of your five vocab words, try to write down yesterday’s words. On your third day, study day three’s words, and then try to remember and write down day two’s vocab words. Are you seeing a pattern yet? I hope so. Do this for five days, and on your sixth day of vocabulary learning, try to write all your vocab words for the last week. Take your time, and do your best. When you are done, review those words and see what you remember. If you use the method above, I guarantee you will improve your English vocabulary and not forget the words you have learned.

Poor English Speaking Skills

One of the biggest complaints I hear about when one is learning a new language, is their inability to communicate successfully. Whether it is an issue with reducing their accent, or not knowing the vocabulary or grammar to create a decent conversation, many people struggle with poor speaking skills. People assume that learning grammar in a classroom or studying vocabulary words will help them speak a English as a language. But those factors only gain you knowledge of the English language and cannot translate into real conversational English skills. Are you having problems with English speaking skills? Here are ways to improve your English speaking skills.

How to improve your English Speaking Skills

Have you tried to watch a movie in English? I’m sure you have. It is one of the easiest things to do while studying and learning English. But what is it about watching movies that is a good idea? I’ll tell you; it’s hearing the words spoken out loud. So there is one thing that I’m sure you haven’t thought of to mirror this learning effect, but it will make a bigger and better improvement on learning English speaking skills. Read a book. Well, it doesn’t have to be a book, but it needs to be in English. Now here’s the trick; As you are reading this book, read it OUT LOUD. Yes, it is as simple as that. Reading out loud will let you hear your English and at the same time, help you gain more confidence in speaking English. It does not have to be for a very long time. But you should read out loud for at least five minutes a day. Do not give up on this. I think this is an important method to practice and not enough people practice in this manner. Make sure you are pronouncing your words, and if you have to read slowly, that’s OK as well. The point is that you are speaking out loud and practicing speaking English. Since many English learners do not have the opportunity to interact with native English speakers, this is one of the best methods to help improve your English speaking skills. Which brings me to my final learning English problem.

Not enough interaction with English speakers

Not being able to have interaction with native English speakers can be a great hindrance on one who is learning English. But there are many things you can do to help improve your interaction with native English speakers, or at least to simulate this experience. Which, let’s face it, is probably the most important part of learning a new language. Interaction. So here are some things you can do.

– As you all are aware, watching movies is a good idea. You can learn slang words and, if you are interested in learning to speak like an American, there are a lot of colloquialisms and Americanisms (as I like to call them) that are difficult to learn about simply by reading. to learn colloquialisms, a person must hear the words and phrases in context. So by watching movies, there can be no way in which you, as a learner, can mistake or misunderstand the meaning of the words or phrases.

– One way (and I think this is the best way) that many English learners do not think of, is finding an native English speaker in a chat room or English learning website and chat with them via Skype or other internet voice service. There are plenty of people who would love to just talk with you over the phone or internet to help you learn. Or maybe you can offer to teach them a little of your language in return. That way everybody gains something from the experience. If you are in a country or city where you do not have the opportunity to find a native English speaking friend, chatting on the phone or internet is the next best thing.

– If you are lucky enough to know an English speaker that you can meet with (and it should be someone you are comfortable with so as you are trying to speak, you will not be shy), try to meet them in a comfortable place that you can hear each other speak and just spend about an hour talking about any topic that comes to mind. You can also plan some topics to talk about so you don’t waste your time thinking of things to say. maybe write down questions you have or have them ask YOU questions so you can practice answering them.

There are plenty of other problems in Learning English but I think these are the three main reasons. I guarantee that if you know these pitfalls and know how to avoid them, every aspect of your English learning will be improved. And you will be a native English speaker in no time. Good Luck!

Ryan Kent-Temple is a webmaster helping people worldwide with Learning English [http://www.WorldEnglishClub.com] online. He is also a moderator on the World English Club Forums which is available for everybody that desires improvement. If you want to find out more about this please visit World English Club [http://www.WorldEnglishClub.com] to Learn English Online, which is a leading site on the topic of how to learn and improve your English online by listening to English spoken word.

To your success

Michael W

Michael W

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