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About Everything Wiki » Education » How to learn English faster: 6 universal tips

How to learn English faster: 6 universal tips

24 Jan 2024, 12:02, parser
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You can listen to the article. If it's more convenient for you, turn on the podcast.

1. "Eat the elephant piece by piece"

The big goal — to learn English — can seem intimidating and unaffordable. Try to divide it into specific feasible tasks. Each of them should be feasible — not too easy and not too difficult. If you have recently studied English, you are unlikely to be able to master Jane Austen in the original immediately.

But you can come up with other interesting tasks for yourself, for example:

  • take a chapter from the textbook every week;
  • learn five new phrases a day;
  • watch one episode of the series and write out 10 new words;
  • write a 200-character text every week;
  • do 10 exercises on a new grammatical topic;
  • read one article per day;
  • attend a conversation club once a week.

If you haven't read the works in English yet, look for adapted books for your language level. They retain the plot, but the vocabulary and grammar are simplified. Gradually, you can move on to regular books. For example, to "Harry Potter" by J.K. Rowling or "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins. Even if you are already familiar with the plot, it will be great to find out how your favorite characters talk in the original.

2. Learn vocabulary that you will actively use

To make learning easier, focus on the words that are most often found in English. The authors of the Longman dictionary highlighted Longman Communication 3000 3,000 of the most frequent words — knowing them, you will be able to understand 86% of any text in English.

The Oxford Dictionary also compiled The Oxford 3000 and the Oxford 5000 a list of 3,000 keywords that you need to know at the A1–B2 level. For students who want to reach an advanced level, there is an advanced option The Oxford 3000 and the Oxford 5000 Oxford 5000. It included 2,000 additional words.

To better memorize vocabulary, use flash cards. Write down on one side the word or phrase you want to learn, and on the other — a translation or a short explanation. Distribute the cards into three groups:

  • Words that you don't know well.
  • Words that you know satisfactorily.
  • Words that you know well.

The cards from the first group should be repeated every day, from the second — twice a week. It is enough to view well-known words once a week. You can move cards between groups. If you have learned a word, put it in the third group, if you have forgotten it, put it in the second.

Words are usually easier to remember in context. Try to make sentences and stories with them. This will allow you to better understand in what meaning and in what situations the word is used.

If you don't want to make paper cards, try programs that work on the same principle. For example, Quizlet, Anki or The Mnemosyne Project.

3. Translate all the content around into English

Select English in the settings on your phone, in social networks and on any other sites that you regularly use.

Watch TV series and movies in English. Even if you don't understand all the words, you can unknowingly absorb the patterns that native speakers use and learn to perceive English by ear. To replenish your vocabulary, set a goal to write out 10-15 new phrases while watching each episode. Then you can put them on flash cards and learn them.

Listen to foreign podcasts and read the media. You can install the application BBC Learning English: the news is adapted for people with different language levels. And there are also short videos that will allow you to improve your vocabulary and grammar.

4. Speak more English (yes, you can't do without oral practice!)

Find a place where you will practice speaking. These can be tutored classes, English courses, or speaking clubs. If you are learning a language on your own, use the "shadow repeat" method — listen to audio with a foreign speech and repeat it aloud. Try to copy the intonation as accurately as possible.

If your English level allows you to have a conversation, find a language partner. With it, you will be able to practice speaking the language you are learning. You can do this online on special sites — Italki, HelloTalk, Tandem. It will be useful to communicate with native speakers: you can improve pronunciation and learn slang expressions.

5. Find what motivates you

Motivation can be internal and external. The inner one helps you do something regardless of your environment. For example, if you are interested in the culture and traditions of Great Britain, then you will not have to persuade yourself to open an English textbook.

Try to search for content that makes you curious. Look for bloggers who share your hobby — whether it's cars, makeup, or plant care. Write essays on topics that make you feel emotional. Even grammar can be pumped in a playful way — for example, on gramaro.io , Lingualeo or Duolingo.

Of course, internal motivation is not always enough. And then you can look for an external one. Arrange with a friend that you will go to a conversation club together. In this case, it will be more difficult for you to miss the meeting at the last moment. Monetary motivation also works: if you pay for English courses or hire a tutor, you may be sorry to waste money. Try different options to find the one that suits you.

6. Set aside a clear time to study English

Regularity is important in language lessons. Set aside a specific time for learning English: for example, 2-3 times a week for 45 minutes. Add the class schedule to the calendar and do not schedule other things at the same time.

When making a schedule, keep in mind which part of the day you are most productive. It makes no sense to schedule a class for 7:00 if you're nodding off. Clinical psychologist Michael Breus in the book "Always on time" suggests taking into account biological rhythms when planning. He believes that some people remember information better from 10:00 to 14:00, and others from 16:00 to 22:00. And it's better to sleep at night — from 4:00 to 7:00, new material is remembered the worst.

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