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About Everything Wiki » Education » Guests of the podcast "42" answer listeners' questions about learning English

Guests of the podcast "42" answer listeners' questions about learning English

03 May 2023, 05:02, parser
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In the 46th issue of the podcast "42", we talked about learning English independently. Our virtual studio was attended by Peter Didenko, Chief Strategic Development Specialist of SKB-Kontur, editor of the PC World magazine and former participant of the most popular IT podcast Radio-T Olga Akukina aka Olyapka and the creator of the LinguaLeo web service Ainur Abdulnasyrov.

Shortly before the podcast was released, we invited listeners to ask their questions to our guests. We are grateful to you for the interesting questions that made the issue more informative. Unfortunately, not all the questions were asked in the podcast due to limited time, so we decided to collect them in a separate post and ask Ainur Abdulnasyrov and Olga Akukina to give their answers. I will also allow myself to make some additions to the answers of our guests.

Antony Kitoff:
In your opinion, which "variant" of English is worth studying: British or American? And also: very difficult (at least for me) build sentences. What can you advise? :)

In my personal opinion, American is preferable. Almost all popular culture is in the States: movies, TV series, interviews with stars, etc. (if you want to watch it all). In general, English is used everywhere — not only in England and America, but also in Australia, Canada, etc. It is hardly necessary to focus only on one accent. In general, I have not seen any language schools offering separate courses in British and American and have not asked this question. In general, you are learning English, and there you will be able to talk to the British and Americans!
About building sentences — here you need to understand what your problem is. If the grammar is the rules of construction, then buy a grammar textbook or read the rules on a variety of sites on the web, remember. If it's just in the absence of practice, then I can only advise you to write more, talk more, as well as listen and read. With experience, everything will come, but without experience in any way.

I think that it is necessary to learn American English, it is he who should be given the first place in classes. But in parallel, you need to get acquainted with the main differences between British and American.

Alex Lazarev:
Hello! Please tell me, is it possible to learn a language on your own without leaving the Russian Federation? How effective is learning using self-help books and services like LinguaLeo or Langled, for example? Thank you very much!

It is very real to learn a language on your own without leaving the Russian Federation. Moreover, the language still needs to be taught independently, even while abroad. The language environment only helps in this process. It's not difficult to create a language environment for yourself: listen to audiobooks, watch movies, read, use LinguaLeo, for example! Your task is to choose (or create for yourself) a learning system and follow it. For example, listen to audiobooks with text every day and read aloud one page at a time. If you want, you can study grammar by Murphy, say, one unit a day.

You can learn a language without leaving the borders of the Russian Federation, but still communication with native speakers, full immersion in the language environment gives much faster results. It is very effective to learn a language in the context of everyday life. So ideally, you need to master the language at home before reaching a certain level, and then live abroad.

Yura Sukholotyuk:
With the study of words, everything is quite simple, but how are things with grammar? How do I learn grammar on my own?

Find a textbook, for example, highly praised English Grammar in Use by Raymond Murphy. I've seen pdf scans online. Sit, read, do exercises (you can find a lot of grammar tests on the web). And in general, there are a lot of sites dedicated to the rules of grammar.

I will add that to memorize the rules of the language, you can use different methods of working with information. For example, I have always been greatly helped in improving my knowledge of the language and in studying other subjects by intelligence maps developed by Tony Buzen (read his books if you haven't read them yet) and allowing me to quickly and structurally memorize information. You can also draw various schemes based on the material you read, take notes on something, visually highlighting important points, write cheat sheets for yourself - not for use in exams, but just for yourself :)
Murphy's textbook is good for people with below-average language proficiency (but not really zero). If you know the language better, then Murphy will be too simple for you, and you need to choose more complex textbooks.

Oleg Demkiv:
How to learn to read words correctly in English? Once I learned German, and now I read some English words in German, it bothers me to look into the dictionary every time how it should sound in English, and I'm too lazy, besides I forget the transcription anyway.

Listening to audio and video materials with parallel text will help you read words in English correctly. If you listen-read 5-6 pages a day, then your pronunciation will greatly improve.

And imitate native speakers more and more diligently! Watch the video, follow the movements of the lips, listen to the pronunciation and repeat as close as possible to what you saw and heard. This is, of course, a lot of work, so we need to fight laziness ;)

Pavel Kushnarev:
How do I force myself to sit down and study?

I think everything here should start with motivation. If you need to know English, and you understand why and why it is necessary, there should be no problems — you will sit down and study daily. Otherwise, you understand, there will be no forward movement.
If you still have problems, well, I do not know, promise yourself to buy something good if you devote at least an hour a day to learning the language :)

Learn the language for a reason, link these classes with life goals — to get a better job, travel a lot, have access to huge arrays of interesting English-language content that will never be translated into Russian, etc. Meet other people learning the language and sharing the progress of their studies on blogs, read foreign resources. All this will help to feel the incentives to learn the language.

How long will it take to learn English to read books?

If you start from scratch and use something like LinguaLeo, it may take 2-3 months, at least (this is according to the Zamyatkin method).

In 2-3 months, indeed, you can start reading books, but still not very complicated. To master any book, you need a deeper knowledge of the language. Well, in order to freely read fiction in the original, you will have to work even harder. How long such a level of language knowledge is acquired depends on the intensity and thoughtfulness of the training, but this, of course, is not one year.

Hello, two months ago I started attending English language courses "from scratch" and simultaneously engaged in self-education. I have heard that it is useful to watch movies in English. I tried it — I don't understand anything almost, and Russian subtitles attract attention to themselves. What should I do — overpower myself or wait until I learn a little more words?

I also initially watched movies and TV series with Russian subtitles. I can say that it makes little sense. The fact is that you hear one thing and read something completely different. As a result, confusion turns out in your head, and you don't really understand English at all.
I was tormented with Russian subtitles for quite a long time, but one day I couldn't understand the phrase (inaccurate translation) and turned on English. And at that moment I realized how much easier it is to see and read exactly those phrases that the characters utter! I didn't watch any more with the Russians.
Of course, I had a good level of English at that time. If you have just started learning, I'm afraid it will be difficult for you to watch with English titles. You will have to constantly stop and look into the dictionary, there will be confusion in your head and so on.
Personally, I watched a 40-minute episode of my favorite TV series for 3-4 hours at first with constant stops (I was terribly tired). Now this time has been reduced to 1-1.5 hours approximately :)
In general, you can try, if it's very hard, then wait until your level rises. Although you can arrange periodic workouts for yourself.

And you can also do this: watch a short scene of a movie or TV series with a translation, then turn off the translation and watch the scene again — with or without subtitles. Or vice versa — first look without translation, then with translation.
As Olga said, it is better to watch it with English subtitles, and not with Russian. If there are unfamiliar words, stop playback, translate — it's hard, but it will pay off!

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