How to Learn English if You're a Non Native Speaker

Everybody wants to learn English and improve their communication skills these days. They know exactly what they need in today's highly-globalized world. Controversies abound though regarding the best technique of learning the English language. Plus, if you are a non-native speaker, you probably think of this language as ESL (English as a Second Language) . Read on for some help-


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    Change your wrong impression of grammar. If you're a non-native speaker, chances are your grammar isn't that bad. In fact, you studied a lot of English grammar in your elementary, middle school, and high school. Now the first thing you need to do is to unlearn the bad impression of grammar that you got. Grammar isn't dry, useless, dead, only paper-based, strict, and boring. Quite the contrary! Grammar is fun, practical, dynamic, situation-based, free, and exciting. That is, if your teacher had known how to teach it right. Grammar isn't something you can run away from in English. And Grammar isn't some scary, dictatorial monster anyway. You should start seeing Grammar as a friend who only gives you guidelines - not rules. In short, real Grammar says: "Do," not "Don't."
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    Forget the myth of listening. The myth of Listening says that Listening is a zero-sum game: either you get it 100% or 0%. This is simply not true. If you're having a hard time making sense of what the other person (maybe a native speaker) is saying, don't be discouraged. More importantly, DON'T stop listening and thinking! .In home economics, there's a saying that goes: "There won't be a dollar without a cent."
    • This is true in Listening as well. Just because you can't make sense of what someone is saying in English, you don't have to drop everything and throw away the few things that you DO hear. Instead, concentrate on them and gather as much as you can.
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    • Think about the context (the situation around the speaker) and try to connect the separate words that you can catch. Try to fill the gaps that you don't hear. Why? Because, believe it or not, that's what everybody's doing - even the native speakers.
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    Speak. Speak and Speak. Practice! This step is connected to No 1. Because of your wrong way of learning grammar, you have unconsciously developed an aversion to practice and real application. Somehow, you believe that English is a skill that's best used only inside the four corners of your classroom - or quietly by yourself. And because you've undergone years and years of this sort of training, it's a tough habit to break. This step goes deep down to your inner confidence. You've got to learn to surmount the shyness and the voice inside your head that keeps telling you: "You'll just make a fool of yourself!". If you can't overcome this, then you won't be able to learn English. Remember: English is a language, a form of communication meant to be practiced together with other people.
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    Learn vocabulary by heart. Learning Vocabulary by heart means you should stop cramming your head with the translation of English words in your native language. No matter how many words you memorize everyday - 50, 100, 200! - they're all useless if you don't know what type of word you're learning, how to use it in a sentence etc. ... Non-native speakers of English are known for mechanically memorizing a lot of information. But in terms of the long-term goals of language-learning, it isn't so much the quantity that counts, only the quality.
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    Accept what can't understand. Eventually, you'll have to admit that some expressions and parts of English don't have the perfect grammar explanation that you are looking for. For instance, idioms, infinitives vs. gerunds etc. You'll just waste a lot of time trying to force a logical, iron-clad rule. Of course you should try your best to learn Grammar, but keep in mind that grammar doesn't have the answer to everything. In those cases when Grammar doesn't work, start repeating the sentence and expression. Pretty soon you'll realize you're getting comfortable with it and you don't really need a grammar explanation to use it.


  • STOP looking for a "silver bullet" technique that will let you learn English overnight. There is no such thing. Every learner is different. What works for you won't work for another and vice - versa. There are too many English-learning techniques out there that promise the best results. But what it all boils down to is: You as an individual learner. Do you have what it takes - the dedication and the patience - to get to the finish line?

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Categories: English