English as a Second Language Wikibook

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Hints on Learning English for Beginners

Interest is of the greatest importance in the study of any subject, the student should be drawn to studies, studying without interest is like eating without appetite. The study of the subject under duress, i.e. stretched necessity, will not bring great results, it is necessary that the process is a pleasure. So the first thing to do is to get yourself interested in the English language, you need to make sure that the craving for classes "takes away" time from other hobbies and, especially, such as contemplating a color box.

Try to get yourself interested in English. Foremost, get acquainted with the history of the language and the people, the great writers and works created in this language. Knowing your inclinations, try to find out at what points your interests and the English language overlap.

Most likely, you have some hobbies or at least a predisposition to some topics, all we need to do is associate them with the English language. If you like history – get acquainted with the history of England and the English language, if you like music – analyze songs in English, like to cook – find recipes in English and cook something according to them, pronouncing the ingredients and manipulations performed on them. Find common ground between your hobby and the English language, for example: lovers of software and tinkering in the wilds of system settings have, willy-nilly, joined the English language.

One of the first tricks to memorizing new words is new sounds that you can't say to yourself until they're firmly on your tongue. This is due to the fact that you do not yet have an image of this sound in your imagination, and accordingly you cannot operate with it. To speed up the assimilation of sounds for inner speech, it is recommended to write out a couple of small words with the sound you are interested in and pronounce them loudly and clearly "until blue in the face". And if at the same time you still imagine what you are saying, then you will learn a few new words. The main sounds of the English language that cause a problem in this matter are the sounds [ð], [θ], [w], [r], [ŋ], [æ].

Beginners occasionally have difficulty memorizing foreign words. To build vocabulary, don't just memorize a list of words, it's just a waste of time and effort. Don't be intimidated by passion. You need not to know the words, but to understand their meaning. Those. as already mentioned above, so that words are not an end, but a means. Write out the parts of the sentence that interest you and short phrases, words are better remembered in a logical connection with each other. It should also be said that at the initial stage one should not try to memorize as many words as possible. What matters is not the number of words, but the vocabulary base, which will be the support for your growth. The vocabulary base is created from the most used, everyday words and expressions and should sit firmly in your head.

As a rule, the vocabulary base is formed when studying grammar in various textbooks, where sentences made up of frequently occurring words are given as an example for the grammar rule. Therefore, to begin with, you should choose simplified grammar references, without unnecessary details and with simple usage examples that need to be memorized so that you understand what you are saying. At the same time, not only the vocabulary base is formed, but also an understanding of the structure of the language. This will be your base for further development.

Again, the most effective way to learn a language is to learn with the help of the language. Any question that interests you, study in English. Of course, it is difficult when you need to understand something, and even thinking in a language other than your own. But this is the best way to start thinking in English. However, this approach is only suitable for those who already have at least some kind of base. If you are just starting your acquaintance with the language, then this approach will be difficult to apply.

Dip yourself in English, think about English, listen in English, watch movies in English, make English pen pals, make English learning friends, book dreams in English. Get a notebook and write down all the words and phrases that you have worked on and review your notes from time to time. Get a thick-too-thick dictionary and look there often. Get a small, very small dictionary and do not part with it even in the toilet. Keep a diary in English. Start simple: "What's the weather like? How do I feel? What did I do today?" Paste your home and workplace with cards with the names of objects, with words and phrases to memorize. When working with audio materials, listen to the pronunciation, rhythm, accent, try to highlight the words in the conversation, even if they are incomprehensible to you. This will teach you to "understand" speech (recognize words in it), and, after accumulating some vocabulary, the meaning of some unfamiliar words will begin to manifest itself. When reading texts and listening to speech, grasp the general meaning, do not tire yourself with either grammar or trying to understand every word, otherwise you may lose interest in the content and you will have to apply willpower to continue.

Read in English, read as much as you can. At the beginning, use adapted literature for reading so as not to ruin your interest with complexity. Adapted literature is works in which rarely occurring words and sentence structures are replaced by simpler ones. Keep in mind that when something starts to work out for you, then your interest will increase. As you accumulate vocabulary, start reading original texts and more, as each author of the work uses his own, characteristic, active vocabulary and uses his own turns. There is a narrative thread in the work, which allows you to guess the meanings of unknown words, which allows you to turn to the dictionary less. Remember that the content must be interesting. When reading, you should not memorize the language, but read it, so, as already mentioned, start with simple texts. If possible, read aloud periodically to set up a speech. Eventually you will come to the point where you can think in English. This will mean that he is already quite firmly seated in your head. And once again I remind you: no violence! Do not read what you think (or have been led to believe) will be useful to you in the future. Read only what is exciting and interesting.

Work on your pronunciation. Speak loudly and clearly, with an English pronunciation, do not mumble. Periodically do exercises for loud pronunciation - this will put the speech. The best way to work on pronunciation is not to read, but to repeat after a phonogram. Press "pause" and speak, imitating accent and intonation. You can choose a pet that will be interesting to imitate, for example, some actor or showman for whom English is his native language. Another important detail: you should periodically listen to the recording of your speech, comparing it with «standard». We don't really sound like we think we do.

Do everything in a complex, use every minute if you are riding the bus, listen to podcasts, read, cram, remember what you have recently learned. If you're driving, do something lighter without overloading your attention (the instinct of self-preservation will not allow you to immerse yourself in the material being studied, and if it does, then you will be dangerous!), listen to the content of the song or repeat the learned words and phrases from the podcast and so on and the like.

And another small but important tip: if morale has fallen and English is sick then read (listen, look, do something) that will return the desire to go further and take on the next workout, keep such things and use them if necessary, and do not forget about the effect of addiction to doping, sometimes you still need to send everything to hell and enjoy idleness.

Remember, if you do not learn a language yourself, then no one will learn it for you, and even ten additional tutors, a bunch of newfangled programs and techniques will not help you. The language is learned approximately only for the first half a year or a year, then you finish learning it all your life.

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