Thursday, February 14, 2008
Five Top Tips for Learning English as a Foreign or Second Language
There are Many Ways
While there are almost as many combinations of ways to learn English as there are English language learners, one thing is for sure. That is that no single method or combination of techniques or methods is “best” for everybody. With that said, I’d like to offer you these top ten tips for learning English as a foreign or second language.
1. Immerse yourself in English whenever possible
If you’re trying to learn English while still living in a non-English speaking country or foreign environment, you’re already a bit “handicapped”. You need to try to surround and immerse yourself in English as often and as much as possible through music, TV, radio, videos, friends and whatever else you can.
2. Talk with other English speakers
Where are the English-speakers where you live? Where might English-speaking ex-pats “hang out”? Where ever and whenever you can seek out English speakers and engage them in conversations. Loin clubs, organizations or attend meeting and social gatherings where English speakers congregate or might be found.
3. Practice in some way each and every day
However you can manage to do it, you absolutely MUST practice everyday. You can easily use a wide variety of methods to accomplish this. Watch a video or television program in English. Listen to music on the radio, talk shows or news in English too. You can chat with an English speaker, native or not. Read the news, sports results or celebrity gossip online in English. Slide into an English language chat room or forum of interest to you, in English, of course.
4. Develop a Taste for the Culture
It’s almost impossible to separate language from culture, so use it to deepen you knowledge, skills and understanding of the English language. Do you know how to play baseball? How about hockey or Cricket? Well then, how’s your knowledge of Lacrosse, American football or even basketball for that matter? Are familiar with regional foods of the USA, Canada, the UK or Australia and New Zealand? Boning up on the culture will invariably get you to learn more English in context using content-based learning.
5. Don’t Emphasize Just One Skill
Contrary to what some schools, institutes and English language teachers advise, I don’t recommend “focusing on one particular” English language skill. When you practice speaking or reading aloud, your listening comprehension skills improve. If you listen and repeat a spoken discourse selection, your speech in English will also improve – sometimes dramatically in a relatively short time. Reading will improve writing skills and writing practice will aid your reading comprehension abilities.
Use These Tips
Use these tips to help springboard your English language learning efforts and you’ll soon begin to notice an increase in your communicative abilities. If you have any further questions, problems or need an additional “boost” just drop me a quick e-mail. I’ll be happy to help.
For some of my greatest tips, tricks and techniques for quickly and easily learning virtually any of the world's 6912 living languages just go to:
Larry M. Lynch is an English language teaching and learning expert author and university professor in Cali, Colombia. Now YOU too can live your dreams in paradise, find romance, high adventure and get paid while travelling for free. For more information on the lucrative, fascinating field of teaching English as a Foreign Language, get your copy of his no-cost, full multi-media, hypertext-linked pdf ebook, “If You Want to Teach English Abroad, Here’s What You Need to Know” by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with "free ELT Ebook" in the subject line. Need professional, original content and photos or images for your blog, newsletter, e-zine or website? Want more information, have a comment or special request? Contact the author by e-mail for a prompt response.