To many learning English or improving English skills seems like an arduous task; they are petrified of the hard work that they think it will involve and are not motivated; hence because of such fear, many never learn or develop English skills
Good news! in this article, I will introduce you to ways to develop English skills while having fun and thoroughly loving the process.
It is agreed by linguists and other academicians that the best way to learn and master any language is to do it the same way an individual learned his/her first language. Yes, the way you learned your first language as a child. Children are not smart or have the experience, knowledge or intellectual abilities of an adult. They wear diapers, vomit, and make a mess while eating. When they begin learning to speak they don't know the written alphabet or grammatical rules of the language and yet they learn and are able to speak fluently before they start learning the written alphabet.
You learned a new language and got fluent at it as a child; when you had absolutely no experience or knowledge or intellectual abilities. So surely, you can learn and master English the same way and with ease. The problem is, most adults do not remember how they learned their first language and think repeating the same feat is impossible as an adult. Well, I can tell you, it is very much possible. Read on and I will remind you how you learned the language of your community and parents and how you can apply the same skills to improve English skills as an adult.
There is a general misconception that humans are born with abilities to learn and become fluent in the language of their parents or community that they are perceived to belong to. It is because of such belief that the term "mother tongue" developed to describe an individual's first language. Modern research, science and most importantly common sense has discredited the idea of "mother tongue". Humans are not born with a "mother tongue" but rather abilities to learn or create a language and communicate.
Children acquire their language skills not by learning grammar but by listening. They observe and listen to their parents, relatives and friends in their community. They try to reproduce the same sounds that they hear. At first, they do not have the abilities to produce the range of sounds that adults make. However, as they grow older and their vocal abilities develop, children successfully start making the sounds that they had tried so long to make. They then learn to weave the sounds together to form a word and then weave words together to form sentences.
So we see, Listening skill is the key to developing language skills, especially speaking. Deaf people are not mute because they do not have speaking abilities or they do not have what is called a "mother tongue"; rather they are mute because they do not have the ability to listen.
People with good native like English skills often find it hard to understand English speakers from a different culture or country. For example, people from America find it difficult to understand native British English accent and vice versa. This is because people from different cultures develop different sounds and speaking styles for the same language to mark their own cultural identity. When people of these countries with common language visit the other country they often find it difficult to comprehend the local spoken accent. This is because they are not used to listening and deciphering the sounds used in that culture for the same language. However, given time to live a few days in that culture they learn to comprehend the spoken accent. They are able to do it because they are exposed to it 24/7 in the shops, at work, on television.
If you have trouble comprehending what is considered native English accent; the best way to improve your comprehension is to listen to as much native English as you can. Do all your daily activities to get news, entertainment in English. There is a lot of high quality media content in English readily available in all countries and on the internet. If you are researching a topic watch English videos on youtube or vimeo. Watch English movies such as Guardians of the Galaxy vol 2. Watch these without subtitles and then with subtitles for some videos and vice versa for other videos.
As you listen, learn new expressions, words and phrases. Internalise the new expressions, words and phrases you learn by imagining real life situations where you might use them and practice in your imagination how you would use them in those situations. Do not let go any chance to show off the newly acquired English skills to your family and friends.
while you indulge in above activities, have fun! just like when you were a kid. You don't have to do the above exercises with the primary objective of learning English but rather do them for entertainment and finding knowledge. Your mind will carry out the process of adding new English skills to the language archive in your brain, automatically; just like it did when you were a little child.
Get help. It is said "Knowing the problem is the problem half solved". As a kid you had parents to make you aware, conscious and correct the mistakes you made when speaking the native tongue. You will similarly need a coach to correct and make you aware and conscious of the mistakes you make when communicating in English.
It is the above approach that we have tried to incorporate in our courses at www.pte-preparation.com. Especially, in the Diamond course, which comes with personal 1-1 coaching. In our coaching, we strive to understand your current English skills, the common grammatical and other errors in English communicative and then through a series of exercises based on recent advances in cognitive learning or what I like to call "children learning methodology", we help you eliminate the errors in your English skills and build up academic English skills. The target of our coaching is to bring our student skills to the level where they can achieve 85+ in the Pearson Test of English Academic test.
This article is not complete; Part 2 of this article is coming soon, where, we will present further tips to improve reading and writing skills while thoroughly enjoying the process. Till then enjoy enjoy learning English.