4 Tips for Learning English as a Second Language

When you undertake an English course (and English is not your first language), there are a number of ways to enhance your learning. Choosing to learn English can be daunting enough on its own, so it is important to have some strategies to ensure that your learning is maximised and as successful as possible.

Tip 1:  Be willing to learn

If you are not completely sure whether you want to learn English or have the commitment to do so, finding the dedication and commitment needed to study successfully will be difficult. However, if you know that you have the will, interest and motivation for an English course, you will find your learning enjoyable, stimulating and all the more advantageous.

Tip 2:  Establish a number of goals

As you study and grow in confidence with the English language, it can be extremely helpful to set goals that you actively work towards.

Some people know that they would like to enhance their pronunciation, while others know that they would like to improve their listening comprehension or extend their vocabulary. With clear goals at the forefront of your mind, you will know what you are working towards and will be better able to measure your progress and achievements.

Tip 3:  Be willing to practice

When you learn English, practicing and thinking about your learning only while you are in formal lessons, will not be enough. While you may still pick up the language, it will take you far longer to become confident and proficient unless you practice often.

Practicing and applying what you have learnt in formal English lessons and through course textbooks is important and the best way to advance your ability to understand, speak and otherwise communicate using the English language.

There are a number of effective ways to practice, including:

  • Conversing with native English speakers as often as you can
  • Doing as much writing as possible. Take every opportunity that you can to write; craft emails, letters, notes, articles and any other types of writing.
  • Use English when speaking on the telephone as much as possible.

4:  Expose yourself to the language

One of the most effective ways to learn any language is to immerse yourself in it and this certainly applies to the English language. The greater your exposure to the English language, the more familiar it will become and you will quickly realise what does and does not sound correct or read correctly.

Similarly, extensive exposure to the English language will support you to realise why particular words and phrases are used in preference to others and your own vocabulary and confidence will grow as a result.

Of course, there are many ways to increase your exposure to the English language. Beyond speaking to other people, you can:

  • Watch television programs and films in which English is spoken
  • Listen to the radio
  • Read as often and as extensively as possible.

When you learn English as a second language it is useful to be aware of some techniques and strategies that will hasten your learning and raise your confidence and proficiency with the language.

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