Utamurodova M.Z. – student of the group 103-88
Scientific Director: Muratova M.A., master of Pedagogical sciences
South Kazakhstan State Pedagogical University, Shymkent
This article gives a wide range of tips in learning English, how to improve speaking,listening,writing,reading skills.
All English learners want to improve their English as quickly as possible, but as you know, it can be a difficult process! For you to learn well, you will need to work on all areas of the language. The four main fields for you to focus on are: Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening. At EC, our English courses promote these 'core skills' because they're essential in becoming a fluent English speaker. Speak as often and as much as possible! This is the best way to learn English! There is nothing better than conversation to help you improve. Whereas, you can practise reading, writing, and listening on your own, it’s obviously better to speak English with someone. The best way to do this is to be in an English speaking environment. Take an English course in an English language school, or better still, learn English in an English-speaking country. The quickest way to learn English is to surround yourself with English speakers. Also, get into the habit of thinking in English, don’t translate from your own language into English, it will slow you down. When you talk, use the sentences which instantly and naturally feel right to you, these are often the correct ones. Many students learn to develop an ‘intuition’ about English, use yours and trust it.This might sound a little strange and embarrassing at first, but record yourself talking and listen to your own pronunciation, talking speed and the flow of your speaking. It will give you a great chance to see the areas you need to work on. Finally, it’s fun to sing in English, so learn some English songs and sing your heart out!
Listening to English
This really is a skill that needs to be worked on everyday. Like speaking, it’s better for you to be in a totally English speaking environment. Full immersion is the best way for you to improve your level. Again, nothing can beat learning at an English language school abroad. It’s also good to watch TV shows, or movies in English. The news can be difficult to learn from for level students, but the more you listen the more you’ll pick up. As an exercise, it’s good to have something you can listen to over and over again. For example, a DVD can be repeated whereas a news report can only be heard once. When listening to something more than once; first, try to catch the general meaning, then, listen a second time for more in-depth information. Learn to ’shadow’ using a DVD or CD, listen and repeat what you hear said. It’s important to remember that a native English speaker is not going to repeat something 10 times for you to understand, so as a long term goal, you must focus on learning to get your listening right first time.
Here are another couple of important things to think about:
Reading English is something you can do to help you learn on your own, outside of the classroom. Have a dictionary with you (English/English is best.) to look up new words and then write them down in a notebook. Try to use these new words in conversation, it's a great way to learn. Newspapers are good for higher level students, so for lower levels try reading children’s stories or books which have been especially written for English learners. You won’t learn much if you choose a book that is too difficult or too easy. You should find something that will be challenging, fun, and you can learn well from. When you read don’t worry about trying to understand every world, don’t keep reaching for the dictionary every few seconds! Instead, try and understand the general meaning of the text first and then re-read it for more detail. For words you don’t understand, try learning how to guess the meaning from the context. Look at the other words in the sentence; they will give you clues as to its meaning. Check to see if the English word is a verb, a noun or an adjective. The internet is full of stuff you can read and learn from.
Try keeping a diary; write something in English in it every day, even if it’s very simple. Start with small sentences and make them longer. Again, the internet is a great way to help. Try to make friends online, visit chat rooms, forums, or post comments on blogs. These are all useful tools for you to learn well from. Writing gives you a good chance to review words you have learned in the past, and allows you the time to think about grammar as you write. Go back and review anything you might have written in the past, when your English was at a lower level, and try to find any mistakes you made. Think about writing a short story or even a poem; if you have a teacher, he or she, will be happy to check it for you.
- Speak a little English every day. The absolute best way to learn any new language is just to speak it. It doesn't matter if you only know five English words or if you're practically fluent -- speaking English with another person is the fastest, most effective method of improving.
- Don't wait until you "feel more comfortable" speaking in English -- you probably won't reach that level for a long time, so push yourself outside of your comfort zone and start speaking English today. You' ll be amazed at how quickly your language skills improve.
- Find a native English speaker who is willing to spend some time speaking English with you -- you may be able to offer them a language exchange, where they spend 30 minutes speaking English with you and you spend 30 minutes speaking your native language with them.
- If you live in an English-speaking country, you can practice by starting simple conversations with the people you meet, whether it's saying "hello" to a shopkeeper or asking a stranger for directions.
- Work on your pronunciation. Even if you have an acceptable grasp of the English language, with good grammar and an extensive vocabulary, native English speakers may find you very difficult to understand if you don't work on your pronunciation.
- Correct, clear pronunciation is essential if you really want to improve your level of English. Listen closely to how native English speakers pronounce certain words and sounds and do your best to copy them.
- Pay particular attention to any sounds that you are unfamiliar with or that do not exist in your native tongue. For example, some people have difficulty pronouncing the "r" sound, as it does not exist in their native language, while other people have difficulty with certain consonant clusters, such as the "th" sound.
- Be aware that the pronunciation of certain English words varies greatly depending on the part of the world it's spoken in. For example, American English is very different from British English. If you intend to travel to or live in an English-speaking country, this is something you should take into account when learning how to pronounce certain words.
- Expand your vocabulary and use idiomatic phrases. The wider your vocabulary and the more English phrases you learn, the easier speaking English will become.
Again, spending time with native English speakers will help you to pick up on common vocabulary and phrases in a natural way. Although reading, watching English TV and listening to the news is also beneficial. Once you have learned a new word or phrase, you should make an effort to use it in a sentence -- this is the best way to commit it to memory.
Another easy way to commit new words to memory is to make labels for everyday household items and stick them around your house or apartment. Then every time you use the kettle or look in the mirror, you will see the English word for these items staring back at you. You should also start a notebook of idiomatic phrases that English speakers use all the time. Carry a dictionary. Carrying an English dictionary with you at all times (whether it's an actual book or a phone app) can be very useful. Having a dictionary means that you will never be stuck for a word. It can save you a lot of embarrassment if you're having a conversation with an English-speaker and forget a word in the middle of the sentence -- all you have to do is take a second to look it up! Aside from saving you awkwardness, looking up the word you need then immediately using it in a sentence will actually help you to commit the new vocabulary to memory. It is also helpful to have a dictionary to peruse throughout the day during private moments, like when you're sitting on the train, waiting to cross the street or just having a cup of coffee. You could learn an extra 20 to 30 English words per day using this technique! As a beginner, you should start with an English dictionary that provides definitions in your native language. However, once your language skills improve, you should switch to using an English-English dictionary, which provides English definitions for English words.
Listen to English radio or podcasts. One of the best ways to improve your English listening comprehension is to download English-language podcasts or radio apps on your phone or MP3 player. You should then make an effort to listen to the podcasts or radio shows for at least 30 minutes per day. Do it in the gym, on your commute to work, or while you're sitting at your computer.Make an effort to understand what's being said, don't just let the English wash over you. Even if you find it too fast, try to pick out key words and phrases to get a general idea of what the conversation is about. If you can, make a note of any words or phrases that you don't understand and look up the translation afterwards. Then listen to the podcast or show again to hear the new words or phrases in context.
Watch English movies and TV shows. Another fun way to improve your listening comprehension is to watch English movies and TV shows. Try to pick movies or TV shows that you will enjoy -- this will make the exercise feel like less of a chore. If possible, choose movies or shows that you are already familiar with, such as children's cartoons or blockbuster films. If you already know the basic story you will find the language much easier to pick up on. However, you should avoid watching movies or television shows with subtitles in your native language -- they will only distract you and make you less inclined to focus on understanding the English, which is the whole point of the exercise. Read an English book, newspaper or magazineIf you want to gain fluency quickly, you need to commit to practicing every day. Learning a new language is based on repetition, so if you wait too long between study sessions, you will forget everything you learned previously and have to start all over again, wasting valuable time. However, you shouldn't study so much that you grow sick of English -- try to keep things interesting by completing a different task each day - one day of reading, one day of listening comprehension, one day of writing practice, one day studying grammar, etc. However, you should never pass up an opportunity to practice speaking English, as this is the number one most important thing you can do to gain fluency. Train yourself to think in English. One way to make the transition from being very good at English to being fluent is to train your brain to actually think in the English language. Constantly translating from your native language into English and back again inside your head consumes time and energy. Every language has its own nuances and peculiarities, which makes it impossible to accurately translate from one language to another in certain instances. As a result, your spoken and written English will flow much more naturally and fluently if you can just train your brain to think in English. Think of it like a switch -- when it's time to communicate in English, you need to turn your English brain on and your mother language brain off.
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