6 Things You Should Know Before You Start Learning English
You have made up your mind to study a foreign language and decided on English because you know it has more advantages than other languages in terms of careers, business, technology, science, education, etc. But, is there anything else you should know before learning it? Here are our 6 things you should know!
About the language itself:
1) What are the main features of the English language?
It is receptive and heterogeneous because throughout its history it has accepted and adopted words from almost all other languages. The simplicity of its inflections and its relatively fixed word order are noticeable too. It has several ways to express the same ideas or feelings, which makes English a rich and varied language.
2) Is it easy to pick up?
It is an easy language to pick up at the beginning and most students can start speaking it and master its basics fairly quickly. It turns a bit more difficult at very high levels, especially if you want to achieve fluency. However, difficult things can be accomplished if you are committed: you are the only one who is responsible for failure or success. The most important thing about learning a new language –or any other subject- is to get so involved that it can become part of your lifestyle.
3) Set obtainable goals.
What motivates you to learn English and how far do you want to get? Your goals will motivate you and help you choose what areas to focus on. Keep this in mind when you feel discouraged or when you think you are not improving as fast as you expect. Not seeing immediate results is NOT a waste of time: even if you are not making progress, things happen in your brain and after a while you’ll realize you have improved.
4) Feel confident.
Don’t get demotivated because you are not as good as you think. Be positive and turn your negative statements –like “I don’t understand what you are saying”) into positive ones (Can you speak more slowly, please, I am still learning). Confident students can interact more fluently sooner.
About your learning process:
5) Surround yourself with English.
Our brains are capable of learning any language, but, to use this ability we need to show our brains that English is an important part of our daily life: something we need to succeed or to survive. How can you do this? There are a number of different ways:
Listen to music, movies, TV shows, radio, attend plays, exhibitions, talks in English, etc.
- Speak without thinking of mistakes: Join voiced chats, talk and record yourself, talk to your classmates in English in and when you meet to play games, to have a meal together or just to chat.
- Read English books, newspapers, magazines, comics,
- Switch the operating system of your mobile phone, tablet, PC into English
- Write down words and expressions with their meaning and translation if necessary, keep a diary, and write comments in English blogs.
6) Find a way to make your learning fun.
Do in English all the things you enjoy doing in your own language.
Learning English is a long-term journey full of different challenges. You will achieve your goals sooner and more efficiently if you don’t do it on your own, if you don’t pay attention to negative statements about your improvement, if you communicate with people in social media in a meaningful way, and most importantly if you can join other English learners’ groups and exchange experiences with them. Don’t hesitate. Just go for it!