Learning a language is never easy. It requires interest, time, commitment and most importantly, passion. Without passion, you cannot fully understand or feel the uniqueness of a language. As we all know, English is considered as a second language in our country, Malaysia. With the importance of the language increases, we learn English since young. English comprises for major skills which are speaking, listening, reading and writing. So, the question is what are the ways to learn English effectively? Here are some of the ways to learn English that I would like to share with you:
1. Set Your Goals in Learning English
Before you begin, ask yourself this question, “Why do I learn English?” The answers may vary depending on the individuals’ needs and view regarding the language. You might say “I want to learn English because it enables me to achieve a good grade in examination.”, “I want to learn English because it enables me to secure a good career in the future.”, “I want to learn English because it enables me to learn more about the Western culture.” or “I want to learn English because I simply love the language.” Setting goals during the learning process will keep you motivated to stay consistent and help you to focus on what you need to do to achieve success in mastering the skills in English.
2. Listen to Radio for English Conversations
The conversations on the radio are usually played once. However, it helps you learn to pick up information according to the speech rate naturally. You just need to listen to the conversation without taking down any notes. Subsequently, your listening skill will improve.
3. Listen and Sing Along with English Songs
Listen to English songs that you like to make your learning process more interesting. When you sing along, it is a way to improve your pronunciation and having fun at the same time. You will also be able to build up your vocabulary with any new words that you hear and learn from the songs.
4. Watch English TV Programmes
You can watch English series and movies on television or online. By watching them, you can mimic the speaker’s pronunciation on certain words. Subsequently, you are not only able to improve on your pronunciations but listening skill as well by picking up essential information. If you watch online, you will be able to pause and replay the English series or movies repeatedly as practice. Listen to the conversation for general information when it was played for the first time and in-depth information during the second time and so on. Besides that, when you watch these programmes along with good English subtitles, they help you to gain better understanding on what the speakers are trying to say. You can pick an English movie or series that interest you so that the learning process will be more enjoyable.
5. Record Your Own Speech
Record your own voice when you are talking and listen to it especially on pronunciation and intonation. You will be able to identify the problems that you face and improve on your weaknesses.
6. Speak in English with Your English-speaker Friends
You can improve your speaking skill by speaking English with your friends. By speaking English, you will be able to learn how to form a simple conversation and subsequently you will be able to improve on your listening skill when you receive information from your friends.
7. Read English Materials
There are many English reading materials that you can use to improve your reading skill. You need to find the reading materials that are suitable with your level of proficiency and interest you. Some of the reading materials are newspapers, comic books, novels, magazines and websites. You will be able to expand vocabulary and improve on the writing skill. When you are doing some reading, you will able to get some ideas on how the writers convey his or her stories through various writing styles which include sentence structure and vocabulary used. Read aloud the text when you are alone will help to improve your reading comprehension and pronunciation as well.
8. Always Have an English Dictionary with You
You need to have an English dictionary with you whether it is in the form of a book or online dictionary. With a dictionary in your hand, you will able to look up for the words that you do not understand almost instantly. The dictionary also provides examples of sentence using a particular word that you have look up. You will not only be able to understand the meaning of the word but also use it correctly in a sentence.
9. Keep a Personal Diary or Journal
Writing in English will help to improve your sentence structure, grammar and spelling. You can start by writing a sentence each day in your diary or journal. The sentence can be any interesting quote that you have read or whatever you have in your mind. Write more as you expand on your vocabulary and develop your own writing style.
10. Review and Get Feedback on Your English Learning Progress
It is important to review what you have learnt again everyday about 5 to 10 minutes. This is to ensure that you will be able to internalize the knowledge that you have gained effectively. For example, you would be able to construct a sentence correctly without thinking about the English rules. You can also get feedback from your friends or English teachers regarding your learning progress. Ask them to check on your English task such as writing and correct your mistakes. Learn from the mistakes that you have done and avoid repeating it.
The most important things that you should remember when learning English:
- Never give up when you face difficulties while learning English.
- Keep yourself motivated while learning English.
- Be consistent in your English learning process.
- Have fun while learning English.
- Practice makes perfect.
Written by Low May May