Learning English

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Learning English is the activity or process of gaining knowledge or skill by studying, practicing, being taught, or experiencing and understanding English . People learn English often by reading, writing, speaking, and listening or usually known as 4 Skills of English. Since English is the International Language, a lot of people learn English at a variety of places based on their needs such as English course, school, and University for those who wanted professional skill. In many countries English has become the part of lesson in the curriculum and included for national exam. However we can still find the number of students find difficulties in learning English, especially in the countries where English is not from the mother tongue. Sometimes they are lack of vocabulary, shy to speak and affected by the strong accent of their native language which makes it hard to speak English, we called it as tongue twister[1]. To over come those problems, here are several tips that might be useful for English Learner around the world :

The 11 Best Ways to Learn English Vocabulary[change | change source]

1. Keep a list[change | change source]

Words are all around us. Sitting down and looking up words in a dictionary is not the only way to find new vocabulary. You can find new words by talking with English speakers, watching shows in English, reading the news—anywhere, anytime. To keep track of new words, keep a vocabulary list.

Put this list somewhere portable (easy to carry around)—a little notebook, your phone—so you can access it from anywhere.

As you find words you don’t know, write them down. Make sure to keep plenty of space between words so that you can write more about the words later. When you get the chance (at the end of the day, or at the end of the week) find out what these words mean. You can write the definition however you want, translated to your native language, copied from the English dictionary or written in your own original words.

However you do it, we recommend also writing down the part of speech (e.g., verb, noun, adjective), different versions of the word (for example, if you write down the word “fish” you could also write down information for fishing, fishy, fisherman, etc.), and a full sentence using the word.

2. Use new words in conversations[change | change source]

Now that you have a list, it can be easy to forget about these words as you move on to new ones. This is especially true for common words and words that you’re not sure how to use. The more you use the words, the better you’ll remember them.

Read your list at the end of each week. Try using your new words during the week as often as you can. After you have been recording lists for a while, go back and read your old lists. How well do you remember those words from the older lists? Take any words you have forgotten from your old lists and add them to your new list.

3. Play games[change | change source]

Who said that studying can’t be all fun and games? Games like Scrabble or Vocabador offer great ways to learn new words.

There are lots of games you can play to strengthen your vocabulary. In fact, you can find a list of vocabulary board games right here on FluentU!

Games are a good way to learn because they make learning fun, and they help give you context for your new words. That means you’re giving the word you learn an extra meaning. For example, you might remember the way that the word was used during the game. You might remember your friend laughing about how the word was used. You might remember that it was very hard to think of that word the first time while playing! Having a real-life memory attached to that word makes it much more memorable.

4. Don’t try to remember words alone[change | change source]

As we already mentioned, it is better (and easier) to learn new vocabulary by giving them some context. One way to do this is to remember words in a sentence. This is a great option because you will not only know the word, but you will also know exactly how to use it in conversation.

Another option is to remember words by groups. If you just learned the word “humongous” (very large), you can memorize it by thinking of a group of words getting bigger and bigger—large, huge, humongous. This also gives the chance to learn even more words at the same time.

For example: large, humongous, gargantuan. What do you think “gargantuan” means?

5. Write a blog[change | change source]

Reading blogs is a nice way to learn new words, but writing a blog is even better!

You can start a free blog on many websites like WordPress and Tumblr. What you write in your blog and who sees it is all up to you. You can write about fashion or cats…or cat fashion—write about whatever interests you.

As you write, you will probably need to look up words in a dictionary. As you look up words, you will start to remember many of them! Using them in your blog gives them great context which will help your memory. You will learn exactly how to use them in writing.

You can go back to your notebook of new words and choose a list of words that you want to use before you write the blog. Writing with these words will help you practice and remember them.

Share your blog posts with friends and native speakers. Ask them for feedback. This will help make sure you used your words correctly.

6. Learn word parts[change | change source]

Many words can be broken down into smaller parts. For example, the word “dictionary” comes from the Latin word dictio, which means “to speak.”

This is called the root of the word. A root word is a base used to create many words. Now that you know the root word dictio, you might notice it in other words too, like dictate, dictator and contradict. Even if you don’t know what the words mean, you now know that they have something to do with speaking.

Learning word parts is a great idea because you don’t just learn one word, you learn other words that use these parts. You will also be better at guessing the meanings of new English words, because you will know what some parts of these words mean.

There are more parts to words than roots. Along with roots, words use prefixes (word parts that come in the beginning of the word) and suffixes (word parts that come at the end of a word).

Many dictionaries break down the word into these parts and tell you where these parts are from. You can find a list of word roots on this website, and a more complete list that includes prefixes and suffixes on this one.

7. Read special vocabulary books[change | change source]

Reading is a good way to learn new words, but what you read can also make a huge difference in how much you learn.

Choose books that are a little bit challenging for you, and you will learn a lot more than if you read at your level. If you read a book at your level, you may already know all the words. If you read a challenging book, you will need to learn many new words.

You can also try reading special vocabulary books. These are fiction books that include over 1,000 vocabulary words and their definitions! These books are available to buy online, and can be found here or by searching Amazon.

8. Take vocabulary quizzes[change | change source]

Now that you’ve learned a few new words, how well do you remember them? You can have fun learning, but you need to make sure that you are making good progress.

After using your fun learning methods, test yourself later with a more traditional method—quizzes.

Try using quizzes to make sure you still remember each word you learned, and to remind yourself of the words you learned a while ago. There are many vocabulary quizzes you can use to test yourself. You can find some at Vocabtest, Merriam-Webster and Vocabulary.com, among many others. Don’t forget that FluentU will always keep you practicing the vocabulary words you learned while watching videos!

9. Learn the culture[change | change source]

There are a number of different kinds of English around the world. British and American English might seem the same, but there are many little differences.

When you are learning new words, keep in mind which country you plan to visit, live in or work in. You should learn British English if you plan to go to England, American English if you plan to go to America, and so on.

The word color, for example, is spelled as “colour” in British English. British people used the words “brilliant” and “cheers” often, but Americans prefer to say “cool” instead of “brilliant” and “see you” instead of “cheers.”

Keep this in mind as you learn new words, and remember to learn words from the right kind of English.

10. Learn with others[change | change source]

Learning is easier and more fun when you do it with others!

Find a group of friends who want to learn English with you, get an online native speaking buddy or join a website with other learners. Whatever you choose to do, you will benefit greatly from working with others.

One excellent group learning program you can join is called Toastmasters. This group has meeting spots all over the world, and it helps people learn to speak in public. This can be a huge help to you if you have trouble speaking English with others!

Another great idea is to talk to other English learners on Facebook. There are many Facebook pages for English learners. Some are pages where English learners have created an online community for support and friendship. Other pages have actual native speakers helping the group learn. Find one, and your studying will suddenly get much easier.

11. Ask “What does that mean?”[change | change source]

Finally, never be afraid to ask questions!

If someone uses words you don’t understand, ask them “what does that mean?” Many people are very patient and understanding if you tell them that you’re learning English. In fact, many will actually enjoy helping you!

Institutional learning[change | change source]

Institutional Learning is learning in a place where people of different ages gain an education. Examples of some institutions are preschools, primary schools, secondary schools, and further and higher education. They provide a large variety of learning environments and learning space. For the informal Institution, usually people take an English Course for a special purposes and then get the certificate.

Individual learning[change | change source]

Other people try to learn English on their own, or in a less formal setting than in a group of people with a teacher. Usually people will have their own fun methode to learn English easier.

Here are several example of Individual English Learning :

  1. People can also listen to the radio broadcasts in English, or watch television programmes, in English to help them improve their listening ability. A popular channel to listen to the radio on is broadcast by the BBC, called the BBC World Service.
  2. Watching the latest movie and combining the sound with the subtittle, so it that it will enrich the daily expression of English,.
  3. Make a small private dictionary, like write every new vocabularies we met on a book.
  4. Try to find English native speaker and start practicing English

People can also study English by joining an English Club in the cities.

Online learning[change | change source]

Online based learning, usually via free websites on the Internet. One of the example is BBC World Service. The BBC World Service has a free website for people who are learning English as a second or foreign language called BBC Learning English. There are many online community forums such as Englishforums, where many people meet to learn English. Questions are answered quickly even with help from volunteer teachers from all over the whole world. You can also learn English on YouTube with free channels like English with Jennifer, Fast English or EngVid.

Learn English Grammar Online

There are various English learning software available that help learners improve their English speaking capabilities. Learners can practice on these software according to their convenience of time and place.

Testing[change | change source]

Ever wonder the difference between these prominent English tests for university admittance? The TOEFL, IELTS, TOEIC & the new PTE are the most common English tests administered at this time and prospective test-takers might wonder the differences between them. Here’s the differences between each.

  • TOEFL: Otherwise known as the Test of English as a Foreign Language, this exam is currently the most common for non-native English speakers. The TOEFL is often a requirement at most colleges and universities in the U.S., Canada and other English-speaking countries. In addition, government agencies, licensing bodies, businesses or scholarship programs might also require the TOEFL. At this present time, an individual’s TOEFL score is valid for two years and then subject for re-evaluation after the two-year period. The TOEFL itself was first administered in 1964 and has been taken by more than 23 million students since then. There are two most common forms of the test, the Internet-based Test (iBT) and paper-based (PBT). The iBT test is comprised of four sections: Reading, Listening, Speaking & Writing. The PBT is made up of four sections, as well: Listening, Structure & Written Expression, Reading Comprehension & Writing. The iBT has a total of 120 points, whereas the PBT ranges between 310-667 points.
  • IELTS: Otherwise known as the International English Language Testing System, the IELTS is administered by the University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations, the British Council & IDP Education. There are two primary versions of the IELTS: the academic version & the general training version. Basically, the academic version is meant for students who want to enroll in universities and other higher education institutions, as well as for medical professions, such as doctors or nurses who need to work or study in an English-speaking country. The general training version is meant for those looking to gain work experience or for purely immigration purposes. Similar to the TOEFL, an IELTS score is valid for two years. While both the academic version and the general version differ in terms of content, their structure is the same, dividing the test into three parts: Listening (40 minutes), Reading (60 minutes) and Writing (60 minutes). A brand is given along with a score, ranging form the high score of an “Expert User” to the lowest score of the “Non User.” The top three countries the test is administered in are China, India and Pakistan.
  • PTE: The New Pearson Test of English (PTE) was launched in October 2009. Its main differences from the TOEFL include:
    • automated speech and writing scoring providing consistent and accurate grading
    • score reports offering recorded speech samples to admissions offices at universities worldwide
    • challenging question types including filling blanks, matching items, selecting multiple answer choices in the same question
    • results will be available online in just five days
    • the fee will range from $150–220, depending on each country Similar to the TOEFL test, the Pearson Test of English (PTE) will test in all four sections: reading, writing, listening and speaking.
  • TOEIC: The TOEIC is an acronym for the Test of English for International Communication. As quoted from the TOEIC website: “The TOEIC is an English language test designed specifically to measure the everyday English skills of people working in an international environment.” The point system ranges from 10 to 990 points and the test itself is two hours in length, multiple choice, testing listening comprehension and reading comprehension. The TOEIC gives certificates to those who take the test, with different colors differentiating the range of advanced skills. In 2006 a new TOEIC was released with longer reading passages and also British, Australian and New Zealand English-speakers, whereas the previous test only featured American speakers.

Related pages[change | change source]

Other websites[change | change source]