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Tips And Advice

Tips for learning English: 8 – Guess the meaning of words

Deduce meaning from context. This is a tip that most teachers use and it works well for more advanced learners of English or students preparing for exams such as IELTS or CAE/FCE. If you’re reading and you don’t understand one word, try to figure it out, try to guess the meaning of the word. Try to see if you can understand the context of the sentence and what that word might mean in context. Is it a positive or negative word? What kind of word is it – noun, verb, adjective, adverb? Is the word used to show contrast? What is the sentence about and what is the tone of the writer? Can you understand the general meaning of the whole sentence or paragraph without understanding one or two words? Sometimes this doesn’t always work but if it’s just one word you don’t understand, you probably can continue without needing to know it. You can write it down and look it up later. Happy reading!

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Tips And Advice

Tips for learning English: 7 – Read what you enjoy

Read about something you like in English! You will enjoy your English learning experience if you read about what you are interested in. If you like to keep up-to-date about the news, read online news websites, if you like fantasy fiction, read Harry Potter. There are many grammatical functions in different genres of reading material, for example in the news you will find passive sentences and reported speech, while in fiction books you will find creative writing with lots of adjectives and adverbs, and in magazines you might find more informal, colloquial language. There is so much material out there for you, so read what you enjoy in your spare time. You don’t have to read a lot, just little every day. And if you find reading in English difficult or you are new to reading in English, try children’s books (Children’s Books on Amazon).

Reading can help;

  • improve and expand vocabulary base,
  • sentence structure,
  • grammatical structures (passive, reported speech, direct speech + more)
  • the rhythm of English and pronunciation if you read aloud.

 

So, what are you waiting for?

If you would like to practise your reading, writing, speaking or listening skills, contact me by clicking right here for an informal chat.

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Tips And Advice

Tips for learning English: 6 – Read Aloud

Read aloud. It works. When you’re reading anything, and if you’re alone, read out loud. In front of a mirror! You may feel silly doing this one but it’s very useful for your reading skills, pronunciation and mastering the rhythm of speaking in English. It’s good to know how to have a natural reading rhythm, in any language and if you do it in front of a mirror, or record yourself, you will see how the shape of your mouth changes. Don’t worry about feeling silly or embarrassed, nobody will see or hear you!

For more tips and advice for learning English, click here! And to ask about taking English lessons with me, click here!

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Tips And Advice

Tips for learning English: 5 – Embrace your mistakes!

When you learn English as a second language, you are going to make mistakes. It’s a fact. In my experience as a teacher, every student I’ve taught has made mistakes. In fact, this is one of the biggest reasons why some learners are scared to speak in English. It’s easy for me to say but the rule is: don’t be afraid of making mistakes!

Mistakes help teachers understand your problems .. and if you’re speaking to someone and they don’t understand you, try again. It’s okay! It’s all in the mind because nobody really cares if you make a mistake while you speak. When you are free while speaking, you will naturally improve your confidence, and if you improve your confidence, you’ll improve your speaking fluency. It’s a cycle! Of course, focusing on your problems and being open about them can help you improve more quickly. Mistakes can be corrected by a teacher or by a language exchange friend. Be open about your mistakes – it’s a great way to improve.

Remember: EVERYBODY makes mistakes – you NEED them to learn, in life and in learning a language.

If you want me to correct your mistakes and improve your fluency, contact me 🙂

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Tips And Advice

Tips For Learning English: 4 – Record your improvement

When you learn anything, it’s such a good idea to record record your improvement. It’s no use only focusing on what you think is difficult while learning English. Many students just forget or don’t know the benefits of recording their improvement. It’s good to focus on your problems but only to improve on them, only to solve them. Keep a diary, write down what you learnt or practised in the week. If you learnt a new word today, make a note of it. If you find 5 new words through reading, write them down. If you successfully had an easy conversation with someone in English, write it down. If you remind yourself of your improvement and what you’ve practised, you will feel more positive about your learning experience. Take small steps, remind yourself of every step and you’ll know you are reaching your goal.

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Tips And Advice

Tips For Learning English: 3 – Be open about any difficulties

Be open about your English language problems. While learning English, you will experience individual problems specific to you. If you have any problems with English, be open about them. It’s OKAY. Identifying and knowing your problems will help you to focus on what you need to improve. It could be basic grammar or it could be using phrasal verbs in context or even pronunciation – it doesn’t matter. Life is full of problems but there are solutions to everything. So focus on the problem and work on it to make it better.

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Tips And Advice

Tips for learning English: 2 – Prepare phrases

It can be useful to prepare phrases, particularly if you are a nervous communicator. If you prepare some phrases, for example, saying hello and asking “how are you?” or asking for directions, it slowly builds your confidence. Writing the phrases down and repeating them can help, or even ask a friend to try with you. Repeat daily until you feel confident in saying those particular phrases. And don’t worry about making mistakes or the other person not understanding you, just try and see what happens! This can work for all levels and types of English, in all types of situations. On the bus, in a business meeting, asking for directions, asking about the weather at the bus stop too (British people love asking about the weather, try it!).  So give it a go (try).

If you’d like to ask about classes with me, in person or on Skype, use the contact form and let’s start chatting!

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Tips And Advice

Tips for learning English: 1 – Everybody is in the same boat.

Hey guys! So, I’m going to publish some tips and advice to improve your confidence in speaking English. Learning English as a second language can be a little scary at first but fear not! To improve your English, you have to be persistent and continue making small steps.

The first tip for learning English and being more confident is about your state of mind. Everybody is in the same boat. So what do I mean? This idiom means that everyone is learning SOMETHING. A lot of people around the world are learning right now so you’re not the only one. Think about it: most people have been in your position, everybody is learning so everybody has to start somewhere. You are all walking in the same shoes. Everyone who has learnt a second language knows the difficulties or the anxieties that can be related to it. So remember: just try, because it’s likely that the person you’re speaking to or people around you have been in the same position as you. FACT: About 20% of the world’s population speaks English! You are already one of those people.

So relax, chill out, take it easy and continue learning English as best you can. You are doing an amazing thing by improving your skills and opening new doors through learning English.