Long gone are the days when English was an optional, if not second-rate subject. Times and realities of life are changing. Today English is not a luxury, but an urgent necessity.
So, if you are determined to ride this “unruly horse,” then first you need to choose not only an effective, but also the shortest way to achieve their goal.
To begin with… Take stock!
Yes, that’s where you need to start. Take stock of what’s useful in your arsenal and what will make learning as effective as possible.
Language is a real lump. Prioritize your areas of study. For example, travel, if you’re an active person. Business English, if your type of activity involves communication or correspondence on such topics. Besides, be sure to pay attention to professional sphere, hobbies, etc.
Decide for yourself clearly how much time you can allocate to training on a daily basis and how much budget for purchasing materials or attending courses you have planned. When you have clear figures in your head, which will give you clarity, you will have additional self-confidence.
Is the mental attitude so important?
Yes, English for beginners will not seem an overwhelming burden, if you have the right motivation and mental attitude. You don’t have to be afraid of difficulties, they are all solvable. Of course, any language requires some effort, but think about it, would English have become an international means of communication if everything was so “neglected”? Would it have spread from Great Britain to Australia, India, Africa and the Americas if it had been impregnable? If people are learning languages like Japanese, Hindi, Euskara (the Basque language), the difficulty of English seems insignificant in comparison. Have patience and time – you’ll need them, and don’t panic!
In addition, as psychologists advise, for motivation it will be very useful to imagine, that is to visualize the end result. Yes, now you are at the beginning of your journey. But imagine what great opportunities will be open to you when you can understand and speak fluent English? You will have real freedom! You’ll have access to:
Free movement around the world;
Abundance of information (more than half of information on the World Wide Web is in English, while the Russian part is only a few percent);
Movies, music and other entertainment. Movies in the original language, such as those that came out of the famous Hollywood Forge, sound much more interesting and lively when you can hear (and understand) the real voices of the actors;
Knowing English will add a big, if not a huge, plus to your value as a professional. A specialist with knowledge of English, as noted by analysts, is paid on average 30% more than his “silent” colleague;
In addition, now you will be confident in yourself. Situations in life are different, and you can never say with certainty that you won’t be sent on a business trip or that you won’t immigrate to an English-speaking country. You may have to take IELTS, TOEFL and other popular international exams. And who knows, maybe a change will come in your personal life and you will meet a foreigner. Fantasies? Not at all! Sometimes life presents just such surprises.
English for Beginners: “free sailing” or “collective intelligence”?
The reasons to think about whether it makes sense to start learning English on your own, can be different. First, it is a desire to save money (yes, we live in a material world and education requires a financial infusion), or a fear of studying collectively. Or maybe you do not run the risk of being tied to any schedule because of your own irregular schedule?
But as practice shows, self-study is acceptable when your level is close to the Intermediate (average). If English for Beginners is important for you, then your level is Beginner (sometimes it is called Full-beginner). At this stage it is desirable to study with someone, because it is very important to set pronunciation, the correct creation of the language base (those who have studied the language on their own, even for a long time, it is immediately obvious – there is knowledge, but they are fragmented. You can know, for example, Present Perfect Continuous, or the use of articles, but do not know something simpler and more relevant, for example, the order of words in a sentence and the rules of derogation).
Let the first few months be “under control,” that is, “under control!”
Ideally, when you reach the Intermediate level, you can (and should) study with a native speaker. It will be a new, timely and very relevant stage.
Reading, Writing, Speaking, Listening
Learning any language (and English is no exception) consists of several aspects:
What should you pay special attention to when learning? Of course, all of them are important, because if you know a lot of words, but your ears are not able to catch them in the fluent speech of a foreigner, this luggage of knowledge will be of little use. English for Beginners should cover all aspects, but special attention should be paid to pronunciation at first. Imagine that you don’t know English at all. Not a single word. But if you hear English speech, can you guess that the person is speaking in English and not, say, in Chinese or French? The answer is obvious. It’s all possible because of the pronunciation and melody of the speech. This is where learning begins. You have to listen a lot (songs, exercises, dialogues) and repeat after native speakers, accustom your brain to the perception of English words.
Experienced teachers know that the more varied the activities, the more senses are involved in the learning process, the better the results. Each class should include reading aloud, writing, listening and communicating.
When will I talk?
Oh, this question is undoubtedly familiar to all teachers. Even if you are studying on the English for Beginners program you will start speaking at the first lesson! Of course, with the right methodology. You must speak right away! Let it will not be an advanced level of conversation, but it is necessary to plunge into communication without delay, from the first lessons. Simple sentences, clichés, common sayings – you can do it all!
For example, there is a will there is a way, which means “if you want it, you’ll find a way. In addition to the fact that this expression is used at every step, it is an excellent training tool for pronunciation. Already from the very first lessons on the English course for beginners can be used and other no less popular and very simple phrases:
Rome was not built in a day (in English “Rome” is used)
Time will tell;
Tastes differ (literally, “tastes differ”);
It’s a small world;
Better late than never.
Looking at them, one wants to say the famous phrase: “Elementary, Watson”! These phrases are really quite simple, but very useful.
English for Beginners: Resources decide everything!
Just as “the staff decides everything”, so in learning English the lion’s share is decided by the learning materials. In addition to traditional printed textbooks, cassettes and disks you shouldn’t forget about materials found on the World Wide Web. On the web you can find many useful resources where you can learn English online, take interactive exercises and tests, learn grammar, phonetics, add vocabulary, download texts and audio files.
Don’t forget general information about the country you’re studying. At the same time, study the traditions, national holidays, and history. This can create a whole picture. Agree that learning Russian and not knowing anything about Russia, mentality, and people’s lives is ridiculous, to say the least.
Visit popular forums for communication. There you will see live colloquial language, memorize common abbreviations of well-known phrases, steady expressions. For example, OMG (Oh, my God!), IMHO (in my deep conviction), THX (thank you), deal (it is decided, agreed) and others.
When you start learning English, don’t think of it as an obligation, think of it as an exciting journey that will enrich you spiritually and… financially, when you become a specialist with knowledge of a foreign language!