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  • 7 Habits of Highly Effective English Learners

    If effective English learners (or ESL students) had 7 habits, what would those be? What differentiates effective language learners from language learners who are not-so-good? This blog post summarizes some key factors that help English learners master English faster and more effectively. Paying attention to these would help you study, learn and improve in a more systematic, stress-free manner. Remember, each person has a unique style of learning so there will always be exceptions to any list like this, but our goal is here to cover key characteristics that would help someone become a superior student of English.

    Practicing English speaking at home

    They start speaking English early

     

    If you want to learn English fast, start speaking early. A lot of English learners delay speaking English with the fear of making mistakes. Some ESL students feel that they don’t know enough words to start conversations. Others fear they would make mistakes in grammar. Effective English language learners don’t worry about any of these. They start having real conversations in English bright and early.

    At Spoken English Practice, we encourage any ESL student who knows some basic grammar and about 50 words to start speaking. Think of how you learned your first language. Did you learn all the grammar rules or did you start speaking? The same logic applies for any language.

     

    They don’t waste time mastering grammar

     

    Fact: Native English speakers only know about 20% of all grammar rules. You don’t need perfect grammar to speak English fluently. You certainly don’t need a deep understanding of grammar theory. There is a high probability that you make grammar mistakes even when you speak in your native language.

    Smart English learners don’t waste time mastering grammar. They learn the basic rules, they understand how sentence structures work, but they don’t waste time perfecting grammar. You should not either.

     

    They don’t memorize endless word lists

     

    There are numerous English language courses that ask you to memorize endless word lists. This is a huge waste of time. You will end up learning thousands of English words that are not part of your active vocabulary. Memorizing wordlists only grows your passive vocabulary and that will not make you fluent English speaker.

    Effective ESL students will try to learn enough words. They will learn 2-3 words everyday. They will learn vocabulary through immersion – either by reading a book or by watching a TV show. They will remember how to use the word they learn and the context it was used, not just the meaning.

    So stop wasting countless hours memorizing vocabulary you will never be able to use in real English conversations.

     

    They practice English with native speakers

     

    Think of your friends who moved to an English speaking country and started speaking English more fluently? Did they attend English classes there? Probably not. They became fluent because they started speaking with native speakers. The most powerful and effective way to learn English is to have real conversations with native speakers. Practicing with native speakers is the best way to learn the right accent and pronunciation. Also, speaking with native English speakers allow you to learn to speak English at the right speed.

    So how do you practice English speaking if you are not living in an English speaking country? There are a lot of programs like Spoken English Practice that allow you to practice English via Skype with native speakers. Effective English learners make use of video conferring tools to practice with native English speakers.

     

    They don’t waste time on language software or newsletters

     

    Here another fact: Unless you are an absolute beginner of English (you don’t know even 50 words), language software and newsletter programs are useless. You just can’t become a fluent English speaker by listening to a software talk or by instructions provided on a newsletter.

    Effective language learners know this and don’t waste time on any of software or newsletter programs. Instead, they spend time self studying grammar and vocabulary while spending money to practice conversational English with native speakers.

     

    They improve everyday

     

    Improving Spoken English is a journey. You will not improve overnight. You will face challenges and barriers along the way. There would be days where you feel like you did not improve at all. You will get stuck while having conversations in English. You will be shy and embarrassed to speak. You will make mistakes.

    Effective ESL students don’t get disheartened by any of these. Effective English learners know all these moments are part of the journey. They embrace these. Most importantly, they will make improve English everyday.

    If you want to improve your Spoken English and become fluent in English, think of learning English as a marathon and not a sprint. The longer you can persevere, they more polished communicator you will be.

     

     

    June 14, 2015
    14 June 2015,
     Off
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