Do you like learning vocabulary and speaking? Do you learn by listening to others? Do you learn better by being taught to write first? The best way to build confidence is to start by speaking. English grammar can be learnt later if or when you need to be able to write English. In the beginning you will learn more by reading and listening. Don’t worry about the grammar – just concentrate on speaking. Here are some suggestions to help:
Keep practicing talking
The more you talk in English the more quickly you will gain confidence and become more fluent. Try talking with other friends who want to learn English. Speak with a tutor who will teach you both the correct vocabulary together with how to say the sentences in English on many different subjects.
Learn new vocabulary
Keep a list of all the new words that you are learning together with their meanings. Use a good dictionary that will help with both meaning and pronunciation. Refer to this list of new words and see if you can remember them together with how to pronounce them.
Learn idioms and phrasal verbs. Learn which prepositions come after adjectives. You need to learn the various parts of speech, which are standard in all languages for example verbs and nouns. This includes learning collocations, which means learning words that go together.
Here are some examples of collocations:
A waste of money
Front and back
In the middle of
Throw a party
These words come very naturally to a native English speaker. These collocations do not translate so easily into a foreign language.
Use online apps
Using online apps like Duolingo, which can be downloaded onto a mobile phone. These apps are a great way to practice talking without the need of learning the grammar rules. You can practice at any time of the day or night without feeling embarrassed that anyone else is listening.
Read books and/or magazines
Start by reading easy books, magazines or articles on the internet including newspaper articles all written in English. As your confidence and fluency progress, then read harder books and articles. You could try listening to audio books as well, which you can listen to in the car or on a train or bus journey using earphones.
Watch films/television programs
There are plenty of great films and television programs that you can listen to, which will help you learn English without needing to memorize grammar rules. Imitate what is being said. Keep a note of any new vocabulary.
Think in English
I suggest try thinking in English for a certain amount of time every day. Go shopping and learn what the words are in English. Look at your surroundings and try and describe to yourself in English.
Buy a good dictionary and phrasebook
A good dictionary will help you with both the meanings of words and how to pronounce these new words you are learning. A phrasebook will teach you how to put a group of words together correctly, which will be understood by others.
Always remember to keep asking questions. Ask what new words mean if in conversation with other people. Everyone is always happy to help explain. Listen to as many conversations in English as often as possible. Practice as often as you can. When we are children we learn conversation first by listening and talking and then writing and grammar follow when we start school. The same applies to you when you learn English. You will make mistakes but practice makes perfect.