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  • Why Learning English is like learning to ride a bike

    As an English language School that helps thousands of English learners everyday we often hear students say “I learned English in school but I can’t speak well” or “I know English but when I try to speak I get stuck” or “I know a lot of English words but can’t use them when talking”. If you summarize most of these statements, there is a common theme. Most ESL students understand the rules and theory associated with the English language. But most English learners can’t put these rules in to practice and speak fluently.

    Learning English

    A good way to address this question is to compare learning English to how you learned to ride a bicycle.

    Do you remember how you learned to ride a bike? Remember going to bicycle school? Remember those big, complex bicycle textbooks? Remember all the bicycle rules you studied over and over?

    You don’t remember, do you? Neither do we.

    You don’t learn how to ride a bike by studying. You learn to ride a bike by doing. The same principle applies to learning to speak English.

    Let’s go back to the bicycle example. What do you do when you learn to ride a bicycle? You learn how to balance the wheels. You learn how to paddle. You learn how to move the handle so that you can make turns. You learn how to stop by braking. But you learn all of these by doing, not by watching some video or by sitting in a bicycle riding class.

    Learning to speak English is very similar. You will learn certain language patterns by having conversations with people who are more fluent than you. You will get a sense of which words to use where. You will remember where to stress when pronouncing certain words. Your brain will get used to sounds that are foreign to your native language.

    All this will only happen by doing. By practicing. Just like when learning to ride a bike.

    And practicing a skill is hard. You will not see improvements over night. You will make the same mistakes again and again. But everyday you will be a little bit better than you started. You will gain more confidence and feel better about the process of learning. Until one day, you will find you can speak English fluently.

    So re-think the way you learn English. Here are the 3 key takeaways:
    1. You can’t just memorize grammar rules, learn what nouns and verbs are and expect to speak English. It just does not work like that. The only way to learn is by practicing speaking continuously for a long period of time until your muscle memory kicks in and you just speak without thinking.
    1. Memorizing grammar rules and vocabulary is good for beginners. But once you have learned basic grammar and built a vocabulary of around 100-200 words, you need to start practicing English to get to the next level.
    1. You become fluent in English only by using English. And if you can use English with native English speakers, you will improve faster and with more accuracy.

     

     

    April 15, 2015
    15 April 2015,
     Off
  • 7 Day Free
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  • Already know basic Grammar and Vocabulary?
    You need Practice Speaking.
    Not Theory!

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