Apart from a great teacher there are things you could be doing to get more value from your English class. Quite often when English is your second language it is difficult to form a habit of speaking English when you are surrounded by people who speak your mother tongue.
While learning many new English words is important the most common difficulty in learning English comes from ‘translation’ syndrome. This happens when you are thinking in your own language and then speaking English as if it were a word-for-word translation. It is completely understandable when English is not your first language, but it is not the natural English that native speakers use.
Ideally you will need to focus on the five skills according both in and outside your English class. How many new words do you learn a day? How much of your time do you spend speaking? How much time do you spend listening? Or reading? Or writing? The two skills which you should try to improve on a daily basis are speaking and listening.
Pronunciation takes practice and this means opening your mouth and speaking because pronunciation can’t be practised in your head. Practising how to say English words and how to speak out full sentences can have just as much importance as practising English grammar. Very few people realise this.
If you listen carefully to the way native speakers pronounce words and then copy you will get into the habit of paying attention to details. This also applies to TV, radio and listening to conversations around you. It is important to surround yourself with the language outside of your English class.
A lot of people think that they can speak English with the same mouth they speak Spanish, Italian, Portuguese – or whatever their primary language – with and this is not true. You need to use your mouth, tongue and lips in a different way when you’re speaking a different language. Go into your bathroom, look in the mirror and practise the new pronunciation of words you have just learnt by opening your mouth and forming the different sounds. Your eyes will see your mouth forming this new shape, your ears will hear the new pronunciation and your brain will put all this new information together and remember the correct pronunciation for the next time. Use these physical actions to boost your ‘pronunciation’ memory.
All this points to one undeniable truth: a big factor in your success at learning English would be the environment that you learn and practise speaking English in. If you are living in an English-speaking city or area you will learn faster. Ideally you want to combine English classes with a part time job in a predominantly English-speaking business while living and socialising in an English-speaking community.
Choose the right English Class is obviously important too. Do your research on the English School you would like to learn English at. What are people on the internet saying about the course? What sorts of English Classes and learning opportunities does the Language School offer? A professional English teacher should be able to guide through the process of learning a new language with ease.
About the Author
Inspiration Marketing provides expert WordPress Web Design advice in Ireland and the UK. http://www.inspiration.ie/web-design-for-wordpress/