Tips on How to Study English as a Second Language
Learning English is a cumulative process. What you learn during one lesson or study session will build upon what you learned previously. If you’re not consistent, or don’t keep up with your studies, you won’t develop the building blocks required for a strong foundation of language learning. As you study English it’s important that you learn what is being presented day by day. Below we’ll explore the most effective tips and strategies for learning English (or any new language) as they relate to the four major aspects of language learning: listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
We will start with the tips to study Listening and Pronunciation and we will continue with the other language skills in future posts.
Sound is the basis for communication in all spoken languages. Whichever language you decide to pursue, it’s imperative you (1) learn what to listen for when the language is being spoken and (2) learn how to correctly pronounce the words in the language. Learning what to listen for when the language is spoken by native speakers is key to learning how to pronounce words correctly for the language.
One of the biggest mistakes new learners make when trying to acquire a new language is sacrificing accuracy for speed. Not only does proper pronunciation require practice, it requires patience. Slow down and learn how to make lip and tongue movements correctly. When you speak take the time to make sure you’re pronouncing words correctly.
Practice makes perfect
With respect to (1) learning what to listen for and (2) proper pronunciation there is no substitute for practice. The best way to improve your ability to listen critically and pronounce words correctly is to listen to the language being spoken by native speakers in real-life contexts.
Listen to native speakers, records, tapes, movies, and television shows. Repeat what you hear aloud reproducing words, phrases, and sentences as accurately as you can.
Listen for meaning
In addition to learning what to listen for with respect to pronunciation, listen for meaning. When you’re able to understand what is being spoken both your ability to comprehend as well as your pronunciation will improve.
Listen to yourself speak
It’s not enough to listen to native speakers speak the language. You need to listen to yourself speak the language as well. Record yourself pronouncing words and speaking the language. Compare your pronunciation of words, phrases, and sentences to that of native speakers. Repeat this exercise again and again until your pronunciation is close to that of native speakers.
To be continued…