08 Jul Basic English Course Essential Tips
Memory Power is Essential to learn English
A strong memory is important to remember things we have learned and it totally depends on the health and vitality of your brain. Whether you’re a student studying for final exams, a working professional interested in doing all you can to stay mentally sharp, or a senior looking to preserve and enhance your grey matter as you age, there are lots of things you can do to improve your memory and mental performance. Similar to other studies English is also similar to a subject that needs to be remembered. Without remembering the correct vocabularies, or grammatical structure, you’ll not be able to respond effectively in the same. Here are some tips for improving memory when learning English.
Think in English to Develop the Basics
Trying to think in English will not only help you to recap on the language that you have learned already; it will also help you to focus on the language that is important in everyday life. Most people want to learn a language to be able to communicate on an everyday basis with common people within an English-speaking country. Also focusing on daily tasks and commonly used vocabulary will help you to develop your memory of the most used areas of the English language. Learning more specific terms will become easier once you have developed an in-depth knowledge of the basics.
Reading is Essential
One of the best ways to learn new words is to read. Reading allows you to learn about the general meaning or perhaps the nuances of a given word in any given context.
When you are reading, it is also easy to keep a learning diary, in which new words that you have learned can be recorded and recapped at a later date.
Use Memory Triggers
Vocabulary calendar, post-it notes, scraps of paper or storing words within your mobile phone are all great ways of triggering reminders for words that you are struggling to remember. Post-it notes are especially useful; try sticking the English word for a household item to the item. Once you have used the item a handful of times, the repetition of reading and reciting the post-it notes will establish the English version of the word in your long-term memory.
Watch Subtitled Movies for Pronunciation
Although watching sub-titled movies is not necessarily the best solution for learning specific meanings of words, there is an opportunity to establish and revise pronunciation outside of lesson time.
While you are watching the movie, be sure to keep a notepad nearby and try to jot down any words and sayings that you do not understand; you can then research these later.
Imagery helps those with a ‘visual’ memory.
It can be used to stimulate the brain by creating vivid images of the items to be remembered and then linking them together using a mental visualization. Startling or amusing images can really help.
There’s nothing intrinsically different about the brains of people with good memories, they have just trained them well.
How to Think in English
All speak our native languages fluently, quite naturally. The speech formation happens instantaneously and we don’t actually differentiate between a number of subsequent processes taking place when we speak. Think in English, instead of translating sentences from other languages that you’re familiar with. Translating sentences leads to grammatical mistakes and deteriorates the quality of your spoken English.
1. Don’t use a bilingual dictionary. Spending hours looking up words and definitions in an English-only dictionary helps you to memorize words better. When you search for a word, turning page after page, you naturally repeat it in your head. By the time you find the meaning, you remember the word.
2. Learn vocabulary in phrases, not single words. Our brains are pattern-matching machines that remember things put into context.
3. Start using the vocabulary as soon as possible. Never stop yourself from speaking until your language is perfect, you will be waiting forever! Always try to take initiative even if you are really scared because “practice makes perfect”.
4. Talk to yourself in English. When you were learning English (and you still do this), you would describe to me whatever happened during the day. This gives you extra practice before you start explaining things to other people.
5. Get an English-speaking friend or partner. It is always easier to improve English with a companion especially if he or she is a native speaker. Regular chats in person, over the phone, text messages and other common activities brought me to the next level and you stopped talking to myself!
6. Travel. You used every opportunity to travel to English-speaking countries. Meeting numerous people in traveling and trying to keep in touch with them even after my trips. Facebook, WhatsApp, Viber, and emails definitely help.
The biggest challenge is dealing with the frustration that comes with not being able to fully express yourself. The key is to think positively and stay motivated!
How to Speak Fluent English
Fluency in English is equally considered as a mark of a learned person along with grammar and vocabulary. You might get enough time to repeat your thoughts in your head before writing or typing. However, while speaking, you have to be quick. The other person does not have all the time in the world to listen to you stammering and grope through words. By the time you actually finish your sentence, the listener would have forgotten what you began in the first place. Being fluent helps your thoughts to be heard clearly and correctly.
Simple tips to improve fluency
Listen to the common phrases, words, and diction. Repeat newly learned phrases with a colleague or family member. Speak aloud because muttering in your head will not help as your mouth is not used to moving that fast to a certain set of words. So, listen and repeat.
Read good quality books by famous authors and good English newspapers. You will find many new words by reading books to improve your vocabulary. Understand the context in which the new words are used. Use them in sentences while speaking to anyone.
Talk without hesitation
Communicate in English as much as possible. It is all right to be wrong. If you think that ‘I am poor in verbal expression’ can make you stammer. So do not just talk. Talk confidently and talk to convince. That is how you improve English. Once this mental block clears, your fluency will improve on its own.
Self-practice – talk to yourself
If you’re not comfortable speaking alone, how will you do it in a group? Think out loud in English or sing. You can also try saying out loud what you’re doing, as you’re doing it. For example: As you’re cooking breakfast, do you know the related vocabulary for the food and utensils? Can you use different verbs to explain your actions? This would be especially useful at work if you want to utilize English most while at work.
Record native speakers, and practice recording yourself too!
If you are not sure how the text should sound when you read, a great way to practice is to listen to one and try to mimic. After all, this is more or less how children learn to speak. Use a recording device to record a TV show, movie, interview, etc, and listen to the accents, pronunciation, and intonation. After listening, record yourself trying to use the same style of speaking. When you compare it to the native there will definitely be differences that are expected between a native speaker and learner.
Try teaching someone else English
Trying to teach someone else the language will get you talking as well. Even if it’s basic words, sentences, or phrases, the more you teach someone…the more opportunities you’ll have to practice with them.
Follow these simple tips to improve fluency. Believe in yourself and never shy away from mistakes. Take them seriously and vow not to repeat the mistake ever again.