A logical thinking about learning a new language

Denys Vieira
Learning a new language is not a easy task. Actually, it can be quite challenging depending on your daily contact to the new language. The best idea would be moving to another country for a while, which is not a option to everybody. But we still need to improve our language skills.

I am going to share with you some of the best advices I could give.

English is divide by for basic communication skills: READING, WRITING, LISTENING and SPEAKING.

In order to be considered good at English you must domain them four.

I give you a little tip to develop all of them.
Are you paying attention?! RIGHT!

READING, WRITING, LISTENING AND SPEAKING.

Note that from four of them, where two are active skills (WRITING, SPEAKING) and the other two are passive (READING, LISTENING).
Also note that READING and WRITING are correlated as well as SPEAKING and LISTENING.

Did you get it?

By practicing your READING your WRITING will automatically improve and by practicing your LISTENING your SPEAKING will improve.

So let’s talk about READING and WRITING for a moment.

When we think about WRITING there are two very importante subcategories on it, they are GRAMMAR and SPELLING. And there is a entire world of rules behind them.

But you know what is the most interesting thing. If you take a look at a NATIVE English SPEAKER they don't know 20% of those rules. They maybe learned at school but they wouldn't remember them. I guess it sounds familiar to you because the same thing happens to you on your mother tongue. Right?! Now it’s easier to understand.

Think about you own language…You get familiar to what ‘sounds better’. Then when you write you don't need to remember all the rules you learned at school. You just go for what ‘sounds better’.

And with English it is not different.

I am not telling to drop off English school or stop studying grammar. NO!

My point is: READ IN English AS MORE AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN.

I give you an exemple. My mother tongue is Portuguese. If we think about internet (the most powerful communication system of all times) not even 5% o the internet pages are written in Portuguese. And as English is the most spoken language in the world, internet in its big majority is in English. Obviously! So there are plenty stuff for you to read!

Now you are probably asking. How about SPEAKING and LISTENING?

Remember: by practicing your LISTENING your SPEAKING will improve.

It’s the same concept. How do kids learn to speak? They listen!
And if you take a look deeply here you can see how young kids take a lot from their parents and adults around them. Right, I guess you not a kid anymore and probably your parents don’t speak English either.

Again, there are plenty stuff out there for you to listen and watch. Hollywood movies, music, audio books, podcasts and the list goes on and on.

But still there is something missing here. I remember my teachers saying “learning to speak a new language is leaning to speak again”. It starts from zero like a toddler. Your tongue is a muscle and you need to exercise it on the new language. There are sounds in English that probably doesn't exist in your language. So you need to learn and practice them.

There is a very efective technique for practicing it and it is called:

SHADOWING

It is as easy as it sounds.

You basic learn and memorise a script from a movie scene and after you are familiar to it you listen to the audio until you get comfortable to speak at the same time as you listen - SHADOWING

By English SHADOWING you are not just able to learn pronunciation, but also you are able to improve your fluency.

So, to wrap up here:
1. Read as more as you can. Your writing will improve automatically;
2. Listen English every single day. Your speaking will get better and better;
3. Try some SHADOWING. It could be a little hard at the start but it gets easier as you go and it is a awesome exercise.
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3 respostas
Ordenar por: Data

Leonardo96 5790 11 130
Very interesting thread and I decided to give it a bump since apparently no one paid attention to it. I agree with everything you said, language-learning doesn't need to be as complicated as people make it out to be. It really doesn't need to be any different than when you learned your native language, stressing over specific grammar rules will only make you confused and you'll feel like giving up. It's important to learn grammar if you want to become a teacher, in fact it's required. But if your purpose to learn English is to just casually converse with people or get by in an English-speaking country you DO NOT need to know all of those grammar rules. I like to think of myself as someone who's achieved a high level of proficiency in English and never have I bothered to even look up what past participle is, to give you one example. Just stick to what made you fluent in your native language and the path to fluency in a foreign one will be easy and enjoyable.

Swarmfire 1065 2 18
É até bom ouvir isso sobre o past participle haha
Obrigado por levantar o post!

PPAULO 57715 6 43 1027
I think you meant: In order to be considered good at English, you might master these four skills.

I agree with you both. English is a whole language with plenty of things to master. And, grammar fall under the category of writing, and even in conversation, some grammar is involved (even if "instinctively").
It´s just that, as pointed out, we learn a language directly from some adult and they don´t stop to clarify such details, it´s not even necessary. When we are taking an English course, we get in touch with "the likes of" verb to be, with subjects, with nouns, and so on and so forth. Because we know another language, and then it´s necessary to begin from some place (something we know previously and from the basics).