14 easy tips on how to learn English quickly
Humans have always been surprisingly optimistic. They want to live forever, eat a lot and never gain weight, never work and earn much money, they wonder how to learn English quickly and travel without visas. It would be unfair to criticize a man for wishing all that, yet we need to understand that some of these wishes are unrealistic. Every major accomplishment in our life takes effort and dedication. If you want to be in a good shape, work out and eat less junk food. If you want to have a successful relationship, be a better person yourself. If you want a better job, study foreign languages and get skills that will make you an indispensable employee.
Despite all the promises that we hear in advertisements, it is impossible to learn a foreign language overnight or in a week. Don’t be sad, though – there are tips that, together with your diligence and strong willpower, will help you know how to learn English quickly and easily.
Understand that learning English is no rocket science.
Educational process is a part of our life and, if we try hard enough, we are capable of a lot more than studying another sign system. Do not let your age, gender, profession or mind type be excuses for not joining a 500-million community of people who speak English as their second language worldwide. The opportunities English opens for you outweigh all the fears you may have. So, keep calm and study hard.
Do not let the grammar scare you away.
Many people claim that they have stopped their studies because they found it hard to cope with 12 tenses or because concepts of gerunds and infinitives are over their heads. However terrifying complex grammar structures may seem to you, they are nothing but tools that can make your speech richer, better and more appealing. You don’t wonder how a chainsaw works, do you? You simply use it to cut down trees. Grammar works in the same way. You don’t need to understand it perfectly and remember names for all structures to use them and speak fluently.
Remember that you can learn English quickly for free.
Of course, services of a teacher or a tutor are a good thing, but if you happen to be short of money, you can still find ways to continue your education. Reading a free e-book or checking out some online lessons can do you as much good as attending group classes. The best part is, the free language learning tools are easily accessible and can help you figure out how to learn English quickly at home.
Have a plan.
Treat your studies as seriously, as you would any of your business projects. Schedule at least 30 minutes every day to read, listen or to study words. Set reading goals, e.g. 300 pages of unabridged text a month. Increase this number step by step. Read at least two news articles a week. Services like Words in the News from BBC help you work with new vocabulary on the spot. Make sure you keep track of your progress and revise the material every once in a while. Make use of online self-check tests.
Do not stick to one book.
There are many magnificent course books out there in the market, however not a single one of them is perfect. Look through different texts and topics. Browse the web for topical lists of phrasal verbs. Select the material that you are interested in. If you find a topic boring in one book, look for a better explanation, better examples or a different perspective, but never give up on your studies. Your future career may well depend on the educational choices you make today.
This simple tool – a two-sided card with a word or a word combination on one side and the translation or explanation on the other side – will help you memorize the words fast. It’s an easy, yet effective way of studying, because you can use them anywhere. If you are not happy with heaps of papers in your pockets, you may use one of many flashcard applications that are available for iOS and Android devices. Some of them even offer word games and crossword puzzles to carve the vocabulary into your memory. When you make the cards, don’t forget the prepositions – without them a verb can mean a completely different thing.
Write your own examples.
Words are a great thing to remember, but they are not very helpful, if you don’t use them in your speech. Do not wait until you get a chance to use legal vocabulary terms during small talk with a stranger. Take some time and write sentences with the words that you learn. Not only will it help you to remember the spelling better, it will also make it easier for you to produce finished thoughts and eventually to speak English quickly and fluently.
Books will teach you the standard vocabulary. Most of them, nonetheless, will not show you the ‘popular’ side of the language, i.e. the slang words and idioms used by simple people. If you do not want to sound strange when talking to English speakers from around the world, you need to know more about their culture and everyday life. Nothing can provide this knowledge to you better than English movies with subtitles or without them. Watch films that you already love or discover some brand new works of art, then pause them every time you hear an unknown word or a phrase and look it up. Speechyard is a social network where you can do all that and even share the words you learn with other people.
Remember that your computer, tablet and mobile phone are very helpful when it comes to studying.
These gadgets help you to study ‘on the go’ and use up the time you considered to be completely useless. Listen to audiobooks on long trips, check the flashcards in the underground or read a couple of pages of a good novel while you’re waiting in line. Have video chats with fellow learners or text your foreign friends. Make good use of technology that the 21st century has to offer.
Every challenge is easier when you try to tackle it together with someone. Find a companion, a study buddy if you wish. It may be one of your relatives, your partner, a friend or a colleague who shares your passion (or your need) to find out how to learn English quickly. Cheer each other up, control each other and don’t let your buddy slack off. You may even make dialogues and act out short plays together. Make English a part of your leisure time, speak it in places and circumstances where you would normally use your native language. You will see the result of such cooperation. Besides, it may be a beginning of great friendship.
Connect with other language learners around the world.
You may be surprised to find out that there are English speakers who are just as interested in learning your native language as you are in learning theirs. Meet them, add them on any instant messenger or video chat program and help each other. If you are into old-fashioned styles of communication, exchange letters or e-mails. If you have enough space in your house, you may even post an advertisement on CouchSurfing and offer a bed to tourists who come to your city in return for some face-to-face communication and good company. You may even discover some wonders of foreign cuisine if your guest is a good cook.
Speak whenever it’s appropriate. Make use of the words that you’ve learned. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Mistakes are a normal, even necessary part of study process, without them it is highly unlikely to learn English quickly. Do not let the so-called ‘perfectionist’s paralysis’ – inability to do something because you know you won’t be able to do it perfectly- silence you. Remember that your English may be way better than you think it is and that it is way easier to explain what you need by speaking than by keeping silence and staring helplessly at someone.
Attend the free speaking clubs.
In many big cities there are groups of people who come together few times a month to practice their speaking skills or to discuss a book they all chose to read. Such clubs may not be very helpful in the early stages of study process, but starting from Pre-Intermediate level it is a very good idea to attend such meetings, especially if you have no other ways to talk to other English speakers. If your town doesn’t have such a club, you may try and start one – it will be both fun and useful.
There is no magical recipe for education, nor there is a secret spell that tells you how to learn English quickly. You need to try different methods and eventually find the one which suits you the most. The only thing that works regardless of the chosen way is this: make English a part of your life. Weave it into your daily routine. Celebrate your progress and inspire others to join you in your quest. Use all the available materials and soon enough you will see that it works. Remember, that there are many people who can and who are willing to help you. Good luck!