Develop a Mindset:
To conquer any problem in life, you need to have the right mindset. The same is true for languages. In the absence of a right mindset, you may either fail in your endeavor or it may take you a lot longer than necessary. To have a correct attitude, you must
Always know why you want to learn a new language
- Have a solid commitment
- Be realistic about your goals and have patience
- Practice positive affirmations regarding language
- Be open to learning from everyone
Raj is a salesman. He is from Bihar. He can speak 5 languages fluently. When he was asked, how he learned speaking English, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, and Telugu. He said, “When I came to Mumbai, I could speak only Hindi which is my mother tongue. After getting a job in Mumbai, I realized that if I could understand and speak other languages, my work will become easy.”
He continued, “What worked for me is that although I could speak only two or three sentences (with mistakes) initially I always learned something as my friends corrected me. Speaking also gave me confidence. As it was not necessary for me, I enjoyed the process. And very soon, I was able to speak many sentences by following a simple process.
Speak —– Learn from mistakes —– Get better (fluent very soon)
Think in English:
Translating is not an easy thing to do. It takes time and is confusing. You can develop the habit of thinking in English by starting small, just frame simple and short sentences. (Don’t worry about the correctness of the sentence, everyone starts imperfectly.)
Use it to enhance it:
You must have come across people who score well on an English test but fail miserably when it comes to speaking the language. Knowledge and application of knowledge are two different things. It’s like knowing how to play a sport and in reality playing a sport. The way we become proficient at a sport by playing it, the same way we become fluent in a language by speaking it. Remember
Playing a sport —– Proficiency at the sport
Speaking the language —— Fluency in the language
Yes, grammar is important but not much:
Your peers, friends or colleagues may have told the opposite. Yes, grammar is important but we should not focus on it too much. We shouldn’t try to learn all the grammar concepts. Why? As kids before we were enrolled in schools, we were able to speak our mother tongue with quite correct grammar. We did not know the rules of the language but we were applying the rules. It shows that we learn most of the grammar rules intuitively. Just learn the basic grammar rules of tenses, articles, sentence structure.
Learn from everyone, practice speaking at every situation:
Don’t wait for a convenient situation to speak in English. You may feel awkward speaking in English initially but it becomes easier if you continuously grab the opportunities to speak English.
Read a lot:
Books are the source of a richer language. By reading a lot of books in English, you can improve your vocabulary exponentially. Reading brings precision to our speaking. It automatically develops thinking in English skill. A book provides us with ready-made, correct language material which can be used immediately.
Listen a lot:
Listening is a fundamental tool for learning a language. It is a right method to internalize the
English language. The various ways to learn English are:
Videos: They help you learn the language with visual context
Podcasts and Radio: Podcasts and Radio cover a lot of areas which helps in developing our knowledge and having a diverse vocabulary.
Music: It is a fun way to learn English. It is very effective as we listen to our favorite songs many songs without getting bored, learning the language deeply effortlessly.
News: News is a good platform to learn formal, standard use of the language, combined with contemporary themes.
Pay attention to Pronunciation:
Most of the English learners feel shy to use their English because they are not sure of their pronunciation. Improper pronunciation can lead to a negative impression, misunderstanding and ineffective communication. You can learn the correct pronunciation of English words by listening to native speakers and from online dictionaries. Online dictionaries give you the pronunciation of the words in written form and in audio form.
Mirror practice is very effective in learning English because it gives you instant feedback about your body language, facial expressions, and gestures. It also helps when you don’t have many people around you to practice your English. While speaking in front of the mirror, you can also audio-record yourself for analyzing other aspects of speaking like modulation and pronunciation.
Fumble is not the End:
“If you want to increase your success rate, double your failure rate.” – Thomas Watson
Failure is the key to success; each mistake teaches us something. So think of mistakes as a gateway to taking your English to next level. Keep speaking English, allow yourself to make mistakes, keep learning from those mistakes and definitely, you will achieve your goal of speaking in English.