Although learning a new language takes time to master, you can take many easy steps to learn one thing at a time. Committing to a few easy steps consistently makes you more proficient, and eventually, you’d feel your progress.
This article will provide you with several easy steps to follow to learn English.
- 15 Easy and Proven Steps to Learn English
- 1. First Things First: Start with Assessment
- 2. Figure Out Your Strengths & Weaknesses in the Language
- 3. Set A Goal
- 4. Learn What Serves Your Purpose
- 5. Build Your Vocabulary
- 6. Learn English in English
- 7. Attend English Language Courses
- 8. Personalize Your Learning
- 9. Listen, Speak, Read, Write (Practice!)
- 10. Connect to Native Speakers
- 11. Utilize Technology
- 12. Don’t Be Afraid to Commit Mistakes
- 13. Check Your Progress (Take Free English Exams)
- 14. Take It Slowly (Don’t Stress Yourself)
- 15. Your Notebook: Write in Your Notebook
15 Easy and Proven Steps to Learn English
1. First Things First: Start with Assessment
Imagine if you want to go to a specific place and have a map to help you find the road to your destination. To arrive there, you need to know where you stand first to know where to go next.
The same situation happens when you learn a language. You need to know where you stand to take your next steps. In other words, you need to know your language level to
- Be aware of what you need to study next.
- know more about your weak points and strong points.
- Put your study plan.
To know your English level, you can also consult a specialist or an English teacher to assess your level.
The most important thing is to give a sufficient response to calculate your score.
The above tests may not give you a detailed report about your language proficiency levels. Instead, it gives you an accurate indication of your proficiency level.
2. Figure Out Your Strengths & Weaknesses in the Language
Now you’re done with the assessment, and you know your level. For instance, you can be a beginner, intermediate or upper-intermediate.
It is essential to understand that each learner may have different needs even if they are at the same level.
- For instance, you might be at the intermediate level, and you have good speaking skills, but your writing skills need improvements.
- Or your pronunciation is fine, but your vocabulary needs improvement.
- Another intermediate learner may have limited speaking skills, but their writing skills are better compared to their speaking.
Therefore, both learners have different learning goals to focus on.
3. Set A Goal
You may want to learn English for many reasons:
- To study abroad.
- To study at a particular school or university.
- To live abroad.
- To interact with foreigners at work.
- To be able to read books in English for academic purposes or personal reasons.
- To start your website in English.
- To get a new job.
- To pass an important test.
- To speak with clients.
- To email people at work in English.
- Improve your business writing skills.
- Improve your writing skills for university study.
There are several goals to learn English and the motivation is different from one person to another. Whatever your learning goals are, break them into smaller components and start with the assessment.
Assessing your English proficiency level tells you where you stand, and therefore it helps you choose the right course for you, the appropriate material, and determine your goals as well.
Suppose if you want to pass the IELTS test, and you need to score 7 and above. It would be best if you were an intermediate or intermediate high learner. If you are a beginner, it is recommended that you work on your general English first.
If you want to improve your writing skills, you need to master sentence structure, and you also need to work on your general English skills.
4. Learn What Serves Your Purpose
Now, you know your proficiency levels. You can figure out your points of strengths and points of weaknesses. You set your goals, and you’re ready to start your learning journey.
Moving forward means taking your learning journey to the next level and putting what you learn into action.
In other words, you learn what can serve your purpose.
For instance, if you want to learn to write business emails in English,
- You need to learn how to write in a formal business tone.
- You need to learn formal and business vocabulary related to your field.
- You need to learn punctuation and mechanics.
If you want to pass a job interview, speak with clients, or pass an important test, you need to work on your speaking skills.
- Connected speech, pitch, intonation.
If you want to learn English to study, you may need to learn argumentative writing; you need to learn:
- Topic sentences
- How to use linking words, linkers, or cohesive devices
- Mechanics and punctuation
- More advanced vocabulary and advanced sentence structure.
- How to present your argument.
- You may need
You want to improve your speaking skills to a more advanced level; you need to learn:-
- How to argue
- How to present your opinion
- How to make a comparison which is high-level tasks in the language.
- More advanced pronunciation features like intonation, pitch and rhythm.
These are examples of how to break your goals into smaller components.
5. Build Your Vocabulary
Vocabulary is a cornerstone in language learning. You will use vocabulary in all language skills, including speaking, writing. It would be best if you had the vocabulary to understand reading and listening.
- The more effective ways to learn vocabulary, the more memorable it will be for you.
- Learning vocabulary is also enjoyable and it could be fun like playing a joyful game!
- Personalize it: Start with what you already know then expand your learning. Use personalized examples to learn and memorize new vocabulary. For instance, if you learn the new word “hectic” which means very busy. You can write Monday is a very hectic day for me. When you use personalized examples, you will never forget something new you learn.
- Use Apps like Quizlet: Although Quizlet is designed for teachers, you can use it as a learner as a resource to practice vocabulary and test yourself every now and then.
- Simply, create an account, look for the English language section. Then, choose the part of vocab and grammar you want to practice, start answering questions. Check your answers at the end. Enjoy the experience. It is like playing a game!
- Add visual elements to your learning: Visual elements like flashcards, clipart, diagram, or timeline help you to visualize new concepts, learn them faster and more effectively as well.
6. Learn English in English
This is the most important tip for learning and increasing your proficiency significantly.
Learning English in English fosters your experience. Learning in the target language is the most effective way to learn fast and increase your proficiency because you will immediately put what you learn into practice.
It makes your mind sharp too.
Here are some tips to learn English in English.
- Use English-English dictionary: There are several dictionaries like Oxford dictionary, Cambridge, Collins, and Longman.Whatever dictionary you are comfortable with, go for it. Checking dictionaries helps you to know the different meanings to the same word. Know parts of speech and you can learn how to express a word you don’t know in English.
- Use your phone settings in English: It is something that may help you to be more familiar with English. You can turn your phone settings, social media, or other tech-related settings into English.
- Subscribe to newsletters: Subscribing to newsletters is an excellent opportunity for learners to be more exposed to the English language. You can google any topic you’re interested in. Then, you can filter the results and select a website that matches your interest.
- Subscribe to the newsletter and enjoy reading. If you’re interested in traveling, you can subscribe to this newsletter. Newsletters give shirt or medium-length content.
- In addition, the content is light and most probably you will not find complicated vocabulary and it will be easy to understand. Therefore, it is an easy way to refresh your vocab, learn new vocab and keep learning English in English.
- FB or Instagram pages to foster your learning: A lot of people usually spend a lot of time on social media. Be mindful of your time and make the best use of it. Otherwise, it will be time wasted! There are several FB pages, Instagram, and Pinterest pictures that can teach you vocab, idioms, expression, grammar rules, and more.
- Use reading and listening to authentic materials: The best way to learn English in English is using authentic reading and listening materials such as blogs, websites, books, audiobooks, and other resources. You can also use resources for entertaining such as movies, TV series, or documentaries.
7. Attend English Language Courses
Although you can achieve great learning goals through the last tips and have a solid background in English, you may need to take English classes at a certain point in your learning journey for several reasons.
- You may have the urge to speak and to be in a social context.
- Language classes help you to stay motivated.
- You can share your learning goals with others.
- It gives you the chance to socialize in English.
- A chance to have feedback from a specialist.
You can take English classes online or offline. You can take it in a group or one-to-one.
When you take your English classes.
- Choose something affordable.
- Always start with an accurate placement test.
- Try to choose medium size group to have the chance to interact.
- Learn in the target language or learn in English.
- A place or a teacher that you trust.
8. Personalize Your Learning
Your language, culture, and identity are important, and learning a new language doesn’t mean that you undervalue your identity or underestimate your culture. You can start with something you’re familiar with to facilitate your learning process.
You can build on what you already know.
- Read the news about your country in English.
- Try to read articles via Britannica about important characters in your history or in your culture.
- Read about the most famous landmarks.
- Watch travel bloggers who visited in your city.
- Read about a festival in your country in English.
You can also personalize your learning by incorporating English into your daily life.
- Write in your diary or notebook the daily activities you do in English such as home chores, cooking, and any other important tasks.
- Use English in your shopping list.
- Use flashcards for common household items.
- Read medications pamphlets In English and product descriptions as well.
- Familiarize yourself with the current affairs in English such as the updates of the Corona Pandemic.
Use personalized your learning through writing personalized examples. It is the most effective way to learn and memorize new vocabulary. When you use personalized examples, vocabulary will be internalized in your mind. In addition, it will be easier for you to retrieve it.
For instance, if you learn the new word “hectic” which means very busy. You can write Monday is a very hectic day for me.
9. Listen, Speak, Read, Write (Practice!)
Toddlers listen to their parents and their surroundings for a long period of time before they utter their first words which are probably ma or mama. Listening is a very important component if you want to speak English well.
Listen to authentic materials and anything that matches your skills.
- Listening and reading are receptive skills.
- Speaking and writing are productive skills.
All language skills are related to each other. If you to master a specific skill, including the others.
Use the new vocabulary and the new grammar lessons you learn in your speaking and writing and notice them in your reading as well.
10. Connect to Native Speakers
Recently, there are applications like Clubhouse and @TwitterSpaces. These applications are social audio apps for people to share their thoughts, or for professionals to host a talk about their business, their service, or their areas of expertise as a sort of self-branding, or for scientists and experts in any fields to talk to a community of people who share the same interest.
Although these apps are not designed for language learning, they can provide you with the chance to listen to English and you can even contribute to the conversation.
You can choose a room on a topic you’re interested in. It will give you a chance to listen to various speakers.
People will not be judgmental if you make a language mistake. You will also listen to other people from different nationalities speaking English.
For instance, if you want to know more about the Coronavirus vaccine, you can look for a room in Clubhouse or TwitterSpaces that host the same topic.
11. Utilize Technology
Who doesn’t use technology? Most people use technology either via their computers or smartphones.
There are several ways to utilize technology to learn better English and make the best use of your time.
- Use Google Assistant on your phone : Google assistat enables you to dictate your phone orders. Because google assistant is based on artificial intelligence and voice recognition, it’d be a great chance for you to speak slowly and enunciate your words.
- Use learning Apps : apps are entertaining. Gamifying your learning makes it more joyful and more effective.
- Listen to the radio in your car: You may spend much time in your car. if you drive, you can listen to the radio in English for some time.
- Listen to podcasts and audiobooks : You can listen to audiobooks or podcasts to work on your overall understanding of authentic materials. It will inspire you with several ideas as well and they enable you to observe the correct and the proper pronunciation of English.
Be mindful of how to use technology. When you select your listening materials, choose something you can understand and a speaker you can follow to maximize your learning experience.
12. Don’t Be Afraid to Commit Mistakes
Making mistakes is an integral part of learning. Do NOT be afraid of making mistakes.
Firstly, as long as you are understood, people will overlook your mistakes, and people may not notice your errors in the first place.
Secondly, we make mistakes for many reasons. It could be because of your mother tongue’s influence. For instance, you may mispronounce a sound because it doesn’t exist in your mother tongue.
You may make mistakes because you need to learn something or relearn something.
Focus on Accuracy vs. Focusing on Fluency
While speaking, your purpose may be focusing on fluency which means that you’re busy gathering your thoughts and talking naturally without too much effort.
During speaking, you may make mistakes or grammatical errors.
It is ok! Do NOT stop. At the grammar lesson, you may focus on accuracy.
Every stage of learning has room for mistakes. It is normal. The more fluent you are, the fewer mistakes you will make.
Even native speakers make mistakes. Be confident and speak up!
13. Check Your Progress (Take Free English Exams)
You started your learning journey with assessment. It would be best if you also relied on assessment throughout the way.
You will observe the new things you can do due to your learning.
For example, if you’re intermediate and you moved to intermediate level, you will notice that you can:
- Give advice.
- Express and exchange your feelings or opinions
- Create sentences
- Ask several follow-up questions.
These are the new things you learned and couldn’t do previously.
You will constantly find your teacher doing assessments if you take English courses. It could be in the form of a quiz, a final test, roll plays, or presentations. All of these would help you to trace your progress.
Although there are many English proficiency tests to choose from, most of them charge for their exams, which could be expensive for most people.
You can also take free English exams via the internet. For instance, the EF Standard English Test is completely free. You can take the test online and get your results soon after that. If you take an exam, try not to take the same exam after a short period if the exam has the same questions. This is for accurate assessment.
14. Take It Slowly (Don’t Stress Yourself)
Give yourself enough time to learn something new and digest the new concepts.
If you don’t practice what you learn, you will forget. Learning a new language is something cumulative.
Give yourself enough time to let your new concepts move from the short-term memory to the long-term one.
Take it slowly with steady steps and enjoy your learning experience.
15. Your Notebook: Write in Your Notebook
Although there is a lot of technology involved in your learning process, such as using apps, listening to the video, audiobooks, and YouTube channels, and using several websites to learn, relying on online resources is beneficial. However, you should use pen and paper to rake notes.
Note-taking is an essential study skill that you should master. When you use pen and paper, you will remember and memorize things more effectively.
In conclusion, learning the English language requires putting in constant effort. It doesn’t matter how much time you dedicate to study as much as you study the right way, using the appropriate material for you. Keep learning, and don’t delay your study for an extended period. Give your mind a break but always keep it working.
What has been your favorite method of learning English? Please share with us in the comments below.