If this is the first article of mine that you’ve encountered, then allow me to introduce myself: My name is Greg, and I’ve been teaching English as a second language for over ten years. In this post, I’d like to share some general insight into how to learn English.
This morning, a student of mine asked me, “Is it true that to really get good at English — to really speak and understand English well — you need to live in an English speaking country?”
That’s the myth after all, isn’t it? Many people seem to think that, to become fluent, you need to live in the U.S., or Canada, or the U.K. or wherever. Well, certainly that is one way to become fluent. But it’s not the only way. Because it has nothing to do with where you live. Instead, it has to do with the kind of English you are exposed to.
You see, those students who have spent a lot of time in an English speaking country have been exposed to real English. When you learn only from books, CD’s, you tube, or in a classroom, you being exposed only to “beginner’s English.” It’s always very clear, slow pronunciation. You’re always hearing very simple, grammatically perfect phrases. As a student, you’re not learning real English, you’re just learning “beginner’s English” or “student English.”
So how do you get exposed to real English without moving to an English speaking country? You need to search for a course that teaches conversations between native speakers. But the conversations should not be scripted. If the conversations are pre-written, you will not be exposed to true, natural English. They might put lots of English idioms and expressions in there, but the conversations are not real.
So, you need exposure to real conversations between two native speakers.
But there’s more. You also need to be taught the new expressions in a natural way…from context. Your brain does not want to be told what a word or phrase means. Instead, it wants to discover the meaning on its own, by how it’s being used in relation to other words. That’s contextual learning.
Another aspect to becoming fluent (whether you live in an English speaking country or not) is: You need to gain mastery of a new idiom or expression. To do this, you should use it in a construction. For example, if you just learned the slang word “killer” (which means, “great, excellent, fantastic”) then the basic construction should be:
That _____ was killer! (movie, ride, video, game)
But you can’t do this on your own. You need to hear how a native speaker uses the word, and you need to echo how they say it. But if you use a course that includes constructions like this, you really can become fluent without living in an English speaking country. I know. I’ve seen it first hand.
To watch a video about this, go here: Learn real English
And to discover more about how to learn real English, then you can visit my main site: RealEnglishNow.com
I hope this helps you achieve your goal of speaking and understanding fluent English!