Learning a new language is always a challenging task, especially if you're learning it from scratch. Nevertheless, there are lots of methods and easy-to-follow techniques available today to help you move from the basics to speaking fluent English.
When it comes to learning English, you can choose from taking group lessons, working with a personal tutor, or gathering all your willingness and motivation together and trying to learn English yourself.
Below, we will talk about each method's advantages and drawbacks, along with valuable advice and additional tips for creating an effective program for learning English. Let's dive in.
Language Schools and Group Lessons
Attending language schools and studying English in groups is one of the most popular methods all over the world, it is generally preferred by most English learners. You can find local language schools in your city, sign up for a language course online, or look for schools abroad.
You can choose a school based on other students' reviews and get into classes with professional teachers and a schedule that works for you. Language schools are also a good starting point for beginners, as they will allow you to deal with basic grammar rules, build up a vocabulary, and practice listening and speaking skills in groups.
In addition, there are language schools abroad that accept students all year round, allowing you to prepare for language proficiency tests or you can take an intensive English course with total immersion and emphasis on the spoken language, led by a native speaker.
This is a unique experience, as students from foreign countries and different cultures gather in international English schools, which will allow you to understand English accents from all over the globe.
Pros of learning English in language schools:
- lower prices compared to one-on-one lessons,
- a chance to speak with other students,
- healthy competition in the group,
- a variety of language learning tools and strategies,
- the opportunity to learn not only from your own but also from other people's mistakes
- lack of an individual approach
In general, the group method of language learning is best for extroverted people, and especially kids and teenagers.
If group classes are not suitable for your lifestyle or personal preferences, but you still need someone who can explain grammar rules in detail and lead the overall learning process, you should opt for an English tutor.
The main advantage of this method is you experience a one-on-one approach, which makes it a perfect choice for both young people and adults with very busy schedules. A skilled tutor will be able to assess your current English skills and help you focus on topics that are unclear to you or you find difficult to understand.
This method of learning English will cost more compared to group lessons. Still, it is often worth the extra money, as you have the opportunity to adjust the lessons to your current English level, choose your pace or focus on specific topics.
For example, if what you want most from your English lessons is to pass exams, you can emphasize improving your writing and listening skills. However, if you learn English to be able to participate in business negotiations, your tutor will help you expand your vocabulary, help you master English pronunciation, and improve your overall speaking.
As for the drawbacks of this learning method, you most likely will need time to find the perfect tutor that will meet all your requirements - location, schedule, costs, curriculum.
On the other hand, you can look for an English tutor online to ensure that your needs are met. Besides, it's more likely to find native English speakers tutoring online than looking for one in a non-English-speaking city.
It is also important to find a tutor that is truly interested in teaching you - a good tutor should always prepare new words and materials, use different approaches, offer a variety of tasks, and of course, continue to educate themselves.
Learning English by yourself won't feel the same as learning it with a professional who can point out your mistakes and correct you. However, with the development of new technologies and a lot of educational content available online - much of which is free - this learning method has become incredibly popular today.
Its advantages are pretty obvious - you can learn English anytime you want to from anywhere in the world, which saves you a lot of time and can fit perfectly into your schedule. However, self-study will require a high level of self-discipline and concentration.
Below, you will find several additional methods that will ensure a comprehensive approach to language learning and help you boost your English skills.
Find an Approach That Suits You
There are many language learning systems, which work not only with English but are widely used in language schools all over the globe. You can use the one that suits your needs best and use it in your English learning experience.
Here are a few of the most popular ones:
Dr. Paul Pimsleur' Method
This method developed by Dr. Paul Pimsleur involves the regular repetition of already learned material while learning new material. Each lesson is an audio course lasting 30 minutes. According to Pimsleur's idea, the human brain can take in information most effectively during this period of time.
Lessons work by taking the form of a dialogue and with additional tasks narrated by native speakers. Thus, you improve your listening skills and learn to pronounce words and phrases in proper English. Pimsleur's method allows English learners to quickly master spoken language and memorize a lot of different expressions.
Another advantage of this method is its availability at any time and in any place - you can listen to the audio course on your smartphone, in the car, or at home while cooking dinner.
"English as a Second Language" is a speaking-based method to learn English, which implies that beginning English learners will receive not just a dry theory, but they themselves will participate in speaking in a foreign language and apply the rules in practice.
The difference between ESL and more well-known other methods is that you can learn how society works where English is a native language - especially American English since most of the ESL-based programs teach the American version of English.
The Rosetta Stone technique is also recognized as one of the easiest programs to learn English from scratch. It allows you to follow the same path as when learning your native language from infancy – without rules.
You can master your English by immersing yourself in the language and forming associations. This program teaches you to remember and say the most common expressions while gradually increasing the difficulty level.
There are no translations in the course, and vocabulary, syntax, and grammar are learned from context while modeling various real-life situations. The main emphasis is on visual memory, and pictures also make your learning experience fun and interesting.
It is an excellent program for those who want to learn the language basics on their own without going too deep into the details.
Nevertheless, keep in mind that you can only learn a new language up to a certain level using any approaches mentioned above. To continue mastering your English skills, it is better to use several different methods at once.
Watch YouTube Lessons
Learning English by watching YouTube videos is one of the most affordable and fun ways to learn English that does not require you to do anything. For example, you can watch short video tutorials to deal with some grammar nuances or listen to a full lecture on punctuation rules - everything depends on how much time you have at the moment.
Besides, YouTube channels specializing in learning English frequently also provide useful links to get more information on a particular subject. And you can learn English on YouTube by simply watching your favorite YouTubers - just turn on English subtitles in the settings.
Use Language Learning Apps
Using applications designed for learning foreign languages is one of the best methods to spend your commuting time efficiently or learn some new words while standing in line.
For example, our Langster app has lots of fun and bite-sized stories with instant translations and audio from native English speakers, allowing you to hear the clear pronunciation and pick up proper phrasing.
You can find a wide range of other language learning programs that will help you build vocabulary while playing, provide you with video tutorials that contain a detailed analysis of sentences and expressions, as well as many other valuable pieces of content to help you learn English by yourself.
Read Books in English
Reading books that were written in English is one of the most effective ways to improve your reading and writing skills, as well as build a large vocabulary by learning new words and their meanings in context.
You can start by setting a small limit - let's say 15 pages or 20 minutes a day - to build a habit of reading every day, and you won't even notice how quickly English words will pop up in your head when speaking!
You don't necessarily have to start with books for kids. Instead, you can choose something you've already read in your mother tongue, reading books recommended for beginners, or something short. For instance, you can start reading articles instead of books packed with characters you don’t know.
Try Audiobooks, Too
If your current English level allows you to browse websites smoothly, but you cannot find the time to read a whole book, you can try incorporating audiobooks into your daily routine. They are easy to read on the go, provide you with enough listening exercises, and allow you to hear a particular episode as many times as you need to fully understand it.
Watch TV Series and Movies with English Subtitles
This is an incredibly fun and entertaining method to learn English, and so many people from around the world will probably name it as their favorite. It's nearly effortless - you pick one of your favorite movies or TV shows, turn on the subtitles, and enjoy!
One of the greatest things about watching TV series and movies is that you get the opportunity to learn slang, idioms, and fixed phrases in context - all these expressions that are frequently lost in translations to other languages. Subtitles also help you to pick up the proper writing of unfamiliar words.
In addition, watching English TV shows will allow you to get more acquainted with various, sometimes hard-to-hear British accents. Similarly, an American TV show will let you learn more about American culture and get more familiar with accents from different states of America.
TV series, especially American sitcoms, such as Friends or How I Met Your Mother, will be the perfect choice for beginning English learners - episodes are about 25 minutes long, contain simple yet useful real-life situational vocabulary, and are just fun to watch!
Listen to Podcasts
Podcasts have become very popular in recent years, as they are a perfect combination of entertainment and educational content. Like audiobooks, listening to podcasts regularly boosts your listening skills, allowing you to learn how words sound in American English or other accents.
In addition, you can find lots of specialized podcasts that will provide you not only with new words and improved listening comprehension but also valuable industry insights, expert options on current trends, which can allow you to grow as a specialist.
Play Video Games
Learning English through gaming is a common experience among people who don't have English as their first language. However, apart from expanding your vocabulary, playing video games provides another, more valuable function - it allows you to socialize with other players and speak English and eventually overcome your language barrier.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, there are plenty of methods you can take advantage of when deciding how you want to learn English. From language schools to private lessons to self-studying with your favorite characters from English TV shows - make sure to choose an approach that meets your purpose, schedule, and budget.
Remember that to achieve the best results possible - whether it be a clear pronunciation or the ability to write flawless essays - it’s best to use several methods at the same time. So don't hesitate to use our Langster app while you take an online course or try it with any other technique. Good luck in your noble endeavor!