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Learning English In Another Country Is Possible

Aug 8, 2008
Learning English effectively when living in a foreign country is challenging. While English classes are probably available, native English speakers may not be. Also, students rarely get the chance to practice their skills, making it even more difficult to learn the language. If you are someone who wishes to learn English efficiently while living in a foreign country, keep these tips in mind.

Let Go of Your Fear

One of the problems that most people face when seeking to learn any foreign language, English included, is fear. When we are children and we learn our native language, we rarely fear saying something wrong. After all, everyone praises and rewards a child's attempts to speak. As we age, however, we learn that mistakes in speech can be cause for ridicule. When we attempt to learn another language, we fear practicing our skills because of this natural fear of ridicule. However, practice is essential to learning English, so you must get over this fear and start practicing as much as you can.

Find a Native Speaker

Taking a class taught by someone who learned English as an adult is not going to cut it. You need to find a class taught by a native English speaker if at all possible. If not, take a class taught by someone who has lived in an English-speaking country for a while. This will help you to learn the correct pronunciations as you work to learn the language.

Listen Up!

One of the best ways to learn English is to hear it being spoken. Once you learn some basic vocabulary, surround yourself with people that speak English. Watch English television shows or movies, listen to English radio stations, or go to websites where you can hear English being spoken. Listening to people, especially native speakers, who are speaking in a non-classroom setting, will help you develop a sense of the ambiance of the language. You will be learning what non-standard words are used in every day conversation, how people interact with one another, and what type of sarcasm is used by those who speak English.

When watching English television programs or movies, see if you can set up your television to allow you to see the English subtitles. This will help you as you try to listen to the spoken word. You will also be able to see the written word, helping you to check your comprehension.

Find Someone to Practice With

As you develop comprehension, you need to practice. Find someone you can practice speaking English with, whether it is a native speaker or another person who is learning English as a second language. Have times when you go out to do something fun, but only English is spoken. Just like you had to do when you were a baby learning your native tongue, you must practice speaking English on a regular basis if you are going to learn the language efficiently.

Read in English

Once you have some basic vocabulary and grammar under your belt, start reading in English. Even if you need to start with simple illustrated books and magazines, reading in English will help you learn to comprehend the language better. Put English books in your home, and read them as frequently as you can. This will help you to start thinking in English, which shows that you are effectively learning the language.

Because you are living in a foreign country and are not surrounded by native speakers, learning English is going to be a little more challenging. Use the Internet to help you find courses and programs to learn the language. Practice as much as you can, and do not be afraid of failure. Soon you will be speaking as efficiently as a native speaker, and your grammar just might be a little better too!
About the Author
Online English School offers courses to help you learn English at your own pace and provide you with all the materials you will need to have you reading, writing and speaking English in no time.
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