Study English Without Studying
Ask yourself – how do you study for lessons? Do you read over your notes? Do you go over practice questions? How effective are your methods? Can you concentrate on your study material for long periods? If your answer is not ideal, then you must learn how to gain knowledge without the usual study methods. This is especially the case when learning a new language in your country. The opportunities to practice it are few when everyone speaks your tongue. Therefore, I’ve outlined how each English component can be learned without studying per se.
Look around your neighbourhood. There is a lot of material for you to read around you. From cereal boxes, posters, to leaflets reading material is everywhere – especially from messages on your mobile. By starting small, you are taking big steps to becoming a fluent reader. Also, ask yourself what you are interested in. Do you like visiting a specific country? Do you have a special hobby? Try looking for information online about your chosen subject and note down any new words. You’ll be surprised how comfortable reading can become, if it is enjoyable.
Listening for specific information can be one of the hardest skills to master. In real life you can ask a person to repeat if you didn’t catch the information, however, you usually only get two chances to listen and understand during English exams. In reality, listening comprehension actually involves two skills. Firstly, unconscious comprehension of what is being said, and secondly, demonstrate that you understand the content. The first skill takes the most time because you don’t have direct control over it. Therefore the more you listen to the English language, the more will likely you will improve. Be patient with your progression and you will find yourself moving through these following stages: First, identifying that what you are listening to is English and not another language. Second, understanding when each phrase or clause begins and ends. Next, hearing most words separately. After this stage is understanding the main idea of the passage. Following this is understanding specific details. Finally, full comprehension follows. You may be at any of these stages, however, the main way to develop is by listening and using the language. If you don’t have friends or family who speak English, you can listen to podcasts or the radio. On this website, there are listenings for you to download onto your computer. After some time (everyone is different) you will find yourself understanding most words, which will help you understand what is being spoken about. Once you understand what is being said, you must demonstrate that you understand. For instance, in the Aptis English exam, you must show your understanding by answering questions about the listening. You can prepare yourself for this by asking yourself questions while you listening. For example, you can ask yourself: who is talking? What are they talking about? Where are they?
Living in countries where English is a foreign country can provide real life examples of grammar mistakes. Signs, posters, and even poster boards can provide funny and interesting tests for your grammar. Can you identify more mistakes than your friends?
Writing is one of the hardest skills to master. It can be formal or informal and each form needs different formatting and wording. For informal writing, look at examples on our website and send messages to your friends and family. You can also send emails to organisations and see their responses. Formal writing usual has strict structures to follow. A famous linguist once said that he mastered formal academic writing by reading articles in journals. Though this may be a hard task, if you look at how they are structured, if you see what goes where. Furthermore, we don’t realise how much we waiting until our phone batteries die or break. It’s our window to the world. If we use our mobile phones to help us write, we’ll progress in an enjoyable and productive way.
Speaking is the trickiest skill to practice without a partner. Thankfully, there are websites to help you connect with other people who wish to speak English like you. However, if you don’t have a good internet connection there are other ways to help. Firstly, reading aloud and recording yourself. You can listen to the recording and see how clear your speech is. Another way is to listen to a broadcast and repeat what the speaker is saying. This skill is even useful for natives who wish to improve their speech. Also, you can use the tools on Englishexamninja to help get you there.