It is common knowledge that the English language is a key subject in education systems across the globe. Children start learning it in primary school, and university exams have a dedicated portion for English. On top of that, it remains the official international language and English-speaking skills are a requirement in pursuing careers in many different countries.
However, in a lot of countries, despite years upon years of lessons in schools, a lot of people find that they cannot use the English language in most situations. Young and old struggle with speaking English in basic conversations, even if they seem to understand it well.
How to Learn the English Language Effectively
The conclusion that English teachers and researchers have come to is that the issue lies in the way the language is taught in schools and how widely used the language is in day-to-day situations. English is arguably not a difficult language to learn, it turns out; it’s just not taught in the most effective way.
But what can make language learning more effective?
English language teachers in Abu Dhabi emphasize the importance of familiarity. They say that in the capital of the UAE, many locals speak the language fluently because, aside from Abu Dhabi is home to a large community of expats from English-speaking nations, business establishments here also use English as much as Arabic for transactions.
Therefore, the English taught in school is immediately applied to various day-to-day situations, which prompts many to use the language often.
Another essential component is an encouraging environment. When you are surrounded by people who feel comfortable using English, you automatically find the courage within you to apply your English knowledge as well.
Fortunately, in Abu Dhabi, English is so widely spoken that one cannot help but use it more in all kinds of situations.
Of course, getting extra help can do wonders in developing confidence in using English. A spoken English course in Abu Dhabi, for instance, is available to those who wish to master the language, be it just for the sake of being fluent in a second language, or for the purpose of pursuing further studies or a career abroad.
Through the course, not only do learners get as much practice as necessary to become fluent, but they get to increase their vocabulary for an accurate and deep understanding of English used in academic and business settings.
Other useful approaches are taking other classes conducted in English, such as professional development workshops. It’s quite helpful to learn new things in the language that you’re trying to master. It increases the opportunities for application and can likewise grow your vocabulary. You will learn the jargon and commonly used phrases as well as the situations where they should be used.
Another learning hack many learners share is watching shows in English. Many foreign actors and actresses who want to break into Hollywood claim that finding English shows and movies helps them grow their interest in learning the language.
Important Things to Remember When Learning English
There are vital beliefs and practices to uphold when it comes to learning English or any other foreign language.
1. You don’t need to have mastered the language to use it
Some people believe that they can only speak English when they have completely mastered all its grammatical rules. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Learning English is not like learning how to drive a car; there are no serious risks when you make a mistake. On the contrary, making mistakes is an opportunity to fine-tune your skills and implement the correct way of speaking instantly.
2. Frequent practice is truly a must
The more you speak in English, the more comfortable and confident you will feel using the language. Use it to explore a new story (through reading), replace your favorite vernacular expressions with their English counterparts, write your thoughts in English, and learn new English songs.
Over time, you will find yourself speaking in the language instinctively, which is the primary goal when learning a new tongue.
3. Making friends with native English speakers is quite helpful
There’s nothing like having friends who can support you in your journey to mastering a foreign language. They can correct you, teach you alternative ways of saying things, as well as share essential details and tips, such as how to be politically correct in speech.
Having such people around can often feel like being in a class, except that they do not charge you for the valuable lessons they are able to share with you.
4. Using your dominant learning style can boost the results of taking English classes
Do you learn better by actually speaking and writing? Perhaps you absorb lessons better by listening? Do you also learn faster and more effectively in the morning? Or are you an evening person, who’s more alert and can concentrate better at night?
Establish your dominant learning style and make that work to your advantage.
5. Combining your vernacular language with English can help you become fluent in the long run
Do not be afraid to combine languages when you’re in the process of learning English. Language experts point out that contrary to claims that code-switching is the reason for not being fluent in either language, it is a helpful practice toward achieving fluency.
The key here is to consider it as a stage in a process and not as a crutch. Whenever you find yourself code-switching because you can’t remember a word in the foreign language, find out what that word is as soon as you can and correct your statement using only English words.
There are many different approaches you can take to learning English, an internationally valuable language. Use one, a few, or use them all until you find the strategies that work best for you.
There’s no arguing that acquiring a second language is difficult. However, with proper instruction and the right efforts to make the learning process more enjoyable and effective, you can expect to develop a good command of the English language in a reasonable amount of time. What’s more, you will no longer feel perplexed in situations that require you to use it.
Jerrin Samuel is the Executive Director at Regional Educational Institute (REI) in Abu Dhabi. Since 1995, REI has been at the forefront of education by delivering quality corporate training courses in the UAE, helping many businesses and organizations achieve greater productivity and higher customer satisfaction levels.