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Thread: What do you love and hate most about learning English? What is the best way to learn?

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    Lightbulb What do you love and hate most about learning English? What is the best way to learn?

    Hi guys,

    My name is David and I am a native English speaker. I study linguistics at university and my dream is to create a world where anybody who wants to learn English has efficient and practical learning resources readily available to them.

    I was wondering to myself lately about how a potential learner of English might be better engaged in their study of the language and hence two very important questions arose:

    • What did you hate most about learning English at school/self-study thereafter?
    • What did you love about learning English and, more specifically, what would you say was the most efficient way you were able to learn?


    I studied German at school. Now, I love languages and of course German too, but sometimes it felt so mundane and uninteresting; particularly talking about cassettes and stuff like that in the 2000s. :/

    Anyway, I would love to hear your thoughts. Help me make an enlightened tomorrow!

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    Quote Originally Posted by dStutt View Post
    Hi guys,

    My name is David and I am a native English speaker. I study linguistics at university and my dream is to create a world where anybody who wants to learn English has efficient and practical learning resources readily available to them.

    I was wondering to myself lately about how a potential learner of English might be better engaged in their study of the language and hence two very important questions arose:

    • What did you hate most about learning English at school/self-study thereafter?
    • What did you love about learning English and, more specifically, what would you say was the most efficient way you were able to learn?


    I studied German at school. Now, I love languages and of course German too, but sometimes it felt so mundane and uninteresting; particularly talking about cassettes and stuff like that in the 2000s. :/

    Anyway, I would love to hear your thoughts. Help me make an enlightened tomorrow!

    Hate-Spelling...I have a good memory so it wasn't that bad, but coming from the vantage point of a totally phonetic language, it was harder to learn to write.

    Love-English movies, tv, and song lyrics...

    The best way to learn another language is total immersion, which is the way I learned.

    After that, watch movies, listen to music, and correspond with or talk to a native speaker, and ask them to be brutally honest. The first is passive, but you also have to be "active" in using it, if that makes sense.


    Non si fa il proprio dovere perchè qualcuno ci dica grazie, lo si fa per principio, per se stessi, per la propria dignità. Oriana Fallaci

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    I can't deal with the grammatical inconsistency.

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    Thanks for replying, guys.

    How about learning strategies? Did you use books or other resources to help you learn? If so, what were the best and most efficient materials you encountered?

    I also realised this thread should probably be in the linguistics section.

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    definately spellling

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    Perhaps Oxford Advanced Learners' Dictionary was the best English learning tool I have come across. I now mainly rely on Oxford Dictionary of English (OUP 2010) to expand my vocabulary, which is really helpful in completing my knowledge on the English language. My spoken English improved significantly after listening to sports broadcasts such as Wimbledon and imitating broadcasters with a small voice as they speak. It's called "shadowing", by which you practice repeating the speaker as accurate as possible. Usually beginners start with selecting a short audio text to work with.

    In terms of learning vocabulary, was that a case of flipping through the dictionary to a random page and seeing what there was to find? Did you use any specific methods to help you remember vocabulary?
    I used to pick 20 pages of the dictionary every day randomly and remember every word and phrase on these pages. Many English words are derived from Greek or Latin words and tracing the origins of words makes it easier to remember vocabulary.
    Last edited by ThirdTerm; 03-08-16 at 20:55.

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    ThirdTerm, that's also another superb answer--there has been a lot of recent research that language shadowing can improve your language skill phenomenally, to which you have also attested.

    In terms of learning vocabulary, was that a case of flipping through the dictionary to a random page and seeing what there was to find? Did you use any specific methods to help you remember vocabulary?

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    What I love about English is its flexibility in creating compound words (such as brexit)
    What I hate is not to be able to consistently figuring out the proununcition of vowels and diphtongues (i sometimes sounds ''ay'' and sometimes ''ee'')

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    Quote Originally Posted by spoon View Post
    What I love about English is its flexibility in creating compound words (such as brexit)
    What I hate is not to be able to consistently figuring out the proununcition of vowels and diphtongues (i sometimes sounds ''ay'' and sometimes ''ee'')
    epravo
    bih-pravo
    Watch more tv and you English would improve for sure..offcourse, in English
    Last edited by draj; 17-10-16 at 22:39.

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    What I hated most about learning English were the teachers at school. English language itself is very pleasant. It doesn't have the annoyingly complicated grammar of German or French, little conjugation, no declensions, no gender, no accents or umlauts... I like the sound of RP English. Very refined, but takes time to acquire. I also love the flexibility of English. If you invent new words you are seen as witty and imaginative and that's a big improvement from being seen as an oddball for doing the same in German.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dinarid View Post
    I can't deal with the grammatical inconsistency.
    What's inconsistent about English grammar? Have you tried French in comparison?

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    I've tried learning French couple of times, taking courses and I found it very difficult to learn grammar..that was the main reason why I quit..pronounciation is very difficult as well..

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    Pop songs are the way to go.

    The 1970s band, Slade, has an excellent catalogue:

    Gudbuy gudbuy
    Mama weer all crazee now
    Look at last nite
    Gudbuy t'Jane
    Cum on feel the noize

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