Thursday, April 5, 2007

"What's a good way to learn English?"

Actually, the original question was "Good way for study english?" I was trolling Yahoo and found this question asked by someone from Korea who is trying to learn English as a Second Language. He or she further wrote, "Im Korean. now, i studying english, but my english not, i want to know that good way for study english.
thank you!"

I wrote a response to this ESL learner and I'd like to share it here.

"The absolute best way to learn any language is to immerse yourself in the language. That means you should live somewhere like the U.S. or the U.K., if possible, and hang out with the natives.

You didn't mention if you live in Korea or if you are living in an English speaking country. In either case, you could try to study with an English as a Second Language (ESL) or English as a Foreign Language (EFL) tutor. If you're in the U.S. (and probably other places), you can find a tutor on under the "Lessons" category. Of course, working with a private tutor costs money.

If you are living in an English-speaking country, some areas have organizations that match native English speakers with ESL speakers so that the non-native speaker can practice his or her English. This is usually free, however, the native speaker is usually not a trained English teacher.

If you live in Korea and can't find a native English speaker to work with, try to watch American films (without subtitles), read English books, websites, news, etc. Also, try to write something every day in English. Don't worry if it's not perfect. The main point is to train your mind to think in English.

And find a good grammar book. Try Azar's Understanding and Using English Grammar, although this might be just a bit advanced for you (judging from the grammar in your written question). The next best textbook is Grammar in Use - Intermediateby Murphy.

I hope this helps a little. Good luck!"

1 comment:

Leon said...

"hang out with the natives" - I learned enough Spanish from a small book and helpful people in Spain to feel comfortable speaking with the locals. Years later I tried taking Spanish at a Canadian university. It was difficult to find the time and energy to 'think' in Spanish and not worry about grammar. That plus degree obligations made me drop the course.