With English a paramount language nowadays, it’s easy to understand why everyone wants to take on the task of learning it on their own. On its way to becoming a universal language, knowing English is a must if you want to be able to get around in a foreign country or even on the internet. If English didn’t stick to you in school or if you never took courses, you can learn English online for free, regardless of your language level. The following steps will help out beginners who want to be able to hold a conversation, learn how to speak fluently and write correctly.
The most challenging thing when you’re learning a new language is getting your brain accustomed to new sounds. Unlike many other languages out there, English is not a phonetic language. This means that not all the words are pronounced like they are written. As a term of comparison, provided you know the rules, speaking Spanish is easier than speaking English because the former is a phonetic language. This is one of the reasons the first step of any English learner should be studying the sounds and English pronunciation. American English differs from British English, so you might want to choose one of the two to focus your lessons on. When you’re not sure how to pronounce a word, you can head over to the online Oxford dictionary that provides you both with the phonetic transcription and with the audio pronunciation. This helps you lay a solid foundation that you can build the next skills on.
With this is mind, the first thing worth understanding by any beginner is spelling. There are several websites out there that provide basic audio exercises for beginner learners. It’s important to familiarize your brain with the proper pronunciation and accent from the very beginning. Faulty spelling can be hard to correct down the road. Once you’re comfortable with uttering words, you can move on to reading long texts out loud. It doesn’t have to be anything complicated in the beginning. Choose kids’ stories or simple poems that comprise the most basic words and topics.
There are various useful online programs to help both kids and adults learn English online free. Duolingo is one of best. Comprising a wide range of exercises, it tests your writing, listening and speaking skills from the beginning. The design is intuitive, so you don’t need advanced knowledge to use the app or their website.
2. English basics
If you only need English for traveling, you could skip this step. However, those who need the language for business reasons will have to have to take the time and master the basics. The irregular verbs, the tense, and adverbs should be your main focus. It’s not difficult to learn English grammar online as long as you wisely select your sources. Most beginners think that learning the grammatical rules is tedious and only implies memorizing charts of irregular verbs. But you don’t have to follow that pattern to set a stable foundation for your English command. By using platforms like Duolingo or LiveMocha, you can learn English online for free through games. If you want to connect with native speakers in real time, you can access Lang 8. It’s up to you how fast you decide to learn grammar. The best thing about learning English online free is that you can easily set your classes to fit your schedule.
Learning a new language is not only about theory and grammar. Although beginners might find it extremely difficult to start speaking and exercising out loud from the first day, spoken exercises are an essential part of learning. There is an easy exercise you can only do online, which will have a significant impact on training your brain to assimilate new sounds and phrases. Shadowing is uncomplicated and all you need are a few Youtube videos of your choice and some headphones. The principle behind this technique is paying attention to the discourse of a native speaker and mimic it in your turn. Whether you choose to work on an Australian vlog, a news report from the UK or a weather forecast from the USA, Youtube has no shortage of videos that will help you with your learning process.
Take into consideration the length of the video and try to choose one that has around three minutes. Listen to it carefully for a couple of times and look up any words that you don’t know. After you’ve fully understood the text, play it again and listen to it on your headphones. Try to utter the words at the same time with the speaker, paying attention to the accent and pronunciation. You might not be able to keep up with the native speaker the first time, but practice makes perfect. Replaying the video a second, third and fourth time will help you get better and faster, honing your speaking skills. Experiment with various video lengths, topics, and accents. This exercise will help you achieve fluency and the next time you’re talking in English you won’t have any difficulty finding your words and you won’t be bothered with mentally translating what you want to say from your mother tongue into English.
There is no shortcut to learning a new language from scratch. It takes a lot of practice and effort from the learner. Fortunately, there are a slew of online tools to support you in your process: movies, news websites, magazines and platforms that enable students to talk with native speakers are only a click away. Try to increase your exposure time to English and completely submerge yourself in the language. What does this imply, exactly? When you watch an English movie, don’t choose the dubbed version. Instead, add English subtitles so your brain can associate the correct pronunciation with the written word.
Like staying up to date and reading the news? Choose a trustworthy news website and read a few of their articles each day. Don’t be intimidated by the big words you don’t understand. You can install a browser extension that will translate unknown words when you double click them. This way, you can enjoy reading faster and pick up a few new words on the way.
Nothing sets new information as well as reading. Although it’s strenuous for a beginner to read large texts, you should incorporate reading in English in your daily practice. Stick to easy texts in the beginning and gradually move up to more complicated novels. You don’t have to jump straight into a Jane Austen novel. Pick up abridged versions of famous stories or novels that were specifically rewritten for beginners. These will target your current needs while still improving your vocabulary.
If you own a Kindle or other e-book reader, reading in English is even easier thanks to the built-in dictionary. Download children stories or beginner texts in your favorite genre and don’t miss any chance to read. If you have access to English newspapers or books, browse through them and keep a dictionary nearby. It’s always recommended to read the text once and look up any unknown words, following up with a second read to better assimilate the new words.
Most ESL students take a whole different approach, starting with reading, followed by listening, then speaking and lastly writing. But if you choose to learn English online, you can design your own learning pattern and advance at your own rhythm.