For those who have been learning, are learning, and are going to learn English. Maybe you, like me, used to have 13 to 14 years of studying English, trying all types of studying from learning at school to going to English centers, from practicing with tutors to self-study. It costs a lot of money, but the results do not come up to your expectations!
So, this article will share with you the golden experience of self-studying English at home while saving your money effectively. Let’s explore!
Self-study of English, where should I start?
It depends on your PURPOSES:
• You do not know any English word, want to practice English from the beginning?
• You have a basic background, want to improve yourself?
• Or you want to improve your English reflex capacity?
Each purpose of the study will have different learning plans. So before embarking on how to study, how to arrange a schedule, you should determine your goals first.
For example, to practice English for people who have lost their roots, you will go from simple listening lessons (listening to children’s audio short stories, listening to slow speed,etc.) and then learning vocabulary by subjects and then learn to speak.
If you want to improve your English skills much further, you can put up a more significant challenge for yourself. For example, listening and understanding an American film without subtitles, listening to Ted talks, and then summarizing the topic you heard, etc. Before moving on to the next section, take your paper and pen, think carefully and write answers to two questions: What is your level of English? What is the purpose of studying English?
Some effective ways to learn English speaking at home
When I first started to learn English communication by myself, I had quite a lot of references to listening and speaking documents. Because my level is only at reading – understanding a little, while listening is zero, I learn from the basics first.
With learning to listen and speak English, I outlined four goals: Listening – Speaking – Reflexes – Vocabulary practice. All the skills of a language in general and English in particular, are complementary to each other, not one that is independent. So, you should study in parallel to make quick improvements in your studying.
For example, to remember words quickly, I always practice in the way of combination. For instance, Learn vocabulary through speaking and listening topics.
I will list a few ways I have applied to improve my listening and speaking skills as well as my vocabulary and grammar at the same time:
• Monologue – Speak alone:
For example, when I set out the goal today that I would like to learn about the animal topic, I would learn about ten new words. The next day whenever I have free time, even go on the road, wait for the red light, go to the toilet, take a shower, lie in bed before I go to sleep, I will keep speaking alone about that topic so that I can easily use all ten words in my English communication.
I often remember those words for a long time later. Whenever someone mentions that topic, I can easily talk about it because I have practiced so much before to master the subject.
This method should not only be applied to speaking. The four skills, namely listening – speaking – reading – writing, are complementary to each other. Therefore, you can learn grammar through communication and vice versa.
When moving to the grammar part and encountering a difficult sentence structure, for example:
S + V + not only + Adv / Adj, but also + Adv / Adj
Then I will put it into practice immediately: She is not only beautiful but also lovely.
In this way, when you practice in daily monologues, that structure will gradually be imprinted in your brain, becoming a habit, and you will speak with that grammar naturally.
• Karaoke Singing
This is a very effective way to practice pronouncing, memorizing new words, and using words to write complete sentences.
When singing, you should pay attention to new words, and strange, unique sentence structures. Write their meaning and usage on note papers, then post them on everything you can quickly see in your house. In this way, you can self-memorize while working or doing something else at home.
There are dozens of Karaoke songs on YouTube for you to choose. Besides,you also can try yourself with the game “Lyrics Training,” which is another exciting way to learn vocabulary.
• Watch movies – Remember the dialog
If you are a movie buff like me, then do not ignore this way of learning English at home, which is hugely significant for learning vocabulary and grammar structure as long as improving your English speaking skills for yourself. Choose the part that you like best in the movie, read the lines of the characters naturally. This is a way to help you get a voice that has a natural tone, learn slang, idioms, proverbs, and expand vocabulary. Learning English through movies is both entertaining and stress-free, and easy to acquire knowledge. If you want a transcript of the movie, refer to Internet Movie Script Database (IMSDb) or just search for “movie title” + transcript on Google to make it easier to learn.
• Join the exchange on the online Forum
One of the ways that help me learn words reasonably quickly and effectively is engaging in conversations (both writing and speaking) with others. If you are hesitant to speak in the first step, you can go to online forums. For example, Reddit – the largest forum in the world.
This is where you can practice your English writing and your communication skills by exchanging, debating, and commenting on issues that interest you. Answer other users, keep the conversation going, or simply post helpful information that people will want to interact with and respond to their comments.
As for grammar, sometimes you use a grammatical structure and feel uncertain about it? Then don’t worry, I see there are many ways to check my mistakes. One way to test yourself is to do online English tests. These tests will check your grammar, sentence structure, reading comprehension, and many other skills, etc. Refer to many other English quizzes by searching for English Quizzes keyword on Google, and there will be thousands of tests for you to practice by yourself every week and every month.
How long can you communicate in English fluently?
This depends on whether you are hard-working enough or not.
Like me, it is about one year. After training for a few months, I was able to talk to foreigners, basically understand what they ask, and they also understand my answer.
If you are both attentive and conversational, I guarantee that your language skills will increase very quickly. Talk to foreigners so that they can help you correct your mistakes when you speak English.
Also, if you want to make quick progress but are afraid to talk to foreigners, please use the audio recording. Like me, I record an English speech three days once time. In this way, I also can check for myself whether I pronounce wrong or whether my intonation is good enough or not. From there, I can practice over and over again to be perfect.
If you want to have more confidence in pronunciation, you can try the “Sounds: Pronunciation App” to test your pronunciation in both English – English or American – English. This App also has the practice section, tests, and it is entirely free to download.
Tips to “keep the fire” in love with English during self-study
I don’t know about others, but to me, I never feel bored when I study English alone. Even the aridest part is studying grammar and vocabulary. It all depends on the way you think and whether you are hard-working enough to achieve your goals. However, I also have a few ideas I often do to motivate myself:
• Read English stories about successful people- Examples of successful people are always an endless source of inspiration for me. Besides learning from the problems they encounter, I have also learned quite a few useful tips to improve my English better. So whenever you feel frustrated or bored, “hunt” for examples of success. Surely you will be as determined as you are always again.
• Thinking about your goals and the results you can achieve in the future. For example, I often think about the period when I can respond and communicate fluently with foreigners. So while practicing speaking English at home alone, I always keep dreaming about my goals and become excited and happy.
In general, no one would think that a girl without knowing an English word like me could now go abroad to study. Even I did not expect it, but all my efforts paid up. There is one famous saying that “Practice makes perfect,” and this is absolutely correct!
The above-mentioned tips are my experience of self-studying English communication at home.
Learning anything will require learners a long time period in the beginning, so please keep yourself a sense of optimism to make learning at home becomes more interesting and exciting!