Are you planning to study abroad? Do you know that almost all the colleges have English Language proficiency as a mandatory admission criterion?
You must know English to communicate with your classmates and professors and also to study. In most colleges, the means of instruction is English.
So, have you started preparing for IELTS yet? Are you worried about the exam? Do you fumble or make mistakes while speaking or writing the English language?
You are not alone. There is nothing to be embarrassed about. English is not our first language, and a lot of people find it difficult. You must continue to learn and practise. But are you using the correct techniques? Are they working out for you?
People will tell you what to do but, it is also necessary to know what you should avoid while learning English. Read on to find some English learning techniques that you must stay away from.
1. Only Reading/Listening
Have you ever discussed with your friends that you wish to start learning English as a second language? What is the most common advice that you get?
Is it that you should start watching English web series or listen to English songs? If this is true, then you are also making the same mistake as other people. The first common English learning technique that people often use is to watch English movies or series with subtitles and think that will help them learn English.
While watching English movies is a good suggestion, watching alone is not going to help you. It will help you improve your English skills, but you will not learn the basics. While listening, you might catch on to the accent, get to know a few words or phrases, but it is not enough.
The key to English learning is to take up diverse activities during the process. You must read, listen, speak, and write.
Do all of these rather than restricting yourself to any one of the above activities. For holistic learning, you must read as much as you can. It will help you in understanding grammar, punctuation, sentence structure and will also improve your vocabulary.
On the other hand, listening will give you an idea of the pronunciation of complex words and how you should speak while pausing in between. Moreover, speak to people in English and write as much as you can without feeling self-conscious. Writing will help you figure out your mistakes. It will also improve your vocabulary and grammar.
2. Cramming Up Vocabulary Books
People are often mistaken that speaking English involves using complex or fancy words. If you too think the same way, you must get rid of this misconception. Cramming up vocabulary building books is another frequently used English learning technique that you should avoid at all costs.
Good vocabulary does not necessarily mean good English skills. Before focusing on vocabulary, you should first focus on communicating in simple language. If you only memorize heavy English words, you might get to know the meaning, but you will not learn how to use those words.
You are most likely to use the words in the wrong context. Do you still think that only learning the meanings of difficult words will help you improve your English?
Instead, form a habit of reading beyond textbooks. It would be best to read novels, non-fiction books, newspapers, listen to meaningful podcasts and audiobooks. It will also improve your vocabulary. You can use vocabulary building books and mobile applications that allow you to solve questions.
3. Using Dictionary Frequently
We know it is tempting to look up the dictionary as soon as you come across any new word. While reading a book or a newspaper, people often keep a dictionary by their side and keep finding the meaning of new words.
This English learning technique will do you more harm than good. So, if you also keep a dictionary handy at all times, get rid of this technique. If you keep using a dictionary after reading a few lines, you will develop a habit of relying on it. It will also break your flow, and you will be unable to grasp what you are reading.
When you read something and come across a word that you do not understand, go back and read that sentence along with the previous and next one. Read it 4-5 times and try figuring out or guessing the word’s meaning by yourself.
Whenever you come across a problematic word while reading, use this technique, and soon you will realize that you know the meaning of a lot of words without even finding the dictionary meaning.
If you want to learn English, first try to figure out the meaning by yourself. If you still cannot find out the meaning, then refer to a dictionary. You can also write down the words somewhere and confirm the meaning after you are done reading.
4. Translating From Your Native Language Before Speaking
Do you know the primary reason why people often find it difficult to initiate conversations in English? It is because before speaking, they think in their native language and then translate it to English. As a result, they get confused and mix up their thoughts and words.
If you want to learn to speak English fluently, do not try to translate it from your mother tongue to English. You must be wondering what else you are supposed to do. Instead of framing your thoughts in your native language, try to think in English.
Whenever you are alone, try thinking in English and speaking it out loud. You do not necessarily have to make sense in the beginning. Speak whatever comes to your mind and build a flow. Along with speaking, you should also practise writing. Think in English and write it down. Initially, make sure that your grammar is correct.
If you want to improve your fluency while speaking, you can practise speaking in front of the mirror. It will help you gain confidence. Slowly and gradually, you will automatically start thinking in English while talking to someone. You will be able to respond with ease.
5. Paying Too Much Attention To Grammar
You must have often heard people saying that English is a funny language. It is indeed! There are too many grammar rules that one needs to know, tenses, prepositions, same words with different meanings, similar-sounding words, etc..
It can sometimes be infuriating to understand all the grammar rules. You will slowly get to know all of them. But, another widely used English learning technique that people resort to is memorizing the grammar rules. Somehow, people think that if they memorize all grammar rules, they will speak English fluently.
This is where the problem lies. While learning English, people focus too much on grammar and pronunciation that they sometimes fail to make sense of what they are thinking. They end up forming incoherent sentences in their mind, fumble and fail to deliver meaningful sentences.
It usually leads to embarrassment. People start feeling under-confident and fear speaking in front of people. But what is the reason behind it? Let us see!
These days, English is often seen as a symbol of status or prestige. People are afraid that others will judge them if they do not speak the correct words and use the proper pronunciation and grammar. As a result, they overthink and often ramble.
If you are also paying too much attention to grammar and vocabulary while speaking, get rid of it soon. You must understand that grammar is not something that you can memorize overnight or even in a few weeks. You do not even have to learn it.
All you have to do is keep some basics in mind, including using articles, avoiding past tense with did, and more such tips. Rest, you will figure it out with time and experience. Get rid of the fear of judgment. If you do not speak, you will not be able to learn. Give people a chance to correct you without holding any negative thoughts.
Practice will make you perfect. So, try talking in English as much as you can and ask people to correct you. Lastly, be patient as well as consistent while learning anything new. Do not worry! It is very natural for you to get confused and frustrated during your English Learning journey.
Make sure that you avoid using the above-mentioned English learning techniques, and you will start observing progress. You will soon be able to speak and write English without hesitation or fear of judgment. You got this!
Suppose you are planning to study abroad but are confused about how you should shortlist colleges, begin English learning, proceed with applications, or any other thing. In that case, you must seek help from a study abroad consultant.
If you are looking for English learning coaching for IELTS, KCR consultants will be just the right option for you. You will get to study from experts, will receive study and practice material and support from mentors.
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