Learn the Way You Learn.  You have you own ways to learn.

This extensive article explaining about the Way English is Taught and Learned.  Why too much of the way you are told to learn will never work for you. How Older Students can learn English. Finding Your Best Study Methods.

Advice on how to best use your time, money, and effort while learning English.  Information: This information may be new to you and shocking.

Look at the Quicklinks Below. 

When I say learn the natural way, I do not mean learn like a child.  I mean learn the best way to suit your natural way of learning.

I am not a child or baby.

I still need to learn English for success.

What should I do? The Natural and Best Way

for you to study is how you like to study.

finger pointing down

You have already learned a language. Your Native Language.

You are an expert. Was it difficult?

Why is English so Mysterious and Hard?

The Main Methods Teachers Use to Teach English = PPP and TBL 

First, and there are so many things to talk about, you should understand how English is taught to you. The three main methods are PPP, TBL, and Grammar and Vocabulary Based Learning. 

Grammar based learning is terrible and won't be discussed.  

PPP =  stands for Presentation-Practice-Production.  This is the most common way of English Centers and Schools. 

There are many forms of this pretty good technique.  The teacher introduces a new topic or learning point. The students practice the ideas in the presentation.  Then the last P is production where the students Produce (Production) the new skills they learn. 

Often you will go to a class, learn a new idea, practice the idea, and do a presentation or use what you have learned.

The next is TBL = Task-Based-Learning which is learning English by accomplishing tasks.  Students learn how to do something they need in life.  An example would be ordering food at a restaurant.  

Usually teachers will use a combination of these to teach you.

Your current stage of learning is important:

Observation and begin to learn.

Begin to speak and other skills.

Begin to get the idea and learn.

Medium fluency (often get stuck)

Continued Language Development

What Phase or Stage are You In Now?   

What Method of Learning English is Right for You?

You have already learned a language. Your Native Language.

You are an expert. Was it difficult?

Why is English so Mysterious and Hard?

I Study My

Mom and Dad

Everyone can agree, this is how a baby learns a language. 

Your native language you learn by acquisition.

You can also do this when learning English, but you aren't a baby.

You don't have 24 hours a day, you are not 100% dependant on learning, and you don't have the time.

What if you are older and learning a second language?

You use the best methods for you and some from the way a child learns,  but it is your way and perfect for your learning style. 

Not all people learn the same way, you know that.

Find the way you like to learn.   Keep Reading  

Fun Questions that seem difficult.  Answering them is important.

You also will learn about the massive English Teaching Industry.

40,000 schools, 15 million websites

Some great and some are not right for you.

How do you know what is right?  Begin to trust yourself.

Are you shy? Hardworking? Motivated? Being Forced to Learn by Parents or Work?

Are you Lazy?  Do you think you can learn English?  Why do you want to Speak English?

 

Questions you should ask yourself in order to know how you learn.

1. How much time will you spend a week to learn and practice?

2. Few really succeed. In fact, most fail. What will you do to succeed?

3. Many recruiter promises are made but are not kept.  Do you believe them? 

4. Have you got a plan?  Have you got goals? 

Or are you just following the next discount at your 4th Language Center?

 These may seem like difficult questions you can't answer now, but they are fun questions and will help you be successful.

Natural Way of Learning English: Studying Or Communicating?

The reason language exists is to communicate.  

Most learning now is based on studying and not communicating. 

The rules of language are grammar, intonation, breathing, pronunciation....

Learning rules is important to know how to play.

Playing really well will allow you to win the language game.

Rules do not make you good. I can learn the rules to anything but unless I play a lot and become good, rules are not important.

Imagine learning all about swimming in class.  Study swimming for a year!  Then go out in deep water and jump in.  Not a good result. 

You must practice swimming before going into deep water.

Learning a language has become a product, a course, a degree, a certificate...

Learning English has become grammar rules, tests, and certificates...

Does a baby learning any language have or do any of these?     No   Never 

English began 2500 years ago.

Modern English began about 700 years ago as a combination of languages.

About 500 years ago the first grammar book was written to make sense of it.

Because it is a combination of languages, there are many rules that you will never understand. 

No Native English Speaker studies grammar.

  • English Language Began 9000 years,
  • Grammar Started 500 years ago,
  • Language Studies began in the past 120 years.
  • The Modern Language Industry is only 1--20 years old.
  • English Began as a Communication Tool Nowadays,
  • English is a Study and Learned by Learning Grammar.

Can you see language is really old whereas grammar is very new?   

Grammar rules and repetition are ok and parts of learning a language. 

But think about this: Chess is a game of rules. 

I can know all the rules by heart but can I play as well as a chess master?  No.

Human Language Began to Develop as early as 9,000 years ago.

Early writing symbols began about 9000 years ago. 

The earliest forms of English appeared about 2500 years ago.

First English Documents appeared about 1500 years ago.

The first English Grammar Book was written 500 years ago.

First English Language Center and School began about 150 years ago.

Cambridge English started in 1913, British Council Began in 1934. About 70-100 years ago.

English teaching and learning really began to boom along with the internet the last 50 years.

Your School may be only a few years old.

All of the schools, websites, big industry testers are new to teaching English.

Almost all are part of a 15 billion dollar a year  business sector.

You have already learned your language.  What should you do now?

Baby: Total Focus and Attention for 18,150 Hours 

Before Talking

The Natural Way to Learn a Language (English)

Why English Learners Have So Much Trouble Learning English

The amazing baby story and learning a language that will not make you happy.

Babies Learn language the Same Everywhere in the World.

They look, focus, listen for 2 or more years. 2 years = > 18,150 hours

A baby watches it's parents, listens, tries so hard to figure out what is happening,  and then starts to speak.

A baby knows how native language sounds, and has listened for over 18,000 hours.

Many of my students listen for 1 hour a day. They are very dedicated.

A little math = 18,150 hours divided by 365 days it will take 49 years to listen as much as a 2 year old baby.

Many students say but we are smarter than babies!  I agree.

Then I ask them "Do you focus as much as a totally dependant baby does on it's mom or dad?" No....

The first problem: English Learners don't know how English sounds.  

Don't worry or become discouraged. 

You just need to understand how and why to change how you learn.

 

More about Babies and what they do to learn their language (English). 

If you do not know how a song sounds, it is not possible to sing it right.

Babies learn the music and rhythm of English Language.

Imagine never hearing the common Happy Birthday, given the words and asked to sing the song.

Imagine me singing Happy Birthday to a different tune.

Not at all like Happy Birthday we know.

These will not sound right. 

Everyone will know it is not the Happy Birthday Song.

Then I sing a normal happy birthday which everyone knows and it sounds "right".

Babies learn to listen First!

Babies listen to their parents and family speak English (or your language) and learn slowly, in context. They listen and watch and absorb the language 12 hours a day for 2-3 years.

When they really begin to speak they only understand 2-300 words and can say much less.

Sleep, eat, quiet, hungry, thirsty, up, down (baby essential words)....you get the idea.

Most students know 1-3000 depending on their level. 

They stay at the same level for a while.

At 4-5 years old, babies know almost everything they need to be fluent. Including grammar.

When a baby born in an English speaking country begins to speak, they already can understand many things.

They also have a good feeling of the "music" of speaking English.

The "music" is the way English should sound. Like singing a song so it sounds nice. This is what I call the way to learn English Grammar without studying Grammar.

Babies know the music of English before they begin to "speak".

How Polyglots Learn Many Languages

They learn in very different ways than traditional schools.

The amazing people who can speak many languages.

Europeans speak several.

As I travel the world I find many cultures speak more than one and never study in schools.

Last year in Malaysia I met a taxi driver on Borneo who spoke Malaysian, Indonesian(which is close) and and 4 local languages.  He knew and had learned these languages for work. He learned them because they helped him  make money. he needed to learn them.

Polyglots are people who speak many languages because they want to.  They travel, live somewhere for a few months or a year being totally surrounded by the language.  When they live somewhere learning a language the need to buy things, get around and have a strong desire to make friends. 

People who learn many languages are very motivated, know exactly what to do, and become immersed in the culture and and language. 

Being immersed where everyone is speaking the language is great.

You can practice conversations in advance, then try them out in real situations.

People who learn languages quickly are highly motivated, know what it takes, and willing to do the work to learn to speak.  It has been shown in surveys that many people learning English (over 1 billion now) do not really believe they can learn. 

In addition, those not actively learning,  and that begin every conversation with "my English is very bad" are not be doing the right things to learn. 

These are the passive learners that people say don't learn as well as younger learners.  In reality they are not learning so they can't be expected to learn well.  People who want to learn but do not put in any effort.

 

How you can learn to speak English is explained so you can learn quickly and remember how to use the vocabulary you have studied.

My ESL students study grammar like crazy and still can't use it. They know more grammar then I do!

I think most non native English teachers re much better than native speakers at grammar.

Maybe they are good but grammar does not make them good.

But, they don't know how the music of English is supposed to sound. This is very important.

Later, they learn to speak and then read and write.

Here are things you can listen to:

Most language programs teach vocabulary and grammar first.
Students can not listen or speak.

The biggest problem with this method, besides the fact that it is terrible way to learn and is expensive and wastes time is that:

This method is the Opposite of the natural and normal way to learn.

Listen and Guess at the meaning of what is being said.

Not to translate is very difficult to do especially until you really know some vocabulary. 

I would advise to not translate every word and lose focus o the meaning. 

Learn and Listen for keywords to translate that you know well.

Babies can't talk yet they can communicate their every need.

They don't study vocabulary or grammar, yet know what we want and mean when we talk.

It is a slow and patient process that can happen quicker and better if you use the right way to learn.

What is the right way to learn?

Learn to Listen Information

Learn the Most Important Vocabulary for Listening Vocabulary Improves Listening and Speaking

Babies can understand words as young as 6 months.  They can not speak or gesture, but they understand the word being spoken.  At 14 months their vocabulary can really start to increase.  By two yes old most kids can speak 250-300 words..... mommy, daddy, more, bath, dog, eat,

BUT THEY UNDERSTAND MANY MORE!  You Must learn to Listen

The Internet and Modern Media provide unlimited resources to listen to native English Speakers.   Here are 10 great places to listen to English:

1. TV Programs

2. English Movies.

3. English Podcasts

4. Programs such as Voice of America

5. You Tube

6. Music

7. Famous Books

8. Cartoons

9. The News

10. Meeting Foreigners

Babies Learn to Listen BEFORE Speaking

Learn to Listen Information talks about how Babies learn to listen First! Babies listen to their parents and family speak English (or the native language) and learn slowly, in context.

Every baby, everywhere learns this way.  Why are you learning in a different way?  Do you think it is a good idea?

Listening in a new language involves guessing at the meanings of what is being said.  Not translating back and forth in your headWatch

Pay Attention to the Context.

No translating to your native language and then back to English.

Something that many say or ask.  Isn't it easier to learn a language when you are young. The younger the better. 

This is not true.  Babies do not learn a language, they acquire it.  This is how all babies learn their native language.  Humans are innately wired to learn a language. This means that our minds and bodies are already programmed to learn the language. 

If students are learning by studying grammar then older is better.

I do not suggest studying grammar.  I do agree that babies can not study grammar very well.

People immersing themselves in an environment where they use the language as parto their living learn by being surrounded by people speaking the language.  They use it for everything they do. 

Another type of language learner is highly motivated.  They study like crazy and really work hard to learn vocabulary and listen and join English Clubs.  Hardworking English Learners learn very well at any age.

The evidence that older students do not learn English as fast as younger children is not verified by science.  I think it is always better to start young when learning anything so you have more experience and time to  become good.  But that is not the same as be better at learning English.

What do you like?  Talking? Learning Vocabulary? Watching Movies?

How to learn when not a baby?

There are over 40,000 language schools and 15 million websites about this.

I have taught at every level (kindergarten, public schools, universities, English centers, businesses, government, NGO...) at almost a 500 hundred of these and visited countless websites.

I will try and help you.

I have some suggestions of what you can do. 

First, try and think of what is fun for you and easy.  Then keep improving on that and trying more difficult things.

Learn Step By Step


Second, Have goals. Small goals, big goals, short term goals for today, long term goals for next month.

Keep track of your goals.

 

Get Help.  Don't trust people to tell you what to do.  When you know something you want to do ( a goal) search and ask for the best way.


Third, Learn how to learn  vocabulary in context.  Learn how to really learn vocabulary in a deep and meaningful way. 


Listen to English and Speak English.  Practice Conversations. Be friendly in English!


Fourth, The more fun and easy English is, the more easily you will learn and become good.


 

Pressure to Learn English:

From school, parents, work, society, friends, social media...

There is a huge pressure to speak and learn English because the amount of English Speakers is growing and will continue to grow.  

People who speak English can earn more money, and travel easier.

Many pressures.  Don't be stressed.  Learn slowly step b step doing things you like.

Don't say or think how terrible you are.  You are better each day.

Accomplish your goals and practice at whatever pace you want or need.

Do your best.  English is everywhere, go get some!

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