What are the things you do to improve your English?

@Harold_ks (1674)
June 10, 2010 12:02am CST
We all know that English is the general language of the world so it must really be learned. Fortunate are those who born from English speaking country, but since sources of English language are very wide as in in almost every parts of the world, you can find English words, that's why it will not be that hard to learn. And it is actually included in the curriculum in school, that made it even easier to learn. But there are people who know and can speak the language but still want to enhance it, what are the things you think can help to improve one's English? To name a few, these are reading English articles, watching English movies, and talking to someone in English. Can you cite more things that can help to improve one's English?
2 people like this
20 responses
@tomitomi (5441)
• Singapore
10 Jun 10
The hardest would probably be thinking in English. When I first started and since English is my third language, I had it translated from mother tongue to national language and then English. It took me sometime to jump that queue and vice versa. Over the years I've learned to switch into thinking in the language where the situation demands best. Being bilingual and trilingual can be tough at times because you need to place equal emphasis in each to be equally competent. And there are times where you need to decide which language should have more priority over the others. When your priorities are clear it is easier to move ahead. Being able to dream in that language would be a bonus!
@Harold_ks (1674)
10 Jun 10
It was been extra harder for you to learn the English language since it is just your third language but the good thing is, you've been successful on learning it. Being bilingual, trilingual and more than that is really an advantage. I can say you really did a great job in learning the three languages. :)
@jennyze (7048)
• Indonesia
11 Jun 10
Tomitomi is right. The hardest is to be able to think in English. You know all the correct grammars, you have an extensive vocabulary, you still need to think in English to write and speak English well. Some would say, so you could be like a native. In my case, I read a lot.
@tomitomi (5441)
• Singapore
12 Jun 10
Hey guys! I'm glad to share. Equally glad to learn anything from your discussions. Thanks Harold_ks. Thanks jennyze.
@meowcow (942)
• Philippines
10 Jun 10
My country enforces English as a second language of the people and we have both benefited and been disadvantaged by it. Benefits are for obvious reasons, being able to communicate better and with more people. But it has also taken away a lot of our culture through the years. I like it though, I'm not that sentimental anyway. Of you want to enhance your English writing skills I suggest you read books, or comic books even. Actually, I'd recommend the comic books more than the actual books. Comic books are attractive to the eyes and are easier to comprehend with pictures involved. In this case comic books are totally underrated. I mean, it's not like just because they're 'just' comic books they aren't grammatically correct and isn't a good source for literature. I learned most of my communicative English from comic books. But also in school. :P +!!
@Harold_ks (1674)
11 Jun 10
So it's the comic books that you are suggesting. I think it will really be effective since there's a presence of pictures and their postures. The pictures will also add to be easily understood what the characters are trying to say. It's comic books served as a good source for you to learn and improve your English. Thank you for your response.
@meowcow (942)
• Philippines
11 Jun 10
Yes, definitely, the characters, the scenarios and the pictures where they are depicted in help a lot in understanding how English language verbal communication happens between two or three people. Don't start out with the superhero book though I would suggest, then you'd probably only learn about the dramatic revenge dialogues lol. Start out with silly stuff like the ones I used to read... Porky Pig and Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and even Beetle Bailey. Oh! and of course, Archie. You'll pick it right up. I know if I get a kid someday I'll smother the bathroom in those kinds of literature so he can learn while he doin' his business lol I know that's how I learned. :P Good day!
• United States
10 Jun 10
I am an American born individual who has been raised knowing English but putting myself in the shoes of others I would change how words now and days can mean so many different meanings due to "slang". Like the word b**ch formerly meaning a female dog and now men not all men use this word to describe their women.English is the hardest language to learn because of this.
@Harold_ks (1674)
11 Jun 10
Yes, aside from those words in the dictionary, there are also new words coming up like those slang words as you mentioned. We also need to know them and make ourselves updated. But still, knowledge of normal English words are enough to communicate to others well. Thank you for your response.
@Neo333X (171)
• Romania
10 Jun 10
I learned english in school but where I really start it was from cartoons, specifically Cartoon Network, that was the base :)).Now to improve I watch cartoons and animes without subtitles.Windows in english, every program or site I set it to english.I also use a dictionary (on PC), from time to time.
@Harold_ks (1674)
11 Jun 10
Other's also mentioned that watching cartoons and reading comics are really a good fundamentals in learning English. Yes, we really need to keep our environment in English for us to learn easier. Dictionary really gives a good help as well. Thank you for your response.
@TexLadyPj (1329)
• United States
10 Jun 10
Herro Harold_ks I'm not sure whether this discussion is limited to English as a second language? Although English is my home language, I have some tips. When I am writing I use a spellchecker. Spellcheckers have flaws, esp. if you use a word that is spelled correctly but not the appropriate word for your sentence. I use grammar checker to assist me in writing. Even though English is my primary language I am still learning. I commend those of you who are English as a second language. It takes a lot of courage, English is not an easy language. I learned German and Russian in high school and college. The hardest problem I has was remembering gender. Prosperous mylotting
@Harold_ks (1674)
11 Jun 10
English language has really a wide coverage that's why I think it's so impossible to memorize and know all the words. But of course people like you who was born in English speaking countries has really an advantage. It's also an added bonus that you also learned two other languages. But you are right, learning one language is really not an easy task, it really takes time. Thank you for your response.
• United Kingdom
10 Jun 10
I guess the most obvious thing that I do in order to improve and hone my English communication skills is to read and write! My Lot is terrific in helping with this as you are constantly posting away! I think that it helps if you have a love of reading as there are lots of people that just don't like to read and without this ability I don't think there's any other way round learning the English language. Thankfully I was born in London and so I have lived here all my life and it's the only language that I have mastered successfully! I don't know how to speak any other languages but I think the saying goes, if you have mastered one language then you should be able to learn other languages as well. It helps if you have others around you speaking the language you want to learn as this then becomes real life practise. I love the English language and there are so many different words that you can learn and by reading a lot you will notice that your vocabulary starts to improve and you become more proficient in word usage. Andrew
@Harold_ks (1674)
11 Jun 10
Yes myLot really helps in improving one's skills in writing. By keeping on reading and writing posts, it will really help a lot since time after we will encounter unfamiliar words where we can also apply in our future posts. A fluent or native speaker of English language has really an advantage in posting here in myLot but still it's also beneficial for those which English is just a second language since they will learn and improve. Thank you for your response.
• India
10 Jun 10
ead the book version of a movie that you have already seen. f you are not a serious book reader, reading a story that you are already familiar with will help you move along page by page. Reading the book version means you will find it easier to understand and guess vocabulary, and you can remember it easily since the story is already familiar to you.se English every day. Whatever you are doing,
@Harold_ks (1674)
11 Jun 10
Yes, reading a book version of the movie you have seen can really help to improve one's English because the excitement is present since you have interest and you are familiar with the story. Even reading an article about that movie will also help. And yes, we should apply it to ourselves, we should speak and write in English. Thank you for your response.
@charylady (424)
• Philippines
10 Jun 10
the things you mentioned are sure to improve one's english-speaking ability. i think there's really no short-cut methods except to keep on practicing speaking the language.
@Harold_ks (1674)
11 Jun 10
Yes, there's really a lot of ways to enhance our English, and those I have mentioned were just a few. Yes, I agree that we really need to keep on practicing if we really wanted to improve and get better. Thank you for your response.
@smacksman (6076)
10 Jun 10
I am told that the best way to learn another language is in bed! So get yourself an English girlfriend! Seriously though, I am so impressed when other people can speak English when I can't speak a word of their language. Well, maybe 'not a word' is incorrect as I always try hard to be able to say 'please' and 'thank you' and 'you are very beautiful' in any language of the country I am visiting. I once sailed across the South Atlantic to Brazil and had plenty of time to try to learn Brazillian Portuguese from an audio book. When I arrived, I still spoke in a horrible mixture of French/Spanish/Portuguese which luckily made everyone laugh.
@Harold_ks (1674)
11 Jun 10
Yes, it's impressive when someone from other country can speak your native language. Yes, greetings are the first one that we should learn in other language specially in visiting other country. You will surely receive a warm welcome for that. People may laugh but deep inside they are so please to hear and to know that you did an effort to learn and speak their language. Thank you for your response.
• Philippines
10 Jun 10
Hi Harold_ks!! English is a language spoken all around the world. You can improve your english by reading english books, learning it through the internet, watching english movies, and using it frequently. Practice using the language in writing and speaking. Let other people critique your english to learn what your mistakes are. :)
@Harold_ks (1674)
11 Jun 10
Yes, practice makes perfect. We should keep on practicing, embracing English movies and articles, and applying our knowledge though writing and speaking. We should also learn from our mistakes, and from them, we will become better. Thank you for your response.
@mods196621 (3631)
• Philippines
10 Jun 10
You already got all the sites of improvement. I can add the online site of learning english in the internet. Like reading the correct grammar. And there are lots of sites there to help us improving our English. I am too slow in this language but i went there until now still studying grammar.
@Harold_ks (1674)
10 Jun 10
Yes, I also believe that there's really a lot of sources and tutorials that we can find on the internet, we just need to be patient on searching and reading. A continous practice and study will really makes us better. Thank you for your response.
@joyce318 (139)
• China
10 Jun 10
The same to you with a hope of improving english. I have leart english for nearly 14 years. In college, my majoy is english, but I don't like english very well. Because it is so difficult to learn and we don't have good environment to speak with foreigners. The reason I want to improve is that it is so pity to give up and it is skill whenever you can use. Listen to the english new, talk with foreign friends in the forum, read english news, and recite english words. These are my way to learn english.
@Harold_ks (1674)
10 Jun 10
Yes, we can improve and enhance our English in many ways just like the ways you have mentioned. By continously doing that, it will really improve your English. Plus this site, MyLot, this is really a good way to practice our English. We should just keep on reading and posting. Thank you for your response.
@allamgirl (2145)
• Philippines
10 Jun 10
i improved my english by watching tv. when i was in high school, i would always watch american shows and listen to radio programs with djs who discuss things in english. my parents were always irritated with the radio programs that i listen to because they said it was all just talk and minimal music, but it did help me. i had english lessons back then in school, but i improved better with my 'private lessons'. i knew i spoke english better than my classmates then. and once my teacher praised me for being the only student without grammatical error in our exam. also, what helped me a lot is that i started thinking in english rather than my native language. i would like to speak english all the time, but i was afraid that if i did, people would think i'm just trying to be better than everyone else. i think that english classes are good, but the best way to learn english is to practice. sometimes i feel like you just have to be fluent. if you speak fluently, people don't really pay attention to the grammar all that much. not that grammar isn't important.
@Harold_ks (1674)
10 Jun 10
You have started with good hobbies and that gave you the advantage to learn the English language better. You really excelled in English language and you didn't just learned the language but you also enjoyed and used to it. You have really been successful and that will really helps a lot not just personally but in your career as well. Have a good day! Thank you for your response.
• United States
10 Jun 10
I learned English the good old way: by watching tv :) This might be somewhat of a biased answer since I was born in the US to parents who are NOT native speakers of English, but this was how I learned anyway. My mom would put on a soap opera on tv, or leave me with Sesame Street or an animated movie. Lately though, in spite of my native understanding of English, I found that podcasts (good ones) helped me improve. My "improvement" wasn't really the kind that went from one level to higher one; I was able to adapt to a certain colloquial and an accent (which I nearly forgot). You download podcasts easily of you have iTunes in your computer. I listen to one called Relevant Magazine, and a couple from NPR, PRI and APM. Hope you'll further your English learning soon! :)
@Harold_ks (1674)
10 Jun 10
Yes, watching English tv shows really helps to learn English. Plus being in an English speaking country is also an advantage. You will really forced to learn the language since all of the people you encounter are speaking English. It's good that podcasts also helps you in enhancing your English. I will also check for that. Thank you for your response.
@dawnald (84126)
• Shingle Springs, California
11 Jun 10
Vhat ish Engrish? Naw, just kidding. I'm one of those fortunate ones who lives in an English speaking country (the British might disagree with that). If anything, I want to improve my German.
@mafra4u (284)
• India
10 Jun 10
I improve my English by watching english movies, tv serials. That does help me a lot. Also I feel that by replying to questions here in mylot would also improve my english. It's because while we are replying to questions, we are also reading our answers and others answers too. That means we are hearing our voice in our head. It's like talking to yourself. I feel that it helps, atleast it does for me.
@picbug (39)
• Malaysia
10 Jun 10
Try to think with english rather than your mother language ..
@cac2010 (41)
• Philippines
10 Jun 10
cac2010 Reading books is the best way to improve your english. Other helpful thing is if you can make tutorials to foreigners who are wanting to learn and talk english which in this way, you will also put your best effort to study the english subject. Another way to improve your english is to read legal matters so you will know how to connect the right words to describe a situation.
@aquariand (466)
10 Jun 10
A good way of learning english is to get a pen pal when I was young it was all the trend to get a foreign penpal to enhance your knowledge of the world and to learn a new language, I'm sure there are sites you could join to get an English penpal and also a good way of learning English is to buy English novels and read a lot. I hope this helps in some way. best wishes
10 Jun 10
English is really not my native language however,in my case the schools that i have attended use english as a medium of instruction so i was really required to learn how to use it. Personally, what really helped improve my English is by using it with every chance i got. Conversing with someone using this language is really helpful. Also, when there are terms in books, articles, magazines etc. i read that i have difficulty understanding, i look up their meanings in a dictionary. This method really helped expand my vocabulary in English.