Dear foreigners, how do you learn English?

@lcainiao (201)
China
May 25, 2009 4:32am CST
Dear mylot foreigners, I'm Chinese. In China, most of students begin to learn English when they're in junior high school. But many students can't speak English after 10 years. They can read English, write English but they are afraid of speak English. There're a lot of English materials in China, such as New Concept English, LiYang Crasy English, Family album U.S.A etc. My teacher said if you want to improve your English, you have to use it. Enjoy losing face and enjoy making mistakes! what about you? Mylot friends
19 responses
@gerald_lian (2189)
• Australia
25 May 09
Yes, what your teacher said is exactly true. To learn to master something, you need to practice and practice; repetition will help to enforce what you learn and it will stay in your brain much easier. For me, I was born in a country where English is not the first language. I learnt most of my English language skills and vocabulary from reading books, newspapers and speaking English to my friends (who mostly prefer to speak their mother tongue language). I am glad that my mother, father and brother also supported the use of English at home as they made English as the main medium of communication at home; I improved a lot from them too. In addition to that, I also used to like participating in English writing and speaking competitions when I was still in primary and secondary school. That helped me a lot in building up the confidence I needed for using the English language. In essence, I always try to use English whenever I can, and now, being in an English-speaking country, the opportunity to use English is wide open and I am enjoying the opportunity to improve on my English language skills immensely.
1 person likes this
• Indonesia
26 May 09
yes, I agree with you. I think how we were raised was very important in teaching English. My father also sometimes use English when he is speaking to us. Also, participate in English club or debate club really helped you learn. Especially in debating, when we are forced to think fast in English to counter our opponent or express our opinion. Other competition like storytelling or English journalism also useful.
• Slovak Republic
15 Jul 09
I think that the best way how to learn English is take some course in the US....then you wont have problem with speaking, writing etc. Your teacher is right, you have to use it...and every day you can use it in the USA ...look at this www.usuniversitygateway.com
@vivianchen (2646)
• China
26 May 09
Hello Lcainiao, I am chinese too, like you mentioned, i statred learning English from my junor school. I love english as its some other language than chinese. I like this new things, so i think interest of doing onething is very important too. The more you enjoy doing something, the better and faster you will master it. That's my experience.
@zhdy89 (303)
• China
26 May 09
I'm a Chinese too.I have study English for many years,but I found that it is still dumb in English,can read,can write,but not open the mouth to speak.I just always suspected China's English education whether there are any problems.In my pregnancey,I have more time to read books in English,but I did not cross the Hom.When my son was two-year-old,my parents told my the child refused to speak,regardless of funny how many people around him,talked to him.A friend gave me a child of English CD,inadvertently found that the child take the initiative from the beginning of the next day to play the CD.A week later,when I got some ice cream after funny him,the child finally opened his mouth to call me "Mommy".After two weeks,he regardless of reading the letters of the English whenever and wherever,he showed great enthusiasm to English,as if English is his native language in general.I encouraged the child to be a foreign small illiterate,heard from the beginning.In the peacetime he would watch the soundtrack cartoon,and sometimes I would bring him see a number of movies soundtrack.I hope he is not dumb to learn English!
@modstar (9608)
• Philippines
26 May 09
Well i learned English in school. We were taught English way back in Grade 1 up to college. It's always been part of the curriculum. Basic to advanced of course. Though i can't speak English perfectly like a first language but i think i can manage. General English is my favorite subject. lol! Literature is ok too but kind of boring sometimes. We were also asked to make research and term papers back in college.
@JRYCHN (35)
• Malaysia
26 May 09
I'm a Chinese too, but in Malaysia, i learn English since i'm in my kindergarden lol i do read and write English all the time. Since my primary language is Cantonese, i seldomly speak English. Nowadays i do speak alot English because i'm having my college life right now. I usually speak English with my lecturer and some of my friend even though they are Chinese, but they use English as their primary..
@callipig (10)
• China
26 May 09
Hi,lcainiao, nice to meet you in the mylot, i am also a Chinese,i am very glad to talk about the english study in the BBs, yes we have study english for about ten years, but we still could not speak it. i think the question is our everyday life, our surrounding, because everyperson around us speak Chinese, for us we deed to culture our english language sense. yes i also agree with your teacher that we could not fear of losing face, but i think to learn english well the mean is also very important, we should learn it by many ways such as listen to the english music,radio, read english newspaper, books et.
• Indonesia
26 May 09
I also learn English in Indonesia from junior high school but same with you, people here are generally shy in speaking English, mainly because they afraid incorrect pronounciation or too hard to find exact words to exress what they want to said. I am lucky my father worked at Australian Embassy and also a former English teacher. He taught me quite hard when I was a child. The thing I noticed is you must practice using English since you were a little. Usually if you start practicing it when you are a teenager, there is a tendency to have wrong pronounciation or still have an accent in speaking English. As those people said "practice makes perfect", and I think mylot is one of the greatest site we can practice our English.
• Indonesia
26 May 09
Well i see u have learned english so well. Your grammar were good. But u have to improve more and more. I am indonesian and still having a lot of problems using English, but i try to get my english better n better, and how to do it? of course u have to join an english course to study a lot of vocabs and got a lot of experience. After that find a lot of foreign friends from anywhere, internet is the right thing to be used. And don't forget to practice all that you've got with your friends at your homework. And for me, i like to watch american movies which is help me to learn more. So learn English is an easy way to do :)
@amylan (188)
• France
26 May 09
That's becuase most of the english teachers in China don't speak english or at least correct english themselves though they're all qualified so-called 'grammar' experts. Trust me, if speaking skill's included in the college entrance exam, you guys're gonna do some practices that really make sense. Just think about that even the CET-6 only sets up a required vocabulary of 6000 or 7000 words, basically means a college graduate can hardly read any academic materials after nearly 15 years of studying and that sucks. Learning english means you have put it in use. Ye, chatting on mylot could be your first step to use it. sometimes just forget about those crapy 'school english'. especially those textbooks and tests or you're gonna make some 'classical mistakes' forever. Just use it in your daily life, to communicate with native speakers, to watch dramas, to check out news on those famous websites, to write something and you'll make progresses. The public english eduation in China is not designed to make you use it, but only make you pass some certain crapy evaluating lines, say, cet-4, cet-6, etc.etc.etc. They think that using english is to ask you write up something as short as 150 words over a shallow topic as they call it expression. You won't like to express yourself in that way.
• United States
25 May 09
Im American and I speak english and there is many Asians that go to school here and the English Learning programs are pretty big here. I do not know how they learn it except from their classes but here they still close together with other Asians. My neighbors are Asian but I've never spoken to them and their all Asian. I have had a lot of friends from other countries and that is the same they have told me I have to speak it! I have been trying to learn Turkish for 5 years and now that I have kids with my bf who is Turkish I want to learn it even more. I have tried to speak it here and there and when I did I totally killed the pronunciation and they were like what?? But I do not have problems when I speak to Turkish people who have been here awhile. Ever since I met my bf I totally fell in love with Turk music and I constantly singing it like I know it because I know the melodies and I think THIS is the way I have learned most of my vocabulary. I cannot speak it but i am able to listen to it and get the just of the conversation where I can keep up. I can also read it pretty good as I have practiced putting together grammer and sentences since before I had kids.
@netcome (15)
• China
25 May 09
Never forget: English is just a type of language, like your hometown Chinese language.As I know, many non-Chinese think chinese is the most difficult language in the world. So please be confident. You can master Chinese, then you can take english with you efforts. Use it! It's a great method, no matter you write, say or think with English.Especially thinking and talking, That is the key usage of a language. myLot is good place to experice English, which could help you think about some your interested topics in English. Please keep patience, as time goes on, you will gradually find your oral english will improve a lot. Language is a normal tool in usual life, take it easy, do not focus on it very mush, you should master it, and you can achieve it.Good luck!
@John4Christ (1598)
• India
25 May 09
I certainly agree with your teacher my friend......she said the right thing......well even in my country English is not the first language but majority of the transactions here are done in English be it business, industries, institutions, etc everything is done in English since English is considered a global language......but trust me it is not that difficult........choose one of your friends and always speak to him/her in English. Don't bother if you make mistakes, they should happen in order for you to learn.......so let people make fun of you, take it as encouragement.....i know my statement might seem little hyperbolic but trust me by the end of the day it is you who are gaining.......so start speaking in English right from this moment...... have a nice day !!!!
• India
25 May 09
Watch a lot of TV. Rent out movies with subtitles...
• Philippines
25 May 09
Hey there! Here in my country we are taught how to speak and write English when I entered kindergarten. We have good command of the language. Having been colonize by the Americans, after the Spaniards, the American soldiers where the first teachers in the country. That's why English has been part of our country's school curriculum.
@calyxus (827)
• Philippines
25 May 09
Knowing how to write in English is a good start. Try to read out loud what you have written as if you're saying it to somebody just like in a conversation. Then from that, try conversing with somebody in English. You can use chat with voice and talk to foreigners who speak English. Hope it helps! Great MyLotting...
@dianmelydia (2271)
• Indonesia
25 May 09
Learning English, and also include other language, is much better by practice it in your daily life. It happened to me when my first time learnt English when i was 8 years old. I learnt the theory, vocabulary, grammar, etc but i have no chance to practice it in a conversation. That made me hesitate to try speak English when i met a caucasian who asking way from me. At the age of 10, i went to my capital city for holiday, and i met many caucasian in a shopping mall. Then i tried to braving myself for speak with them. Although i did many false that time, those caucasian can understood what i said. Since then, i felt confidence to speaking English because i found that even caucasian can communicated with me who has lots of error grammar. Later when the internet booming, i joined many chat rooms, making many new friends, etc. And we use english to communicating each others. I found that learning by doing is much helpful. You may try it. Good luck and have a nice day. Happy mylotting.
@stanlee81 (381)
• China
25 May 09
There is no mysterious in the process of commanding a language.Interest make you insist what you are learning,and attitude will determin your language competence. Of course,the real language enviroment will accelrate this!Anyway,those factors are the essential point for learning a language and good luck!
@flaredust (728)
• Indonesia
25 May 09
Me, it is not much different like you. I'm not speak English as a mother tongue language. I understand English, but only occasionally use it. I use it when meet some tourist on a holiday, may be my English not very good but at least they're understand what I'm talking about.