English is a challenging language to learn. Those who try to learn English find that the many grammatically rules are often broken, so the minute you think you have enough knowledge to speak the language well, you come across an exception to the rule. Add to that the fact that people rarely speak English correctly, and you are facing an incredibly tough challenge. The best way to learn English is to immerse yourself in the language. You can use the best online English school, pass every English lesson, and know everything about English grammar, but you will not be able to speak well unless you surround yourself with the language.
Surround Yourself with Good English Speakers
Even if you are trying to learn English online, you need to surround yourself with people who not only speak English, but also speak English well. If you know people that live near you who are native English speakers, spend time with them, and ask them to speak English when you do. If this is not possible, use your online English school as a place to go to surround yourself with English speakers and text written in English. Listen to recordings of people speaking English or talk to English speakers on the phone. This will help you learn not only proper grammar, but also correct pronunciation.
Learn a Variety of Words
If you want to be a good English speaker who can speak like a native when needed, you need to learn to speak using a variety of terms and vocabulary words. The more limited your vocabulary is, the more like a foreigner you will sound when you speak. Focus on the traditional vocabulary found in your English lessons, but also learn from native speakers. Learn how to use slang terms properly, as this is a key aspect of speaking like a native speaker. Avoid using too much slang, though, as this is tacky and can make it look as though you are trying too hard.
As you learn the language, focus not only on the words and their meanings, but also the way the words come together to make phrases. For instance, the word “kick” can mean many different things depending on how it is used in a phrase. When you say, “He kicked the ball,” you are using the word as a verb that means to strike the ball with the foot. On the other hand, you could say, “I get a kick out of that T.V. show.” This means that you enjoy the T.V. show, and has nothing to do with striking something with a foot. Learning how phrases come together in English will come with continued submersion in the language.
Start Thinking in English
Thinking in a language is the only way to truly learn it. When you can start thinking in English, you will start getting a true grasp of the language. If you have to take every English phrase you hear and translate it mentally into your native tongue, or if you must take your native tongue and translate it into English in your mind before you speak, you will find it difficult to truly grasp the language’s grammar.
Devote Enough Time to Immersion
The more time you can spend immersed in English, either through spending time with native speakers, listening to recordings of English being spoken, or reading the language, the faster you will successfully learn it. Every chance you get, interact with the language. If you are on the Internet, search English sites. If you are reading the newspaper, choose an English publication. Simply logging in to your online English school or heading to your daily English lesson is not sufficient. You must learn to think in English, and that only happens by spending quality time with the language every single day.
(Author: Amy Nutt from from http://www.articlebase.com)