Don’t have time to read? Then give it a listen.
We cannot deny the importance of English as a language and also the modern-day tool to connect. English is the best and also the easiest way to develop productive and fruitful networks. It is, in fact, the simplest and most basic tool one can use to alleviate their persona, excel at their academic and professional lives, and also grow as a person. From my personal understanding, most people have issues regarding English grammar and speaking or phrasing it correctly. I can vouch that it is in fact one of the easiest languages to harness and also one of the most powerful tools you can have in your arsenal. Hence, I came up with a basic, simple and easy guide to learning English that too staying in the comfort of your own home.
We start off by identifying the lacking that you have and need to work on. English has 4 basic components. These are Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening. These four components encompass the expertise one has in the language. IT also determines how you can easily use it as a tool for your advantage in succeeding in various aspects of life.
This guide that I have in effect will look to incorporate pragmatic and innovative steps to harness the language. Before we start understand that to develop a grip over English you must identify and accept the lackings you’ve in it. Most people have issues in simplistic grammatical matters while others have a tough time properly rephrasing the sentences while they speak. These may seem like issues that embarrass you but trust me once you face what draws you back you’re free from getting drawn back by it.
Make English a part of your life
In order to master something, you must have maximum exposure. I believe the more exposure you have to something you want to harness the better understanding and practice you have of it. If you want a genteel command over English you must have its maximum exposure and practice. So, surround yourself with it. Make the maximum possible English in the slightest chance you get. How? Loved how Gareth Bale scored that overhead kick and want to update your friends regarding your opinion of it? Why not frame a fancy sentence about it and let people know how scintillating it was? The point is your usage and adaptation of the language will determine how well you learn it.
Fun tip: Try playing board games that have proximity to English. This is something my father applied in my case, helping me to learn English. One of the best games would be Monopoly. I can personally say that it works because I practiced this myself. The game has directions in cards and instructions all written and described in English. So in a way not only did I become a pro-monopoly player but also helped me to learn English while I was playing a board game.
So, next time you’re playing Monopoly be sure that you’re also helping yourself develop a better command of English.
When I say read everything I don’t mean it in a literal sense. Apart from monotonous textbooks, try reading short novels. For instance, my first short novel was “The Wizard of Oz”. The book turned out to be a revelation. Not only did I not understand it but it left me quite confused. So, I read it again with a dictionary. It was the longest read of my life and also my favoritest. I learned many new words and also developed a better understanding of developing effective sentences. This is something I will cover later on in the piece.
As for now, reading everything also includes billboards, signs, advertisements, magazine stands and establishment names. This helps your reading skill. What it also does juxtapose to developing your reading skill is that it enables you to better decipher the names and messages on the billboards and whatnot. Most often these are proofread so indirectly you also get a brief idea about grammar.
Fun tip: Billboards and establishment names with English messages and mottos can turn out to be faulty due to the translation inconsistencies from Bangla to English. Look out for typos and try correcting them. Gives you a feeling of smartness oozing from your brain.
The whole point of this is that you can comprehend what is being said and conveyed. Most people find it hard to decipher messages in English. Reading and attempting to understand what it stands for often is the sole purpose of this. So, put your eyes on hawk mode and hunt down those faulty billboards in the streets.
The Percy Jackson Series is my personal favorite when it comes to casual reads. Try opting for books that is easy to understand in the initial stages and to top it off make sure it’s something you enjoy reading about. For me it’s mythology
Other than that, it also has one crucial benefit. It also helps your spoken skills. Try reading the text aloud from the book. This will lead to you understanding the significance of pronunciation while speaking and also let you know the significance of intonation of your voice in determining sentence meaning and the mood it should portray.
Watch movies and series with subtitles
Another fun way to improve the listening component of your English is by watching English movies and series. We all love to binge-watch our favorite series. This can be used for the greater good. Not only can you divulge cinematic masterpieces but also aid your English. How? Use subtitles in English. That way you can quickly read what is being all at the same time when it is being said. Of course, this will also have an indirect influence on your spoken skills as well. In my childhood, my father would insist I watch “The Matrix” with him every time it was on. Quite normally I didn’t get what the movie was about but I did read the subtitles.That helped me a lot in my own english speaking and listening.
This is the latest sitcom I have been binge-watching. It’s called Brooklyn 99. More importantly, other than its devastating humor I also enjoy the subtitles.
What also happens is that you start to take up after the dialogues and the spontaneity of the language usage. The saying Monkey sees Monkey do comes into effect here. The more you get accustomed to hearing English being used in a generic sense the more comfortable you’ll get with it. To add to all this, this step also helps in learning proper pronunciation and may help you pick up an accent as well. This step is somewhat my favorite. Being an avid binge-watcher I believe it helps me loads not just in quenching my thirst for sitcoms but also has an impact on how well I use the English language.
Improving your vocabulary also helps your grammar
Vocabulary is something that always sets an individual apart. Be it in how he speaks or how he writes. There’s never an alternative to the PERFECT word. Also in all due fairness, I believe that your grammar develops with your vocabulary. Now, the main question is HOW DO YOU ACTUALLY ENRICH YOUR VOCABULARY?
Well, it’s simple, More importantly, if done right your grammar and sentence formation improves manifolds as well. Understand that this improves your English writing and adds quality and richness to it. Now, here are some proven steps I have personally applied in order to improve my own vocabulary.
MAKE FLASHCARDS. Yes, you might have read it in countless other blogs as well about making flashcards. Do you know why? Because it ACTUALLY works.
Too many making flashcards may seem troublesome but it’s miles ahead of any step that helps your vocabulary to improve. What I DO is fold down chart papers into the smallest possible folds and then cut it off accordingly. I always have a stack prepped to learn a new word. What you do is, take one of those unwritten cards, and write the word in all capital letters on one side. On the other side, you write its meaning and a synonym followed by a correct sentence using the word you just learned. Search the word up in the dictionary and it’s advised you also write down what part of speech it is.
Fun tip: Try using the words as much as you can even if it means being a bit pedantic on social media. Use Facebook comment wars to good use. Nothing is better than proving your point in rich vocabulary. This is a tip I am giving from my personal experience.
So, this my own collection of flashcards I have made over the past year to improve my vocabulary. I am absolutely crazy when it comes to making flashcards and hoarding them up for future use. In this case, using it to validate a point in the blog.
Activity: Find out the meaning of all the words you can see in the picture above. It will help you learn a few words in the process as well.
When it comes to grammar nothing beats practice in helping to gain an iron fist over it. Most people, even after successfully passing so many strenuous exams often make basic grammatical errors. What’s more interesting is that these errors often go unnoticed. So, how do you stay aloof of this?
Well, it’s simple. If you want to see your grammar take good shape and have no blemish then practice it. Practicing grammar seems weird if you’re not actually tasked with it which has dire consequences for your well-being. Well, fear not. I will share another helpful tip that I applied in my first grammar class. My father always insisted that I write simple sentences. I never really got the point of it. After years of trying to unravel the mystery behind it I realized the answer was simple and right in front of my eyes.
When you practice writing, whether you want to write using simple sentences, chances are you are right in properly phrasing it or having the right subject-verb agreement. Well, the next question why would I needlessly write, right? What I did was that I maintained a diary from class 3 to class 7 straight. There wasn’t much in it. Apart from some weird caricatures, it was mostly filled with records of mundane issues I found interesting. Later on, I realized this journal was living proof of how my grammar improved day by day. Also, reading the journal also gives me a good laugh.
Fun Tip: Knowing that you guys spend an awful lot of time on social media platforms,always look out for grammatical errors. Never fail to correct them because by correcting someone you help someone learn, actually justify what you know, and get a wholesome feeling of being a smart person.
Another way to always keep your grammar sharp and succinct is actually having a go-to grammar book. I always had one, though it changed over the course of time. Having a go-to book means you can always clear your confusion. Also, identify the specific aspect that you always struggle with. I always had a hard time with subject-verb agreement. In order to not have a hard time I decided to act on it and started doing a few exercises on my own. Read into depth regarding that specific topic. It’s easier to learn and correct yourself once you’ve identified the specific matter that is bothering you.
This is the first page of one of my countless journals. This is how I used to write back in Class 6. See the improvement now? Clearly, I didn’t know how to use punctuation correctly. Hopefully, that has changed. It’s also fun to read what you wrote 5-6 years back, isn’t it?
As for my latest go-to book
I use Cliff’s Toefl. This is one book that caters to my set of grammatical inquiries. Also, this has very clear-cut examples to help you clear the clouds regarding the matters I occasionally face difficulty with.
Engage yourself in English
This is a crucial step in refining your command over the language and also using it as a tool. Tell your family and friends, about your plans on how you want to communicate and use the language more in your daily conversations. Moreover, use the countless hours you spend on your phone. How? Firstly, when you’re chatting with your friends try conversing with them in proper-grammatically glistened texts. This makes the practice of English more outreaching in your daily life. Secondly, try tuning into live podcasts or shows of your favorite stars. Take after them on how they speak, their choice of words, etc. Finally, find a way to incorporate English in any way possible. Example?
This is something I have done since childhood and still am. Every time, I read something in Bangla I instantly try to translate it into English. This acts as my own brain teaser. Also, shows how much I’ve adapted to using the language since my school days. Try out new phrases while gossiping with your friends, occasionally throw in a few fancy words in a generic assignment that actually has no need for it or even better (read: my personal favorite) try to have full meaningful conversations in English you think you can actually learn from.
Understand that learning English is like constructing a building. You must have a strong foundation in order to support the number of floors you wish to have. If you rush the construction, the building won’t be as formidable as you want it to be. The same applies when it comes to learning and having a command of English.
You may have noticed that I left a few words in bold-italic. I did that on purpose. Try finding out the meaning of those words and use them the next time you write something.
This article’s audiobook is read by Rafsan Lazim.
- ঘরে বসে Spoken English
- IELTS Course by Munzereen Shahid
- English Grammar Crash Course
- সবার জন্য Vocabulary
- Study Smart
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