Learning English is a great way to set yourself apart in the world. You will be able to further your education and your career by speaking another language. You will be able to travel to English speaking countries with ease. If you go about learning English the right way, it can be fun!
Unfortunately, there are some common mistakes that English language students tend to make without even realizing it. They begin to study the language and then wonder why they are not learning it as quickly as they’d like. This is often because they are letting their own fears hold back them back. If you are full of fear and worry, you will not be able to properly learn English. While it is natural to be a little anxious when you are learning something new, if fear takes over, it will hinder your learning experience altogether.
Have no fear! We want to share 4 common mistakes that English language students must avoid, thus helping you succeed and become a proficient English speaker.
1. Focusing on Mistakes
The most common mistake English language students make is focusing on their mistakes. Language learners need to understand that mistakes are a part of the learning process. Unfortunately, many students become overwhelmed by their mistakes and shut down. They become fearful of making mistakes so they no longer participate in speaking opportunities. When this happens, they prevent further learning opportunities.
In the right language school, teachers and fellow peers are there to help guide you in your language acquisition – not to make fun of you for making mistakes. For instance, Washington language school, inlingua, uses trainers serving as experienced guides instead of traditional teachers. A trainer can point out how to correct your mistake gently so that the next time you try to communicate the same idea in English, you will do it correctly. Everyone makes mistakes when learning a new language. And, we all learn from our mistakes.
2. Focusing on Grammar and the Wrong Vocabulary
The next mistake English language students make is focusing too much on grammar. While grammar is important, it is more important to understand the right way to use words in context. While someone can master grammar rules, this same person may not have learned how to pronounce words correctly or how to speak naturally. When you focus solely on learning grammar rules, you potentially hinder learning how to communicate naturally. Even if you know how to conjugate verbs, you need to know what words to use in everyday speech.
Along these same lines, English language students also fall into the trap of learning the wrong vocabulary. When presented a textbook, the student may memorize all the presented vocabulary. However, these vocabulary terms may not be useful for communicating outside of the textbook or the classroom. For instance, is it more important to learn a wide variety of English words or words that communicate your interests? If you plan to use English for your career, it is better to learn vocabulary suited for the workplace.
When English language students focus on grammar rules and mastering a list of random vocabulary, it is a mistake. It is much better to learn how to speak naturally with a vocabulary suited to your interests. This is a reason why language schools in DC work well. Students are surrounded by native speakers, so they get the opportunity to learn grammar and vocabulary in a natural setting.
3. Focusing on Textbook-Only Memorization
Another common mistake English language students make is focusing on a rigid textbook-only course of study. In this situation, the student focuses on memorizing textbook material without practicing properly. How should a student practice when they are studying a language? By speaking the language often! Students should strive to speak in English throughout the day – inside and outside of classes.
If a student is learning from a textbook or an online course, the student should not leave English to that one hour a day. Instead, the student should seek out opportunities to listen to others speaking English and try to participate in the conversations. The best way to learn a language is to practice speaking it. This also means you should not worry about mispronunciation. Mispronunciation is completely normal. Everyone pronounces words incorrectly when learning the language. But, you learn how to pronounce words correctly by listening and speaking.
Students who study English in Washington DC at inlingua speak 70% of the time in the classroom with books closed during class time. This method has helped students gain deeper fluency faster. This language school in DC focuses on helping students learn how to understand, communicate, and interact with others in another language.
4. Not Setting Clear, Achievable Goals
English language students must set clear, achievable goals while learning the language. Some students begin learning English without setting any goals, and then they become frustrated thinking they have not learned quickly enough. Students learn at different speeds and in different ways, but it is important for students to be realistic about their goals.
Students should sign up for an English class that is the correct learning level. If a student enters a class that is too advanced, the student may become frustrated and eventually quit learning. However, if a student enters the class at the most appropriate learning level, then the student can set goals for success. For instance, inlingua in Washington DC, offers nine levels of courses from beginner to proficient. Students can set goals to complete one course and move up to the next level.
Additionally, many English language schools and offer test preparation classes. You can find an English test center to take a test when you have finished your preparation class. A great goal is studying the language to get a specific score on IELTS or TOEFL, the two leading English exams. Without a clear goal, it is easy to begin to doubt your abilities. However, each time you reach a goal, you have a reason to celebrate your accomplishment.