A Beginner’s Guide to Learning English

This article discusses a step-by-step process of how a beginner can learn English from to having mastery over it. There are no secret ingredients. The only things you will need to be fluent in English are a good internet connection and lots of patience and determination.

Here are the steps you can follow right now to start learning English.

Starting Out

For someone who barely knows beyond a few words here and there, you might find these tips useful (starting from the most basic and moving on to advanced ways)-

Watching cartoons

Most people will tell you that cartoons are for kids. But when you are trying to learn a new language, you are no less than a kid. The best thing about cartoon shows is that they depict the characters dealing with scenarios that you will easily come across in real life. One of the best examples in this regard is Spongebob Squarepants.

Reading comics

Reading books can be difficult for people not well-versed with the language. But comic books or graphic novels can come as saviors. Because there are eye-catching illustrations alongside the text, one can easily understand what is going on by looking at the pictures.

Building a vocabulary

Once you have mastered the basic level by learning simple words and sentence structure, you can build a solid vocabulary by reading newspapers.

  • Whenever you come across a new word, write it down in a journal along with its meaning. If possible, also write a sentence in which the word was used so you can remember the usage.
  • Use the new words in your speech or writing whenever you get a chance. Using a word in context helps you remember it faster than any mnemonic technique the experts might suggest.
  • Repeat and keep using the words until they become a part of your speech.

Getting Better At Spoken English

There are no two ways around this. No shortcuts. The only way you can improve your spoken English is when you talk in English with your friends. I know, this can be pretty intimidating, but it is possible, especially if you are in a college campus with students of your own age.

Watch news broadcasts

A better option is watching news broadcasts as the presenters keep a very neutral and emotionless accent while speaking. You need to pay attention to the way the presenters pronounce the words and which parts of the sentence they lay emphasis on.

Watch TED Talks and speeches of well-known orators

Apart from news broadcasts, TED Talks and speeches also have the speaker talking in a very neutral accent.

Avoid local influence

A major problem non-native English speakers face while speaking English is that whether we want it or not, the way we pronounce our first language makes its influence felt while speaking in English.

Don’t go into it all alone

While it’s possible to start a daily practice of improving your English alone, having an accountability partner makes it easier. This can be a friend or colleague with whom you decided to start the new habit together. Or it can be a certified meditation coach who will guide you through the process and help you on days you feel like you can’t stick through with it on your own.

Don’t be inconsistent

You’re starting something that you’ve never tried before. Don’t be inconsistent as it will be even harder to keep yourself accountable. Missing a day or two when something major comes up is alright, but missing entire weeks or months in the name of “not finding time” is not. Download a habit tracker to help you stick to your goals even more easily.

Getting Better At Written English

The best way to get better at written English is by reading more books.

Don’t just skim through the pages; get into the mind of the author. Feel the emotions portrayed in it as the main characters do. Live in the make-believe world for as long as it takes you to finish the journey, and revel in every detail, every minute brilliance of writing displayed in the story.

Write more and write daily

When you make it a habit of writing something each day, the language becomes a part of your body, your blood. It flows in easily from your fingertips as if it belongs there.