Another guest post from Leon Collier. This time he introduces how to improve your English if you don’t have any native English speakers around to help you.
If you’re learning the English language, it is easy to think that you are having a hold of the language already until you meet with a native speaker and lose all your vocabulary at once. Even if you end up stringing a few words together, it may sound ridiculous, and you may lose all of your confidence. Unfortunately, it happens to everyone and is the primary reason why many people stop learning second languages. People start to think that it is too challenging to learn a second language and they will never be good at it.
One of the reasons why many people get stuck for English words when they have the opportunity to interact with native speakers is because they do not get to practice the language often enough. The most common language learning approach that people practice focuses on listening and reading and doesn’t have much practice. This is a passive approach to learning. You should instead focus on studying the language through training. The passive system means that people learn grammar and words without using or practicing them.
There is a proverbial story about a man who spent decades learning a language by books. But when the time has come for him to use the language, none of the native speakers could understand what he was saying. A sad story that is, but you shouldn’t be discouraged! There are plenty of things you could do to avoid that.
There may be little to no native speakers in the place you live. Even when there are many around, you may not always have the time or chance to speak with them regularly. Yet, you must not stop practicing the language. So what should you do?
Here are a few tips to help you learn the English language by practicing to speak when you don’t have native speakers around you.
Get yourself a language buddy
To get a good understanding of the language quickly enough, you need to immerse yourself in it fully. Your English may not be good enough for you to quickly make friends with native speakers without sounding awkward and confusing the native speaker. So, it would help if you get someone in the same shoes as you, who’s also learning the language. You can help each other understand the language faster by speaking to each other and stuttering your way through different activities. This will also help you build your friendship more quickly. And you will have a speaking partner on your level that you are not afraid to talk to.
Speaking to a learner like you allows you to be more expressive. You don’t get the expert corrections that come with speaking to native speakers. You have the opportunity to string up sentences consistently, and you get to improve faster.
Use technology to your advantage
You may not be living in the UK while you try to learn English, but this does not affect the way you use your computer or the internet. Be sure to immerse yourself in this and learn several technical vocabularies from your computer, phone, TV, or camera. Then, all you need to do is change the language settings on these devices. Apart from changing the universal language settings, it would help if you also did the same for individual programs like your browser. The apps that you use most frequently and the websites you visit are other things to change the language to English. Doing this will help you get a hold of the language faster since it is everywhere around you and everything you do.
Making these changes makes the English language learning a natural part of your daily activities. This reinforces your immersion into the language and is part of your commitment to learning the language.
But of course, the main feature that comes with modern technology is the ability to reach out to people on the opposite side of the Earth. Use this opportunity to meet English speakers on the internet and arrange voice and video calls. You can always find an English speaking person on the web who is interested in studying your native language.
Talk about it
Another easy way to make your English-speaking language more effective while practicing on your own is to create a recording of your speech summarizing what you have read or listened to. There are three reasons why this strategy works very well.
Firstly, you have the chance to apply those things that you are learning as you are using them in an actual speech. This makes it easy for you to understand these vocabularies and use them in future conversations. Secondly, it allows you to listen and re-listen to yourself and correct the mistakes in your speech. Lastly, this helps you keep track of your progress in your English language learning, and this will be a motivation for you.
At the start, it may feel strange, but as you continue in it, it becomes more accessible and more enjoyable for you.
Keep up with current news and local events
As a foreigner in the UK still learning the language, keeping yourself abreast with the news, hot topics, and current events in your community helps you learn faster. Try to use the vocabularies that the locals use and the things they talk about and adopt them.
It is easy to follow the news and keep up if you live in the UK; you may even interact with a few locals on the street, which will help. However, if you don’t live in an English speaking country, you can still keep up with the news via the internet. There are several online news sources to help you with this. You may also research the popular sites that native speakers use. You should use international platforms like Google News and BBC and translate them into the English language.
The English language is an easy one to learn. They say that if you place a person in a society that uses a language he doesn’t know, that person can comprehend the language in a matter of months. But even without a native speaker around you, it is possible. All you need to do is break some social barriers. An essential step for anyone who wants to reach out to foreigners!
Leon Collier is a blogger and academic writer from the UK who works with essay writing service UK where he provides assignment help. He likes trying new subjects and is always focused on proving his worth as a writer in new and challenging writing areas. His hobbies are reading books and playing tabletop games with his friends. You can reach him via Twitter @LeonCollier12.
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