How and why we learn English

: 1/5

I interviewed a lot of people and almost all of them told me about their problems with English. But none of them did know why

That is why I consider my topic How and why we learn English to be actual, interesting and up-to-date. Let me then start

How we learn English

Two English Languages.

Everyone has had problems using English language as effectively as it should be used.

Many, if not most, of our problems with English develop when we forget that there are two closely related but essentially different kinds of English - spoken English and written English. To use the language effectively, we have to be able to switch from one of its forms to the other with ease. If these two forms of English were identical, we could simply apply one set of rules to both, and many of our problems would disappear. But, unfortunately, spoken English and written English is not the same thing. And you simply cant ignore their differences.

When we speak, we dont have to worry about spelling, punctuation and capitalization, or neatness and legibility. But when we write, these things become very important. When we speak, we can correct ourselves immediately if our listener doesnt understand. But when we write, our writing must stand alone and explain itself without us. When we speak, our words vanish in the air. But when we write, they remain for everyone to see. Small wonder that speaking seems so easy and natural; writing, so difficult and forced. Small wonder, too, that others are more critical of the way you write than of the way you speak.

Because people from different parts of the country and different backgrounds speak English differently its very difficult, if not impossible, to establish hard-and-fast rules for a standard spoken English. But while people may expect varieties of spoken English to sound different, they expect written English to look the same. This is why fairly rigid and universal standards for written English have been established and why these standards are taught in schools. In fact the sort of good English an educated person is expected to use is called Standard English or, more accurately, Standard Written English.

To be successful in school and in the workaday world, well have to demonstrate our mastery of the basic skills necessary for using English effectively. These essential skills include being able to write clear, complete, well-constructed sentences; being able to use the right word at the right time; being able to punctuate and capitalize correctly; being able to spell correctly; and being in command of a good-sized dictionary.

Now I would like to offer to your attention useful advice for learning English:

Learn six new words every day.

Make up vocabulary charts and memorize them.

Try to become aware of the grammar system and learn the rules of it.

Listen to the radio and watch TV, go to see films or plays in the new language.

Ignore difficult words and try to get the general meaning of what you are reading.

Repeat sounds several times to get them right.

Try to think in language you are learning.

Be willing to practice.

Find friends who speak the same language.

Be willing to use the language in communication.

Get a pen pal to write to in the foreign language.

Find some sort of association for new words (visual, auditory).

Find the meaning of unknown words by breaking them to pieces (prefix, root and suffix).

Be critical about the way you use the language and correct yourself.

Compare your language (native language) with the new foreign language to see similarities and differences in structure.

I do think that all of them are quite important and there is no use explaining the sense.

British English and American English: One language or two?

The English language is at present spoken as a native language by millions of people spread over four continents. Can it therefore be one language or must it have many varieties? You dont have to be a linguist to admit that it must vary. It is an obvious fact now that every language is always changing. New concepts and ideas are created with the rapid development of civilization. American English, for instance, was influenced by native American languages and by the languages of other colonists, French, Spanish, Dutch and German.

: 19/10/2008