We all — who have ever wanted to learn English — at some point have faced the need to improve language skills. Once the traditional learning of grammar is done we put our skills to test, and rather often the results are not satisfying. As knowing grammar and knowing English are unfortunately very different things. So what one can do to master English language?
First of all, before entering the foreign language environment one should prepare. And thanks to modern technology nowadays it is rather easy. To be able to differentiate one word from another, some experience with the language is vital. The easiest way is to listen foreign conversations in movies and music.
Second, although knowing theory won’t help you to speak, theoretical baggage is important. And while schools and universities have different programs so at the end some are knowledgeable while others are unable to differentiate present simple from present perfect, there are very useful on-line resources that can help to learn and understand all important rules. For example, the Purdue Online Writing Lab.
Third, although knowing theory is important it won’t help you to use the language. In order to speak English, one need confidence to speak. While, it sounds simple, in reality the number one issue that most people face when learn any foreign language is the inability to use it in practice. The only useful way to overcome that obstacle is diving into the environment. When everybody around you can’t speak your native language you are forced to use English. Although it is very challenging, at the end reward is very high — the knowledge of English. There are a lot of good programs offering language practice and holiday or work experience. The best way is to combine a summer holiday, English learning and entertainment. But there is always one problem…price?! Summer courses abroad usually cost a lot! However, there are some which receive partial grants and therefore can offer pretty affordable price!
For example, there is such program in the Netherlands – the Summer Program “Connecting Through English” that will take place in the Hague since the 10th of July until the 5th of August which combines both theoretical and communicative elements of learning English with summer holiday; so you will be able to practice language, learn theory, have fun in an international environment and…what’s very important!…don’t hurt too much your wallet!
And finally, any knowledge, if not used, has the tendency to disappear in time. So to keep your skills ready before the next trip, some practice is essential. On-line chats with foreigners is a good way to have a real life conversations with different people and not only master your language skills, but also to make friends.
These four elements will help you to build your English language knowledge and to preserve it through time, as they are intertwined only systematic approach will help you to succeed.
Author: Anna Bure
Edited by: Ivana Petriskova