Yes it’s true, learning English can be easy even if you speak a Romance Language. Here are some essential tips to help you learn English quickly and effectively.
I’m an Italian girl and I have been in the UK since September. Like a lot of foreign people, I’m here to improve my English. The first impact of a new language can be destabilizing and things that are normal for you become very difficult. Talking and comparing with my foreign friends, I have developed some tips that every person who speaks Romance languages (Italian, French, Spanish etc ) can follow to improve faster.
1. FORGET YOUR SYNTAX AND DON’T TRANSLATE
One of the most common mistakes for us is translating a phrase from our language into English. Bad mistake. If you want to make your life easier, it’s better to use a simple syntax (subject+verb+object), which forms the basis of so much English. If you use a simple phrase, you are sure that native people can understand you.
2. SHORT IS BETTER
One of my problems is that when I write, I make very long sentences and I think I’m not the only one. In our language, a good speech is complex speech (for French people: do you remember Proust?). For English people, a good speech has to be clear. So make simple and short phrases and forget all the unnecessary details. Basically, you have to rest your brain and put it in English mode and this is good because English grammar is more simple. Clear, concise English is essential to good style.
Everytime you are not sure about the pronunciation of a word, check it on the internet or ask a native person. When you know how to pronounce a word, it’ll be easier for you to recognize in the future. After that you should practice pronouncing that word properly.
4. NO SUBTITLES
If you want to improve your listening, you should watch films or TV series in the original language without subtitles. In this way, your brain is focused just on listening and understanding. At the beginning, it can be difficult. Therefore you should start with something you have already watched.
5. FILMS, TV, BOOKS, NEWSPAPERS
There are many things that scholarly books don’t teach you completely but practice can.
So, you should read and listen to English as much as you can. If you are a beginner, try to understand the general meaning of the language and after that, on the meaning of the single words.
By reading and listening, you can learn how native people speak English in real life as well.
6. DON’T GIVE UP!
Last but not least, you mustn’t give up. Learning English is like running a marathon not a 100 metres!. It’s a long process that needs a lot of practice but if you don’t give up you’ll be very satisfied in the end
About the Writer
Paola Alghisi graduated in Law from Brescia University on July 2016. She is currently in the UK, improving her English. She attended an English course in Brighton and now she is undertaking a 6-week internship at SLC. For these reasons she can understand difficulties of learning and communicating in a different language.