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How to Learn English as an Adult

November 24th, 2008

It can be difficult to learn English as an adult – unless you have the right teacher or course.  Most times, adults who want to learn English want to learn it very quickly.  In order to help you do this, read on for some tips on learning English quickly and easily as possible.

Choose the Right Vocabulary

One of the most important things to keep in mind when you’re learning the English language is to focus your attention on understanding a good variety of English vocabulary words.  The better your vocabulary, the better you’ll be at using conversational English when speaking.  You’ll also sound much more fluent when your vocabulary is strong.  You don’t always need to use words that mean exactly what you want to say – understanding what you need to say is much more important.

Proper Grammar

This is very similar to vocabulary.  The rules of grammar are not that hard to learn and if you practice certain things, such as the proper tenses of verbs, you’ll be able to express yourself much more clearly.  When speaking English, using correct grammar is one of the most important elements in sounding fluent.  During a conversation, you need to understand when to use adjectives, nouns, and pronouns.  To practice, make a list of each type of word and write out different grammatically-correct phrases, as well as the spellings for common words.

Proper Pronunciation

Once you understand the proper grammar and vocabulary of the English language, there’s still another thing to learn.  Pronunciation is vital to communicating effectively.  This doesn’t mean that you need to speak as though you’re a native, but using the correct sounds and emphasis is important in communicating what you want to say.

Phonetic charts can be great learning tools because they show you how to move your mouth.  The sounds that normally give people the most difficult time are the sounds that are not used in your own native language.  It can be very helpful to look at a dictionary for help in pronouncing different words.  Stress and intonation are also important when speaking a word – listen to native speakers in conversation and you’ll quickly pick up on the nuances of pronunciation.

Some Advice

If you’re just beginning to learn the English language, try to find lessons that are interesting and easy for you to get through.  A beginning English class is most helpful for a lot of students, as you’ll hear other students learning to speak English as well – there’s a lot to learn from listening to how others speak.

There are also some great English programs available online or through mail-order.  One of the best available is Rosetta Stone.  Many people have used this program to learn English in the first place, and to improve their skills as well.

Another great source of learning can be the public library system.  You can find an excellent assortment of books and videos that you can check out to learn English at your own pace.  However, it can be difficult to learn if you don’t have someone to carry on a conversation with.  If you know someone who’s fluent, ask them to help you practice your conversation skills and see what suggestions they have to help you improve your English.