Think of English vocabulary as the bricks of the language and grammar as the mortar that hold those bricks together, without the mortar the bricks can come tumbling down! There is a common impression that learning English grammar is painful, but it is a lot easier than many other languages.
When you begin to learn English, speaking and building up your vocabulary is more important than worrying about correct grammar. However, as you progress you need to incorporate more grammar into your learning program.
Here are some tips to learn English in an inexpensive ways:
1. Learn English by reading, listening, studying, and asking questions; practice what you learn by speaking and writing.
2. Dictation is an excellent way to improve your listening and spelling skills. Have a friend read a few paragraphs from a book or a newspaper. Write down what you think you hear. Compare what you have written with the actual text.
3. Make friends with native English speakers.
4. If you have your sights set on the US, look for literacy programs in your area — they are often free, learn a trade and do your best to acquire English-speaking friends.
5. Find a native individual who not only speaks English, but can teach it. Learn grammar and vocabulary using visual, auditory and spoken methods. Spiral the cycle and keep it interesting.
6. Reading will increase your understanding of English and add to your vocabulary, but it’s talking that will increase fluency.
7. Read Simple English in your spare time, such resources can be found at the Simple English Wikipedia and books written for young children to encourage yourself, if the contents are too difficult to understand you can easily lose interest.
8. Learn about the cultures of English-speaking countries.
9. As a teenager, live for a year in an English speaking country. This is much less expensive if you do barter – accept someone in your house in trade for living in theirs.
10. Never stop getting new information in English and keep practicing writing and speaking.
11. If you can dream in English, this means that you have succeeded in becoming a fluent English speaker, but not that your English is perfect.
12. Think in English when you have learned it well. Translation in your brain can become confusing after certain points.
13. Get a good dictionary. If you need to, a dictionary to translate between your first language and English is best.
14. Take note of your mistakes when doing your work and make sure you don’t repeat them.
15. Read aloud, so you are aware of how you speak.
16. Focus on pronunciation when you speak, since there are many silent letters in English as in French.
17. Learn the grammar with careful study. A teacher may be best for this.
18. Make sure you know the basics. If you don’t even know the basics, you want to improve.
19. Remember you need to exercise what you’ve learned. With practice, you can learn to speak the English language very well. Practice everyday by checking your pronunciation, and learning a few new words.
Learning English requires a lot of practice and determination, so don’t try to learn everything at once, but don’t ever give up!