For the adult student of English, improving communication skills can be a daunting task. Understanding methods of learning English will help make the process much easier.
It is important that the student of the English language is aware of the different methods and techniques that are available to him as he starts to master the language. Learning English, or any other language, requires that the student be willing to spend time mastering and practicing the language. With time, the adult student of English will be able to communicate in the language.
Adult students of English may want to to focus on decreasing their ESL (English as a Second Language) accent. While this is important for others to comprehend the student, it is initially more important the English student gets a grasp of the English language.
Reading to Learn English
Reading is an important component for gaining understanding of English. When a person reads, he is able to see the structure of the sentences in English. This aids in his being able to properly speak the language. In the beginning, a person should choose a simple children’s book to read.
After he has read the book silently to himself, the student should translate the sentences in the book to his native language. After he has done this, the English student should read the book again in English. This exercise should be repeated several times, until the student understands the simple sentences in the book when he first reads them.
ESL students should begin to read books out loud to help improve their English. Simple books should be picked for this exercise as well. When reading out loud, the ESL student should not focus on the meaning of all the words he is reading, rather he should focus on his pronunciation. ESL students should find a tutor, friend, or spouse who is willing to help them when they are reading out loud.
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Watch Movies and Television
An important way of acquiring the English language is for the ESL student to be exposed to the English language often. Watching movies and television is a way that ESL students can increase their exposure to English from the comfort of their home.
English students should remember that it is not important that they understand everything that is said in the movies and TV they are watching. Comprehension will come the more they watch. ESL students should be reminded that while they are watching the media, their minds are subconsciously picking up the English language.
Listening to the language will help English students to hear the unique sounds and flow of English more clearly. Students should sit down for half an hour and listen to the radio. Focus should be on the rhythms of the language.
For students who want a more active listening experience, Randall’s ESL Cyber Listening Lab provides listening exercises and quizzes designed to help non-native English speakers understand conversations and situations that occur in everyday life. Students who use this resource will be better able to understand the conversations that happen around them.
An adult who is learning English for the first time will have a harder time hearing some sounds. In order to compensate for this, the English student can put her hand on the throat and mouth of friends as they speak certain words.
The hand on the throat will help the ESL student feel where the sound is coming from, making it easier for him to replicate it. The hand on the mouth will help the adult student of English understand how much pressure is required to speak the word. It will also help the non-native English speaker to understand how to form the mouth while forming the word.
Observing the English Language
ESL students should watch the mouths of native English speakers very closely. Watching the mouth of English speakers will help the student of English to understand how to move the tongue and mouth to form English words. The English student should ask for words to be repeated slowly if she does not understand how to form the words.
Understanding Will Happen
The conscious, consistent practice of these methods will enable a non-native English speaker to be able to acquire knowledge of the language more quickly than non-usage of these methods. With time, the ESL student will be able to both understand and communicate in English.