This is a guest post by Lucy Adams. Lucy Adams is a professional blogger and essay writer. She stumbled upon my blog and offered to write a post about English language and essay writing. Since she has written many essays for people who struggle with English, she offered a perspective on learning English as a second language. I loved these tips because they represent what we call in language learning “immersion” techniques. You will also see some links to freely available resources. You might already know some of the stuff from Jonathan’s podcasts.
#1 Read Children’s Books Even if Your Children Were not Yet Born or Have Grown Up Already
Children’s books are simple stories with a clear plot, grammar, and basic vocabulary. These books contain illustrations, so even having a very limited vocabulary, you will understand the meaning and the basic nuances of the story. Another advantage of such reading is that you’ll get acquainted with the classical grammar and common words.
Remembering stories from the children’s books is also very useful. Main expressions are deposited in the memory and come to a head in conjunction with a read children’s story at the right time. I believe everyone in the world knows “Once upon a time …” phrase, a classical beginning of a fairy tale.
Do not be ashamed to learn from children’s books. Teaching math doesn’t begin with differential equations, does it?
Click here to see a list of 100 best children’s books of all time. Click here to download them for free.
#2 Watch the Full-Length Cartoons, Arranging Your Home Theater
Modern full-length cartoons are fun to everyone. The plots are fascinating and not always childishly simple, the dialogues are often tastier than in adult films, and some quotes can be compared with the quotes of the great philosophers:
• “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.” (Kung Fu Panda).
• “I’m not bad – I’m just drawn that way.” (Who Framed Roger Rabbit).
A variety of accents a separate benefit for the language learning. You get used to the different pronunciation of the same words and different rhythms of the language. The cartoons often use a modern language that is understood by the youngest generation, so the knowledge of the “real” trend expressions is provided.
Click here to watch the best full-length cartoons online.
#3 Watch TV Shows, Movies, and Cartoons with Subtitles
Are you accustomed to watching movies on your PC? Then find subtitles online to almost any movie and TV series, and use them to learn English faster and in the most attractive manner. For example, take a look here.
At the early stages of learning, put subtitles in your native language and watch the movie in original. Subtitles are not always ideal, but they do express the key points. If your vocabulary is already broad, try to watch “Game of Thrones”, for example, with English subtitles. There are almost no errors in subtitles, so you can read something that is not perceived by ear (it happens when actors speak with unusual accents –Australian, Scottish, Indian, etc.), a lot of slang or professional terminology (like in “House.”)
#4 Watch Sport Events
If you’re a big fan of sports, the best way you to learn English it to watch sports channels and broadcast in English. Live TV is at your service.
Commentators use the universal language and terminology. Have you ever tried to enjoy baseball in Japanese or rugby in French, not knowing any of these languages? After all, you know that comments describe what’s happening on the field. You know the names of the players while the professional terminology is universal throughout the world.
If you haven’t understood something during the live broadcast, you can always find an overview of the competition in your native language or read a brief overview in English.
#5 Read Helpful, Cheerful, Fun and Useful Blogs
Short and saturated materials on linguistic tricks are perfect for a coffee break or when standing in line for food. For example, look at the blog of Olly Richards named “I Will Teach You a Language.” The author speaks 7 languages!
Do not pass by the blog of Benny Lewis, an amazingly positive Irishman who have been traveling and studying foreign languages for the last 11 years.
Get lifehacks constantly, desirably from the people who are engaged in teaching students. They have accumulated a lot of stories and tips for learning foreign languages.
#6 Switch Your E-Devices to English
We are surrounded by an incredible number of interactive electronics, from smartphones and pads to smart TVs and fridges, let alone desktop computers of all kinds. Wake up tomorrow and switch the language on these devices to English! Switch all of the websites and software into English. Yes, at first, many things will be slower. But you’ll get used to it much faster than you think.
#7 Sing with ease!
This is the simplest and the funniest hack! Upload the words of your favorite songs to your mobile phone or mp3 player. Find the word-by-word and literary translations, for example, here.
Choose the life hacks you like and apply them to your language learning practice. Only your laziness can make the possible impossible!