Do you also feel your stomach close when you open your English book and rather than memorize the phrases, verbs or words, would you do anything else? Unfortunately this feeling is more common than you think and many people of any age do not feel inclined to languages and believe that their mind is better suited to other things such as math, science, literature or just practical activities.
We, as human beings, are naturally inclined to communication : it is our need and it is an absolutely natural thing, so we are all inclined to learn languages even if it seems strange, difficult or complicated. What we lack are the right method and the right motivation . As with all the things you want to do in life what matters is having a robust psychology and the right method.
Do you think that being a champion in sports or a good singer hasn’t cost even the people who are on the crest of the wave or who are recognized as the best in their field effort? It has always fascinated me to understand what pushed them where they are, how they got there and above all the question I have always asked myself is if that could be the way for me, if that path that seems to be sewn on them can also be mine. Each of us can live a life full of enthusiasm and satisfaction , but must choose their own path, not imitate someone else’s.
Even in the study of English you have to find your way to reach the goal with satisfaction by looking for two fundamental elements: motivation and your method. Here’s how I came to learn English while having fun :
You will have noticed that when you do something pleasant, time passes much faster and in some cases it seems to you that it has not even passed, in some moments you even forget that you are hungry, hot or cold. This happens because you enter a condition called ” flow ” in which your performance increases a lot and your learning ability is also extremely high. So the first step is to give yourself an internal (preferable) or external reason . The reasons can be many, from wanting to improve their economic condition by learning something that can give you a competitive advantage to travel more independently to use the internet better … everyone has their own.
For me it was a sum of things ranging from understanding English literature to the need to discover new and different things outside the borders of my country, but surely one of the keys was the internet . About a third of the network is in English and if I wanted to follow one of my passions, computer science, I had no great alternatives: to be satisfied with the few things in Italian I could find or to learn English. As I read articles in English I wanted to learn new words to the point of trying to translate from Italian to English the words that came to mind while I was thinking about how to develop something.
So look for something you really like, one that suits you well, that when you do it you feel satisfaction. For example, if you like cooking you could look for ethnic recipes in English or if you like engines you could read articles in English on the subject. Do you like traveling? Think about how many countries have sites in English and how many resources you could access compared to today! Find your passion and use it as a vehicle to learn English while having fun !
If you just can’t find any reason to learn English, you can find seven reasons why learn English: 7 reasons
If you don’t have your own method, motivation is not enough, on the contrary you risk feeling a strong sense of frustration in what you are doing. Personally, I do not believe in those who say that to learn a language it is enough to listen to it, I have met many people who, despite listening to Italian every day, are not able to speak it in a fluent way; they understand it, but they don’t speak it.
- I started by studying the basics of English grammarand also learning some terms by heart. It doesn’t take long to learn the main verbs and a few rules for the past tense or continuous present!
- A good technique for learning termsis to initially link them to some similar words in Italian by creating associations or searching for them in movie titles. For example:
- Braveheart = Heart (Heart) Fearless (Brave)
- Star Wars = Wars (Star)
- Fight Club = Fight Club
- Mission impossible = Mission (Mission) impossible (impossible)
- Dirty Dancing = Dirty Dancing
But beware of “false friends”, that is, those words that seem to have an obvious equivalent in Italian, but which mean something else, for example:
- Factory does not mean farm, but ” factory”
- Morbid is not soft but ” morbid”
- Mustard is not mustard but ” mustard”
- Several is not strict but ” some”
- Street does not mean narrow but ” street”
Here you will find other ” false friends ”
- Write down the words you learnevery day and try to repeat them over and over. For example, if you read the lyrics of a song you just listened to, try to memorize even just a word or phrase and the next time you listen to it try to remember the meaning. If it doesn’t occur to you even after you’ve tried hard then go check where you marked it.
- Read. Especially if you are at the beginning try to read and make an effort not to use translators like Google, they are shortcuts that do not allow you to memorize anything. Choose a topic you like and start reading by translating the words you don’t know; for me they were IT articles, but for you they could be those about cooking, cars, motorcycles, travel, etc.
- Try talking every now and then. When you have a chance to say something, try it and don’t hold back. If you find someone asking you for directions, go for it and try to use the words you know or if someone in a pizzeria speaks English try to explain to them what they could eat or if you have friends who speak better than you ask them to have a dialogue together. But the best thing you can ever do is to have an experience abroad for example in a college and think not only about what you will learn but above all about the experience you will live. Learning a language is not just learning the rules and vocabulary, but interacting with people!