How can I learn English well

The 3 best tricks for learning English

Learning English is worthwhile, because being able to speak and write a language fluently is like opening the door to another world.

At a glance:

  • Learn in a playful and meaningful way
  • Speak, speak, speak
  • make mistakes
  • Recommendation: language course

Do you remember how you learned to ride a bike?

It was probably something like this:
You get your first own bike. Wow! Madness! Even with a bell! You push it around with excitement, try out the saddle, turn the handlebars. All other toys are forgotten. What fun! You go ahead and ... learn!

School learning

Weren't your days as a toddler great? Try out. Tinkering. Discover.
Wow what fun !!! Interesting about it: All of that is learning!

And today? Learning is somehow no longer fun.
Sad. What happened?!

The answer: school.

Most schools are fantastic in just one thing:
They transform playful learning into a form of learning that feels like work.

Playful learning

Learning through play is something completely different!
What do you need for this?

  1. Real interest

    A simple but apt truth:
    Real interest makes learning much easier.
    Learning without interest, on the other hand, feels difficult and dry.

    So combine learning with something that really interests you.

  2. make mistakes

    Did you learn to ride a bike as a kid by reading books and memorizing the name of each component? Hardly likely. You just kept getting on your bike and trying. And it was fun, despite small falls. Mistakes are great! The best you can do !! Don't let school tell you otherwise!

    So next time you make a mistake: Throw your arms in the air and shout: “Eureka! I am one step further! ”.

Excellent! So it's lost!
Here are a few more tips:

1. Meaningful learning

If you want to speak fluent English as quickly and effectively as possible, you can take advantage of the Pareto principle. According to the Pareto principle, 80% of a result is achieved with just 20% of the total effort.

So how do we find the 20% of all words that enable us to master 80% of our conversations with confidence? Fortunately, we've already done that and created the following lists:

100 most spoken words

Learn to read: The 100 most-written English words, prepared for you to learn.

Download

100 most written words

Learn to speak: The 100 most spoken English words, prepared for you to learn.

Download

If you can master these words in all their forms, you can easily understand 65% of all conversations or texts. Impressive what? Less than 150 words mean you can understand almost 3/4 of a language. At the same time, with every conversation and text, you pick up additional contextual words.

The best thing about it?

Both lists can be transferred almost 1 to 1 to other languages. The order of precedence of individual words may change here and there, but only in rare cases is a word completely replaced by another.

So if you want to learn Spanish or French, just translate and learn this list and you can already understand most of it.

Is that enough on its own?

If you really want to learn English from scratch, these lists are extremely useful. However, they are not enough on their own. Each language has its own rules and peculiarities. For complete beginners with the English language, a teaching program like the Langenscheidt language course is definitely worth a look.

2. Speak, speak, speak

We were in New Zealand for a year. There were so many German backpackers there that it would certainly have been possible to only speak German during the entire stay. We remember entire hostels full of German backpackers who talked almost exclusively in German for weeks.

At the same time, however, we also remember a girl from Germany who absolutely refused to use the German language. It takes a lot of courage. Is it worth it? We think so because her English was amazing.

The more you speak English, the faster you will progress. Just like riding a bike, it suddenly “clicks!” And you start to think in English too.

And without even realizing it, you enter a completely new world.

3. Make mistakes

We all learned in school to fear failure. Bad grades are awarded for mistakes. People who make mistakes are laughed at. And anyone who had to solve a math problem on the blackboard in front of the whole class at a young age definitely knows what we are talking about.

But mistakes are exactly what we need.

The best way to learn something?
Dare to make mistakes.

All the progress that we have made as humans, all groundbreaking inventions, all large companies and all enlightening discoveries have one thing in common: It is based on the experience of countless mistakes.

Do you feel that your English is not good enough for a phone call?
Do it anyway.
Don't you dare to speak in English in front of a group?
Try it.

"An expert is someone who has made every possible mistake in a very narrow field." - Niels Bohr

With every mistake you make, your English just gets a little better. Why we were all taught to fear mistakes in school is a mystery to us. Enjoy the mistakes you make because each of them is an opportunity to grow.

Secret weapon 1: comics

A real secret weapon for learning languages ​​are: Comics.
Yes, you read that right!

In the initial phase:
At this point comics are actually ideal:
There is not too much text and you can use the pictures to understand missing connections. Even so, you need to actively read and understand. Just lean back and let yourself be sprinkled (like in a movie) is not possible.

Another plus point:
There is almost always enough space on the pages for your own notes and translations.

And many moons later, if you speak fluent English, these comics (with your notes and translations in there) are wonderful keepsakes.

And also:
Who can resist this superhero?
Correct!
None!

Secret weapon 2: a teacher / mentor

For every new skill you want to learn, the following applies: learn from someone who has already mastered this skill and you will achieve your goal at least twice as quickly. It doesn't matter whether you're cycling, acrobatics, programming or speaking English.

A teacher (or mentor) can show you shortcuts, point out pitfalls and dead ends, or just answer your questions. All things that you only find out with a lot of time and effort on your own. Just make sure that this teacher doesn't take away your playful learning again.

Secret weapon 3: language course abroad

If we had to learn English from scratch today, we would do it this way: Acquire the basic knowledge in Germany (especially learn the 100 most used words in all forms) and then go abroad as quickly as possible. There we would then combine the trip with an effective language course.

For this we recommend (after many phone calls and diligent comparisons) the courses from Sprachdirekt. The resourceful company from Munich has apparently not won tons of prizes worldwide for a reason. :-)

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