Advices On Reading Listening And Talking Techniques In Studying English


There are several key methods of improving your English abilities. First method is through reading, which allows you to grow your vocabulary, especially enrich your spoken English with new conversational expressions and phrases. Second method is listening to native speakers through all kinds of songs, movies, radio broadcasts etc. This helps you get accustomed to the foreign language. Third method is developing the right pronunciation skills mostly by trying to imitate the original spoken sentences. And the fourth method is conversational practice, ideally with the native speakers.

In this article we would briefly discuss those basic methods of studying English as a foreign language as well as their practical implementations. Finding the most efficient ways of studying a foreign language (let's take English for instance) and deepening your knowledge and skills is always an acute question for every student. For learning English as a Second language - ESL listening comprehension and speaking abilities should be developed gradually step by step and systematically. We hope that this article would give you some valuable advice on how it's more efficient to study English. So let's discuss some of those time-proven methods one by one.

1. Improving your English through Reading

In fact we got the most information through our eyes. The same holds true with learning languages. Take any printed matter in the language you're studying and enjoy your readings. Surely you would find lots of new words and phrases and improve your general comprehension of the language. Try out to read some parallel texts in two languages.

Study books on grammar with follow-up exercises. There are lots of good books on English grammar exercises. Lots of English written content could be found on the Web as well - luckily most of the online world is basically in English. And make sure to increase the level of complexity of what you are reading step by step. This would facilitate your progress.

If you wish to, alongside with reading you can master writing skill as well. But make sure that you study English writing with an experienced language teacher or someone who could guide you on the way, pointing out the mistakes you make and giving invaluable suggestions and advice.

2. Improving your English through Listening

It's good to have your efforts in reading be supplemented with lots of listening practice. Plenty of English listening exercises is a good way to quickly improve your abilities to understand native speakers. The more you listen, the more benefit you could get. You can listen to any kind of free English songs, radio broadcasts and performances or watch your favorite TV programs. If you are genuinely interested in the content and even willing to memorize, e.g. songs by heart, you can easily proceed with mastering the foreign language. While you're studying and don't have perfect understanding of everything being spoken, it's good to have the written script of a program, songs texts and movie subtitles available to you. You can find lots of that stuff on the Internet. This method would surely help you a lot especially when you would meet any hard times grasping the meaning of what's being spoken. On the Internet you could find special English listening websites with radio podcasts and other listening content being pronounced at a certain slow pace especially for the sake of studying the language and improving your comprehension level.

3. Improving your English through Pronouncing

Take still another step forward and try to repeat the spoken words, phrases and sentences. Do not worry if at first your pronunciation is far from perfect. Listen to the original speech as much as it's needed and try to imitate the sample fragment you hear. You can find in any textbook and have to learn the phonetic alphabet which differs from the written one. Do not forget the importance to put the stress right. The stress in spoken English is of greater importance than pronouncing individual sounds. Work out the sounds that are especially hard for you. It's good to practice with the so-called similar words - words that differ with just a single sound. Depending on what your native language is, you might have some problems with pronouncing different sounds. For example, the Frenchmen would meet difficulties with the English "th" sound; the Chinese - with the "r" and "l" sounds, and Arabs - with the "p" and "b" sounds.

Remember about the intonation rules within the sentence. For example, the intonation pattern of the statements or affirmative sentences is always going downwards, while for the questions it is on the contrary always going upwards. Usually only those words that hold the meaning should be stressed in the sentence, though it might vary depending on what you would like to emphasize. Most important is that you don't hurry when you learn to speak English. When you are trying to speak too fast at the beginning you would miss and mix certain sounds. Though your speaking slow might sound peculiar at first, others would better understand you. And with time you would learn to speak faster and faster. That would come naturally through practice.

4. Improving your English through Talking

When you have practiced a little bit with pronouncing various phrases and sentences by yourself, when you've learned a few English songs and popular tongue twisters, the time has come for you to start practicing your English in real conversations. Of course, at first, you can do your practice alone with the help of some books or special websites to gain a certain feeling of self-confidence, but then you absolutely have to practice talking to someone else. This experience would provide you an invaluable feedback on how much your pronunciation is understood by the interlocutor. Ideally, if you could find a native English-speaking tutor for your interactive conversational lessons. You can improve spoken English through practice 101 either in person or by telephone or skype.

The methods of studying English as a foreign language discussed in this article would make your learning progress more efficient and fast. Studying a language is a continuing process and you would need to have consistency and a certain degree of persistence on your way to succeed.

By: Sarah Werner