When we have a goal, in this case, learning English, we want to accomplish it as soon as we can and if possible, in the easiest way. Learning a new language is a gradual process that never really ends since we will keep learning new things for the rest of our lives, the same way we do with our native language. However, there are some ways of accelerating the learning process and assimilating the new knowledge in a more natural way. Here are some of them:
- Translate your favourite songs: You can start by translating one or two songs per week from English to your native language. It’s important to choose songs that you like and that you usually listen to. You can translate them with the help of a translator or you can also find the translation online. Once you know the meaning of each of the sentences, you’ll remember each time you listen to them and you’ll memorize the new vocabulary without even noticing. You’ll also be able to recognize words from other songs.
- Watch shows and movies in English: Say goodbye to dubbing. Watch in English everything that’s originally in English. Depending on your level, start by using subtitles in your native language. Once you feel comfortable, switch the subtitles to English too. This way, you’ll be practising listening and reading at the same time.
- Chat with native people! There are many places where you can exchange languages with English speakers who want to learn your language. There are also groups, on Facebook for example, where you can find an exchange partner.
- Try to think in English: When you are at the supermarket, for example, try to talk to yourself: What else do I need? Oh, yeah, potatoes… I mustn’t forget to get toothpaste, etc. Try to have this type of internal conversation in English, even if it’s just 10 minutes a day. The longer, the better. Slowly you can incorporate that to your routine until it comes up naturally. Remember you’ll get to a point where you will no longer be translating things in your head, you’ll think in English.
And, most importantly, have fun and enjoy learning!