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Hints and Tips for Learning English

Published: 24.08.2010, Updated: 03.03.2017
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Hints and tips for learning English 

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Collage of words. Photo.Language 

Below you will find a list of various hints and tips for learning English.

Read them, and then make your own list of the five tips you liked the best. Share notes in class afterwards.

Don't open too many 'hidden texts' at a time.

1.
Expose yourself to as much English Media content as possible. Every little encounter leaves an impression of the language. Luckily, English media contents are almost limitless: podcasts, news sites, radio channels, music, films etc. Hide
2.
Take away the subtitling, unless you can choose English, on your screen, or force yourself to ignore it. Do this preferably with a film you are familiar with.Hide
3.
Download lyrics to your favourite songs and read them while listening to the song. That way – next time you sing in the shower – you will practice real English rather than LADIDA. Listening to music in the target language helps you develop a flair for the rhythm, melody (intonation) and sound of it. Sing along. Here is one of many sites: songlyrics.com Hide
4.
Social forums: Visit English speaking forums or social networks, and take part in discussions in English. Be very careful not to share personal contact information, though.Hide
5.
Buy or borrow audio books. There are many online books on
Gutenberg.org . You may also search for 'audio books' in general. Many of these web sites offer instant downloads in various digital formats.Hide
6.
Software: Read software instructions in English, and download English versions of games and tools. Hide
7.
Software gaming: Play online games that require text input – like adventure games. But do keep in mind that the vocabulary you learn from this is often very limited.Hide
8.
Find a language friend: Find an English speaker that would like to learn Norwegian and exchange mails in which you must use English. To find one, contact international schools in Norway, exchange students, educational programs. Offer to help with Norwegian in return.Hide
9.
Role Play: There are many great movie scripts on the Internet. Pick one, gather your friends and act out the parts, like with this Seinfeld script: www.seinfeldscripts.com/TheSmellyCar.htm  You may also go with this Simpsons script: www.snpp.com/episodes.html  Search for script of a TV-series or movie. The directions (comments) between the actual lines are read in silence. Play some music in the background if you find it hard to get started.Hide
10.
Spend some time searching for learning tools on the Internet. Search for words like: interactive exercise, grammar tasks, vocabulary quiz, pronunciation lab. Some of the sites are covered in ads and pop ups. Don’t spend time on those. Web sites which - in a flashy manner - state that they are FREE, are often not. Here is a site with a lot of tasks: www.englishforum.com  There are many of these, so keep looking. Hide
11.
Make lists of words suitable for various topics – preferably the one you are studying at school right now. Hang the list above your bed or on the refrigerator door. Repetition and learning by heart is a must in the process of learning a language.Hide
12.
Use recording features on your mp3 player or cell phone and listen to yourself speaking/reading. But remember that we are all very critical towards hearing ourselves recorded. So keep in mind that if you are a bit dissatisfied, you are probably fairly good at English.Hide
13.
Find the opportunities in everyday activities like walking to the bus, brushing your teeth and so forth, to think in English about what you do.Hide
14.
Arrange an English breakfast: Make a deal with the rest of your family to only speak English at this breakfast. Hide
15.
Whenever you learn a word, try to come up with a word of the opposite meaning. Then make up a story – the crazier the better – where these words occur. Opposite words are called antonyms. What is the opposite word of antonym?Hide
16.
When you want to learn a set of words, dramatize them in a story or connect them to an existing experience. If you want to learn the words ‘Snowdon’, ‘mountainous’ and ‘scenic’, you visualize yourself dragging a huge picture of a mountain onto a stage while the audience throws snow balls at you. The crazier the better! Often these stories need to be personalized to work well. The little story provided here may not work for you.Hide
17.
Use the opportunities everyday life offers. Play ‘I spy with my little eye’. Just say this and then add a letter: I spy something starting with ‘s’. The person next to you has to come up with a suggestion. There are many variants of this simple activity. Be creative.Hide
18.
Using sounds: When you want to learn the word for ‘økning’ (increase), say it in an increasing way – start almost with a whisper and end with a shout. Often there is a clue as to what a word means in the way it sounds: splatter, splash, slurp. . . Saying it out loud helps you make that connection.Hide
19.
Pronounce words the way they are spelled to memorize the correct spelling. So when you learn the word parliament – you say par_li_a_ment_ ,and you say be_au_ti_ful_ for beautiful.Hide
20.
Learn a few tongue twisters – to practice your lips, tongue and vocal chords. You need to practice aloud just like an athlete practices running by running – not by reading about it. Example: We surely shall see the sun shine soon. Search the Internet for ‘tongue twisters’. Here is a collection of twisters: www.uebersetzung.at/twister/en.htm  Hide
21.
Learn some strategies for delaying your answer. This is helpful if you often feel caught off guard. Expressions like: Hm . . . , Eh. . . won’t do the trick .These will, however: ‘Well, I’m glad you asked  me that question’, ‘In my opinion’, ‘What is important here is’, ‘As I seem to remember’ etc.Hide
22.
Repeat and memorize whole sample phrases and sentences which embody grammatical rules: “You are the sun, I am the moon.” (I am, You are, He/She/It is, We are, You are, They are)Hide
23.
Practice the difficult sounds in the target language with exaggerated lip and tongue action. The question: ‘Where were you when you went away?’ should be pronounced with very rounded lips. Afterwards try with words that start with a simple v (pronounced with lower lip pressed against upper front teeth): ‘very vivid visitor’. Finally combine them in: We were helping a very woozy visitor find his wife. Here is a phonetic audio tool where you can listen to the various English sounds Pronunciation - Exercise Hide
24.
When you are alone or with good friends, comment on what you do in English and force yourself to be creative. Whenever you are lost for words, use other English words to explain what you actually mean. Use a TV show as a model for your narration: You are now watching Stine walking down the street towards the bus station. She has just finished another day at school and is on her way home, but where is her . . . (Don’t say ‘busskort.’) proof that she can ride for free on the bus? She picks it up from her pocket and . . ..Hide
25.
Invite friends to an English evening or arrange one at school. Dress up in English style clothes and eat English food and, of course, speak only English.Hide
26.
Read about news that is familiar to you in English. This will help you understand new words based on the contents. You may do the same thing with instructions in English for things you are already familiar with, like the operating of your cell phone. Hide
27.
Read novels, cartoons or magazines. Some of these are available online. Reading is a pleasurable activity, but make sure you find something that you are interested in. A librarian will most certainly be able to help you find something suitable. Your hobbies and special interests are good starting points.Hide
28.
Write poetry and song texts in English. A lot of young people find English very expressive and versatile. Why don’t you write down your feelings and thoughts in English? That way you learn a language while expressing your own ideas and moods. Maybe it will become a popular song one day. Here is a great site for rhyming words: www.rhymezone.com  Hide

 

Remembering

Close all the texts above and test how well you remember. Go though the numbered list and try to viualise what some of the hidden texts say.

You may challenge a co-student as well.

Research

Read about various learning styles here: www.learning-styles-online.com/overview/  Then answer the questions below.

1. How useful did you find the web site above?

2. Did you recognize any learning styles that suit you?

3. How can finding "your learning style" be both an advantage and a disadvantage? Let's say you like listening to loud music with the lights down low when you read. . .

Further study: en.wikibooks.org/wikiHow_to_Learn_a_Language 

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