Studying a language is never easy. It is a process therefore it takes time. You cannot be fluent in English overnight. To truly master a language, it may even take a lifetime. It depends on how determined and persistent you are in studying.
Studying English is not as hard as you think. You just have to learn the basics – listening, speaking, reading and writing. These four aspects are very important for you to easily learn the language.
Listening. Babies pick up the sounds and the language by listening to their surroundings. Many people will tell you that the first thing you need to do to study a language is to study grammar. This is true. However, listening is very vital from the beginning until the end of the study process. You need to familiarize yourself with the sounds, with the way people speak including the accents and the pauses. If you listen to English many times, you will find that it becomes easier to be familiar with it. NOTE: You do not have to always understand what you are hearing. You just have to be familiar with the sounds. Listen to English songs. Watch movies in English. Watch TV shows in English. Listen to news in English. The more you surround yourself with the language, the easier it is for you to be accustomed to it. If you know how the word sounds, you will find it easier to remember and speak.
Speaking. Babies speak words before they fully learn them. Quite ironic, huh? How can you speak of something that you do not know. That’s the wonder of language. Speaking is the second basic step of mastering English. You need to speak it and feel the words in your mouth. You need to make sure your tongue gets familiar with the sounds. If you do not practice how to move your mouth and tongue, it will be hard for you to utter the words using the correct pronunciation. This is the reason why people from countries such as Japan and Korea finds it hard to speak in English. The sounds in their local tongues are limited and it becomes difficult for them to teach their mouth how to move. Practice is very important to overcome this. As long as you are practicing how to make the sounds every time you get the chance, that is okay.
Reading. The human mind loves imagination. When you see the word apple, what comes to your mind? Is your mind filled with the letters A-P-P-L-E? Of course not! What you see is the image of an apple, right? It’s because the mind associates words with pictures, sentences with stories and other imaginative stuff. It is easier for the mind to understand things if images are used. This is the same with reading. When you read a sentence, you should not only read it but you have to understand it as a whole. You can go word per word if you want but that will be very exhausting for your brain. Your brain will not want to create an image for every word. It wants to create an image for the entire selection. When you read, always try to understand the meaning as a whole. This is a very basic rule. It will also be good if you try to read aloud. This way, you can practice speaking as well. Your tongue will get used to moving with the sounds faster if you always use it.
Writing. This is probably one of the most difficult aspects of studying English. You need to learn the alphabets and the spelling of every word. That’s right. Spelling is very important so never take it for granted. The whole meaning of what you want to write about can change if you have spelling errors. Of course, grammatical flaws will be highly noticeable when you are writing. Therefore, you need to be extra careful with your verb tenses and with your articles. You should also be careful with your prepositions and conjunctions. However, you should not be too strict with yourself. If you are just a beginner, do not expect yourself to be good at writing instantly. Again, it is a process and it takes time. Allow mistakes to happen and learn from them. Have someone who is good at the language check the selection for you.
Studying English is fun. It may seem tedious and hard but once you get to know how to study it, the process becomes interesting and worthwhile. You have to enjoy every bit of it. If you are not enjoying, you will find it hard to learn fast because your enthusiasm and interest levels are low.
Be confident in yourself. Believe that you will master the language. Speak it like you are a native. Do not worry about making mistakes. It’s part of learning. Never give up and give it your best shot.