As it is with any new language, the learning of English is a long process that will have some efficient parts and a lot of less efficient ones. There are a lot of ways to start learning the language and each comes with its own methodology. Some might find some methods rewarding while other might think them a waste of time, but regardless of what you choose there are some things that can’t bring anything good, and actually throw you off track and make the whole process more difficult.
So if you are determined to learn the English language, here is a list of the definitive don’ts.
1. Don’t waste time by not sticking to a schedule
Regardless of what level you’re currently at right now, you probably will need a lot of time to master the English language at a native speaker level. This being said, make sure that you are determined to reach your goal, and that you plan your study time in a smart way, without over or undergoing it.
2. Don’t insist on some aspects while disregarding others
It’s important to make sure you advance at about the same pace with all the aspects of the English language. This means that your reading, writing, speaking and listening/understanding should improve at all time together. For people that just want to master conversational English it’s fine to insist on your listening and speaking and not pay so much attention to skills like reading and writing but for a thorough approach that will give you the best results a steady growth of all aspects is preferable.
3. Don’t speak anything other than English
It’s very important to immerse yourself in the language if you want to have maximum gain in a short time. The key to mastering the English language is very simple, just speak the language!
Make sure you take any opportunity and if needed set time aside to speak the English language, whether it is with native speakers, online or by reading or watching a movie. There is no better way to retain information and to improve your vocabulary than to just immerse yourself in the language.
4. Don’t rely solely on one method of learning
Most methods of learning English include a teacher of some sort. This is by far the most common way to learn a language and the most successful one. However, make sure not to rely fully on your teacher. You need to find the inner will to learn the language and to go above and beyond. Blaming a class, a course or a teacher for your lack of progress may be convenient but will lead nowhere. Take the initiative and learn more than your teacher suggests, do more research, and tackle more and more advanced issues.
5. Don’t ignore the culture
Make sure you take notice of English culture while learning the language. Don’t go for the romanticized and sterile versions of English some textbooks present, but fully embrace the living language that is used today.
It is very tempting to use antiquated material that teaches an out of date and overly proper version of English that will just leave you at a disadvantage when it comes to speaking the language or trying to use it in real life situations.
A whole world of idioms, expressions, accents, and even cuss words can give your speech nuances and a flow that will not only make you a better speaker but a better communicator.