Start Here: Let’s Make Learning English, For You…Simple

Let’s Make Learning English, For You…Simple

I started this website for three reasons. First because I noticed that most of my students make the same mistakes and I wanted to make it easy for them to learn English. Second because I wanted to create a place to share how students can prepare for English Speaking Exams, in particular the IELTS exam. Finally because I wanted to share a little bit about America from my point of view.

With that in mind I have set up this site to accomplish those three tasks. Just in case you’re wondering where you should start or the best way to use my site I’ve created this page to answer the critical question, “how can I learn English easily?  I will also give you some of the basic tips that I tell all of my students.

 

English for You, made simple

There is a lot of theory out there on how to best teach or learn English. Many schools and courses will teach with a grammar based curriculum. When determining how to best make English easy for you, the English learning community I asked myself a simple question. What is the goal of the average English learner? Most student’s goal is to speak like a native speaker, therefore I’ve made it my goal to teach you how speak and have English conversations like a native speaker.

I believe the best way to do this is to provide English for you in an immersive style. Imagine being dropped in the US and being forced to learn English by necessity or just imagine being a baby and learning your native language. You would learn how to have English conversations naturally. That’s why I focus on teaching you phrases and words that you’d need to have English conversations and not on memorizing grammar.  It’s my belief that you should learn a foreign language in the same way that you would learn a native language. By being around that language as much as possible and repeating what you see, read, and hear. Yes, certain skills are taught and explained to you, but you mostly learned by repetition. If you want to have conversations in English, listen to and read English conversations. My goal with this website is to make learning English for you, a snap (easy).

 

How to best use this site
Beginners- Basic English Sentences

If you’re a beginner or you’re just getting comfortable with English start with basic English sentences , which you can find in the General English Section. Start with the verb “to be”. That’s he is, she is, we are, they are. Be familiar with using this verb to make sentences in present, future, and past tense. Once you have that down review some of my other videos and slides on basic sentences. On this page you will also find common English mistakes the many students who are working to learn English make. These are the first steps to increasing your ability to have English conversations, and this will make learning English for you, simple. I do my best to update this page at least once a week, so please check back often.

 

Beginners- Pronunciation

Knowing the sounds that each letter makes is very important in your ability to learn English. There are different levels of pronunciation and I suggest you start with the vowel sounds. Then move on to reading and pronouncing sentences. Even if you don’t understand all of the words you are saying (look them up), you can learn how to pronounce letter combinations. Always practice pronunciation out loud. Here are some basic tips that I’ve learned from teaching students.

  1. Learn the sounds of the alphabet. Many students never learned or have forgotten the sounds of the alphabet. You have to know this to be able to pronounce words correctly.
  2. Learn long and short vowel sounds. Short vowel sounds are the most commonly mispronounced sounds, especially i.
  3. An “e” at the end of the word is silent
  4. A “y” at the end of a word make an e sound (family, happy)

 

Beginners- Building Your English Conversation Skills

Once you’ve practiced your pronunciation and listening skills you can improve your listening, reading skills, and spelling skills by using the different levels on this site.

 

All Levels (Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced)
Listening

There are two types of listening on this site. General English Listening focuses on an American accent. These are recordings from blog articles across the internet. This is one of the best ways of practicing English for you, regardless of your level. The recordings are in 4 or 5 different speeds. Chose the speed that is right for you. If you are a beginner you may want to start with a  slower speed, if you are intermediate then start with the regular speed and if you are advanced try a faster speed. Read along with the article as you listen. If you really want to improve your English listening skills you can transcribe (write down) what you hear and then check your work (there are instructions on the page). If you want to practice listening to a British accent you can use my IELTS Listening page.

 

Reading

Practicing your reading skills is a key way to learn English. Reading will help you with your English conversation and writing skills. It will allow you to see English in the way that it is written and spoken. I strongly suggest that you read blogs instead of books. Books are great and you should read them to learn things, but blogs are best for learning English. Why? Because they are written in the same way that people speak. They will help you see and mimic (copy) how people express themselves, thus making English for you, easy. There are short stories on this site that include vocabulary, a recording of the story and a reading comprehension quiz (to see if you understood what you read).

 

Intermediate and Advanced English Learners
Vocabulary

If you’re an upper intermediate to advanced English Learner, welcome to the journey of learning English. At this point in your English language journey the path isn’t straight. You will expand your English skills by exploring the language. I recommend that you practice new vocabulary words every week. Don’t try to memorize 10 words a day. If you do that you’ll forget the first set of words in less than a month. Just learn 2-5 words a week and use them everyday.  You can visit my youtube page or the vocabulary section of this website for new words every week. This will quickly improve your English conversation skills.

 

Intermediate and Advanced- Reading

Read, read, read, read, I can’t stress enough how much reading will help you learn English. There are two types of reading on this website; short stories, and articles about America. Both are great ways for you to improve your reading skills. I also suggest that you read from some of the blogs that I use in the  listening section. These blogs are on different topics and I’m sure you’ll find one of them interesting. There are recordings on all of the articles and stories on my site you can hear how I read and pronounce the words.

 

Academic Pronunciation

Pronunciation is something that many students struggle with and what I have found is that repeating a native speaker, much like a child learning their native language is the fastest way to fix your pronunciation issues. Here are a few other tips I have learned from teaching my students.

  1. Slow down. English, especially spoken by Americans may be one of the slowest languages. It may sound like native speakers speak very quickly, but we probably aren’t speaking English as quickly as you think we are. You are most likely rushing. Listen to my listening recordings in regular speed. If you speak faster than me, then slow down.  
  2. Enunciate your words. Enunciate means to pronounce a lot. You have to really pronounce every single sound in English. Native speakers don’t always realize it but we look at words in syllables (parts). The word English is two parts Eng–lish. Both parts must be pronounced. Thinking this way will also help you with your spelling.
  3. English has a rhythm. I’ve come to learn that most languages are spoken like a song, words are blended together and sounds are invented to put in between words. English is not like that. Think of English like a drumb beat. Tap your foot right now or clap your hands to a song. That drum beat or tapping or clapping is the rhythm of English. Every syllable (part of a word) is a beat, clap, or tap. Getting the rhythm right is a much bigger deal than pronouncing a sound correctly. The reason I can easily understand a British accent is because the rhythm is the same, even though we pronounce some of the words differently.

Since you’re an intermediate or advanced learner use my academic pronunciation videos to practice these skills with more difficult words. If you just want to practice regular words use the general pronunciation videos. Listen to what I tell you to do in the video if I say repeat the word, repeat it, if  I tell you to break the words down into syllables, then break the words down into syllables, this will help you hear and say every sound. If you want to have English conversations, people have to understand what you’re saying.

 

Spelling

This is an overlooked skill, but it’s very important. Spelling will help you with reading and speaking. When you learn how to spell it helps you break words down when you’re reading and it will also help you with your rhythm when you’re speaking. If you ever want to write something in English then you must know how to spell. The best way to learn how to spell is to break words down into syllables. This will also help you so much with your English pronunciation.
Thanks for visiting my site. I try to add content to it multiple times a week. I’ll do my best to help you learn English have successful English conversations, and in general make English for you…simple.