If you’re a Portuguese speaker who is trying to learn about the English language for some time now, you would know that the process can easily turn into something quite intimidating.
After all, your primary means of communication is a language that uses not just different words but also various tones and intonations.
For example, grammar rules such as using the past perfect tense and other verb forms may seem completely overwhelming on your first try.
It may be seemingly hard to construct a phrase and sentence that makes sense either in a written or spoken form.
And then there are those confusing things and colloquial terms that add to the lingual chaos. Like the case of idioms and certain phrases that have different meanings based on the context.
And the list goes on.
Despite the challenges that face every non-native speaker, however, you can continue to enjoy your journey. Here are some tips that you can try to keep lessons light yet interesting:
Whether it’s a street sign, today’s newspaper or an article that you stumbled upon online, taking the time to read sentences written in the English language can go a long way.
You can also grab a book from the nearby library and spend a few minutes each day immersing yourself in beautifully-written English literature.
Build the habit of exposing yourself to written work that makes use of the English language and you will soon find yourself craving for more and appreciating the language you are trying to learn.
On a similar note, make sure you have a dictionary to translate words in a snap. Find a handy version or download a credible application or software that you can install on your phone or tablet for easy access.
Believe it or not, translating on the spot can greatly assist you as you transition from a foreign language speaker to a non-native English language learner.
Now, aside from getting your lessons from a grammar book, you can also try and converse with both non-native and native English speakers in your area.
Talking to both groups of people have their own sets of advantages. For example, having conversations with fellow non-native speakers can build confidence as you influence each other to learn at the beginners’ same pace.
Native speakers, on the other hand, give you a challenge and help deepen your connection with the spoken English language. Essentially, not only do you get to practice the rules you’ve just learned, but you also get to socialize and pick up new words and phrases from people along the way.
Another way to learn actively is by incorporating English lessons into your everyday life. Start by taking one word or phrase per day and using it in a sentence throughout your day.
You can also bring the learning process when you watch TV. Opt for shows spoken in English and turn on the closed captions or subtitles so you can read the dialogues the characters are exchanging.
Others also swear by taking down notes whether on a special notebook or the sides of your grammar notebook, to help you retain new information.
In addition to this, you can also start a journal of your everyday activities written and described in English. Regardless of your approach, using the English language in your daily routine can help you improve.
Finally, as with any other endeavor, perseverance is key to learning and ultimately mastering skills. You may only have a few words in your vocabulary bank today, but you can always learn new ones the next day. Remember that every bit of improvement brings you one step closer to your objective.
Another thing to take note of is to learn to be humble and not get discouraged by your mistakes. You will most likely commit a grammatical error at one point, mispronounce another word, or use a phrase that does not fit the context.
All these are normal and can be used to your learning advantage. With experience being the best teacher, you are most likely to remember the moment you made the mistake and avoid it on the next occasions to come.
Ultimately, instead of giving up quickly, keep pushing yourself to do better the next time. One day, you’ll be surprised at how far you’ve come along.