Learning English on your own is both challenging and interesting, especially for people who are used to achieving their goals in life. If you organize your studies properly, choose the appropriate methodology and buy the right dictionaries and textbooks, learning will not only be effective, but it can also turn into a pleasant entertainment. This is when the end justifies the means, because with the knowledge of the language a person acquires a lot of bonuses: expanding the circle of communication, the ability to read the classics in the original and navigate in an English-speaking country without the help of an interpreter, as well as many other benefits.
What’s stopping you from learning a language?
Most people are convinced that it’s impossible to learn English on your own or at least make a little headway in it. And the reason for this are stereotypes. Yes, yes! Those are other people’s beliefs that make us give up our dream and they sound something like this:
Learning English on your own is an impossible task.
The process of learning to a certain level (such as advanced) can take years.
All those who study at home, do not reach the desired result.
To learn English, you need to be immersed in the language environment.
In fact, all of these statements are valid and they mean only one thing: learning English by yourself is quite a difficult and thorny path. And how long it will be depends directly on what goals and means are used in the learning process.
What is needed for those who learn English on their own?
An English self-study guide fulfills an important function – it provides information in a clearly structured form with a progression from simple material to more complex. A good self-study textbook is a textbook that pays attention to every aspect of the language being studied: grammar, reading, pronunciation, listening and writing. An equally important point when choosing a self-teacher of English should be the ease of use and accessibility of its presentation, the presence of practical exercises, phonetic course and additional audio materials. Learning English on your own will only work if the lessons are interesting to you and if the textbooks evoke positive emotions.
An English-Russian dictionary is a must for the lessons. It is best to have one that explains the meaning of new words in simpler English words. The most popular ones are Longman, Cambridge, Oxford, and Webster, Collins and Macmillan, but they are all very similar. Longman has more comparison articles, it is simpler and more user-friendly, Oxford is bright and memorable, and Cambridge has simple and clear explanations. Which one you choose for yourself is up to you.
The grammar book is another aspect without which your English self-study will simply be incomplete. It belongs to the timeless classics, and therefore to replace it at the moment nothing is possible. Many experts believe that over the years, Raymond Murphy’s grammar textbook has proven its worth. It is quite functional and easy to understand and still holds a leading position among learning materials. Murphy’s textbook is presented in the form of a grammar guide with reinforcing exercises. You don’t have to study it in a certain order, you can finish in one place and start in another.
Without what is it impossible to learn English on your own?
Interest is an important driving force of human activity, and its importance in learning English is almost impossible to overestimate. It is the aspect that determines the concentration of attention, the richness of associations and the perception of new material, because everything that gives pleasure is easy and natural. A person who studies by inner motivation is able to achieve much better results than someone who is obliged to do it.
Desire is the second powerful factor that motivates learning. If it goes in tandem with interest in the language or with professional necessity, it yields quite good results.
For your desire to turn into action, you need a clearly formulated goal. First of all, decide for yourself why you need English and how much you need to know it, and also define the period of time during which you will achieve a certain result.
Now imagine what opportunities you have to achieve this goal. These may include trips to English-speaking countries, live or virtual communication with native speakers, new methods and modern teaching materials.