Today each of us knows about the necessity to know English. But not all people have the money to attend quality courses. Education in special schools is quite expensive. That’s why many people think how to learn English for free without the help of tutors and teachers. This task is quite feasible if certain conditions are met.
A clear goal and the right motivation.
You will never force yourself to practice English regularly, just in case. You must know exactly why you decided to learn English. There are quite a few options:
To get a position in a respectable firm.
To read your favorite books in the original and watch American movies.
To marry a foreigner.
To settle in another country and feel comfortable, etc.
You need to determine to what level you want to improve your knowledge (learn the basics, learn to read and write letters, translate books and documents, communicate fluently with native speakers, etc.). Studying English on your own and for free, you just have to set yourself realistic goals for the task. Put all of the above on paper.
How not to lose motivation halfway? Remember that you should periodically test your knowledge. For this you will need a variety of tests that can be easily found on the web. Only by observing the positive changes, you will be sure that the training is really worth it. Be sure to reward yourself for your success.
Where should you start to learn English for free?
Be prepared for the fact that you will have to dedicate a lot of time to lessons. Of course you are not going to get anything if you learn the language once a week. Lessons should be regular. Make an individual plan of work and follow it steadily. Learn English on their own is difficult because of the lack of constant supervision teacher. But you have an iron motivation, don’t you? You’ll be fine on your own!
Common mistakes of those who want to learn English
Many people try to learn a foreign language for years, but never get anywhere. Perhaps, at first they even put a lot of effort, but then the lessons become boring, and most importantly, ineffective. The person sees that there is no result, and convinces himself that he “just does not have the ability to speak languages. This is just an excuse. Most of the “incapable” fail to learn English for free because they choose the wrong learning system. Just like in schools and institutes, where foreign language was not a major subject. So what are the mistakes?
“The more words I learn, the better my knowledge will be.” Of course, a good vocabulary is great. But trivial rote learning will not lead to anything good. If you learn a thousand new words, you won’t be able to communicate with an Englishman. You won’t understand him. You will frantically try to “pluck” familiar words from the monologue of the interlocutor. And it is extremely important to learn how to perceive speech in its entirety.
“I can easily learn English just by translating my favorite songs and movies. Naturally, you will learn to hear English better, but this is not enough. Without knowledge of grammar and correct pronunciation you can not do without. If you are serious about it, of course.
“The only reliable source of knowledge is various books. That way I’ll learn the grammatical rules, improve my vocabulary, etc.” As you can see, this option completely lacks practice. Theoretical knowledge needs to be practiced regularly. Otherwise, all that was in your head, soon simply “weathered.
So, from all of the above it is necessary to make one significant conclusion: in order to learn English on your own and for free at a decent level, you must pay attention to ALL aspects of the language. The lessons you will make for yourself can be conditionally divided into three types:
Learning English phonetics.
Learning English grammar.
Practicing writing and speaking.
Next, we’ll talk about what materials you can use to master each of these aspects of the language.
Learning English Phonetics
Phonetics is a good place to start. Do you want to get rid of an ugly accent and make your speech as close to native speakers as possible? In that case, you need a good knowledge of the sounds and pronunciation of English words. For this you will definitely need audio courses. Phonetic materials from Ann Baker are quite good. You can easily download them online:
For beginners, Tree or Three is a good course. This publication is in English. The book is divided into many systematic sections. Attached is an audio file that contains a lot of practice for listening and pronunciation. An undoubted advantage – you are taught by native speakers!
For the intermediate level (Intermediate) is recommended similar allowance – “Ship or Sheep”. It is structured exactly the same way as the previous course. You can also listen to the dialogues and check your pronunciation. You can then check your pronunciation by simply looking at the book.
In both courses, you will learn how to pronounce sounds and words correctly. In addition, you will gradually improve your understanding of English speech.
By the way, if you want to work hard just to improve the perception of English speech, make sure to consider the following advice. Special audiobooks will be very useful to you. There will be quite a bit of hard work, but the result is worth it. You will need to display what you hear on paper, and then compare your notes to the original text. Thus, you will not only learn to better understand English speech, but also improve your grammar to a certain extent. For example, you should pay attention to the book “He knows too much” by Alan Mali. Naturally, you should start such lessons after you have reached an intermediate level of knowledge.
Learning English grammar
We already came to the conclusion that it is not necessary to focus on learning grammar. However, without her still can not do, because you have to know at least the basic rules (how to build a sentence or phrase, which tenses to use in this or that case, and so on). Be prepared for the fact that studying English grammar is quite monotonous and sometimes even boring. You will have to familiarize yourself with a lot of rules and consolidate your knowledge through written exercises.
Which aids will benefit you in learning grammar?
The Virginia Evans “Round-Up” textbook series is worth considering. You can download guides designed for people with an “elementary” to “above-average” level. The books display the modern rules of English grammar. Exercises with a touch of humor make the learning process a lot more fun. After each section you can pass the control test. Keys and answers to the exercises can be found in the Teacher’s Guide.
Can’t learn all the active and passive voice tenses? Confused about the construction of conditional sentences? Don’t pass up the good old edition of Golitsynski’s Grammar. Collected Exercises. This book allows you to do a lot of practical work. The more exercises, the better to consolidate the knowledge gained. There is quite little theoretical information here, so it is not worth using the book as a basic guide.
Macmillan Grammar in Context. This universal course includes 48 grammar topics, the necessary tables, supplements, and answers to assignments. One page of rules and explanations of the topic is followed by three pages of exercises to consolidate the knowledge gained. The textbook is very common among tutors. It is used in the training of foreign language teachers and translators at universities.
If you are quite advanced in English grammar, check out Mark Foley’s Advanced Learner’s Grammar course. The book provides detailed explanations. Thanks to the textbook, you will become familiar with the subtleties of grammar and learn how to avoid common mistakes. The guide is full of practical exercises and special tests to diagnose your knowledge.
Practice writing and speaking
To learn English for free without the help of a tutor, you need more practice. You need to learn not only how to read, write, and understand your interlocutor, but also how to express your thoughts. Both on paper and in conversation.
First of all you need to work on expanding your vocabulary. Do not rote the words from the dictionary, but approach this task consciously. Believe me, you can memorize new expressions with pleasure. There are several options:
Watching interesting movies with (or without) subtitles. A great motivation for learning new words. You really want to know what a certain movie is about, don’t you? Then find fascinating movies and arm yourself with an online dictionary.
Are you more fond of literary works? In that case, Ilya Frank’s reading method will surely appeal to you. Special books are divided into a large number of passages. First, the reader sees before him an adapted paragraph with translation of words and comments. Then the reader is prompted to read the non-adapted text. The words will be memorized naturally through repetition. After a few months, your knowledge will improve dramatically.
The problem with many people who study English is that they think too long before they put their thoughts down. A person first comes up with a phrase in Russian, then translates it into English, and only then says it out loud. You can cope with this difficulty only with practice. Make it a habit to regularly take excerpts from any work and retell them. Do not mechanically memorize it, and beautifully tell it. With the right intonation and expression. And, of course, with enough speed. You can even do it in front of a mirror. Soon you will notice a positive effect.
While learning English for free, you must not forget about the need to communicate with other people. For this purpose, you can use the program Skype. You can find a lot of communities on the web where people want to get language practice. It would be great if you could find a native speaker as a constant companion. A virtual buddy will surely pay attention to your mistakes. If you are not quite ready for voice communication, start with online chats.
In conclusion, I’d like to remind readers that the result depends a lot on your mood. Be confident that you will succeed! Self-study will be effective, because you make every effort to do it. Free English is not just a mousetrap!