Top 5 Mistakes English Learners Make

What are the most common mistakes that English learners make? Which mistakes do most English learners need to correct, in order to learn English much faster?
Here are the top 5 English Learning Mistakes: 

1. Focusing On Grammar
This is the biggest, most common, and worst mistake. Research shows that grammar study, in fact, actually hurts English speaking ability. Why? Because English grammar is simply too complex to memorize and use logically.... and real conversation is much too fast.

You don't have enough time to think, remember hundreds or thousands of grammar rules, choose the correct one, then use it.
Your logical left-brain cannot do it. You must learn grammar intuitively and unconsciously, like a child. You do this by hearing a lot of correct English grammar- and your brain gradually and automatically learns to use English grammar correctly. 

2. Forcing Speech
Both English students and teachers try to force speech before the learner is ready. The result is that most students speak English very slowly- with no confidence and no fluency. Forcing speech is a huge mistake. Don't force speech. Focus on listening and be patient. Speak only when you are ready to speak- when it happens easily and naturally. Until then, never force it. 

3. Learning Only Formal Textbook English
Unfortunately, most English students learn only the formal English found in textbooks and schools. The problem is- native speakers don't use that kind of English in most situations.

When speaking to friends, family, or co-workers, native speakers use casual English that is full of idioms, phrasal verbs, and slang. To communicate with native speakers, you must not rely only on textbooks.. you must learn casual English.

 4. Trying To Be Perfect
Students and teachers often focus on mistakes. They worry about mistakes. They correct mistakes. They feel nervous about mistakes. They try to speak perfectly. No one, however, is perfect. Native speakers make mistakes all the time. You will too. Instead of focusing on the negative- focus on communication.

Your goal is not to speak "perfectly", your goal is to communicate ideas, information, and feelings in a clear and understandable way. Focus on communication, focus on the positive. You will automatically improve your mistakes in time.

5. Relying On English Schools
Most English learners rely totally on schools. They think the teacher and the school are responsible for their success. This is never true. You, the English learner, are always responsible. A good teacher can help, but ultimately you must be responsible for your own learning.

You must find lessons and material that are effective. You must listen and read every day. You must manage your emotions and remain motivated and energetic. You must be positive and optimistic. No teacher can make you learn. Only you can do it!

While these mistakes are very common, the good news is that you can correct them. When you stop making these mistakes, you change the way you learn English. You learn faster. Your speaking improves. You enjoy learning English.
Good luck... you can do it!

Article by AJ Hoge the creator of Effortless English


Secrets to Learning English Fast

I don't understand why people think it takes so long to learn a language.  They honestly believe it needs to take years to learn it well.  The truth is that it really doesn't.  It's all about the approach.  Some people, many people, learn a language in half a year or less.  The problem is that most people learn slowly.  What's the difference?

1.  People who learn English quickly are the ones who study pretty much every day.  They don't get excited for a while and then quit.  They keep going, and then soon enough, their English is a lot better than it was.

2.  The fast learners decide what is important and what is not.  Probably 90% of words are not worth studying.  Most native speakers don't even know most of the words if you read a dictionary.  Even if we know them, we rarely use them.  If you listen to native speakers talk in any language, you will find that they use the same words over and over.  They sometimes use other words, but most of the time they use under 1000 words.  That's 6 words a day for 6 months.  The trick is knowing which words to choose.

3.  Make sure you can actually use these words in sentences and real life situations.  A word you know but don't or can't use is essentially a waste of time.

If you believe what I just said, most students are probably wasting over 80% of their study time by paying attention to the wrong stuff.  No wonder they are frustrated and give up easily.  Learn a few new useful things everyday and you will absolutely Learn English Fast. 

Author: andylu2


The Best Method To Master Fluent English Fast

English is probably the only language spoken in every part of the world by hundreds of millions of people. So important is it that some professions such as medical and computer related studies require one to have a good knowledge of it. It is also almost a necessity for those whose careers expose them internationally. For those who wish to take it up as a second language, the best method to learn English has techniques such as:

Listening to Others: Children are extremely good at mastering new languages. Doing it their way is one of the best ways of learning. They listen keenly to others talking and as they hear certain phrases many times, they pick words and begin to actually say them. They usually do not sound very good at first but are able to communicate coherently within a short time. Being around people who use the language as a means of communication is a good way to master it quickly.

Books and Magazines: Written material can teach you a lot about correct use of grammar and how to punctuate sentences. You also widen your knowledge of different words and how to use them. This you do by checking their meaning as you come across them for the first time.

Listening to music: People usually memorize songs and easily remember the lines used to compose them. This is very helpful as one can often translate words as used in a song into conversation that actually makes a lot of sense.

Actually speaking: As a learner, one should never feel ashamed of talking even before mastering the language. One sure way to become an expert is by making several attempts at engaging in conversation.Trying to answer the telephone is one way of practicing.

Watching Television: This is another great way of learning. You see and hear how people communicate. You are able to listen to the flow of words and even know the way those with the same spelling are pronounced differently.

Record your own voice: This enables you to hear the way you speak. You can then rate your progress by comparing the way you are doing it with the way it is done on audio cassettes. You spot mistakes easily and correct them, thus improving your grammar.

The way things are going currently, this language may soon become the global way of communicating given its deep penetration. The best method to learn English exposes one to situations where a person gets a natural feel of how the language is spoken. The Effortless English method gives you a great opportunity to do just that.

Those people who provide an Effortless English review are almost uniformly in favor of the information and presentation style of the lessons. Check out the free materials before deciding to join the Effortless English Club.


What is the plateau in English learning and how to deal with it

Plateau in learning is the time when you get stuck and feel that you are not improving. It is something that all of you have experienced. Because it’s normal when we learn that we learn a lot suddenly and then we have a plateau, a flat spot. It feels like we’re not learning. We’re studying, but we feel like we’re not improving. And that’s the normal process of learning. We have these times where we seem to be improving very quickly and then we have plateaus where everything feels like nothing’s happening. But if we’re patient, if we keep practicing and we keep studying then, we will have another fast period of growing and improving.

It is one of the difficult things that most English students and most students for any subject encounter. It can be frustrating and can make you feel like you’re not improving. It can hurt your motivation. So you need to be ready for plateaus. You need to know how to solve this problem: How should you feel when you have a plateau in your English learning. Because a lot of people get frustrated and then they quit so they never become masters, and they never speak excellent English.

It’s fun to learn something very quickly, but we must also learn to enjoy the plateaus. It’s good to have goals, but we have to learn to enjoy the times when we’re just studying, just practicing and we feel like we’re not improving. We must be patient because research has shown that during these plateaus, we are actually learning very quickly. Your brain is learning so much new information, but it's not ready to show it yet. Inside your brain many new connections are happening. You’re actually learning very, very quickly, but it’s happening subconsciously. So you can’t really talk about what you’ve learned and maybe you can’t use it yet.

So, for example, with English, during a plateau you feel like you’re not learning, but if you’re listening, you are learning fast. Subconsciously your brain is understanding the grammar and the vocabulary more and more, your brain is learning better and better pronunciation. But there is a delay between understanding and using. So, for example, your listening will be improving very fast, but your speaking not. You feel like nothing’s happening. “I still can’t speak well” and you get frustrated. This happens with a lot of students.

You have to trust the plateaus. If you use the correct methods, if you follow a good spoken English course, subconsciously you will be learning very quickly. You’ll be understanding more and more and more, but there will be a gap. There will be a delay between your subconscious learning and your speaking improvement. It takes about six months for all of this subconscious learning to suddenly create better speech. It will happen automatically and effortlessly. The speaking part happens automatically, you don’t need to worry about it.

You must enjoy the process of learning, not just the final goal. Having very strong, powerful goals, that’s very important. However it’s equally important to enjoy the process of learning. Because if you have a great goal, but you hate the process, if you just hate studying, you’re not going to succeed, you will quit. Every day you have to just love listening to English. You have to enjoy the process every day, every minute. That’s why you should find interesting topics. Not just boring dialogues or boring textbook. Try to find ideas and information that will be useful and interesting to you. Why? So you will enjoy the process of learning English. So you will focus on the content and information, not on learning the language, because learning the language happens automatically.

If you follow good English learning system, you will learn English automatically and you will speak better. The teacher's job is to make the process as interesting and fun and enjoyable as possible for you. Good teacher should pick topics that are meaningful that will help your life, not just your English. Because the more you find the content interesting, more crazy or entertaining the stories are, the more you will enjoy the process of learning. You will want to listen just because it’s fun and interesting.

So that’s what you must do. You must find spoken English course that is fun and interesting or useful to you. You’ve got to enjoy it every day. You must be smiling as you listen to English, as you read English. I hope when you go and you find reading material that you’re finding interesting reading materials, fun, easy novels not boring textbooks. This is so important, be sure to enjoy the process of learning English every day.

As Featured On EzineArticles


Write Error Free English Instantly with Proper English Writing Software

While Spanish may be the language that is growing most quickly across the world, English remains the language of the future. There are a number of different reasons for this that encompass travel, business, and worldwide trends. Some of the more prominent reasons that English is considered to be the language of the future include the following.

* The Language of the Sciences: English is currently the language of the sciences. Most prominent research papers are currently written in English, or written in another language and thereafter translated to English. As long as the scientific community continues to embrace the language, there is no reason to think that this trend will be changing course anytime soon.

* Most Business Is Done In English: English has become the language of business as well. While the dollar may be currently weaker than in recent years, for many years the United States was viewed as the premier nation in which foreign countries desired to do business. This, combined with the fact that England also had a very strong currency and is a financial powerhouse as well, made English the most common language in which to do business. Much as with science, unless business starts to be conducted in Spanish, there is no reason to think that English is not the language of the future.

* Technology: Because some of the world’s largest technology companies are based in the United States, these companies naturally are going to gear most of their new technology towards English speaking individuals. In fact, all of the popular programming languages are coded in English. With technology companies gearing themselves toward English speaking individuals it is hard to foresee us heading in any other direction.

While learning English can seem complicated and difficult, there is no reason that you should not start learning English as soon as possible. Experts estimate that the number of English speakers in the world will double over the next 50 years.
When it comes to speaking a language, once you have picked up certain habits, it can often be difficult to break them, or to re-learn how to speak without using these habits. Many bilingual individuals who speak English translate sentence structures over to the English language, when the language simply does not work in the same way as other commonly spoken languages. Learning it right the first time around can ensure that you speak it correctly throughout your lifetime, and will help you in multiple facets of life including travel, business, and literature. Some of the reasons that learning to speak English correctly the first time will be to your benefit include the following.

* It is Difficult To Re-train Yourself: Re-training or Re-teaching yourself sentence structure, verb usage, and other common mistakes that can be made when learning a new language can be very difficult, and many individuals struggle with this concept. Oftentimes, once you learn something, you may never be able to learn it another way again. This is why it is important to learn how to speak English correctly the first time around.

* It Saves Money: Learning to speak the language correctly the first time around ensures that you never have to shell out any more money to speech experts again. Many individuals who have to learn how to structure their sentences in a foreign language all over again are forced to pay thousands of dollars to re-learn what they have already studied.

* It Saves Time: Re-learning how to structure your sentences in English can be very time-consuming. Ensuring that you learn proper conjugation and sentence structure from the beginning helps to ensure that you never have to spend your valuable time re-learning what you have already learned.

Learning English correctly starts with a teacher. If you do not have the correct resources at hand to learn the language, you will never be able to learn it correctly. Online English software allow you to take all the time that you need to learn proper grammar when learning the English language, and to learn the language from some of the foremost language experts in the world who contributed to the design of the software. If you are interested in learning English through this special software package, please go here.


5 Proven Ways to Boost Your Second Language

If you are reading this, there is a good chance you have already tried different language products and have been left feeling disappointed. Perhaps you haven't made a purchase yet but are bewildered and confused by the array of products to choose from. There is a lot to be confused about! There are CDs, talking toys, talking books, text books, audio programs, DVDs, phrase books, vocabulary lists, grammar drills, software, magnetic readers and much, much more.

The education and edutainment markets are colossal multi-billion $ industries - and they have a vested interested in keeping it that way. They have the resources and skills to mount very slick marketing campaigns - all with the single aim of getting you to part with your cash and buy their product. The truth is that all of these language products cannot be equally effective. Most end up on shelves collecting dust. Indeed research shows us that many famous products hardly work at all.

With the right tools your language ability can take off
The good news is that you can learn a language - no doubt about it. Your success will depend on putting aside some time and then using that time effectively. To avoid frustration, therefore, you need to firstly make sure you use tools that actually work! Too many people start learning a language with the first language tool that comes to hand - without thought as to its effectiveness. It might be a foreign language CD lying around the house, or perhaps an old phrasebook. This is the worst way to start. Language is just like any other endeavour - if you have the wrong tools you won't achieve your objectives. You cannot play tennis with a golf club. Don't learn a language with the wrong equipment! On the other hand, clever tools that embed important language principles, will make your learning much easier and a lot more fun.

5 techniques that bring language into your life
Research has shown that the level of language "input" is an important factor in how well you learn your new language. On the other hand, setting aside daily dedicated study time can be difficult. One trick, therefore, is to make your second language a part of everyday life - so that learning becomes automatic and easy.
Here are some simple techniques to get everyday exposure to your new language and power boost your learning.

1. Write foreign words onto pieces of paper and stick them onto common household items - such as mirrors, doors, the fridge, a table, a chair etc. Whenever you see that item, say the word. This is a simple and effective way to build your vocabulary of everyday items. Once you have learned the basic words create new stickers with complete sentences such as "I see the fridge"; "I open the door", "I turn on the light". Say it every time as you complete the action so it all happens in context, every day.

2. Many car navigational systems have language options. Switch it to a foreign language speaker and learn directions and words to do with travelling. From the display you will know what the Sat-Nav is saying and will, therefore, receive information in context. I have my Sat-Nav switched to an Italian woman - it is actually quite fun.

3. At dinnertime, learn the words of all the foods, drinks, crockery and cutlery. Get into the habit of referring to the items in the foreign language. Next learn how to say simple sentences for example "Can I have the peas?" or, "Please pass me the ice cream". Also learn how to offer something to someone with phrases like "Would you like the water." Words spoken during the action puts them in a meaningful context. This is a powerful learning technique and will help you retain your knowledge.

4. Read foreign books and websites. If you have a young child read them their favourite stories in a foreign language. Older children and adults can read foreign books for themselves. Research has shown that this simple past time is actually one of the most effective ways to absorb a language.

5. Play foreign language games. Games are an ideal way to learn a language. They are interactive and fun and can substantially boost your rate of learning. Games which utilise Discovery Learning techniques and then place new words into a sentence work best because this replicates the way we learned our first language.
If you complete these five proven ways to boost your language, you will be surprised at how quickly you pick up language in a natural way.
Andrew Finan - a husband, father, businessman and author who has worked with games most of his life. He believes that learning a foreign language is a wonderful thing - one of the top 10 things you should do in your life. It broadens the mind and lets you see the world through different lenses. His mission is to make learning a language easier by sharing the proven principles of language learning.
In 2009, working with games experts and an Oxford University linguist, he developed a language game called KLOO to make learning a language quicker and easier.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Andrew_Finan


Discover Effortless English Lessons To Speak English Well

It is very advantageous for most of us to learn English. Businessmen will be able to communicate with their clients around the world. English is the official language of a great number of countries. You discover an increase in your business when you do business in English. Consider Effortless English lessons as a method to increase your conversational skills.

Certainly if your ability to speak English is limited, your potential for business on the internet is limited. If you want to start a business, you need to take action and find the best way to improve this situation. You should learn the language that will assist you in promoting your business as much as possible.

When you choose Effortless English lessons, you will receive audio files. You download these MP3 files immediately. There is no waiting time so you can begin the vocabulary lesson right away. When you listen, it is an extremely powerful way to accustom your ears to the sounds of the language. Listening to the vocabulary and the various phrases will help you during the learning process.

Mini stories are another method of quickly understanding English. Again, you listen to these stories over and over. By concentrating on these stories and listening to them every day, improvement is automatic.

Grammar is generally the difficult part about learning any language. When children are learning a language, they do not concentrate on the grammar. This all comes to them automatically as they are listening and speaking. Point of View Story lessons give the student an opportunity in learning grammar easily, intuitively, and naturally.

Other lessons are audio articles which are interesting, exciting articles focusing on adult information. There are also articles which focus on business topics for those who want to learn English for business reasons. These lessons are created with emotion to illicit emotions in the listener. These articles are valuable to the student in understanding much of the language used in different circumstances.

It is possible to download your lessons to your iPod or computer so you can listen any time. Joining the Effortless English club give you the opportunity to practice with other people. You can also access Podcasts. Listening to others while they are discussing interesting topics can be an important part of learning.

There may be many reasons to learn a language and there are many methods to become proficient. This approach teaches you idioms and the power of listening and understanding real conversations. I believe this method may be the successful approach for you.

Click here to start learning with Effortless English Lessons!


Learn English at Home

If you want to boost your confidence in your work life or social life, then pay close attention. Because you're about to discover a surefire technique to learn English, at home. Best of all it's easy and fun-filled. You'll soon begin to amaze your colleagues and friends. Let's get started: Learn English.

The motto of success in today's competitive world is to learn English. Sounds like a simplistic solution, doesn't it? I can almost visualize you shaking your head in disbelief and wondering if success can depend on a language and one's expertise in it. Let me convince you however, at the very outset, that if you aspire to make a difference to yourself and the people around you, you have to learn English.

English for most people around the world is a second or at times a third language and it is only natural to feel lost in the maze of this language. This is a problem that needs to be given due consideration, keeping in mind the vital importance that English occupies in today's global world. English is one language that is used in communication of any kind, be it social, political or work related. In this scenario, why do you want to feel left out? Wouldn't it be much better if you could speak English and feel confident and good about yourself?

At this point, you might have a lot of doubts in your mind. You might not be very sure about the possibilities of learning English and how to go about it. Well, all I can tell you is how I learnt English and reached a point where I feel great about sharing my experience with others. I joined Effortless English Club which proved to be the answer to my ardent prayers. The best part about learning English online with Effortless English is that learning doesn't seem a difficult task at all. On the contrary, you can have a lot of fun in the process of mastering English.

One of the problems I had, was with the pronunciation of English. So many words can be misleading if you go by the spellings and you never know when you have fallen into a pitfall and made a fool out of yourself. Well, if you learn English with Effortless English, you won't face this problem. In fact, one of the best features of Effortless English is that it is an audio course and provide special vocabulary lessons so that you are never confused about how to use difficult words.

Again, if you are the conscious type and feel embarrassed about exhibiting your ignorance in front of others, Effortless English is ideal for you as it is an audio course where you can learn from the privacy of your homes and achieve the maximum benefits. With Effortless English lessons you are able to learn English wherever you want in a comfortable and relaxed manner.

Lessons are in mp3 format so you can record them on your mp3 player and go for walk. In this case you will be able to train your body and mind at the same time. You can also burn your lessons on CD and listen at home or while driving your car. In this way you can intensify your learning process and therefore be able to learn English faster.

Effortless English lessons have been devised after a lot of research and ensure that you are adept in every field of life where language comes into play. After going through this, you won't find yourself tongue-tied in social situations groping for the right word but will be able to converse with ease and grace. You might not even think of English as a second language after learning with Effortless English Club, but come to look upon it as a first language.

I think all I need to say further is that by not learning with Effortless English, you are missing the opportunity of a lifetime. So, go ahead and grab the bull by the horns. Be a master of English.

To buy Effortless English lessons now for only $97 go to the official Effortless English website:

Click here to start learning with Effortless English Lessons!

You can download Effortless English lessons immediately after purchase. Link to the lessons will be sent tou you by an e-mail.


Helpful Tips for Learning Correct English Grammar

It's important to know and use correct English grammar if you plan to speak or write the language. Communication through the internet has literally increased the necessity to use correct grammar. Abbreviations that can be used in texting and chats is not acceptable on a business or educational level. In order to have respect from your peers, employers and instructors, you need to use English that is correct in both spelling and grammar. Fortunately, there are many ways to improve your skills so that you can use the right words when you write in English.

An online grammar checker will be well worth your money if you are struggling with the English language. There are many available today, but it's important to get a checker that will work for your needs. Although many of the more popular word processing programs have spelling and grammar checkers, they will often not be very helpful for those who are struggling. It is important to remember that the checkers within word processing programs are for typing errors, not for grammatical and/or spelling errors. In other words, they are designed to correct the occasional mistake that one will make while typing. They are not designed, however, for those who struggle with English grammar and spelling. or those learning English as a second language, or those who have dyslexia or another learning disability.

There are some important features that you need to think about when looking for a high-quality online grammar checker. A grammar and spelling checker that is contextual is very important. This means that rather than just finding errors, the checker has the ability find and correct errors within the context of each sentence. While most spelling and grammar checkers will make a correction based on another word that is similarly spelled, there are now checkers that make corrections based on the context of the entire sentence. Misused words and unusual spelling errors can be found and corrected by this higher level of spelling and grammar correction.

Another feature that you will want to use as you strive for correct grammar and spelling is text to speech technology. For both grammar and spelling, this tool is absolutely amazing. The user can then hear the test that has been typed. This amazing feature allows sentences from reports, emails or other documents to be read out loud. Users can then hear their mistakes, see the suggested corrections and produce a document that is grammatically correct.

Some websites offer downloadable text to speech programs. Some of the better spelling and grammar checkers now use this feature in their software. As with anything else, you get what you pay for. A free online download is going to be limited in options. Some of the nicer, higher quality programs have unlimited amounts of text that can be used, along with a wide range of voices, speed of the reading and other important and helpful options such as fonts, colors and spacing.

Hiring a tutor or teacher is another way to improve your English grammar. Anyone who has a good understanding of English can help you learn the basics of grammar. Because English can be difficult to learn due to slang and inconsistencies in grammar, it can be most helpful to have someone work with you to explain things as you learn. Many people who are learning English try to do so independently, without the help of a tutor, but by having conversations with others who speak English. Conversation alone is not very a good way to learn correct grammar in any language.

Unfortunately, written language is not the same as spoken language, as people do not always use correct grammar when they speak. It can be easier to understand English if you have a teacher to help explain things. You will then be able to know how to not only write correctly, but also how to speak using English that is grammatically correct. If you are looking for a job or need a promotion, you are going to be more respected if you use correct English grammar.

As you can see, there are many ways to improve your grammar. Software, books and other educational material can all help you master English grammar. Also, talking and listening to people who also use correct grammar can help you learn the right way to say things. The influence of a good tutor, along with a high-quality grammar and spelling checker, can help boost your self esteem and get you on the path to using correct English grammar and spelling.


More Poles still speak Russian than English

More Poles still speak Russian than English - TheNews.pl :: News from Poland
While almost the whole of Europe speaks English as their second language, in Poland, the best known foreign language remains Russian, although mostly among the older generations.

According to a new Europe-wide survey by the EU’s Eurostat statistical service, English is the most widely studied foreign language at schools and universities all over Europe, followed by French, German, Spanish and Russian.

For historical reasons knowledge of Russian is concentrated mainly in the Eastern European countries, which were under the Soviet Union’s influence.

In Poland, though the younger generations demonstrate proficiency in English - 87 percent of Polish students learn English, older generations would still rather speak Russian.

In general, knowledge of foreign languages in Poland is low, with one-in-five people between 25 and 64 years old unable to understand a language other than Polish - twice the number in in Germany, for instance.

But Poles are still ahead of Hungarians and Bulgarians in being able to understand foreign languages, however.

English is the most commonly required language by employees in Poland, fids the survey by Eurostat. Over 7,000 job offers out of 17,000 advertised on a popular job seeking site required proficiency in English and only 183 in Russian.

“Polish employees usually demand English even if an employee does not need it to perform their duties. On the other hand, if an employee looks for a person who speaks Russian, it means that they really need someone who is fluent,” Elzbieta Flasinska from a job site Pracuj.pl told the Rzeczpospolita daily.

Though English is becoming the default second language in Poland, Russian is making a comeback, after a decline in the 1990s.

“More and more Poles are taking up Russian for business reasons. The Russian-speaking market is huge and Russians don’t often speak English so it’s a great opportunity for Poles,” says Galina Tutaj from Katiusha language school.


Speak English Clearly and Grammatically, and Boost your Success!

Speak English Clearly and Grammatically, and Boost your Success!

Of course you speak English – who doesn’t? But how well do you speak this international language? Are you clear, concise and grammatically correct? Do people talk about you and the things you say? And are they talking for the right reasons?

It used to be that just speaking English (at any level) was enough to open the doors of opportunity, but times are quickly changing. Most recent estimates place speakers of English as a fluent second language or additional foreign language at over one billion. It is no longer an advantage to speak English, but a requirement! Just speaking English isn’t so impressive anymore – unless you speak it really well.

Many talented and competent professionals who are doing their best to speak good English are left behind. Many don’t even realize why. How many times have you heard a colleague make the same mistake over and over again and never corrected him?

Perfecting the way you speak is challenging, but by applying these tips and tricks, you will ease communication, speed up your work flow and become a more effective business leader.

Speak Clearly
Since English is being used as a lingua franca by more and more non-native speakers, clarity should always be your first priority (whether English happens to be your native language or not). There are a number of things you can do to improve the clarity of your speech.

Slow down
We all speak too fast. It’s a terrible habit! And the faster we speak, the more mumbled our speech becomes.
Slowing down the pace of your speech is vital in situations where visual communication lacking, for example an international conference call. It is just as important however, while running a meeting or delivering a presentation. Make sure everyone can follow what you are saying at all times. Otherwise, what’s the point of saying it?

Colloquial speech is littered with signs of laziness. We drop word endings, run our words together and create sentences that never seem to end. Sometimes it is too easy to take this style of speech into the boardroom.

Be sure to enunciate your words. Put a special focus on word endings such as ‘ed’ and ‘s’ that act as grammatical markers. If you leave the ‘ed’ off of a past tense verb (Our profits increase last year instead of ‘increased’) it sounds as though you are making a very basic mistake in English. Your education, aptitude and credibility could be questioned.

Practice vowels & consonants
An additional challenge in English is that we have so many words that are identical except for the vowel. Take this string of words for example: mat, met, mitt, mutt, mate, might and moot. Do they all sound different when you say them? They should! Read the words in random order and have someone write down what they hear. Did they hear what you said? Create other lists of words like this to identify your problem sounds and practice, practice, practice!

Consonant sounds can be just as tricky. Be sure you differentiate between voiced and unvoiced sounds, for example, ‘d’ and ‘t.’ The words ‘said’ and ‘set’ should sound different. You should be using your voice to make the ‘d’ sound, whereas the ‘t’ sound only uses air. You can create word pairs similar to the vowels above to practice these sounds and others like ‘v’ and ‘f,’ ‘z’ and ‘s,’ ‘b’ and ‘p,’ and ‘g’ and ‘k.’

Speak grammatically
For most, grammar lessons are thankfully a thing of the distance past. Although lessons usually weren’t fun or interesting, there was a reason why we were drilled in English grammar. Have you ever thought about what your grammar says about you? Proper grammar signals a higher level of education, professionalism and, in many cases, success. Breaking grammar rules can signal a lack of attention to detail, laziness and can be a general irritant and distraction for those who do observe grammar rules.

Not to mention the miscommunication that can happen in written correspondence like email. Think how much time is wasted clarifying the meaning of mails where the structure is so mangled that the message is lost.
If you feel like you never really learned grammar properly or think you might be making mistakes, but don’t really understand why, seek out answers to your questions.

1. Ask a colleague whose language skills you admire to proof-read some of your written work. Ask them to be honest with you about your mistakes. If you’re making the mistakes in your writing, you can assume that you are making the same mistakes (and then some) in your speech.

2. Have a grammar reference on hand at all times – right next to your English dictionary. Local book stores have plenty of references in the language and linguistics sections.

3. Enroll in a refresher course in English. The right teacher can make the subject interesting and enlightening. And speaking better English is definitely worth the investment! Your colleagues and clients will thank you!


Speak Using Your American Accent With Confidence: Tips for the Native Chinese Speaker

Speak Using Your American Accent With Confidence: Tips for the Native Chinese Speaker
Top 6 strategies to speak with more confidence - For native Chinese speakers.
Many foreign students are very effective using written English, but struggle using the correct pronunciation verbally. Speaking American English more confidently is a goal of many. When you are a more confident speaker, this can result in optimizing personal and business communications with less confusion.

Native Chinese speakers are usually taught American English by Native Chinese teachers. There are many schools where the Chinese learn English. When many of these native Chinese speakers initially arrive to the United States to start their new life, they report great difficulty in understanding the American accent. There are a number of strategies that can help with the transition and help reduce anxiety and frustration.

1. First, you must realize that changing some of your old habits takes time. American English has a very smooth and fluid sound. You will want to practice speaking English for at least 30 minutes every day. Look for opportunities to practice, such as ordering your takeout food or when speaking on the telephone.

2. Find a local speech professional that specializes in American accent training to improve English accent. The speech professional will initially perform a speech analysis to identify which error patterns you are making that contribute to your accent.

3.Try to observe the mouth movements of those who speak English well and imitate them. Many students have reported that they watch the news nightly repeating the newscaster’s English pronunciation.

4. Keep a pocket Chinese to English pocket dictionary handy to look up words that you do not know well.

5. It’s important to read English aloud every day. You can use a newspaper or magazine. You can also record yourself reading short articles and have a friend who speaks good English for feedback.

6. You can barter language lessons with a friend. Find a person who speaks English very well and offer to teach the friend Mandarin lessons in exchange for English lessons. This way you will have a language partner who can help you learn American accent.

If you chose to hire a speech professional who specializes in American accent training, take the time to meet with the instructor to learn about the program. Make sure the program is flexible and can meet your goals. Try to arrange one class with the instructor to see if you are comfortable with the process before you make a large financial commitment.

By Tracey Ingram


How To Learn English Pronunciation

English proununciation can be difficult for international students.  Yet, it is very important to have clear pronunciation.  Perfection is not required, but clarity is.  After all, it doesn’t matter how great your grammar and vocabulary are if no one can understand you.
So, how can you improve your English pronunciation?
I recommend the following steps:

1. Identify A Very Specific Result That You Want

To improve, you must have a very clear goal.  General goals such as “I want to have better English pronunciation” have no power.  You need a much more specific goal.
For example, pick your favorite American actor or actress and decide to speak like them.  Your goal might be, “I will speak exactly like George Cloony”.    This goal is much more powerful because it is very specific.

2. Choose A Deadline

Goals are powerless without a timeline.  You must choose a specific date when you will accomplish your pronunciation goal.   Your goal, therefore, might be:  “I will speak exactly like George Cloony by June 4, 2009″.

3. Find A Lot of Compelling Reasons For Your Goal

As Anthony Robbins says, “if you can find enough ‘why’s', you will easily find the how’s”.  In other words, if you are very motivated, you will find a way to succeed.  Motivation (psychology) is more important than method.
It’s not enough to have a goal.  You must make that goal emotionally powerful.  You must have very powerful reasons..  a long list.  So, you need to brainstorm.  Imagine all of the incredibe benefits that will come to you as a result of having excellent pronunciation.   Find powerful emotional reasons.  Also, imagine all of the terrible results of failing.
Your list might include:
I’ll get a fantastic job and make a lot of money because my English speech is so clear!
I’ll meet beautiful American girls, have a lot of dates, and find an amazing girlfriend because my spoken English is so fantastic!
The important thing to do is to find the reasons that are powerful for you.  Exaggerate them.  Imagine the best possible consequences!

4. Take Massive Action

You have a very specific English pronunciation goal.  You have a deadline.  You have a long list of emotionally compelling reasons.
Now it’s time for action.   Create a massive action plan.  Here’s what I recommend:
Buy a few movies that have your favorite actor or actress.
Each day, watch one scene of the movie.  Play the scene a few times with subtitles…  and listen carefully to the actor’s intonation (the rise, fall, and rhythm of his/her speech).
Next, rewind and play just one sentence.  Pause and copy the actor’s speech.  Copy it EXACTLY.  Copy the rhythm.  Copy the volume.  Copy the pauses.  Copy the emotion.
Also, copy the actor’s gestures.  Move your body exactly like they do.  Copy their facial expressions exactly.  Copy their posture.  Remember, your goal is to look, act, and speak exactly like them.
Follow this system for 20-30 minutes every day.

5. Measure & Celebrate

After a few months of using this system, it’s time to measure yourself.   Play a scene from a movie with your actor in it.  Then pause it–   copy the actor’s speech AND record yourself.  Record yourself speaking the same scene.
Next, rewind your recording and play it.  Then rewind the movie scene and play it.  Listen to both and decide– how close are you to the actor?  What is different about your speech and theirs?  What are you doing well?
Use this measurement to adjust your focus….  then continue using the system everyday.
Finally, when your deadline comes and you succeed– be sure to celebrate!  Have a party!  Go crazy!  Fill yourself with happy, excited, grateful emotions.   This will increase your motivation and will help you continue to improve as you move to your next goal.
In my opinion, this is how to learn English pronunciation most effectively, most enjoyably, and most efficiently.

Article by AJ Hoge, creator of Effortless English LLC