Vocabulary and grammar are of key importance if you want to know a foreign language. You can learn words everywhere; exploring the Internet is one way to do it (using online dictionaries)...but to know a language one needs to know grammar, that is, to make sentences with these words. To know grammar you need to practice a lot and you can do this by typing words: English grammar exercises in the Google search engine. You'll find a lot of exercises and solutions to verify your knowledge. If you can find DVD movies with English audio system and subtitles in your mother tongue, it's great to watch them because you listen and read at the same time (this is a spontaneous, subconscious way of learning). Learning tips depend on the level of knowledge that you possess so you can ask a question on a specific language topic. I'll probably write a hub about your question!
I knew a guy from Chile. Spanish was his first language. As compared to most of those speaking Spanish that come from (unnamed for politically correct reasons) countries closer south to the U.S., he was eager to learn good English. He carried a pocket Spanish-English dictionary that he constantly referred to, and asked for pronunciation correction. At the time I met him, he already spoke English better than many "native" speakers.
Get a translator gadget. Use it. Ask for pronunciation correction.
I actually grew up in a country that English speakers are regarded as intellectuals, so maybe the pressure was a factor. However, you MUST really WANT to learn it. My best advice, from experience, is to seek for mentors... and listen. Then keep practicing.
"If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." - Isaac Newton
Oh, and add to your profile that English is your second language. Many people relate to this and may find it a charming touch to your writing!
I do agree with vox vocis – the wider your vocabulary, the better you are able to express yourself. Having a sound grammar knowledge helps a lot in writing. Reading is of tremendous help as well, so try to read more. As I am an English teacher, I will write about tips on how to learn English as a second language. Do feel free to follow me, as you might find my hubs helpful. Best wishes to you and happy English learning.
I'm an ESL teacher in the US. Gaining native-like fluency in a language really depends on how and how frequently you expose yourself to the language. The four modalities of language are listening, speaking, reading and writing. The internet can be a great tool for using all four modalities. Sites like youtube can cover listening. You can practice speaking on Skype. And there are plenty of things to read online and plenty of places to write. However when it comes to reading it is best to start with children's books because they have the simplest language and then slowly build your way up to adult level reading materials.
What helped me a lot when I was learning French was to listen to songs. When there was a song I liked I would listen to it a lot and look up the lyrics.
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What has been your experience teaching or learning English as a second language?
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