- BLOG HOME
- All Post
Is English difficult?
The general perception is that it is, in fact, very difficult. Yet, it’s not such a hard language! Some aspects of it are puzzling such as its pronunciation or its many idioms. Nonetheless, there are little known aspects about the English language that make English easy, or at least easier than you think!
It is thus not very good to think that English is an easy or hard language to learn, as it can give you wrong expectations when you start to learn it. Really, it’s all about the method used to learn the language.
For most of us, English is but an unpleasant memory from school. When having to learn arid grammar rules (list of irregular verbs = nightmare) and exercises with useless phrases that don’t make any sense, we quickly lose interest. It’s not surprising that many of us have the impression that English is hard.
However, there are numerous people who have mastered Shakespeare’s language without having studied the language for years on end. How did they do it? Are they gifted with language? Not at all! Their learning experience was simply very different from the one we are acquainted with, which, unless proven otherwise, has helped very few people. And when we learn how these people approach this task, we can only feel incomprehension at the way school teaches languages. Let’s take a closer look…
It’s all about the method! Approaching it the correct way is the best tool we can have when learning something new—especially when learning a foreign language. People who find learning English easy follow a particular method. Well, there are plenty of methods, but we can draw essential principles from them:
Why do you want to learn English? Answering this simple question could be the keystone to learning English successfully. Is it just to have good grades? I hope not! It is of utmost importance to highlight what motivates you to start this task, and to never forget about this motivation. Maybe you want to travel, change career, live and work abroad or you cab find other ideas. Your reasons to learn should stay the focus point for learning, because it is thanks to them that you’ll want to carry on and improve in the language. This will also allow you to concentrate on the essential of what will be useful according to your reasons for learning. If you only want to be able to communicate during your trips, no need to waste time learning how to write!
Another problem with traditional learning methods is the importance given to writing, especially at the beginning. If we take the example of your mother tongue, did you really start by learning how to write? Did you start by asking grammar questions? Of course not! You simply started by listening, understanding and talking! To make learning English easy, how you set out learning it shouldn’t be much different. Especially as being able to speak and understand is much more useful when speaking to a native speaker than being able to read and correct a text on open innovation in SMEs… Whatever happens, it’s better to avoid this type of practice if you truly want to progress 🙂
This aspect is based on the knowledge of the human brain and its ability to remember by building habits. Indeed, it is difficult for us to concentrate on any given subject for more than twenty minutes in a row, never mind an hour… A language is acquired with the help of revisions, which is why it is more important to be regular than having long learning sessions. The memorization process is more sensitive to a piece of information that has been repeated over and over again. In short, it’s better doing a bit every day. You’ll be surprised to see the speed you can accumulate knowledge with this technique!
Still related to the logic of habits; nowadays, it is also possible to immerse yourself in the English language. Indeed, we can easily watch a film and TV series in their original version, or even watch TV shows in English. All this is available online for free. We can even follow our interests in English, if we wish, making what is useful become pleasant! Like post-match comments or gardening tutorials? Watch them in English! This way, it’s very easy to keep your motivation levels high to carry on learning. The best thing about this is that doing this helps us improve, and we do so without even realizing it! Done this way, immersions makes learning English easy.
One last point to make sure you have enough motivation is the personal engagement invested when learning English. We’ve already said that to make learning English fun, it must be meaningful to you. So, after having expressed the reasons why you wish to do it, it is also beneficial to have concrete milestones, along with a time frame to reach them. Of course, giving yourself the milestone of being able to hold a conversation with a native speaker within a month might not be feasible, and this would only frustrate you. Nevertheless, you could easily commit to understanding a conversation in English within this time frame, or to read a book in a month. A clear and precise goal will show you the steps to take.
We can also enjoy passive learning by submerging ourselves in the English language. Movies and series in their original version are ideal for this, as there are no different from the activities we already enjoy doing. Watching films in their original version will allow you to learn without making you loose your patience or go out of your comfort zone. It helps improve oral comprehension and even reinforces vocabulary you wouldn’t be able to learn unless you were in an English-speaking country.
As already seen, speaking is a crucial aspect of language learning, something which is not included in many traditional learning methods. Additionally, not all of us have the money to invest in English lessons or the opportunity to meet native English speakers. That’s even more true if you live far from a big town/city. The internet brings people closer! It is now possible to join communities of learners and to find native English speakers eager to learn French or other languages (see the video below to see why communicating with native speakers is preferable). This can relieve you from anxiety if you find it stressing to speak in English, as your language partner will be understanding and will help you to progress simply because they’re in the very same boat! What a way to make learning English easy, right?
This is just a simple overview of existing resources on how to learn English. There are many more available that are used by people all over the world. Learning English has never been so easy and accessible to all. Forget about old, ineffective methods! Develop your own fast and entertaining methods, and finally see improvement. You just need to start. Make learning English easy for you!
Mary Jane Go has been teaching English for over 13 years. She believes that it is very important to learn English and learn it by heart. For her, it's always the right time for a dance party and that hanging out with friends is indispensable.