Any good ways to improve your English ?
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20-10-2011, 10:05 PM
Any good ways to improve your English ?
My English isn't really good. I got a C in my English 10-1. I have really bad grammar. However I'm doing really good at my other core subjects. 80%+ in Science IB, 92% in Math IB, 97% in Social 10-1.
*note:I put 80%+ on Science IB because I don't know my marks in it.

I'm guessing my English got destroy because of the internet because many people don't use proper grammar. Also my hobby of watching Anime with English subs, mixing up my English grammar a bit with Japanese grammar. The major reason my English isn't good, is probably I don't read books at all. A Multitude of reasons C:

I'm guessing the #1 advice is to read more, which I don't really find fun. No offence to readers. Any good advice beside reading ? Or is reading the only way ?

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21-10-2011, 12:05 AM
RE: Any good ways to improve your English ?
video games may work, an rpg (role playing game) will have tons of reading and be fun at the same time.
also you could try a google search for english vocabulary and grammar games.
listening to people speak english is also helpful, maybe search for some podcasts on subjects you enjoy.

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21-10-2011, 06:18 AM
RE: Any good ways to improve your English ?
Reading is the only way.
Find a subject you enjoy, get a good book on it from the library, read each chapter with attention, then write a one-paragraph synopsis.
Submit paragraphs here for review.

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21-10-2011, 10:22 AM
RE: Any good ways to improve your English ?
(20-10-2011 10:05 PM)Laxion Wrote:  My English isn't really good. I got a C in my English 10-1. I have really bad grammar. However I'm doing really good at my other core subjects. 80%+ in Science IB, 92% in Math IB, 97% in Social 10-1.
*note:I put 80%+ on Science IB because I don't know my marks in it.

I'm guessing my English got destroy because of the internet because many people don't use proper grammar. Also my hobby of watching Anime with English subs, mixing up my English grammar a bit with Japanese grammar. The major reason my English isn't good, is probably I don't read books at all. A Multitude of reasons C:

I'm guessing the #1 advice is to read more, which I don't really find fun. No offence to readers. Any good advice beside reading ? Or is reading the only way ?

I see a couple of mistakes in your post, but for the most part...your English sounds really fluid!! If you speak without much hesitation, I'd say you've got it down.

Don't worry about reading (aside from getting general information and what's required of you in class, of course). How did you acquire your first language? With a book? No. You learned it from hearing people talk around you. Immersion and repetition. Reading and writing is easier than speaking and listening, and is useful for school and academia where you do written homework and tests. But if you really want to be fluent, immerse yourself as much as possible in listening and speaking. It's harder, but it's a better use of your time. The only useful reading you can do on your own, for the purpose of acquiring language, is of the newspapers. The language of the newspapers is different than from books and movies. It really requires you to read analytically...not just because of the content, but how the content is presented. It can really throw you off sometimes. It's a good exercise.

Russian is my second language, and I have to say...the BEST way to get better, if you can't actually spend some time in an English speaking country, is to watch movies and TV and like dredmal said, listen to podcasts and music. No seriously, because language isn't just about the grammar and vocabulary. It's wholly dependant on and evolves around culture. If you aren't familiar with the cultural context of the language, you won't ever be fluent. Take humor, for instance. Humor in another language is one of the hardest things to grasp, yet it is one of the most common ways that people connect and relate to each other. Movies and TV can help you with that. Spending time in an English speaking country is always preferrable to anything else, but consuming media is a completely valid way to learn!

My Russian professor recommended this to me early on in my university years. So, I found some movies that I enjoyed and watched them over and over again and eventually, common words and phrases and grammar useages started to seep in and recalling them became easy. Having seen these movies and knowing them so well became useful later when I was actually in Russia as I had a way to relate to the people around me. Now, I'm not saying that learning English in the classroom is not useful. It absolutely is!! Just expand your horizons and immerse yourself in the culture of English.

Plus...you want to have fun with this. If you don't enjoy reading, read what you need to for school, read as research on the internet, and seek out the rest and have fun! Let us know how this goes for you. Smile

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21-10-2011, 10:33 AM
RE: Any good ways to improve your English ?
Quote:Any good ways to improve your English ?

Shit, no.
Tongue

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21-10-2011, 11:51 AM
RE: Any good ways to improve your English ?
Seriously though...
Yes, I would suggest reading, and because your English is already fine, I suggest you pick something that may contain a vocabulary you consider a bit beyond your current reach. To further strengthen your abilities, I also suggest writing. Writing will cause your mind to actually search for words to use.
This way you strengthen while building skills; it's just like any sport -in order to become a better player, you have to play someone better than yourself. Continued improvement is the key.
For the previous reason, I have to suggest "the classics"... continued improvement is kind of the reason we all were "forced" to read them. They will strengthen while building skills and their stories and concepts will add further dimension... and who knows... you might find reading to start being ... kinda fun. (your secret will be safe with usWink)
I'd say go to the library, but ... those are for 'readers'. And I say this with all seriousness - I think everyone should actually purchase a first book to better appreciate the very act of reading it. Sounds pretty silly, but I coaxed a friend to start reading one of my books and only my taking it away, prompted him to finally purchase a copy and finish reading it. He's been a 'reader' ever since. He doesn't read a lot, but he's found he enjoys it.
Hmm... a person who enjoys reading is a 'reader'. Is a person who enjoys sex a 'sexer'? Big Grin
Sorry. That might be a whole other thread. Wink
Dodgy
Anyway, pick up an inexpensive copy of Harper Lee's, To Kill A Mockingbird. It's not very long -a quick read- and it should start you off fine. It's language is very accessible and the subjects covered are actually very relevant. If you have problems understanding something, I'm sure almost anyone will be happy to help you. Submitting your problems by writing notes to yourself or anyone else, will also further your understanding of the story and strengthen your vocabulary.

Heart Best of luck and be sure to update us on your improvement.

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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21-10-2011, 03:45 PM
RE: Any good ways to improve your English ?
If English is your first language and you want to improve yourself in communication, grammar, vocabulary then I would take Peterkin's advise, and kim as well.

If English is your second language, then it depends on what you want to improve. If it's just conversational English then of course, converse. Speaking English can improve your basic communication but people speak English in very different ways so it will always be simple, even confusing or just wrong. If it's grammar, communication, writing skills or advancing your knowledge of the English language, then it's reading, writing and conversation.

Take Peterkin 101.

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21-10-2011, 05:23 PM
RE: Any good ways to improve your English ?
(21-10-2011 11:51 AM)kim Wrote:  Seriously though...
Yes, I would suggest reading, and because your English is already fine, I suggest you pick something that may contain a vocabulary you consider a bit beyond your current reach. To further strengthen your abilities, I also suggest writing. Writing will cause your mind to actually search for words to use.
This way you strengthen while building skills; it's just like any sport -in order to become a better player, you have to play someone better than yourself. Continued improvement is the key.
For the previous reason, I have to suggest "the classics"... continued improvement is kind of the reason we all were "forced" to read them. They will strengthen while building skills and their stories and concepts will add further dimension... and who knows... you might find reading to start being ... kinda fun. (your secret will be safe with usWink)
I'd say go to the library, but ... those are for 'readers'. And I say this with all seriousness - I think everyone should actually purchase a first book to better appreciate the very act of reading it. Sounds pretty silly, but I coaxed a friend to start reading one of my books and only my taking it away, prompted him to finally purchase a copy and finish reading it. He's been a 'reader' ever since. He doesn't read a lot, but he's found he enjoys it.
Hmm... a person who enjoys reading is a 'reader'. Is a person who enjoys sex a 'sexer'? Big Grin
Sorry. That might be a whole other thread. Wink
Dodgy
Anyway, pick up an inexpensive copy of Harper Lee's, To Kill A Mockingbird. It's not very long -a quick read- and it should start you off fine. It's language is very accessible and the subjects covered are actually very relevant. If you have problems understanding something, I'm sure almost anyone will be happy to help you. Submitting your problems by writing notes to yourself or anyone else, will also further your understanding of the story and strengthen your vocabulary.

Heart Best of luck and be sure to update us on your improvement.

I don't mean to sound like a know-it-all jerk, and I'm certainly not trying to be one, language and linguistics are kind of a thing for me... Blush Reading and writing doesn't work for everyone seeking second language acquisition and reading and writing aren't the the only components of a language. Obviously, right? LOL Sorry.

Anyway, there are several methods adults can use to learn, and from the sounds of it, the OP may have a better time with auditory learning. I know that for myself, second language acquisition had to be a mix of both auditory and visual, but I seemed to learn the most from auditory. Reading a grammar book was about as useful to me as reading a brick wall. And in every class and institute I attended, emphasis was never on vocabulary lists and memorization. We were encouraged to take what we learned in class and interact with others, to make mistakes and be corrected as the language was being used. Watching movies was a good way to just hear the language being used, and to pick up words and grammar useage that way. It seems ridiculous, but it's really helpful if you have a hard time gleaning info from books.

I think your suggestion, however, is sound for the OP specifically because he/she sounds competent enough to actually read and comprehend some more advanced literature.

As far as language acqusition, though? The best things to pick up from books are definately grammar rules. I know that I still use that damn Russian case and gender matrix when I get stuck on something. But the OP should absolutely open up his/her world by consuming media for as long as it's helpful. How else can you learn fluency if you don't hear the language being used? Again...that is probably just my own personal bias. Wink

Sorry if I've stepped on any toes.

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21-10-2011, 05:32 PM
RE: Any good ways to improve your English ?
(21-10-2011 05:23 PM)zaika Wrote:  Sorry if I've stepped on any toes.

My toes are fine! Hope your toes are OK too! Big Grin

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21-10-2011, 05:55 PM
RE: Any good ways to improve your English ?
(21-10-2011 05:32 PM)defacto7 Wrote:  
(21-10-2011 05:23 PM)zaika Wrote:  Sorry if I've stepped on any toes.

My toes are fine! Hope your toes are OK too! Big Grin

LOL

My toes are quite fine as well. It's just that sometimes I get passionate about something, write my thoughts out furiously, and then hit "send" or "post" without making sure that I was clear.

Ah well... Smile

We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and the depth of our answers.

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