Khotchaporn “Kate” Kitcharoen has been at EC New York since February 2018. After nearly twelve weeks of studying English, she leaves some helpful advice for students who are wishing to study the language.
When your purpose to come to NY is studying English, one thing you should keep in mind is “don’t be afraid f making mistakes because you are in an unfamiliar country.”
Learning English isn’t easy, but it isn’t hard to succeed. If you are a beginner, you should learn English in a sentence form. That is to say, you should listen a lot and try to copy sentences a native speaker says. The more you listen and imitate, the more fluently you will speak. Listening is the key to learning English. Before you can speak like, or almost like English native speakers, you will automatically learn how to pronounce and make intonation from listening. It is a natural way as you have acquired your mother tongue language. First you listen, next you speak, and after that, more complicated skills like reading and writing will come after.
For the first step, forget all the grammar rules. I’m not telling you that the English grammar is not important, but if you are worried about this too much while you are trying to speak, it will obstruct you from accomplishing your goal. Personally, I have a direct experience of these problems in speaking English. I’ve learned English as a second language since I was in grade one. However, I’ve studied the grammar rules a lot and hardly practiced speaking and listening. Wen I spoke with native speakers for the first time, I could not speak out because I was worried that I would speak incorrectly, not in grammatical patterns. No doubt! The conversation ended quickly and it made me so upset.
Another thing you should remember when you speak with foreigners is that you should not try to think in your own language and speak. It will consume your time and destroy the atmosphere. Just relax! The foreigner understands English is not your first language. They will slow their speaking down to keep the conversation going. You don’t have to know every single word. It’s impossible. Try to catch some words that you know and guess. Guessing is god help. It is like playing with a jigsaw puzzle. You relate all the words you know and try to interpret what the foreigners are saying.
To sum up, don’t be afraid of making mistakes when learning English. No one is perfect, even myself. Listening is the first crucial step for anyone who studies the language as a second language. Don’t try to translate every word you hear. Just interpret from the words that you know. The most important advice is that you must be self-confident. You must believe that you can make it. Leave your fear behind and get out of your comfort zone. English is fun and challenging. I do believe if you have confidence, you can succeed in everything, including learning English.
It’s time to conquer your fears and take ESL Courses at EC New York like Khoatchaporn!