Learn and Enrich Your English
English is the richest language of the world. Its richness may astonish you. You will be surprised to know that Urdu words like ‘kebab, Samosa, coolie, cummerbund, cushy, and sari are a permanent part of English. These words are frequently used by English Speaking people, especially in UK.
Many of you may nurture dreams of studying abroad and/or working abroad like USA, UK, and Canada. Several among you would be looking forward to go to other English Speaking countries. Other still would just like to improve their English for better reading and writing. You all may find the following guidelines useful.
Before You Begin
Consider how a child learns the language of his parents. With no reading and writing skills to speak of, the young mind grasp onto a new word and observes its usage. The child makes a few mistakes while trying to use his new found word but get it right after a few tries and a little guidance. Always keep in mind that learning a foreign language is not easy, and that there is no shortcut to learning. It is a slow process, and results take time to show up.
Listening. Watch English movies. It may sound a little unreligious, but it works. Listening to English songs helps as well. Take active interest in documentaries. You may not understand whole or part of movie or song at first. No matter. The more you listen, the more you understand. Watch and hear a little at a time. Also start listening to radio on daily basis. Pick any English news channel that you approve. BBC is very good. Go for BBC live programs. Listening to real broadcasts will expose you to a variety of accents and dialects.
Speaking. To be a poet, one should let his tongue loose. Likewise, to be an English speaking person, let loose your tongue and speak any thing. Don’t think; Just say the words. Make a 5 minute presentation on a subject of your interest and speak away. Stand in front of mirror, and speak to your self. Don’t worry if you make mistakes. Mistakes are an important means to progress. Memorize various simple English expressions. Practice them while speaking. A time will come Insha Allah, when you will be automatically using expressions in your language.
Reading. Reading is the best way to increase a person’s grasp on any language. Read any thing and every thing, such as books, magazines, journals, bills, records, brochures, etc. When you come across new words, guess their meanings before looking them in the dictionary. Practice reading quickly and aloud. Make a habit of reading English newspapers. Read newspaper columns. Some columnists write very simply. Read editorials on daily basis. Make use of the libraries around.
Read frequently, even if it is only for a short time. Twenty or thirty minutes four or more times a week is generally better than reading for several hours once a week. Please remember, you are learning!! You are not expected to understand everything you read.
Writing. Write an essay daily. Check it on your own. Award your self lavishly if you seem to be improving. Keep a diary of your writings. Write on any movie you have seen, any place you have visited or any restaurant you have eaten at. Describe what you liked (or disliked) in them.
Vocabulary. While you listen, speak read and write; note down difficult words and get to know their meanings. Maintain a diary for all your definitions do crossword puzzled and other word games. Set yourself targets by learning 10 words in a week.
Grammar. You should be aware of basic sentence structures. Try to identify noun, adjectives, and adverbs in a sentence. Knowing parts of word like prefix, roots, and suffix helps in grasping the real meanings of expression.
When you have begun!
Always be alert for good words and terms. These words can be found everywhere; in conversations, television programs, newspapers, magazines, textbooks, etc. Try writing the word or term down somewhere before you forget. Look up for its meaning or definition in dictionary. See in what other ways that words or term may be used. Most importantly, start using that word or term in your everyday chit chat.
As pointed above, keep a notebook and a pen handy. It’s a very easy way to remember everything, from new words to telephone numbers to appointments. By the end of the day, go over the stuff you wrote down.
You will want to keep a lot of them, while deleting those you deem irrelevant or for whom you can rely on memory.
Remember, you will have to use a new word and approximate ten times before you can make it your own. Learning is a slow process, but it pays in the long run. Don’t lose heart if you think your progress is slow.
It is agreed that a person has not wasted a day if he has learnt one new thing in it.
Lastly. You should neither read only for entertainment nor only for information. That will only keep you to one subject area. You should also read for intellectual growth, for mental stimulation, for enrichment of your knowledge, for increased wisdom, and for broader outlook and a mature understanding.
Read books in field you have little or no acquaintance with. If you are computer science student, grab books on philosophy, marketing and management. These books will open for you new horizons of learning. Always read books to explore new areas of knowledge and experience. Remember: books will make the world and people more understandable to you.