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How to learn English

In this article, we will try to find out why people need online tutorial services like EnglishMania.

It's quite common to hear that the Internet offers a lot of great free resources where people can learn English by themselves without any help from professional teachers. Before we agree or disagree with this statement, let's try to figure out what's involved in the process of learning not only English, but any language in general.

Regardless of the environment and chosen method, with a few variations the most common process consists of the following stages:

- Learning the alphabet.
- Acquisition of the basic vocabulary.

- Learning the basic grammar.
- Expanding the vocabulary.
- Developing the ability to construct and understand simple sentences (verbal and written).

- Continuous improvement of the grammar.
- Continuous vocabulary expansion.
- Improvement of written language skills.
- Developing the ability to speak and understand conversations.
- Developing the ability to think in foreign language instead of translating.

- Polishing and mastering of verbal and written skills.

As a side note to this information, some people think that the grammar factor is not that important and this aspect of learning can be neglected. We would like to disagree as this element is one of the key elements in the learning process of any language. However, while learning the conversational language, we sometimes don't even realize that at the same time we do improve our grammar skills as well.

Let's get back to the stages of learning. For motivated people, the traditional school program in many countries should be capable in dealing with the tasks of the first and the second stages of the learning process mentioned above. The experience shows that with some exception, MOTIVATED people are also quite capable in achieving all STAGE 1 and STAGE 2 goals on their own by doing self-study. There are so many good resources, educational materials, games, and movies available on the Internet to help with this.

The retention of motivation and continuous control would be the very important factors here. Unfortunately, due to human's nature many of us are unable to remain motivated for a long period of time. We all have experienced that feeling when we are so lazy to go to the gym, or work hard in the office, or when we try to postpone university/school project, and due to this feeling it has been postponed several times already. And many of us stop halfway not reaching the final goal...

Finding the right motivation (a potential job/promotion, business trip or vacation journey, moving to another country, studying abroad) is essential in keeping up the interest and driving the progress. The implementation of proper control is necessary to measure improvements. After all, learning without any progress does not make any sense.

How about STAGE 3 and STAGE 4? During these stages, it is also possible to achieve some progress on your own. But to get the best results, it is necessary to expose the person into an interactive environment where that person would not only listen but provide a constant situational feedback. This is the only way to truly move to STAGE 3 instead of remaining at the STAGE 2 for a long indefinite period of time.

The good examples of such interactive environments can be a job in a foreign company, living abroad or chatting with foreign friends, when it’s required not only to understand other people, but making them understand you by communicating in their language and expressing your thoughts and ideas. However, what if not everyone has this opportunity? What if your current English level is not enough to get a job in a foreign company or to move abroad?

In this case before you step into one of the mentioned interactive environments, you can try a less decision critical transitional option which can prepare a person to comfortably work and live in a foreign community. We of course, are talking about courses with professional foreign teachers. And it is really important to have your classes with a foreign teacher! This allows you to achieve the following main objectives of the STAGE 3:

- To overcome the "language barrier" and the fear of being misunderstood.
- To get rid of an accent specific to your native language.
- To develop the ability to understanding a native foreign speech.
- To learn how to think in a foreign language.

Unfortunately, due to lack of live communication, many people learning foreign languages are not able to fully accomplish these objectives which are so essential for learning a foreign language. That's why at some point, it's quite important to start utilizing one of the mentioned interactive environments. Indeed, this helps to form a solid basis for Stage 4, the main objective of which are usually accomplished by permanent living abroad or by getting a serious education in a foreign country.

Having said this, the simplest and the most logical option would be to take online or offline classes with foreign teachers.

Which option is better - online or offline? Both methods have their advantages and disadvantages. In our next article we will try to take a closer look at them!

Stay tuned!