Do you need a "perfect" English Accent?

Students who want to learn English often aspire to eventually having a "perfect" English accent rather than an accent from their first language. They believe that their English learning journey will not be finished until they sound like a native speaker.

It is understandable that a lot of people have this attitude, and there is nothing wrong with wanting to perfect a skill. As a matter of fact, I am always very impressed when I meet someone whose English is at such a high level that I mistook them for being English at the start of our conversation. I always reflect on what an incredible achievement this is.

Don’t make these mistakes when you are learning to read in English.

The best way to improve your reading skills is to practise. You can do this on your own, and it would probably be helpful to join an English language school. English Language schools understand that reading is a very important part of learning English more generally. Improving your reading skills will actually help you improve your writing, your listening and even your speaking skills. It will also help you learn new vocabulary and develop a better feel for how sentences are constructed and the different ways English can be used.

This is why English schools in the UK will help and support you, and give you advice and even recommend books for you to read. Also, reading is an important part of any English exam you might need to pass to get a qualification in English, for example Cambridge IELTS, FCE or CAE.

Learn English in the UK – what to expect

There are different approaches to teaching English around the world. In some countries, especially for younger pupils in school, English lessons are a relatively quiet experience, with a teacher at the front of the class explaining what words mean, and how they are used in sentences, and grammatical rules. The learners quietly take notes because there will be a test soon to check they were listening and have “learnt” the new English.

In the UK this teacher centred approach would be generally regarded as an old fashioned way of teaching English. If you book an English language course, including Cambridge examination courses such as The First Certificate Examination or Cambridge IELTS, at a language school in the UK, DO NOT expect to be taught in the way described above.

Is socialising and practising English important?

[html format="ckeditor" different_values="0"]

Is socialising and practising English important?

Yes, in fact it is necessary! Learning a language is not the same as learning something more factual like for example, history. When you learn history, you add information to your knowledge. To be very good at history, you simply need to know a lot about history.

So what is the difference between history and English (or any language)? To be good at a language, you have to know a lot about it and use it well! If you want to be good at English, you need to learn how to use it. What is the best way to learn how to use it? Practise! Practise! Practise!

It is also important to understand that using and practising English will help you remember your knowledge too.

Is learning English a good idea?

[html format="ckeditor" different_values="0"]

Is learning English a good idea?

Yes of course it is!

It is good for your brain!

It improves your memory because it exercises the memory part of your brain when you learn new vocabulary and new grammar rules. It also enables you to think in a different way about the world because different languages express the world differently. Through learning a new language you can see the world through slightly different eyes.

Also, it is supposed to be very good for keeping your brain functioning like a young brain even if it is a bit old!

It is fun!

Learning English is a developmental process

[html format="ckeditor" different_values="0"]

How to learn English fast.

A lot of low level English learners think that the fastest way to improve is to study in a high level class. They think that they will be learning a higher level of English and will therefore become high level. This is a BIG mistake!

We learn a second language in the same way we learn our first language. Think of how babies develop their language – one stage at a time. They can’t just miss out part of the development and get to the end. No. Learning any language, including English, is a developmental process. If you want to learn fast you have to study at your appropriate level. If you are a low level student, you need to be in a low level class. This class is designed to help YOU develop your English as quickly as possible! It’s obvious if you think about it

Coping with exam stress

[html format="ckeditor" different_values="0"]

Are you preparing for a specific exam? Perhaps you will soon be taking the Cambridge First Certificate (FCE) the Cambridge Advanced (CAE) or maybe the IELTS (International English Language Testing System).

How are you feeling about it? Different people feel differently about exams. Believe it or not, some people actually enjoy them! However, the majority of people get quite nervous about their exams, and if you are feeling terrified, you are not alone!

If, during your exam preparation course, anxiety motivates you to study hard, do your homework, arrive at your lesson on time, go to sleep early, eat healthily and really try hard to improve your level of English and also your exam skills, then that is a good thing!