Is it possible to learn English by myself?
Every student trying to learn English as a second language (ESL) has given this question quite some thought. Most of them must have browsed Google results endlessly as well as sifted through Quora answer forums. We are not sure how helpful this exercise must have been, definitely provided most of you with some direction, but not a single answer in itself can answer this query.
Firstly, there can be no straight answer. If you were to ask us, we can simply say that its not impossible provided we are to consider a few factors, we shall get to those shortly. As a leading online English speaking course in India, we have encountered several individuals who at some point have experience this dilemma. During their first free demo lesson discussion, our online English tutors frequently encounter queries like- “I know English basics but am not fluent” or “I am simply looking for speaking confidently, can you help me?” etc.
Online spoken English classes usually are able to address these requirements for most students. But can you really learn English simply through coaching? Or through self study assignments? The truth is, as individuals when we learn any new language or a second language- there are few language concepts that you can learn on your own while for others, an English teacher is mandatory!
So let’s dissect English language in terms of self-learning assignments and topics that are best learnt under the guidance of an English teacher.
English language concepts that you can learn on your own
How do we speak our mother tongue? Our learning begins from an early stage, right when we are babies. There is no active effort on our parts, our parents and elders encourage us to simply imbibe through exposure and practice.
We stuttered, stammered and practiced enunciations a thousand times to mimic how our elders pronounced words. If you give it a thought, even your vocabulary is all the words that you heard being spoken to you, around you. These are all the non-verbal cues that guided us towards gaining fluency in our mother tongue. Such non verbal cues can help us learn several languages and not only English. Let us now learn the three primary English language concepts that you can learn on your own.
English listening skills- It may seem surprising but being a good listener is the first step towards learning any language. By listening carefully, you are able to observe several accents, word pronunciations, facial expressions and body-language. These observations have a profound impact of how you communicate with others, express yourself and learn through simply how others conduct themselves. Here are a few practical ways that you can improve your listening skills
- 1. Surround yourself with native English speakers
- 2. Watch English movies, songs and other literature
- 3. Converse with virtual assistants like Alexa, Siri or simply Google assistant
- 4. Use Youtube free resources for learning word pronunciations
English vocabulary learning- Vocabulary is the foundation of any language. Alphabets become words, words form sentences or phrases- the building blocks of communication. Even if you seek professional lessons for learning English, building your vocabulary is practically 100% self-learning. Those who invest in learning vocabulary go on to become advanced English speakers and writers, proficient in expressing themselves and their ideas clearly, confidently. Hence vocabulary exercises should not be taken lightly, rather as a learner this should be your No. 1 priority. There are two primary ways that you can learn English vocabulary by yourself
PS- Own a dictionary (there are several online ones available too) or try learning say 5 words a day through flashcards.
You can read further on ways to practice few of the above tips on our blog article here.
English language concepts that require professional training
Certain English language concepts simply cannot be learnt on your own. These require consistent practice. And professional coaching helps in these cases since you save immensely in terms of time, learn form your mistakes and learn basics- fundamental for knowing a language through its roots!
As a learner, you may know the words but not the correct pronunciations. You may know the meaning of a phrase but may struggle at sentence building. Not only this, you may know all the basics in theory but struggle to speak confidently aloud. These are all areas where you will need consistent practice under guided supervision, preferably form experts.
Two areas where the more your practice, the better you are in terms of spoken and written English proficiency.
English grammar concepts and application- Even those who are considered advanced English students struggle to some extent with English grammar. English grammar is no doubt tough for most of us and hence only a certified English teacher can help us navigate through its tricky terrain. You may learn and practice through free online resources but may not know your mistakes or areas of improvement.
Spoken English fluency- This is a pain point for 90% of students trying to learn English as a second language (ESL). The biggest barrier to fluency is the ability to speak confidently with clarity of thought. Learners are embarrassed about how they will sound, if they are enunciating correctly etc. All of this needs consistent practice, guided spoken English conversational training with an English tutor.
Hope this clear segregation of assignments guides you towards your English learning journey. If you are looking to enroll to an online English speaking course, try a free demo lesson with us today!