Hello everyone,

Where did/do you learn English? How did your career as a learner of English start? How do you improve your skills on a day-to-day basis? And, perhaps even more interestingly, do you prefer studying on your own or learning on the Internet together with others? What about learning a language in a traditional classroom? Those of you who have studied English as part of your primary/secondary eduation, what were your English-classes at school like?

Looking forward to your replies.
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IMO, self study is very important when you learn a language. putting yourself in an good environment will help a lot.
Hi Robinsun,

And welcome to EnglishForward.com! I totally agree with you when you say that self study is paramount if you want to become a proficient speaker of a second language. In other words, you need to change your daily habits if you're serious about improving your language skills.
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What do you mean by changing your daily habits?
What exactly do you mean by 'changing your daily habits'?
Hi Openmind,

Welcome to EnglishForward.com! Well, when I say that we must change our daily habits if we wish to acquire a second language successfully, I mean that we must make sure we read, listen, think, and speak as much as possible in the language we're learning. It simply isn't enough to just spend an hour or two in a classroom and do some homework for half an hour: what you need to do is to make sure you are immersed in your target-language.

So, how do you get immersed in a foreign language? I find it particularly useful to think in the language I'm learning. When I don't know a word I look it up in a dictionary. When I listen to the radio I listen to broadcasts in the target-language. When I watch TV or go to the cinema I make sure I'm going to hear the language I'm learning. This way you will improve your language skills without even noticing it. One could say that you start picking up the language automatically, precisely the same way you acquired your first language.

I'd also like to highlight that we all learn things in different ways. If you like singing in the shower, why don't do so in a new, exciting language?
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Sounds like a plan, Englishuser. However, how do you intend to learn the grammar rules of the target language with your approach?
Hi Openmind,

And thanks for asking a question that many people, including you and me, certainly find very important. The thing is I believe you'll pick up the grammar automatically when you're immersed in a language. You didn't swot any grammar rules when you learnt your first language, either. Still you had a fairly good grasp of grammar already as a five-year-old child. Why wouldn't the same be true in second language acquisition?

The only thing that really matters is how much time you spend reading, speaking, listening to, and thinking in the language you're learning. I believe that a Japanese speaker who interacts with native speakers of English 24 hours a day, without any chance to communicate their thoughts in Japanese, will pick up English relatively quickly. The Japanese speaker will also learn to build grammatical sentences quite soon. Cramming grammar books is often done as pedagogues in many countries believe this is the only way to learn a language. It is not. I don't think anyone will learn a language by just reading grammar books, particularly if they're written in your first language.

Let me know what you think.
EnglishuserThe only thing that really matters is how much time you spend reading, speaking, listening to, and thinking in the language you're learning.If you speak a lot in the target language you are bound to make mistakes because you don't know the correct structures. As for thinking in the target language, I doubt that you will be able to do that when you just start learning the language. And reading, you will read only as much as you understand. When there are too many unknown words in the text you are reading you get frustrated and stop reading. Also, you can read until the cows come out, if you don't know the correct pronunciation your reading won't get your anywhere, what's more, you will learn the wrong pronunciation of words.
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