Hey there non-native speakers,

There are hundreds of posts in this forum from people asking how to improve their English, what grammar books to read, how to understand American/British accent etc...

I have also been reading posts from non-native English speakers who are fluent in English .

So, why dont you tell us your experiences, how did you start learning this language, when did you start learning it, and what tips and tricks made you fluent in English?

Savvy
Hiya... Me again... Let me be less controversial this time Emotion: big smile...

Over the past two years, I've improved my english mostly watching DVDs. I'm not a big fan of TV and I usually feel bad about lounging around watching it. But when it comes to DVDs then hey why not take pleasure in both entertaining ourselves and gaining in vocabulary, idioms as well as listening comprehension !

Of course I go for the english speaking version and I usually put on the english subtitles rather than the subtitling in my mother tongue.

Even better than films are english or american series : the show usually lasts less than an hour so enough to relax after work but still plenty of time after to dive into your dictionary in search for new words you don't quite understand...
My favorites so far have been MASH and Ally McBeal and I hope I can manage to buy The Sopranos at a fairly decent price soon.
Anybody has good UK series to suggest here ? I know about the classics like The Prisoners or The Persuaders but what about more recent ones ?

Now I can't help but saying that most of the american or english series I know are far more original than the french series I see on TV... Some french programmes are quite well crafted ; but even though the quality is there I feel they lack the inspiration the creativity and even the subversivness of american series for instance... Don't you think ?
Hey French hater,

I used to be regular in watching NASH too, but that's quite long ago. I stopped watching television when studies took over and then the Internet came up. I think Internet churns those brain cells rather than television which is for couch potatoes.

I used to watch one British comedy called mother makes five but that's quite old. There was another one where an English professor teaches about 20 students, each from a different country, it was hilarious!Each student would depict and imitate the customs and ways of their country, a bit far-fetched but really puts you into splits ( I dont remember the name of the comedy now).

Among American comedies, I loved Picket Fences and'' Sledge hammer''. They were serials actually, but really comic. I dont know if they air them in France, they don't anymore in India though.

you're right about serials in France ( in Europe generally), you tend to get a hangover after watching them for some time.

I believe movies,serials and documentaries are the biggest boons in cultivating a foreign language. Of course it also helps if the society around you speaks in English, which was in my case.

Savvy
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Hey guys,

Watching TV shows like "Law and Order" helps me with common idiomatic expressions.

Reading helps me think and write.

And after years of learning English, I've come to the conclusion that learning a language isn't that much different from learning things like, say, tennis or gymnastics. You start off with the basics, learn the individual parts, and piece them together through constant practice. And occasionally you lose a skill or two, and you have to "reconstruct" your basics or work on a few things and put them together again.

Gymnasts will probably have to learn all the basics of a routine, then put it together through routine runthroughs. Occasionally they run into problems with a particular skill, and they will have to reconstruct that part from scratch or relearn the skill.
I started learning English in the 1st grade when i was 7. I liked English a lot and now i'm fond of studying it. I'm learning Enhlish with the help of books because they are very useful (!) and my computer helps me in that process too because lots of programs are in English, especially in Russia. I meet this language every day & i think it's very good, perhaps my mother decided to learn the English language some weeks ago, i think she'll become a master in this international language 8)
I have learned English in school for a long time, but it did not work too much on me. English is only a subject for me. I had to pass many English exams. Till I came to a English speaking country, I found my English is very poor. The effective way to improve listening is to watch TV and news. It really works.
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