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Tips For Excellent English #3

Have you ever wondered if there are different ways to learn English other than textbooks and in normal schools?

The third tip is the listening rule. And it’s probably the most important rule. It’s very simple and relaxing. It’s really the number one key to speaking well.

Many people, learn a language with their eyes, not with their ears. For example, we learn, with a textbook. So many people learn, they think, they’re reading, they’re learning, they’re thinking, they’re studying about grammar rules. And therefore they probably know more grammar rules than an American person would learn. When in fact a native American person probably doesn’t even pay attention to the tenses. They just naturally speak.

No native speaker of any language thinks about grammar rules while they’re speaking because there is no time. It’s impossible to remember a grammar book this big each time you want to speak.

So listening works, until it becomes just easy and automatic. And that’s what you want to do. That’s why this rule is so powerful. This is how babies learn. They learn to speak their language through listening. I also want to point out that a lot of times when learning a language in the traditional way, there is a focus put on speaking as well. And again, babies, they don’t start speaking until they’re two years old. They’re just listening. They’re taking it all in. I think we need to relax more because we get really stressful and nervous about, our speaking mistakes. But great speaking comes from great listening. Focus only on listening first. About speaking, you can speak if you want to, but don’t force it. Don’t get upset if you make mistakes. Your number one focus must be listening, for at least six months. More is okay.

So, there are two important things here to remember with the listening. The first one is how should you listen? You should make sure that it’s really simple English. Bare English. You want to be able to understand about 95%. There’s been a lot of research done on this to prove that if the input is too high, if it’s just too difficult…Then you’re not going to understand. You’re not going to take it in. You’re not going to learn fast so that’s another mistake people make. They try to listen to things that are much too difficult. They’re trying to listen to CNN and the BBC. And that’s just too difficult for a lot of people. If you understand 95%, perfect, it’s a good level for you. If you don’t understand that much, if it’s more difficult, find something easier. And it could even be a child’s movie, children’s books, children’s movies, audio books. Anything  easy is the most important thing. And the second thing to focus on is  just listen to as many things as you can in English. As much as possible, there’s no limits.

Thank you for reading Tip #3, stay tuned to read Tip # 4.

Gabriel R.

Gabriel (aka Gabe) was born and raised in Guadalajara, Jalisco. He holds a BS in Computer Engineering and credentials on Software Quality Control and Software Quality Assurance. When he is not working, he likes to read and watch American movies. He is a passionate English practitioner who spends time making a difference in people's lives teaching English as a second language.