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Anonymous asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 3 years ago

What did help you to improve your English?

I'm Italian and I want to improve my English. During the day I watch some videos in English but probably it's not enough. So, what can I do then? I tried to read books written by English/American authors but I had to check the dictionary all the time..

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  • 3 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    This is what you can do in order to improve your language skills (especially if English is not your native language):

    Actually, broadening/improving one's language skills is a very broad concept, it should be done in more than one ways at the same time which is highly recommended. One can NOT become better ONLY in one area, say, speaking, one MUST improve skills in ALL dimensions of the language!

    Learning language well requires being as active as possible and making the learning as FUN for oneself as possible. Taking lessons is always important, but equally important are these:

    1) Listen/watch: Keep listening to internet radio stations like BBC, watch TV shows in English (use only subtitles, NOT voice dubbing in case you are not a native English speaker!), etc. This is also where you can learn proper pronunciation.

    2) Write/communicate: Try to find discussion forums from the web about things that you find interesting and FUN (music/various artists, hobbies, etc.) and start communicating there with other people using only English. Start using instant messaging systems in case you find some new friends or start emailing them, or use Skype. Please do NOT be afraid of making mistakes or hesitating, because even native speakers do make mistakes and do hesitate at times! The more you enjoy communicating, the better!

    3) Buy yourself a proper dictionary, and each time when you see a strange word that you do not understand, look it up. Putting words into their CONTEXT is one of the best ways to broaden one's vocabulary and grammar knowledge, the more you read and write the better. Memorising is NOT the best way to go with learning vocabulary, grammar or any other language areas! For idioms, you should buy an all-English dictionary which explains the words in English and shows you examples of how to use the words in their REAL context.

    The main point in ANY language learning is to make it as fun as possible for yourself. Try to find topics that INTEREST you, read online newspapers (Times, Guardian, Independent...), listen to BBC/NBC and other radio stations online, if you find a discussion forum for e.g. your favourite hobby or your idols in music do participate there, etc. The key word here is CONTEXT, which means that it is easier to learn new words and their usage as well as grammar when you use/see them in their real CONTEXT. The more you see and hear the new words in their context and the more you use them in your speech & writing, the easier it becomes to remember their meanings and correct spelling. Do NOT be afraid of making mistakes though, because even native speakers do make mistakes and do hesitate at times!

    I'm sorry there is NO EASY WAY out with this, one really must develop language skills in ALL these language "levels" or dimensions in order to reach better language skills!!

    Last but not least: NEVER EVER use ANY online translators, they are nothing but utter rubbish!! English is practically EVERYWHERE in the online world these days, you just have to use your imagination to find it! Learning pace is always personal, it takes the time it takes so there is no reason to hurry it up too much. If you do, you will not learn so well. Also, please learn the basics of the standard English first before advancing to finer details like dialects/accents. A word of warning though: Do stay well away from overrated, overpriced and overhyped language "gimmicks" such as Rosetta Stone, they really are NOT worth for checking out! Also, never mind about your accent, as the main goal for you is that others understand you and you being able to understand other speakers.

    For reading, just pick anything that interests you, short stories, novels, factual books, newspapers, scientific journals... Choose anything that interests you depending on your language skills so that you won't lose motivation.

    Best of luck!

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  • Sarah
    Lv 5
    3 years ago

    this is what you can do in order to improve your language skills (especially if english is not your native language):

    actually, broadening/improving one's language skills is a very broad concept, it should be done in more than one ways at the same time which is highly recommended... one can not become better only in one area, say, speaking, one must improve skills in all dimensions of the language!

    learning language well requires being as active as possible and making the learning as fun for oneself as possible... taking lessons is always important, but equally important are these:

    1) listen/watch: keep listening to internet radio stations like bbc, watch tv shows in english (use only subtitles, not voice dubbing in case you are not a native english speaker!), etc... this is also where you can learn proper pronunciation...

    2) write/communicate: try to find discussion forums from the web about things that you find interesting and fun (music/various artists, hobbies, etc...) and start communicating there with other people using only english... start using instant messaging systems in case you find some new friends or start emailing them, or use skype... pleease do not be afraid of making mistakes or hesitating, 'cause even native speakers do make mistakes and do hesitate at times! the more you enjoy communicating, the better!

    3) buy yourself a proper dictionary, and each time when you see a strange word that you do not understand, look it up... putting words into their context is one of the proper ways to broaden one's vocabulary and grammar knowledge, the more you read and write the better... memorising is not the proper way to go with learning vocabulary, grammar or any other language areas! for idioms, you should buy an all-english dictionary which explains the words in english and shows you examples of how to use the words in their real context...

    the main point in any language learning is to make it as fun as possible for yourself... try to find topics that interest you, read online newspapers (times, guardian, independent.........), listen to bbc/nbc and other radio stations online, if you find a discussion forum for e...g... your favourite hobby or your idols in music do participate there, etc... the key word here is context, which means that it is easier to learn new words and their usage as well as grammar when you use/see them in their real context... the more you see and hear the new words in their context and the more you use them in your speech & writing, the easier it becomes to remember their meanings and correct spelling... do not be afraid of making mistakes though, 'cause even native speakers do make mistakes and do hesitate at times!

    i'm sorry there's no easy way out with this, one really must develop language skills in all these language "levels" or dimensions in order to reach better language skills!!

    last but not least: never ever use any online translators, they are nothing but utter rubbish!! english is practically everywhere in the online world these days, you just have to use your imagination to find it! learning pace is always personal, it takes the time it takes so there's no reason to hurry it up too much... if you do, you shall not learn so well... also, pleease learn the basics of the standard english first before advancing to finer details like dialects/accents... a word of warning though: do stay well away from overrated, overpriced and overhyped language "gimmicks" such as rosetta stone, they really are not worth for checking out! also, never mind about your accent, as the main goal for you is that others understand you and you being able to understand other speakers...

    for reading, just pick anything that interests you, short stories, novels, factual books, newspapers, scientific journals......... choose anything that interests you depending on your language skills so that you will definitely not lose motivation...

    proper of luck!

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  • Dana
    Lv 5
    3 years ago

    hello fellow italian, i'm from italy too but i'm fluent in english... there are numerous ways to improve your english... watch numerous english movies or watch and english tv show with subtitles in italian that way you can listen to the english word and hear what%

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  • Tony R
    Lv 7
    3 years ago

    Maybe get books that aren't so advanced. Stuff for older children is easier. I know it's not always the best material for older people, but if you are just wanting to learn a language then it's a good alternative. Newbery Medal award winner books are a good start. These are considered well written novels for older kids.

    One more thing you can do is get the Italian version and the English version. That way you can refer to both if you get lost with the English. Sometimes it's not always good because the two translations may not always be exact, so you still have to figure out what your target language book is saying in that specific sentence, but they should be fairly close most of the time. Helps in not having to look up so many words in a dictionary, which is time consuming and a little tedious.

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  • 3 years ago

    Hello fellow Italian, I'm from Italy too but I'm fluent in English. There are many ways to improve your English. Watch many English movies or watch and English TV show with subtitles in Italian that way you can listen to the English word and hear what it means in Italian. Another way is to use Twitter or Facebook with the language on English, it will be confusing at first but it will help you understand what certain things mean after some time. Otherwise, you should try making an English speaking friend or try travelling to an English speaking country. However what I think will work the most is to watch A LOT of English movies and TV shows and when you hear something interesting try repeating it several times and try doing their accent when repeating what they said. Good luck!

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  • 3 years ago

    Try Rosseta Stone, it is a language trainer

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