The article has been automatically translated into English by Google Translate from Russian and has not been edited.

11 tips for those who learn English on their own


Source: Life hacker

Subscribing to Instagram will help you get closer to the level of the speakers of any foreign language faster than a grammar textbook..

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1. Make up expression cards

Everyone knows about the cards - this method is the most popular in the process of learning a language. You just cut the squares out of cardboard and write a word on one side, and a translation on the other side, advises Life hacker.

Lexemes begin to be remembered in the process of making cards, but to heighten the effect, of course, you also need to consciously teach them, alternating directions and stages. But not all are moving from words to phrases. Proverbs, stable expressions, speech clichés, colloquialism - write everything that seems relevant on the cards and memorize them on the same principle as words.

Repeating the card over and over again, you drive the material into long-term memory, using the mechanism of active memorization of material: how to achieve the best memorization results. And when it comes to live communication, you will not need to link words into a suitable phrase - the phrase will fly off the language itself.

2. Mix words

“Language is a creative process,” says New Zealand psychologist, linguist and educator Chris Lonsdale in his speech at TEDx. Start small: make phrases. Knowing 10 nouns, 10 verbs and 10 adjectives, you can come up with 1 000 combinations. You can work on the anagram principle, when you need to make as many words as possible from a set of letters.

Define a set of words, which will include different parts of speech, and write out on a piece of paper all the possible phrases that come to your mind. After this, filter out those that are not used in live speech.

You can check whether a particular combination exists in nature using dictionaries. For example, Longman dictionary leads to each word column Collocations, which records the most frequently used language combinations. This practice will help develop the spoken language and fix in memory already familiar elements.

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3. Use the recipe

Not for nothing even we begin to learn our native language with recipes. No, we do not urge you to scribble hooks and sticks, but to write a couple of sheets with the same word - perhaps. It is especially useful to do this if the writing of the language that you learn is not based on the Latin alphabet, but on a hieroglyphic or alphabet unusual for your eye.

This method works at the level of mechanical memory and helps to remember the memorized word easily, reproducing it on paper. And the visual memory is connected to the mechanical memory, and it turns out to be a cool tandem, with which it will be difficult to forget what has been written a hundred times.

4. Subscribe to Instagram Media

And paint well. Finding speakers of the target language in your favorite social network is easy if you use hashtags in the desired language and geolocation. You need to choose not those who post not burdened with a sense of selfie, but children who care about text content no less than about photo processing.

By adding bloggers from the country of the studied language to your subscriptions, you can not just enjoy the content, but at the same time get acquainted with the colloquial vocabulary and get used to the new linguistic environment, just flipping through the tape.

Here are some examples of English-language accounts for every taste and color:

  • Passion passport - an account that has absorbed hundreds of inspiring pictures from all over the world, which are accompanied by equally inspiring stories of their authors.
  • Alex Zouaghi - a blogger from London, with love telling about his beloved city, also in two languages.
  • Fox account Juniper, whose owner describes the characteristics of life with wild animals and their relationships with each other.
  • Sharmili - beauty blogger from New York with detailed analyzes and texts on the topic of cosmetics.
  • Humans of New York - An interesting project that tells the stories of people living in New York.

5. Use visual memory

Standard columns of words, their meanings and pronunciation help to fix information visually. Create a table of lexemes with translation and transcription on a specific subject and memorize them first in the order in which they were written. Then swap and rotate the columns:

  • remove the translation bar and restore the values ​​by spelling and pronunciation;
  • leave only the transcription and try to recall the word itself and the Russian equivalent;
  • Shuffle the lines of each column and find the corresponding translation, connecting the word with the right value with straight lines.

The easiest and most effective way is to do it by hand on paper. Such a scheme of work connects the visual perception, and the alternation of columns and lines helps to transfer material from short-term to visual long-term memory, which has greater capacity and accuracy, according to the candidate of psychological sciences, head of the laboratory of cognitive research at NRU HSE Igor Utochkin.

If the paper is outdated for you, you can use simple tables in Word or Excel. Although you still have to print it out, it will be easier to work with the connection of words and the memorization of columns.

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6. Glue stickers

Another fairly common method that should not be neglected is stickers with words. If you are just starting to learn a language, make stickers on everything that comes handy. In this case, write on them not random words, but the name of the object you are gluing. So, going to the outlet or faucet, you will see it every time.

If you are already familiar with all household items, write on the stickers more complex tokens that you need. Select the word of the day and leave a reminder about it on all the surfaces encountered. Remembering it, change it to a new one.

7. Come up with language parallels and rhymes

It is not necessary to try to rhyme the word with its immediate meaning - use associations. Simple rhymes on associations like “dog leash” are easy to remember and don't give a chance to get confused. We have already said that language is creativity?

If you own some foreign language and decided to learn another one, you can use this advantage. Find words with the same meaning in different lingvospheres and draw parallels between them: in sound, in writing. This works especially well if you are learning languages ​​from the same language group, be it Slavic or Romance.

8. See pictures to improve pronunciation.

Of course, the usual pictures will not help you to talk, but detailed illustrations of the features of the articulation in the pronunciation of a sound will make learning very easy. Each language has its own nuances of sound and features of the speech apparatus. In order to get as close as possible to the pronunciation of the carriers, study such pictures and apply them in practice.

9. Change the language on the phone

A great way to meet new words is to do it “out of despair”. Disadvantages will occur only the first time, until you understand all the technical terms that may occur. And then, that and you look, and you will begin to think in a new language.

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10. Listen to the background

In this case, you do not even have to understand what you hear. Surround yourself with foreign language speech everywhere: turn on the radio or news programs while you cook or clean. This will allow you to memorize intonation, pace of speech and features of pronunciation.

11. Learn from your mistakes

Starting to speak a new language, it is impossible to do without speech errors. There is nothing terrible in them, but they should not be ignored. If you made a reservation and noticed a mistake, correct it by repeating the sentence in the correct form. As the bachelor of philology, acting teacher and linguist Allison Lones writes, this will help to avoid similar flaws in the future and will fix grammar in memory.

Learn the language as you feel comfortable. But in order to make the process faster and more efficiently, dilute the training with simple actions that are available to everyone in everyday life:

  1. Memorize sturdy phrases using flash cards.
  2. Get used to the phrases with anagrams.
  3. Spell the words.
  4. Search for Instagram content foreign-language accounts.
  5. Play with strings and strings to memorize words.
  6. Glue useful stickers.
  7. Rhyme the words.
  8. Learn the features of pronunciation - the position of the lips and other organs of speech.
  9. Surround yourself with language everywhere, even on the phone.
  10. Listen to foreign speech in the background.
  11. Correct errors immediately.

Which of these tips do you already use? Or maybe you have your own working life hacking?

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