How to Learn English: Finding the Right Way for YOU

how to learn englishAt some point in your English learning journey, you’ve struggled. You’ve probably thought that it’s too difficult. Other people in your English class have gotten better grades than you, so you think that you’re just a bad language learner. You’re good at other subjects, but learning English isn’t your talent, right?

Wrong. You’re not a bad language learner, you’ve just been learning in a way that isn’t right for you.

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What is the Right Way to Learn English?

So what is the “right” way? This is an extremely common question, and the answer might seem obvious: it’s different for each person. We all learn differently.

You need to experiment with your language learning process to find the perfect regimen for you.

Everyone learns differently—some learn well from textbooks, some are really good at memorization; others need hands on learning (learning from experiences). Any good English learning routine is going to include a combination of all of these.

At RealLife English, we believe that people focus too much on traditional language learning (that is, from textbooks with focus on memorization of rules and new words).

Although knowing some basic grammar structure can help you speak English more correctly, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can speak it better. The fact is, most native speakers don’t even know the grammar rules. We learn to speak through interaction (the same way you learned your first language).

Create a Better Daily Language Learning Routine

studentIf you learn best with structure, then learn the grammar rules. If you find that grammar rules just make English too confusing to even speak, then throw your textbook out the window (as long as it doesn’t hit anyone in the head!).

As I said above, you need to find the right combination of language learning techniques to create a perfect routine that allows you to practice and effectively learn English daily.

Here are some suggestions of different ways to learn English, all of which are easy to do a few minutes each day. With the right mix of these you will find yourself learning English faster and more successfully:

     1. An English Teacher-

Can you push yourself to learn and practice English everyday? If you don’t have the will power to do this, then you may want to seek out an English teacher or tutor (if you don’t have one already). No matter what level you’re at, a teacher can help answer your questions and clarify confusions.

You can find a private teacher or go to an English school. There are also dozens of places where you can get classes via Skype, like here.

If you go this route, I recommend that you find a teacher who focuses on conversation and listening, rather than on memorizing grammar rules, but remember to find what works best for you!

     2. Learn with what you already love

This is by far one of the most important resources in your English learning regimen (we call it Lifestyle English).  Watching TV, movies, and listening to music and podcasts can all help you improve your listening skills, learn new vocabulary and expressions, and become skilled at speaking like a native, while learning about culture at the same time. Lifestyle English can help you to become really engaged in English learning.

We have dozens of articles to help you find the right media for your English learning routine, check them out:

Make English a FUN part of your life with our FREE Mini-Course

      3. Online English learning programs

There are dozens of free programs online for English learning. These are a great option if you can’t afford a teacher, or if you want something to compliment your classroom lessons. I recommend first checking out our Toolbox for English Learning and then these resources for meeting people online.

In Conclusion:

It’s important to learn English doing things you already like to do. No matter what methods you choose to add to your English learning routine, you need to make sure you practice it every day. The more you can make English part of your life, the better you’re going to be at it!

If you enjoyed this article, please COMMENT below! Tell us how YOU make English a part of your life.

Lastly, I want to invite you to watch this TedTalk from Polyglot Benny Lewis; in which he explains that talent is not the biggest factor in language learning success, but rather, PASSION!

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  • Nice article, Ethan! It’s important for the students to know what’s the best way for them to learn and not to completely rely on the teacher.

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  • chellini chellini

    maybe we can do certain things to convert into usual process such as eating or drinking
    for example we can everyday read newspaper to follow mainstream or just sports something else. thank you so much for this beautiful article

  • Zabrina Listya

    Hi, what I do is to find a partner to exchange the language, here in my city, there are lots of English native speakers that want to learn the local language. Another thing to do is you can find your best model, for example I like to watch Emilia Clarke, than you can watch her videos, movies, interviews or her writing, and try to listen how she speaks English. Thanks for your website. It’s helpful. 🙂

    • Ethan

      Hey Zabrina! You are very proactive, I think other learners can definitely learn a lot from your advice. It’s great that you have been able to find exchange partners in your town 🙂

      • Zabrina Listya

        I have watched the ted video above, it’s cool. But, I want to add something, I think there are three types of learner. The first one is the learner who has got the talent (even I know talent is overrated), and the second is a better learner because not only has talent but also has passion. The third one should be the best, because rather than talent or passion, he also has strategy. So I think we need the best strategy for ourself to learn the things we like.

        • Ethan

          Really interesting opinion! I think passion is actually the most important. Someone who is talented, but does not have motivation to learn the language, will never be fluent. And even if you are organizational and good at strategizing, it’s still not enough with a strong motivation to learn. The learner who has motivation finds a strategy to learn, and does not make not being ‘naturally talented’ an excuse. Just my thoughts 😉

          • Zabrina Listya

            Agree! intrinsic motivation is really important and also for its sustainability. But still, the combination of passion-persistence or grit and also followed by discipline in implementing the strategy in learning are never undoubted. Me too, just my thoughts. 🙂

  • Marta S

    Guys, you’re doing wonderful job! I thought I am very busy and I don’t have time to learn English every day. Now I know I was wrong. I’m doing exactly the same things as in the past but also listening to your podcasts (at least 5 a day ;D), reading newspapers, learning vocab and grammar. And what’s more – this isn’t boring! I have motivation, I hadn’t had before! RLE rulez Awww Yeah !!!

    • Ethan

      Hey Marta,

      Thanks so much 😀 It is great to hear that you have found some convenient ways to inject extra learning into your life. You are REALLY kicking ass, aww yeah!! 😉

  • rivery

    Thatnk you guys, you’re doing an amazing job. Yes if we want to achieve our goal (speak English) we must eliminate distractions and start studying and practicing what we learn daily and take avantage of your help, I used to say “I’m not good at learning English I’m bad at that” but after I start reading and listening RealLife English I fell I’ve improved a lot. So, all I can say is thank you for teaching us. And awww yeah! Greetings from Colombia.

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