One of the hardest things about learning a new skill can be getting started. When you’re faced with the challenge of how to learn English for beginner level, it can seem impossible to know where to start. Luckily, we’ve got some advice.
First of all, you should consider what purpose English will serve for you. What kind of environments will you need to understand English in? What kind of vocabulary would be most helpful? Do you need to be able to speak and to write, or simply to read?
Once you’ve identified your needs, you can establish a goal. Set yourself some targets towards that goal, along with deadlines (be realistic!), and this can serve as your framework for moving forward. However, any good learning framework comes back to flexibility: go into your new learning journey in the knowledge that your needs, availability and motivation might change.
Lastly, you’re far more likely to succeed in learning a new skill if you don’t go into it all alone. With a learning platform like ours, you’ll be accompanied on your journey to learn English with structured learning, challenges, and progress reports.
It can be daunting to start learning any new skill as a beginner, so we’re diving into some of the key methods to learn English for beginners to make the whole thing a little easier. The method you choose will depend on your budget and your schedule, as well as the kind of learner you are.
Learning with books
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to know that people have been learning English for a very long time, which means that there are already a lot of useful books out there to help you learn English. As you embark on your business English journey, you’ll certainly be able to find a book that suits your level and needs, whether you’re looking for a guide to grammar, a textbook of reading comprehensions, or a vocabulary aid.
A simple search online or a browse through your local bookshop will give you an idea of the books available to help you get started in English. With such a big range of resources available, one of the benefits of learning with books is that you’re certain to find one that fits your budget, including second-hand options or even borrowing from a friend.
Although learning with books can be a helpful starting point, learning English through private lessons has some serious advantages. The number one benefit of private tuition is that the lessons are totally tailored to your level and needs. Private tuition also works around your individual schedule, making it a convenient alternative to enrolling in a school. On the downside, learning English through private lessons requires a significant budget. Private lessons can cost from ten to fifty Euros per hour, depending on your tutor’s level of experience.
Online learning is the most up-to-date approach to language learning around, and English is no exception. These days, you can find almost any type of approach to language learning online, whether you simply want to run through grammar exercises, take practice tests, or engage in virtual lessons.
One main advantage of online learning is flexibility. If you opt to learn English online, you’ll have the freedom to choose when, where and how you learn, including for online lessons. With this method of learning, you can access all the benefits of learning through lessons with none of the obligation of being in one place at a given time.
If you haven’t already tried online learning, it’s understandable that you might be nervous to embark on learning a new language with this method. However, if you’re guilty of letting your textbooks get dusty, or you simply don’t have the budget to splash out on a private tutor, it’s worth considering what online learning has to offer.
Here are three key reasons you might choose online learning:
Choose when and where you study
Move at your own pace: slow down or speed up as you need to
Study the topics that serve your individual needs
What’s more, at a time when in-person classes, meetings and events are being cancelled, postponed and moved online, distance learning has become the most reliable way of learning.
Whichever method you go with to learn English, there are a few simple ways to get a good start. Learning a language is a lot like learning any other skill: just as you wouldn’t start with Beethoven as a beginner to piano, we don’t recommend opening Shakespeare as a beginner to English.
Throwing yourself into the deep end and getting lost is a quick way to demotivate yourself when it comes to learning a language, so our advice is to make short, sharp progress in a few key areas to build you confidence for greater things.
Build your vocabulary
Our first tip to learn English for beginner level students is to build vocabulary. Even if your grammar is shaky and your overall communication is a little limited, vocabulary is what will help you through the simplest of interactions. Decide on a few topics that will serve you well, depending on your needs. For example, it could be introducing yourself, making appointments, and maybe some legal vocabulary. Target those topics and learn a handful of words for different situations. That way, even if you remain lost in translation, you should still be able to navigate yourself through important situations.
Get to grips with the basics in grammar
Grammar is the bread and butter of any language, and simply put: it cannot be avoided. One of the challenges of learning grammar is that it can feel complicated, full of exceptions, and repetitive. However, the right study tool will integrate grammatical concepts into your learning so that you don’t have to face a long list of tables and rules.
Immerse yourself in English
The best way to make progress in a language is to be confronted with it as regularly as possible, even at beginner level. The most effective kind of immersion is to spend time in an English-speaking country, but realistically this isn’t always possible.
You can, however, try subtle ways to immerse your brain in English even in your everyday life. Here are a few simple strategies that will have English soaking into your brain when you least expect it:
Watch your favorite English-language movies and TV shows in the original, and add English subtitles to everything else
Listen to an English radio station for background noise
Watch or read the news from an English-language source
Spend a lot of time scrolling on your phone? Download an English language app to pass the time instead!
Build your confidence
As a beginner in English, you’re going to have moments of great progress, and moments of realization that you have a long way to go. What’s essential is that you remain confident and don’t let small setbacks deter you from continuing to learn and interact in your new language.
Building confidence in a language comes from taking small, regular steps forward through the tips we’ve outlined above, rather than rushing to meet more ambitious goals that could leave you feeling demotivated.
Online learning is a relatively new option for language learners, and with the many benefits it offers, there also come some challenges. Staying motivated is one of them.
When we learn English online, especially as a beginner, it can be difficult to stay motivated and keep on your track with your learning goals. You may have started your mission to learn English online with ideas of studying everyday and jumping from one level to the next in a couple of months, but it’s important to have patience with yourself in your online learning journey.
Tip 1: be accountable
One of the challenges of learning online is that you and you alone are responsible for your learning. Unlike a private or group lesson, there’s no one to hold you accountable for whether you did your homework or how hard you’ve been working.
One tip for recreating this sense of accountability is to set goals and reminders to help you keep on track. If you opt to learn English online, we recommend choosing a platform that not only has adequate learning materials, but also provides the tools to keep you on track. On GlobalExam, our learning materials are organized into situations and units that help you stay on track and follow your progress from zero to 100%.
Tip 2: set a schedule
Staying accountable to yourself is a lot easier if you have a schedule to follow. Once you’ve figured out how much time you need to and can invest in mastering your new skill, sit down and work out and how it’s going to fit into your existing schedule.
Did you know that it’s more effective to spend ten minutes per day learning English than a one-hour session per week? Instead of leaving English to whenever you have spare time, plan it into your days so that it doesn’t get left behind.
Tip 3: interaction is everything
Another common challenge with online learning is feeling disconnected from other people. After all, isn’t learning a language supposed to be about interaction?
Working on grammar, text comprehension and writing exercises is important, but it may not be enough to keep you motivated all the way through your online learning journey. This is why we recommend choosing a platform that allows you to put your language skills into practice by interacting with otherlearners and teachers through online classes.
At GlobalExam, we’ve developed a whole platform dedicated to helping you learn English online. When you sign up to our Business English platform, you’ll get access to a range of grammar and vocabulary exercises, as well as “situations” that help you to put your knowledge into contexts with real relevance to your living and working environments. Our platform is divided into four main categories:
All of the learning materials on our Business English platform are integrated into business-related contexts, which encourage you to apply your new knowledge and skills into real life situations. As you complete situations and units, you can track your progress and see where your strengths and weaknesses are.
Our platform is designed to cater for beginner, intermediate and expert English users, so as a beginner to the language, you can follow our materials the whole way through your learning journey.
In addition to all the vocabulary and grammar tools on offer, you can learn English on GlobalExam through our virtual classes. There’s no better way to put your newly acquired knowledge into practice than by interacting with native speakers, and that’s exactly what you can do in our classes.
We offer two types of virtual classes: a thirty-minute individual lesson; or a one-hour group lesson. All our online lessons allow you to learn English online with certified native English teachers, with each lesson tailored to the learner’s individual needs.