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What is one to say about June? The time of perfect young summer, the fulfilment of the promise of the earlier months, and with as yet no sign to remind one that its fresh young beauty will ever fade.

Gertrude Jekyll
A swarm of bees in May
Is worth a load of hay;
A swarm of bees in June
Is worth a silver spoon;
A swarm of bees in July
Is not worth a fly.
Learn English in May

What is your BEST tip for learning English?

GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands ModeratorPosts: 10,331 mod
You are all great at English on this website - I can tell! But you must have started from scratch at some point, so what is your best tip for learning English?

My tip would be to find a friend who is learning too, and have as many conversations with them as possible.

What about you? What has worked the best for you while learning the language?


  • HermineHermine Posts: 8,783 ✭✭✭✭
    Last time when I was in England I bought the book 'Machines like me'. It's written in proper English.

    Each day I read some pages and highlight the unknown words and write the translation next to it. Each day another highlight colour, so I know how many pages I read that day.

    The reason why I use a hardcover book is simple. The font is larger and when highlighting words, it doesn't soak through. The pages are thicker compaired to paperback and much easier to handle when working on it.

    This mentioned book iis especially to recommend because it is British through and through spoken.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 43,601 ✭✭✭✭
    I'm taking my Italian grammar book with me to study while I am away. @filauzio I might come and pick your brain if I get stuck.
  • filauziofilauzio Genoa ( Italy )Posts: 2,029 ✭✭✭✭✭
    You're welcome to try making the most of it ( my brain ) @mheredge; as long as it doesn't run out of energy being drained by the effort to learn English though.

    We could make a deal though: I swap my remaining Italian for your English. Don't worry; I would let you the English phraseology which will allow you to keep traveling comfortably, even to the point of having small talk from time to time.

    Some day I should really test what side the scale would preferably tilt between my Italian's and my English one.

    Hopefully, it wouldn't heavily collapse on the Italian side, even with no possibility of appeal ! :D
    glad to stop strict diet, splashed in belly flop? Don't care you're not light, here on English hop !
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 43,601 ✭✭✭✭
    I have to confess that so far I haven't had a moment to open up my grammar book. But today it was very nice to meet a Sri Lankan driver-guide who took me to a nature park and who lived in Sicily for several years in Catania. He looks after Italian guests in Sri Lanka now. He spoke a little in Italian and while I could understand, I couldn't think of any words to answer back.

    My ambition is very modest @filauzio. I doubt that I will ever attain the good level of English that you have reached. I just want to be able 'get by.'
  • oscar001oscar001 Posts: 94 ✭✭✭
    Taking for granted you already know the grammar basics, read very often (there are graded books, if you don't feel like starting with a regular novel or similar) and listen to (for a while) the radio. Fortunately, newbies can find plenty of resources online I couldn't. So, why not taking advantage of them? Next step, not long after the above mentioned, is to train your speaking skills. Again, the internet is your best ally as you can chat with anyone from your desktop. Do not target a native speaker at first, that will come a bit later. I hope it helps!
  • HermineHermine Posts: 8,783 ✭✭✭✭
    Imagine one day we could insert a chip into your body, for any knowledge and skill.

    My long way of learning English was often - at least at the beginning - very frustrating, but I didn't give up.
    I learnt plenty of history about the English speaking world and I met people around the world.

    I see it as a treasure and all of them and lots of more would I miss and regret of not getting in touch.
  • VokVok Posts: 1,970 ✭✭✭✭
    Hermine wrote: »
    Imagine one day we could insert a chip into your body, for any knowledge and skill.

    How boring would the world become then? I think that if it was that easy, then only a few would have access to those knowledge chips. They are not interested in everyone being smart unfortunately.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 43,601 ✭✭✭✭
    I agree @Vok. The quest for knowledge is half the fun of learning new things. There's so much to learn, but this adds the spice to life.
  • VokVok Posts: 1,970 ✭✭✭✭
    Why can't I see the last message from this thread?
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 43,601 ✭✭✭✭
    Do you need reading glasses @Vok?
  • VokVok Posts: 1,970 ✭✭✭✭
    haha @mheredge . But I'm afraid the problem isn't on my side this time. I noticed that someone wrote a message on here but when I open the thread there's not any.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 43,601 ✭✭✭✭
    I think I know what you mean @Vok. Normally when I see all the topics I can see them highlighted in bold (on my laptop) when someone has commented since I last wrote. However in the last few days I see my own comments showing in bold which is odd. However when I reopen the comment and then refresh, it corrects itself. Maybe something has been tweeked somewhere that is causing this little glitch @Teach.
  • JapacJapac Posts: 2
    My friend who is an English teacher uses this site for his students: www.newwordday.com
    I also started to learn every day 5 words fix, and I am quite efficient. I can highly recommend!
  • DanneDanne Posts: 15 ✭✭
    The worst thing I did before was to read grammar books intensely. It's ok to read those, but when and how? Honestly, I don't know well enough, but the brief answer would be not at the first rung in learning a language. Undoubtedly it would help but let me say not much more than the CI method. So what is that?

    Comprehensible input method (= The input hypothesis) described by Stephen Krashen, who is a linguist & a well-known person among polyglots, many years ago. I don't want to define what the method is, rather I want you to go & to check it out if you are really curious. But what is the idea? The idea is "acquisition learning instead of learning in conscious ways," like grammar books. How does an infant learn a language? S/he doesn't literally read grammar books or stuffs like that at the age of 4 or 5, or even 12+. S/he will learn an unfamiliar language in natural ways and it helps enough, as you know. Believe it or not, it would work even if you are 50+.
  • souhaibsouhaib Posts: 54 ✭✭
    edited May 22
    > @Danne said:

    S/he doesn't literally read grammar books or stuffs like that at the age of 4 or 5, or even 12+. S/he will learn an unfamiliar language in natural ways and it helps enough, as you know. Believe it or not, it would work even if you are 50+.

    yeah i think that is the best way ever you have to learn by listening and remembring words and phrases after that you can learn about grammar
  • navidafrasiabiannavidafrasiabian CanadaPosts: 1,369 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I have been studying English for 7 years or more. Reading staged storybooks was what I started with and it was great. I would buy a new storybook as a reward for finished one.
    My speaking improved when I started to post comments here. I used to post more than 10 comments a day here. The casual writing here was a miracle and that's why I always recommend it to my friends. I actually recently told @diako87 to join and comment here.
  • almog250almog250 Posts: 37 ✭✭
    Try To find a Kids dubbing series or movies that have in your original language and to find the same series in the original English source and watch first the original episode with your own native language and second in English.
  • Avi9Avi9 Posts: 8
    Read, speak and read
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