How I learned English?

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How I learned English?

Message  Zoeyxtkop le Jeu 13 Avr - 18:09

Hi ! I saw a lot of people that give up after they tried to speak English (or any other languages). They said "English is just not for me", "That's just impossible" or "I'm too old now".
And sometimes people ask me: "How you can talk English that easily?" or "You are 15 years old, does your parents are English?".
I will answer to those people, because if you want to improve your English there is no secret way, you have to practice !
Read, speak, listen, and write in English, all day. That's what I did to improve myself in English, so yes, I make mistakes, my accent isn't perfect, but I can have an entire conversation with a native english speaker without any problems. I have some vocabulary, I can ask whatever I want if I go in England. So yeah, it's really cool. And you don't really have to force yourself to. I mean, my idols are English/American that's why I started to watch videos in English, must of them was interviews. In American English or British/Irish English. I was so in love with my idols that I don't really saw the problem to just watched them, without understanded them. But, when I started to understand some words, and I started to want to know what they was saying, I just start to LISTEN to them, saw the way they was talking, their accents, I just completely started to watch videos in English all day, but not just to watch them, but to understand them ! So, finally, after like...2 years since I started to do that. I can talk English quite good, not fluently but quite good !
And I encourage you to try to learn with the same method: with fun ! Smile

(PS: If there is some mistakes you can obviously tell me in comments, and don't forget that my English isn't perfect. Thanks.)
(PS 2: Si vous avez besoin d'une traduction en Français dites-le moi ^^)
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Re: How I learned English?

Message  MurielB le Jeu 13 Avr - 22:59

Thanks a lot for your thank you Zoeyxtkop for your interesting and very forthright testimony. Very Happy

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Re: How I learned English?

Message  gerardM le Jeu 13 Avr - 23:06

Hi Zoé,

Thanks a lot for your post here.
Thanks for writing about the method you applied to learn and become fluent.

We already exchanged a few messages and I write again below something important that summarizes our experiences:
- you learned English easily as you were keen on listening and understanding your idols.
- I began to learn English long ago before the Internet was launched, when TV was arriving in France (without any teaching programs).
Except the Linguaphone Institute teaching (with 78rpm records LOL), English learning at school mainly consisted in reading and writing: no listening except a teacher who was French and the other French students, no speaking except to respond to the French teacher... you can probably see difficulties.
Worse, most exercises were written exercises i.e. our response was given after as much time as we needed so that we tended to respond when we were absolutely sure to "be as good as possible", which doesn't help fluency.
So, my method was no big fun and I'd say the opposite of yours.
(your method reminds me of my son's: they were fluent though with mistakes but it didn't matter while I was not fluent but when I could speak it was pretty good)
Later in my life I voluntarily forgot everything I learned again correctly and efficiently; you know my methods - a personal professional native teacher, several native girlfriends and a good balance between all of the aspects of learning.

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Re: How I learned English?

Message  gerardM le Jeu 13 Avr - 23:24

Zoé, I will make a few remarks regarding your easy and natural learning way.

- it of course, depends on what you want to do with English: you may want to discuss with friends, or you may want to be able to read English newspapers and books, or you may need to make professional speeches or even professional teaching

If your need is not to only ask your way to Trafalgar Square Smile ...

- you need to be able to speak American to Americans, British English to the Brits
- you need to be able to use the vocabulary that fits the person in front of you: the Queen, an unknown person, a young person, a senior citizen, a friend, etc
- there're lots of different levels in the language and you must tune up your speech to be homogeneous
- if you need a professional language, you've to be careful with grammar and spelling (fluency is not enough)

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Re: How I learned English?

Message  gerardM le Jeu 13 Avr - 23:52

Of course, I'm looking forward to your comments Zoé.

Which level do you intend to reach in English? Speak with idols and friends? Use it for your job (later)?

As for me, I just want to be confused with native Americans, to be able to become a spy LOL this way I'm sure to be busy learning for the rest of my life Wink

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Re: How I learned English?

Message  Zoeyxtkop le Ven 14 Avr - 17:13

I think I can adapt my English to whoever I talk to, I can talk propertly and I know the "current" language. I am not a writer, and my vocabulary isn't rich in all topics, but I learn new things, new words, etc. all day. So with my age, I think that's an advantage, because I have the time to improve my English and maybe became fluent.
I have already a pretty good level because I can talk about -approximately- all I want. I can have serious conversation and I'm very comfortable in spoken format.

And I want to reach... I don't really know, I think talk to everyone. And I want to be a translator, so yeah, I want to use it for jobs. Smile
And yeah, for me, English was easy and funny to learned, it was a question of time so... I learned a bit like really young kids with their native language.

You said: " it of course, depends on what you want to do with English: you may want to discuss with friends, or you may want to be able to read English newspapers and books, or you may need to make professional speeches or even professional teaching" ---> I want to do all of this things, and I -think- I can, and I already read and make speeches in English (not really professional but... You know the kind that you can do at 15 years old.) xD
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Re: How I learned English?

Message  gerardM le Ven 14 Avr - 22:02

I am very impressed Zoé. You're lucky to learn so easily.

> but I learn new things, new words, etc. all day
Go on learning as you're skillful (funny that the spelling is skillful in American English and skilful in British English - I'd have bet Am tried to be as simple as possible).

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Re: How I learned English?

Message  MurielB le Ven 14 Avr - 22:53

I love reading your posts Zoé. The last one teaches us the best way to learn a language and I like that.

And yeah, for me, English was easy and funny to learn, it was a question of time so... I learned a bit like really young kids with their native language.
You seem not to have difficulties in memorizing English and you find it easy and funny to learn. Go on like that ! It's great !

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Re: How I learned English?

Message  gerardM le Ven 14 Avr - 23:05

> I learned a bit like really young kids with their native language.
Who did you have to fix your mistakes and teach?
Without a native mother or nanny, it's difficult to learn properly; difficult when no longer a baby, an infant, or a child, even with a good native friend

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Re: How I learned English?

Message  Zoeyxtkop le Sam 15 Avr - 17:26

To fix my mistakes... I think that's just with times, like sometimes I could not see a mistake and make the same for years, but if someone just tell me my mistake or I found it myself, then I don't do the same mistake again. I don't know, that way to learn isn't really a choice, because I have some difficulties with languages (even French) because I need examples to understand something, so I made a lot of mistakes in French since like... 2 years,and then, I started to understand how French (written format) works and the same for English, so I think I just learn alone, with times, because no one helped me in French when I writted like shit, and no one help me in English now, besides my English friends.
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Re: How I learned English?

Message  Zoeyxtkop le Sam 15 Avr - 17:29

MurielB a écrit:I love reading your posts Zoé. The last one teaches us the best way to learn a language and I like that.

Thank you ! :p
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Re: How I learned English?

Message  gerardM le Sam 15 Avr - 19:18

Zoeyxtkop a écrit:To fix my mistakes... I think that's just with times, like sometimes I could not see a mistake and make the same for years, but if someone just tell me my mistake or I found it myself, then I don't do the same mistake again. I don't know, that way to learn isn't really a choice, because I have some difficulties with languages (even French) because I need examples to understand something, so I made a lot of mistakes in French since like... 2 years,and then, I started to understand how French (written format) works and the same for English, so I think I just learn alone, with times, because no one helped me in French when I writted like shit, and no one help me in English now, besides my English friends.
Okay Zoé. I understand your way but however, the simplest way would be not to make mistakes from the beginning (simpler than keep making a mistake for years, then detect, then fix).

My former post may not be clear, I meant that nothing replaced childhood times (language taught by mother or nurse, or in a pinch at the elementary school)... I'd like to point out the fact that a close friend -even when asked to help- usually won't stop the conversation to warn you about a mistake as soon as it's understandable.

In the text quoted hereabove, you made several mistakes, are you interested in my showing a few?

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Re: How I learned English?

Message  Zoeyxtkop le Dim 23 Avr - 1:07

In the text quoted hereabove, you made several mistakes, are you interested in my showing a few?

Yes, of course. And I know for sure that I make mistakes, but when you want to improve yourself in English without following the English courses made by school (that is -by the way- just shit, sorry for the word, but it's true) and apparently my method is the easier way to learn a language (I don't know if it's true but some polyglots said it, so it could be true...) And of course that is just my second language, and I'm only 15 years old and I progress day by day, so the method can't be the same if you are like 20,30,40 years old, I think. And obviously, I will not use the same method for German, Chinese, Sweden or Danish...
(Of course, I am not a professional, so that's just a point of view Very Happy )
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Re: How I learned English?

Message  gerardM le Dim 23 Avr - 14:35

Hi Zoé,

> English courses made by school (that is -by the way- just shit, sorry for the word, but it's true)
I agree with you.
I don't exactly know what you mean... but I have my own criticisms: official French schools poorly teach foreign languages.
I decided to unlearn everything and to follow my American teacher's class, and some other personal ways as well.
Better to learn like native babies: possible with very specific environments only whatever the age, and we have to keep learning all life; we also -as adults- be careful to go forward and keep every domains balanced.

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PS: Pls note that I chose American English for my vocabulary, grammar, spelling, culture, etc.  :-)
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Re: How I learned English?

Message  gerardM le Dim 23 Avr - 14:55

Zoeyxtkop a écrit:...
And I know for sure that I make mistakes, but when you want to improve yourself in English without following the English courses made by school (that is -by the way- just shit, sorry for the word, but it's true) and apparently my method is the easier way to learn a language (I don't know if it's true but some polyglots said it, so it could be true...) And of course that is just my second language, and I'm only 15 years old and I progress day by day, so the method can't be the same if you are like 20,30,40 years old, I think. And obviously, I will not use the same method for German, Chinese, Sweden or Danish...
(Of course, I am not a professional, so that's just a point of view Very Happy )
... points that are not quite correct in bold red.

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PS: Pls note that I chose American English for my vocabulary, grammar, spelling, culture, etc.  :-)
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Re: How I learned English?

Message  gerardM le Dim 23 Avr - 15:01

Zoeyxtkop a écrit:To fix my mistakes... I think that's just with times, like sometimes I could not see a mistake and make the same for years, but if someone just tell me my mistake or I found it myself, then I don't do the same mistake again. I don't know, that way to learn isn't really a choice, because I have some difficulties with languages (even French) because I need examples to understand something, so I made a lot of mistakes in French since like... 2 years,and then, I started to understand how French (written format) works and the same for English, so I think I just learn alone, with times, because no one helped me in French when I writted like shit, and no one help me in English now, besides my English friends.
... points that are not quite correct in bold red.

_________________
Please feel free to point out big mistakes in my messages in a foreign language. Thanks to your remarks, I'll be able to improve my level.
PS: Pls note that I chose American English for my vocabulary, grammar, spelling, culture, etc.  :-)
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Re: How I learned English?

Message  Zoeyxtkop le Lun 24 Avr - 15:52

gerardM a écrit:
Zoeyxtkop a écrit:...
And I know for sure that I make mistakes, but when you want to improve yourself in English without following the English courses made by school (that is -by the way- just shit, sorry for the word, but it's true) and apparently my method is the easier way to learn a language (I don't know if it's true but some polyglots said it, so it could be true...) And of course that is just my second language, and I'm only 15 years old and I progress day by day, so the method can't be the same if you are like 20,30,40 years old, I think. And obviously, I will not use the same method for German, Chinese, Sweden or Danish...
(Of course, I am not a professional, so that's just a point of view Very Happy )
... points that are not quite correct in bold red.

(Ici ce sont plutôt des fautes d’inattentions..)
But yes, "improve my english", "easiest", and "Swedish"
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Re: How I learned English?

Message  gerardM le Lun 24 Avr - 15:57

Zoeyxtkop a écrit:...
(Ici ce sont plutôt des fautes d’inattentions..)
But yes, "improve my english", "easiest", and "Swedish"
Correct.

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PS: Pls note that I chose American English for my vocabulary, grammar, spelling, culture, etc.  :-)
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Re: How I learned English?

Message  Zoeyxtkop le Lun 24 Avr - 16:12

gerardM a écrit:
Zoeyxtkop a écrit:To fix my mistakes... I think that's just with times, like sometimes I could not see a mistake and make the same for years, but if someone just tell me my mistake or I found it myself, then I don't do the same mistake again. I don't know, that way to learn isn't really a choice, because I have some difficulties with languages (even French) because I need examples to understand something, so I made a lot of mistakes in French since like... 2 years,and then, I started to understand how French (written format) works and the same for English, so I think I just learn alone, with times, because no one helped me in French when I writted like shit, and no one help me in English now, besides my English friends.
... points that are not quite correct in bold red.

I suppose that the first is "time" and not "times" idk... "make"; "tell me my mistake" I don't see the mistakes, sorry.
"Do the same mistake" is probably "make the same mistake"
"Writted" is "wrote".
And the final one is "helped" right?

Yeah, some of them are just careless mistakes, and some others are real mistakes that I can't fix or just I don't see... :/
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Re: How I learned English?

Message  gerardM le Lun 24 Avr - 17:00

Zoeyxtkop a écrit:
gerardM a écrit:
Zoeyxtkop a écrit:To fix my mistakes... I think that's just with times, like sometimes I could not see a mistake and make the same for years, but if someone just tell me my mistake or I found it myself, then I don't do the same mistake again. I don't know, that way to learn isn't really a choice, because I have some difficulties with languages (even French) because I need examples to understand something, so I made a lot of mistakes in French since like... 2 years,and then, I started to understand how French (written format) works and the same for English, so I think I just learn alone, with times, because no one helped me in French when I writted like shit, and no one help me in English now, besides my English friends.
... points that are not quite correct in bold red.

I suppose that the first is "time" and not "times" idk... "make"; "tell me my mistake"  I don't see the mistakes, sorry.
"Do the same mistake" is probably "make the same mistake"
"Writted" is "wrote".
And the final one is "helped" right?

Yeah, some of them are just careless mistakes, and some others are real mistakes that I can't fix or just I don't see... :/
Hi Zoé,

> I suppose that the first is "time" and not "times" idk...
Yes.

> "make"...   I don't see the mistakes, sorry.
> I could not see a mistake and make the same for years
"and (Could not) make the same for years" would be incorrect
The right sentence is "could not see a mistake and made the same for years"

> "tell me my mistake"...  I don't see the mistakes, sorry.
> "if someone just tell me my mistake"
"tells"

> "if someone just tell me my mistake... I found... then I don't..."
Your tenses have to match:
-> "if someone just tells me my mistake... I find... then I don't..." or "then I won't'"
-> "if someone just told me my mistake... I found... then I wouldn't..."

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PS: Pls note that I chose American English for my vocabulary, grammar, spelling, culture, etc.  :-)
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My answer

Message  starlight62 le Jeu 18 Mai - 14:20

Hello everyone,

Obviously, We have to practice.
I think some people are afraid to make some mistakes in English oral. In the life, we learn thanks to mistakes.
Moreover, the learning in school is outdated: the pedagogy is focusing on the writing unfortunately.
I am trying to improve my English skills. I watch TV show or movie in English with French subtitles thanks to the website Netflix for example.
Sometimes, I read English newspapers : BBC/ The economist. I prefer to concentrate on several topics that I prefer: international information, europe, economy, politics.

During the learning, I prefer to learn and enjoy at the same time. Sometimes, I travel in several countries in Europe.
When I was young, I traveled to Poland. I was ashamed because I didn't speak English. My level was very weak. My vocabulary was poor..
During this period, I did some self-analysis because English is very useful ( work, travel, communication with travellers)

Now, learn and move on!
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Re: How I learned English?

Message  gerardM le Jeu 18 Mai - 17:02

Hi starlight62,

Welcome to the Café poluglotte sur le Net.  \

Thanks for your message.

> In the life, we learn thanks to mistakes.
Yes but the mistakes have to be detected and fixed quickly (I mean not made for decades).

>  the learning in school is outdated: the pedagogy is focusing on the writing
Still?
I thought this way was over... I'm 70 and that was my problem; my sons learned differently and didn't care as much as I did about mistakes (I was unable to speak before being sure everything was right, so I didn't speak).

In my opinion, it's very important to learn using only what we like and even topics we already are familiar with, otherwise discouragement may come... pleasure, pleasure, pleasure

> Sometimes, I read English newspapers : BBC/ The economist.
As you may know, the style of the titles in newspapers is special as journalists try to make puns (attract the readers, such as in French) or they get rid of unimportant words (articles but not only; to save room) or to refer to "culture" thus usually particularly difficult to catch the meaning of titles.
Of course newspapers, magazines are all different; I personally like to read the American version of the National Geographic (high level of the language).
It's necessary to practise reading (several types of media), writing, listening (to all kinds of accents and voices), speaking... and to become familiar with various levels (casual, formal, slang...)

> I traveled to Poland.
> ( work, travel, communication with travellers)
I don't know if it's simply a typo (missing an "l" in "traveled") but "traveled" is the American spelling while "traveller" is the British spelling.

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my answer

Message  starlight62 le Jeu 18 Mai - 20:42

Hi Gerard, how are you ?

Thank you very much. It's my first time on this website. I would like to diversify the learning. This website is a good idea !  Very Happy

I left the university one year ago.
The Learning of english is still outdated currently. At the university, I had only 1h30 per week of English lessons. It's not enough sincerely.
Usually, We had to analyze several text. It was very boring.
The best thing was the division into three levels: beginner, intermediary and expert.

Yes, you are right, it's difficult to translate puns. Generally, I read one article per day. I like to see the point of view of foreign journalist concerning an event in France (Election, Law).
Yes, it was a typo. During a job interview, I prefer to use the word "Backpacker".
Indeed, I prefer to travel alone to avoid to use french constantly with a friend. When I am alone in a foreign country, I meet more foreigner.
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starlight62

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Re: How I learned English?

Message  gerardM le Jeu 18 Mai - 22:34

Starlight62,

>  At the university, I had only 1h30 per week of English lessons. It's not enough sincerely.
I do agree one and a half hours per week is not much.
However, I consider English learning must be a personal project (given the necessity for everyone to master English: work travel, etc as you wrote it) and a few hours with a teacher/tutor is a bonus provided they are good.
Okay you were a student and you might need to pass the En module... I guess you'll agree that in En at Univ, there's no specific program hence it's everyone's target to be as good as possible in the matter (the organized classes are a help, that's all).
Everyone has to learn according to their target and to their free time... my personal target is to be able to understand and discuss with anyone whatever the accent, whatever the speed, whatever the environment (I mean even in a noisy environment). A few difficult situations are probably to speak with a guy who had a half-paralyzed jaw (what I did), or to understand and speak with the pilot in a two-seated plane (ie rather noisy, what I did), or discuss with an Australian (what I'm doing daily - but after several times with the same voice, it's easier), or understand a group of Scots speaking with one another (which I couldn't do; they might be speaking Gaelic... I couldn't "catch a word").

Regarding French Universities, I had a few negative experiences:
- my level was good (already a few English degrees) but I intended to get French official degrees to be able and allowed to professionally translate. I gave up as despite my requests to obtain advanced standing, I couldn't and they wanted me to start from year #1
- as I was taking an English exam in Paris, after writing, listening and comprehension rather difficult stages, my next step was a discussion with a teacher... this teacher was in fact a French Univ teacher and she was so easy to understand as she had a bloody French accent! a shame!!
- for official schools in France, teachers must have degrees from the official syllabus. This implies that quite all of the teachers are French, with -usually- a strong French accent; the English native speakers must pass the French exams or must teach in private schools. In other words, in France we cannot easily have a native teacher: how come our accent and level are so poor?

_________________
Please feel free to point out big mistakes in my messages in a foreign language. Thanks to your remarks, I'll be able to improve my level.
PS: Pls note that I chose American English for my vocabulary, grammar, spelling, culture, etc.  :-)
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gerardM

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