Learning English Phrases Best Practices(Part 1)

Learning English Phrases Best Practices Part 1

Learning English as second language is fun and rewarding. It makes it easier to understand different cultures, socialize with locals and even land a job! However, the process of learning English can be frustrating especially if you have no access to resource materials and tutorials. Another fact is, at first you will not have perfect pronunciations which can be intimidating in case you want to put a point across to a native speaker of the language. These are struggles endured and there are no exceptions including when learning English.

So, let us embark on a journey to learn English with our PhraseMix.com’s 9- day crash course and we thank you for checking out the course on how to become fluent in English! Our course focusing on learning English language since a large percentage of English language consists of phrases. We therefore want to share with you our best tips (from the course) for reaching a much, much higher level of English fluency. 

There is a lot of information here.  We strongly suggest you print this out, so you can refer to it as your personal study guide.  On with the lessons!

First, let's start with the most important tips.  These steps are absolutely necessary and a must. There's no way around it! 

Are you ready? OK, the first step is:

Day1: Make English a daily habit.

What does that mean? It means that you need to use English every day.  The more you speak or read in English, the better you get at it. Does that seem like a lot of work? It's easier than you think. Here are 3 suggestions to keep you on track:

Don't miss any days. If you can only spend 10 minutes, that's OK. But don't skip days. The point is to let it be a habit and a norm for each day.

Get a calendar and Mark it for every day that you use English. Watch the number of marks grow. This is also nice for motivation and marking your milestones. Marking a calendar helps follow the ‘do not miss any days’ step as well.

Do something fun. It's easier if you can be excited about English every day. Learning new languages is not something that gets you pumped. Sure, maybe for the first days but after a while you may lose interest and we know how to avoid this. Don't do something boring that will make you quit. You can even watch your favorite movie with English subtitles to reignite the passion to learn English.

Once you make it a habit, you will within no time be able to speak fluently. Don't worry about what kind of practice you're doing. Not yet. Read, write, speak, or listen.  Just do something every day to help imprint the language on your mind.

Day 2: You must review!

Through to the next step, you have keep reminding yourself what you went through the previous day. Our brains are lazy. They quickly forget anything that they don't need or new. If you learn something once and don't review, you'll probably forget it in a day or two. By the end of the week, it's totally gone. Furthermore, you will get stuck with the little you know and stagnate at a beginner level. That’s sad and a waste of your time.

So you will want to progress further. We know it’s tricky as you’re probably busy carrying on with other daily activities but you have to use your time smartly and allocate a review session in your schedule. After all, you can't practice something completely different every day. You have to spend some of your time reviewing what you learnt before.

To get started on this: 

Get a small notebook. Keep it with you all the time. 

Every time you do something in English, write down a few notes about it.

Look at your notes once or twice a day, every day.

Every time you are free, take it out and recap yesterday’s lessons. However you do it, make sure to review what you've learnt before. And do it every day, without skipping any days. Consistency is key! 

Day 3: Don't study vocabulary lists.

Huh? What's wrong with learning vocabulary? Vocabulary isn't wrong. You need it. The problem is the traditional way of thinking about vocabulary. Most people are taught to study lists of words by themselves: applesurrenderenormous. But when you learn words by themselves, a few things happen:

You learn what the words mean, but you don't learn how they're used. You don't learn what other words they fit together with.

The words get saved in your brain one by one. So when it's time to make a sentence, you have to pull them out again one by one. That makes it slow.

You don't get a real connection to the words. They're just boring words in a list, so it's easy to forget them.

The results of learning vocabularies lists alone hence creates obstacles in your quest to learn English. If you ask us, this is not the best way to go about it. Instead of teaching words, PhraseMix teaches phrases such as

eat an apple

surrender to (someone)

an enormous mistake 

Why? Learning phrases gives you better understanding of how words are used, not just what they mean. So here's a new rule: Never learn a word by itself. Always learn two or more words together in a phrase. It makes sense that way.


Day 4: You shouldn't study grammar, either!

There are some set guidelines for sentence constructions, phrases to use and the verbs and propositions that do not add up when put together. Yes, you need the rules to come up with sentences with a meaning. But you first need to internalize the basic language for communication. You do not need to be a perfectionist at first. Therefore studying grammar can cost you. Here are a few reasons why:

That's not how your brain works.
The part of your brain that learns information and the part that controls your speech are completely different. Just because you learn some rules doesn't mean that your speaking will improve.

There are too many rules.
There are too many grammar rules, and they're too complicated. Every rule has exceptions. A book describing English grammar fully would need to be thousands of pages long. Hence, rules suck the fun and morale to keep pushing on.

Grammar rules take too long to remember and apply.
Even if you learn all of the grammar rules, it takes too long to remember them. You sometimes have to figure out what to say in less than a second. That's too short a time to recall all of the rules from your grammar textbook. The moment you start thinking about the rules while talking, you fill yourself with doubt and hesitation. This is a step back.

They're incomplete.
Most grammar rules only describe formal English. Formal English is important, but you need to learn casual spoken English too.

For all of these reasons, we recommend that you not spend a lot of time on studying grammar. But if you shouldn't study vocabulary or grammar, what should you study? Well, read on to get the scoop on the easiest way to learn

Day 5: Memorize sentences.

Memorizing sentences is one of the alternatives to studying grammar and vocabularies. Take a natural English sentence that you understand pretty well. Let's try this sentence, which you say when you hear a song that's easy to remember:

“It's pretty catchy.”

Repeat it again and again until you remember it. Wait a little while, then try to remember it again. Do the same thing for the next two days.

After you do all of that, you will have memorized that sentence.

Now the fun part begins! As you use English in different situations, you'll start to hear parts of that sentence. You'll hear the word "catchy". You'll hear people say "pretty (something)". And if you ever find yourself listening to a simple, easy-to-remember song, you'll know exactly what to say!

Sentences teach you both vocabulary and grammar at the same time. You learn what the words mean, as well as how to use them. But to get the biggest benefit, you have to not just understand the sentences; you have to remember them!

This concludes the Day 1-4 on our Learning English Phrases crash course.  Click here to start with Day 5.

  Print this Article