Did traditional English courses bring you orchitis? Here’s how you can learn English without studying (even from scratch!) And having fun.
A few days ago I posted a nice video, in English, on the Facebook page of EfficaceMente. Well, guess what was the first comment I received?
” Beautiful, too bad it’s … incomprehensible.”
It is not the first time that has happened and I certainly do not blame those who left the comment: our school system has always relegated the study of the English language to the penultimate place, just before civic education.
But taking it out on school is an understatement: many of us are convinced that learning English is just a useless nuisance.
Something we need to do to pass a stupid test or to beautify our curriculum vitae. Nothing more wrong. Today English is no longer a habit: if you don’t know it, you’re out of the game.
Yes, I understand Andre ‘, but I can’t spend 1,000 euros for an intensive English course and then I don’t have time to learn all those grammar rules: du balle !!!
The truth is that you can learn English without studying (well, at least not in a classic way).
In one of the first posts of EfficaceMente, I told you about the 4 actions that I have taken over the years to perfect my English.
In today’s article, I want to offer you an alternative method.
I asked Stefano Mini to tell us about the tricks he used to learn English and which helped him find a seasonal job in the United States.
Stefano will speak to us:
- Of its history.
- Why English (basically) is an easy language.
- Of how you can learn it (without studying).
- Of his method.
So let’s see with Stefano how to learn English quickly.
When I look out the window I see a palm tree, the leaves moved by the wind caress the balcony of my apartment.
A little further on, a small farm with a handful of cows ruminating the grass, under the warm spring sunshine of Florida.
Still further on, covered by a pine forest, Lake Bryan hides.
I think back to April 10 last year. The parties, the hugs, the greetings. I get on the American Airlines Boeing 747: stopover in New York, arrival in Orlando.
This year has passed too quickly.
New job, new friends, new life.
The contract with the company that hired me expires in two weeks, then a month as a tourist around the States, and we return to the dear old Brescia.
I will go back to old friends, to my old home, to the old continent.
This made me rethink at the beginning of my journey.
A path that started almost ten years ago when I decided to learn English for the first time.
Let it be clear from the start: I never loved studying English, to be honest, I never loved studying any language.
But today I can say that I master English and I would like to share the method I have adopted with you.
Let’s start by placing the dots on the “i”.
English is an easy language
In elementary school I had insufficiency in English, in middle school I had insufficiency in English, in high school I was the best in English.
Yes, you read that right.
And do you know when I became the best?
When I stopped telling myself these bales:
- “ I’m not good at languages. “
- “ But yes, in the end, I also live well in Italy. “
- ” The prof. English is not capable. “
- “ I have four jobs, three girlfriends and a dog: I don’t have time! “
You probably gained many of these beliefs in school …
According to traditional canons, you can learn a language only by studying books, learning grammar or translating classic poets.
Yet the accounts do not return.
Have you ever wondered how on earth you could speak at 5, despite not having learned half the grammar rule ?!
The truth is that…
Learn English (without studying)
I’ll tell you my story.
I was a lazy teenager, Andrea had not yet published his guide to study twice as much in half the time, and I applied the bare minimum to not be rejected.
Yet I learned English and I did … having fun.
The truth is that study, understood in the traditional sense, is the least effective method of learning.
For millennia our mind has learned thanks to a simple strategy: direct experience.
School desks, blackboards and prof. boring came later, and made a half disaster with their methods for learning English!
If you want to learn English effectively, you cannot use traditional methods. You must use unorthodox techniques.
My method for learning English
In my method, the starting point is written English, not oral English.
Many suggest watching movies, perhaps subtitled.
Others suggest translating the lyrics of the songs.
- In a 2-hour film, the dialogue is not always the predominant part.
- The lyrics of the songs often have a particular language.
Imagine an American learning Italian by watching Fantozzi or listening to Vasco Rossi:
You want a drink
You for me
I’ll tell you softly […]”
In short, we understand each other!
And sorry, what’s the point of starting from oral English, and in particular from pronunciation, which is certainly one of the most complex things to learn?
That’s why I won’t tell you “learn English by listening”.
Let’s start with the fundamentals: the written word.
Yes, but how ?!
There is a basin almost infinite of English writings. Contemporary writings, writings that concern any topic: the Internet.
Today you can use the net to learn English, perhaps deepening your passions. That’s how:
- Find your passion. You have a passion, don’t you? Something that burns in your chest, something you would do for hours without feeling tired. This passion will be your key to learning English. Go to Google.com (in English, I recommend!) And start looking for blogs, forums and sites that talk about what you’re passionate about. Are you passionate about cryptozoology ?! No problem: 100 euros that there is also a site on this topic. Once you find your reference sites, all you have to do is start reading, reading and more … reading. Can’t you understand a thing ?! Use an online dictionary to help you.
- Join the community. As mentioned above, to learn, you must have direct experience. Reading is not enough, you have to participate and contribute to the community of enthusiasts you are now part of. Leave comments in forums, blogs or Facebook pages. You don’t have to write treatises, it is enough for you to briefly write your opinion: “yes, I agree”, “like”, etc. Simple phrases, which however help you to unlock. Don’t pay attention to the mistakes you will make: jump in. This is fundamental: when you become an actor from the spectator, you force yourself to participate and create within yourself the need to learn the new language to communicate more effectively with your interlocutors.
- Repeat. Continue to explore the net and share your passion with others. You don’t need grammar. You may disagree with me on this point, you can insult me, but the truth does not change: grammar is not essential for knowing a language. Nor for a language like English that has 4 rules on the cross! You will always have time to perfect yourself, but now is the time to take care of it, to learn English while having fun and to do it the grammar rules are just a waste of time.
That’s all Stefano ?! Is learning English as easy as reading a website ?!
Yes, you can learn self-taught English by following these simple rules, but above all by following your instincts and passions.
Don’t get me wrong, it took me 9 years to get to know English at such a level that I can work in the United States.
I made my mistakes (a lot of mistakes), I took the wrong paths, but these paths have allowed me to accumulate a lot of experience, which I share in my blog today.
If you only want to remember one thing about this post, remember this:
Don’t believe what they tell you: English is easy and you can learn it without studying, but above all having fun and cultivating your passions.
I hope you found Stefano’s suggestions useful.
Even if Stefano and I offer partially different approaches, we agree on one thing: if you have time to devote to English, don’t waste money on expensive intensive English courses or worse on the notorious study holidays.
Read what you are passionate about in English, participate in the discussions of those who share your passions and above all give yourself the chance to make mistakes.
Only by overcoming these blocks will you gain the self-esteem needed to speak the new language.
Ps. Stefano’s strategies are ideal for those beginners who approach the language. If, on the other hand, you already have some basic English skills and want to move on to the next level, you probably need something different.
Just in these days, together with Fluentify ( one of the most dynamic London startups specialized in online language learning), we have launched a brand new interactive English course aimed at guaranteeing the most engaging and complete learning experience ever.
The name of the course is YES! English and includes dozens of video lessons, meta-learning strategies (techniques to speed up learning) and live sessions where you can speak directly with a certified native speaking Tutor, dedicated exclusively to you.
When the registration is closed but given their re-opening, we decided to give all readers effectively the ‘ immediate and free access to the community dedicated to the new YES! English.
It is a Facebook group where you will find:
- tips and useful information for learning English.
- insights and behind the scenes of the new YES! English.
- exercises and practices that help you improve your English immediately in concrete but above all fun way.
If you are interested in taking your English to the next level, I recommend that you click the button below and complete the form that will appear on the relevant page. After a few minutes, you will receive an email with the reserved link to access the Facebook group.