How to overcome English learning challenges as an adult

How to overcome English learning challenges as an adult

Having a different first language can be challenging when you want to learn English. Fortunately learning English as a second language also comes with benefits. This means all the effort you put in learning it, will reward you back tenfold!

Here are some challenges English learning challenges students face when English is their second language:

1. Overthinking pronunciation:

As a beginner, it can be incredibly unnerving to speak words that sound odd and typically don’t make sense to you. This can quickly develop into a fear that turns you into one self-conscious, shy person. Try these steps to overcome this.

Step one: Understand & memorize word meaning

It can seem hard to connect the sounds of new words from a different language to the meaning attached to it but be patient and don’t give up. Some of the best ways that you can create a memorable correlation is to look at words and pictures/ videos and sounds side by side. This helps your brain recall the word and meaning better.

Step two: Don’t worry about how you sound

Once you understand the meaning and have it memorized, your next step can be to try and speak it out as often as possible.

Step three: Practice, practice & practice

Practice is going to be your best friend here! Find as many people as you can practice your English words with. Don’t worry about how you sound, you are learning a whole new language. It is going to obviously seem a little hard and maybe even sound funny to your ears at first, but eventually you will get it right.

2. Confusion over the tenses of words

Do you often find yourself getting confused with the tenses in your speech? We know just the right steps for you to overcome the same.

Step one: Don’t second guess

Start with just saying the sentences in English as they come to you in the mind. Spend less time in ‘editing’ in your mind and spend more time in making conversation. We promise you that, if you make a mistake, you will be corrected and then you will learn.

Step two: Be a good listener

When you worry less, your mind will be naturally more focused on actively listening to the conversations happening all around you! The more you will listen, the more you will be able to pick on the tenses and other important grammar distinctions. You can then self-correct by practicing what you have now newly learned.

Step three: Write it all down

We recommend that you enroll in English as a second language class to take your English skills up a notch. Once you have some examples of sentences you can write them down. Try writing new sentences, keeping the original sentences as your guides. Once you learn to write sentences in all different tenses correctly, you will get the confidence too. Just don’t hold back from asking your teachers any questions that you may have about English grammar, and you will benefit greatly.

3. Cultural shock

Cultural shock is something we cannot escape. It happens all over the world – it happens to all of us and to the smartest ones too. It does not make you any less than or worse than anybody.

Here are some things that you can do, if you get a cultural shock while learning English as a second language:

Step one: Beat that anxiety of the unfamiliar

We can understand that being exposed to a new culture and language can make you feel homesick. Unfamiliar surroundings, different weather, new types of foods and social isolation along with difficulties in communication can make you feel anxious and overwhelmed.

The best way to beat this anxiety is to first stop resisting change and accept that you are now facing your new fears. This is the time for you to take good care of yourself and get as familiar as possible with the new culture.

We recommend building new friendships and traveling. We also recommend that you start doing something – even something like cooking that reminds you of home, to ease your transition into a new life. Change can be scary, but we are with you, you aren’t alone. You are going to be just fine.

Step two: Open your mind

We recommend that you simply keep an open mind as you progress in learning English. After all, learning any new language is more than just that – it is about the context and the cultural background this language belongs to! Try and dive deeper into the stories behind rituals and festivals, to make your lessons more interesting.We can understand that being exposed to a new culture and language can make you feel homesick. Unfamiliar surroundings, different weather, new types of foods and social isolation along with difficulties in communication can make you feel anxious and overwhelmed.

Step three: Watch movies, shows & listen to English music

One of the best ways to get used to any new cultures is to watch content produced in that language. You will learn a great many things, just by watching these videos with sub-titles. We promise you; this will be a lot of fun!

4. Amount of time needed

Every student is unique and takes their own time to cope with new environments, people, and culture. Give yourself some credit for putting yourself through this challenging time and pushing yourself to have a new goal in life. We are so proud of you!

Here are some strategies to help you understand the best way forward:

Step one: Throw out all the preconceived notions out the window

You are here to learn something new. It is best if you give yourself the sufficient time needed to properly learn a new language. The amount of time one student may need to learn it may differ from the amount of time required for another student.

Step two: Don’t compare

You may be a little slower in understanding things when it comes to learning English, but you might have other talents you are better at. Don’t compare yourself to others. If you must compare, then compare yourself with an older version of you, only to remind yourself of how far you have come.

Step three: Find your English learning partner

Sometimes, it is easier to give up a new habit rather than to stick to it in the long term. At such a time, connect with that friend of yours who will help you stay motivated to continue learning. This is much like going to the gym for working out – having a gym partner helps. Then, why not have an English learning partner, right?

These were some simple strategies for English as a second language that learners could use. We hope that these will help you find your rhythm when it comes to learning English. If you face any difficulties or have any questions about learning English, please feel free to reach out to us. You can also enroll in our ESL classes with Zoni Language Centers to help you in your journey of learning English. You can do our English classes part time, with our evening classes. These are perfect for those of you who must work during the day.

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