Frequently Asked Questions
1. How can I improve my English?
This is the most common question asked by English language students. The short answer is…practice makes perfect. However, students may not realize exactly what to practice. American English Language Services recommend that students practice their skills among 8 different modules of learning, namely: Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking, Grammar, Vocabulary, Conversation, and Pronunciation. Please take some courses among these various modules and your English will improve greatly. The more modules of practice that you take, the greater your chances are for improvement as a whole.
2. How do I improve my English outside of the classroom environment?
This is also a very good question. Actually, students need to practice the same skills outside of the classroom that they practice inside of the classroom. So to practice these various skills from the various modules, you can try to following tips:
Reading/Writing: Try to read newspapers or story books according to your level of learning to improve your reading skills. Keep a diary to record your thoughts about about your life or daily activities to improve your writing skills. Keeping contact with friends by writing messages is also advised, especially with friends who speak English much better than you, for instance, a native English speaker.
Listening/Speaking: You can improve your listening skills by simply listening to other people talk. Try to over hear conversations at cafes and bus stops or public places in general. By hearing the tone and pronunciation and listening to phrases or words used repeatedly, you will retain your remembrance of the language as well as learn new things. If you also speak with people who speak English well, then their higher skills will be a good model for you and when you practice speaking, then obviously, you will improve.
Grammar/Vocabulary: To improve grammar skills, you must read materials which are according to your level of learning or speak with people who have very good spoken grammar. By reading or speaking, many basic words which are useful will show themselves to you. Words that are used repeatedly are important words and other words which appear only sometimes in context, may also be useful for your learning. Try also to avoid listening too much to people who use slang expressions unless slang English is something that is important for you to learn.
Conversation/Pronunciation: Just like the case of listening practice, by hearing the conversation of others, you will adapt to features of good conversation, so to also engage in discussions will be useful to help your conversation skills. By listening carefully to those people who have good pronunciation, your pronunciation will improve. You should try to avoid listening too much to persons who have poor pronunciation such as non-native speakers of English language or native speakers who speak too quickly.
3. I have already studied English in school and also in other learning centers, but my improvement is very slow…so why is this?
4. Why is it costly to learn English language? Can I study quite cheaply or get free lessons anywhere?
The cost of anything is usually related to its quality and whether or not it is rare or common in the market. In countries where English is prominent, you may find that the rates are more affordable but in places where it is very rare to find a native speaker of English, you may find that instruction is more rare and therefore more expensive. You may also compare the rates for learning your own language in your own country by tourists. It is not likely that English will be cheaper than those rates unless the quality of English is quite low, for instance as taught by people of your own country without perfect command of the language. So you must choose the quality of instruction according to what is affordable to you and according to what your actual needs are.
Free lessons or free practice can come from personal friends that you make if they are willing to help you out of friendship or by some fixed exchange of service or assistance. People that you have helped are more likely to help you with your needs. It is a quite a common and proper gesture to offer a cup of tea or a meal to someone who you admire or who has done something to help you, such as some special favor. So you can also imagine that the cost of a class might be similar to the cost of offering something at a cafe to your friend who is a native speaker of English or an actual English teacher who you are on friendly terms with. You might consider that according to your location, the cost of an English lesson may be comparable or related to the cost of living and food. Lower cost areas may dictate lower rates and higher cost areas may dictate higher rates regardless of the quality of instruction. Normally, higher quality instruction may be found more commonly in higher rate areas because most people are learning English to get some academic and economic advantage.