Problems with learning English

English is not my native language, which I’m sure is too obvious for anyone reading my posts. I try to improve my language skills, but as a person born in times when one possessing colour tv was regarded a very rich man, my memory often no longer wants to cooperate with my willingness to learn by heart some new words. Id’like it to absorb new words like a sponge does with water, but it rarely work that way. What’s strange for me and at the same time interesting, I found that some groups of words are much more difficult for me to remember than the other. For example – words describing negative emotions and  actions like e.g. indignant, insult, offend, they are rarely on my tongue when I want to use one of them, let alone use them correctly. I almost always mistake them. I remember I had once rare opportunity to speak with Englishman who told me ‘English is very easy language but extremely hard to master’. Year ago I resolved to write down in alphabetical order daily 3 to 5 words (of course in a ‘word’ file:) from books I read which I don’t know well and at the same time to repeat about 10 ‘neighbouring’ words to memorise them. Maybe it’s not very efficent way but for sure it’s better than nothing. When I see a word from my list which is very stubborn to not be learned by heart I select it with red colour. Once I’m sure I already know the word well it goes into black again. Somehow those ‘indignant, insult, offend’ words seem indeed to like red. They do everything to avoid returning into black. The words above insult me. Is that right?

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14 thoughts on “Problems with learning English

  1. Hi! You could try vocabulary.com. It’s quite helpful. At least it worked for me. Plus, it’s fun…I mean I also tried your way, which frankly needs lots of determination. I’ve set up a daily target of spending 1 hour/day on their words and I’m quite confident 🙂 I hope it helps 😉 Have a great year and good luck with your English! 🙂

  2. I thought your use of the English language to be acceptable, and I thought you conveyed your ideas just fine. Thank you for the comment on my blog. I was beginning to think the whole of the web was deserted. I’ll look in on your pages from time to time.

  3. English is not my native tongue as well but I spent 14 years of my life learning it in school and university. My advice would be not to give up and read more in English. Start with easy texts/books and proceed to more difficult ones when you feel comfortable. It is great that you make a list of unfamiliar words. It is a very good technique. When I was learning English it was very helpful to highlight these words and write them out in your personal vocabulary with the definition of the word, not only the translation. A website I use often to check definitions and the proper use of words is dictionary.cambridge.org. It really helps to understand what words suits better.

    I enjoyed reading your post about learning English. Good luck!

  4. Thanks again Lena. I do like reading in English, I read 1-2 regular books a month (that way almost completely stopped reading books in Polish which is not very good, but it’s a question of choice 🙂 The real problem for me now is active expressing of my thoughts and understanding of spoken (esp. fast) English. That’s why I started this blog, to compel myself to use acively English.

    1. To my shame, I nearly don’t read any books at all now. I like to read paper books but we have moved to Australia and paper is a bit overpriced for me and also I don’t have enough space to keep the books. It also worries me that I don’t read in my native language (Russian). Back home in Russia we have a huge library of must-read books so I could read any time.
      I’m sure writing for the blog will help you to succeed in expressing your thought every time 🙂 Regarding understanding fluent English – it depends on who’s speaking. When I studied at university we were told to watch the news like BBC to learn English and it really helped. But in real life not all people speak perfectly. I live in an English speaking environment now and sometimes I don’t catch what people say very quickly especially on the phone. Their pronunciation is not perfect. So if you get into a situation like that – don’t worry, it’s not your fault 🙂

  5. I admire your persistence! I also struggle trying to learn languages. It sounds like you are much more accomplished than I am, but I am going to try your tips on writing words everyday and color coding!

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