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My question this week comes from an English learner from South Africa. In some ways he is fluent, but as he says in his recording in my lesson, he feels that he is simply unable to make any progress. In this lesson I teach some important tips about learning a language and of course I include a lot of vocabulary and grammar. If you have a question about English, you can send it to me here.
One of the things that happens to many English learners is that at first English seems like an "easy" language, but after a few years they feel that their English is not getting better. We call this reaching a plateau i.e. a flat terrain. Do you think the student in the picture made a big mistake? Well, by reading it and seeing the x mark, you know it is wrong. However, it is a VERY common mistake, even among advanced speakers of English. I explain in this lesson the correct way to say it and also how you can correct this bad habit.
As I said previously, many English learners start learning English and think it is EASY. This may be true, but as you become more advanced English becomes more and more difficult. The main reason for it is because we have different words and expressions depending on the context of the situation. So the language you use with your boss is not the same language you use with your friends for example. In my lesson I show you a dialogue between a man and a woman in both formal and informal contexts with many useful expressions that native speakers use.
Even if you are an advanced speaker of English, prepositions can be a nightmare. It has been my experience that many learners can even have a "relapse" or "fall back into" old habits of using the same wrong preposition in English. I realize prepositions are strictly based on using your memory, so to make your life easier I have included a cool song/rap in my video to help you remember many of the prepositions people typically get wrong.
Some English teaching methods absolutely demonize grammar saying that children can learn a language without studying grammar, why can't you? Well, I have a simple answer for that: we are not children.Other English teaching methods go in the opposite direction saying that grammar is the only way you can learn English. From my 20 + years of teaching English I can tell you SOME grammar can help you to correct your own mistakes. You need to use both the creative side and logical side of your brain to really speak English fluently.