HOW CAN WE STUDY ENGLISH?

There are different strategies of studying that can be applied for Writing, Grammar (Use of English), Speaking and Reading skills in the process of learning English. Knowing these strategies helps us in this period or in this process of studying and learning.

LISTENING

Listening is a skill that is ignored in learning English language. Priority is mostly given to Grammar. However, we need to be exposed to and understand the target language in the first place. How babies acquire their mother tongue is a good example.

Babies go through a period which is called ‘Silent Period’ before they start speaking. In this period, it does not mean that babies are passive, they can not pick out voices and there is no development in their brain.On the contrary, they try to listen the voices around them and pick them up, observe them, integrate the information and adapt to voice around them. When they are exposed to the sufficient amount of language, they begin to speak. Adults should undergo a process of exposure language and storage just like babies. Besides, the more you listen, the more fluently you speak and these two skills are complementary to each other.

LISTENING STRATEGIES

  1. You do not have to understand every single thing your hear. If you aim to understand every single thing you hear word by word before you listen to something, you will probably be quite demoralised. Your expectations should not be that high. Even when we listen to a song or conversation in Turkish, we may not fully understand every word or sentence. Why should we impose such an obligation on ourselves in a foreign language? Such an expectation is not only unrealistic but also does nothing but to be discouraged. Firstly, you should try to understand what the track/material you listen to talks about generally as an outline. Then, listen to the track/material for the second time, but this time you should pay attention to the details such as names, dates, the sequence of events, details of information.
  • You should repeat the thing you listen to as many times as possible. Your listening capacity increases each time you listen, and the words ans structures present in the material can be acquired by your subconscious. Instead of listening a different track each time, it is better to listen the same track many times. This is the key of success.
  • You should try to be an active listener. Primarily, you need to comprehend what being an active listener is. As the name implies, “active learning” is a way of learning in which you approach analytically and try to undertand the gist and the details as clear as it can be. In addition to this, we learn more quickly if we examine the books we read, the movies we watch, people we talk and how people use the language while they are talking throughly with a method of analytical thinking. Besides, you should get into the habit of studying every single thing about the things you learn. For instance, the structure of words, grammar, the pronuncation of words can be included in the list. Later, you will realize that you can use the grammatical structures, the words or idioms and pronounce them correctly before you know it. Likewise, try to get into the habit of making an effort every second you are doing listening. This is the key of learning listening.
  • You should choose the materials that are appropriate for your level. As with other skills, in the process of learning language what we have to do in listening is should be going on the adventure with ‘A MATERIAL THAT IS SUITABLE FOR OUR LEVEL’. If the material you are trying to listen is much higher than your level, it is no different than just listening to noises and please be sure that it is a waste of time. The most ideal level of material should be just a little bit higher than the current level of the students. In this way, you will see that your target is more accessible and you will be motivated.
  • You should listen materials or tracks in your field of interests or in which you need to learn things. By doing this, you will both find process of learning funny and learn useful things.
  • Do listening session about the things you are already familiar. Listening to subjects about which you already have some idea  is always more effective. For example, if you are familiar with e-sports games such as Leauge of Legends or real sporting events, you can listen to podcasts about the news in sporting world.
  • Just as we check the dictionary for the meaning of a word in a reading text to understand the meaning, we may have section of listening tracks we do not understand. On this case, we need to have the audio script of the audio to find the word in question. Please make sure that the material you listen to has audioscripts or subtitles available. This is a cruical point especially for elementary and intermediate level learners and being able to go back to the points you missed will be very beneficial for you.
  • This book called ’ audiobook ‘which you can find it in all languages, existed much earlier internet became widespread, method of reading by listening is more effective and practical. First of all you take your book you want to read (or follow it on the screen) you follow the person both by seeing and hearing, you have read a new book in the same way when you encounter with a new word in the form of the transcript, that is already you have, you can open the book directly and look at. The book we called audiobooks are avaible in a level- separated manner as well as all other learning bases.
  • You can choose books to read from graded readers of various publishing houses that are suitable for your level and find their audiobooks to listen at the same time. Firstly, you can have a overall listening session. After you listened to them in general, you can read them. After you have read the books and learned the unknown words, listen the audiobooks again. The key point here is not to follow the book visually. Just listen to the audiobook. The focus should be only on listening. There are many audiobooks or audiostories, available for listening on devices such as iPods or smartphones.

RESOURCES

The list below includes useful resources you can use

1. Audiobook Fairy Tales

2. “Grimm’s Fairy Tales” on YouTube:

3. https://librivox.org/andersens-fairy-tales-by-hc-andersen/

4. Friday Night Comedy from BBC Radio 4

5. Open Culture

6. The Internet Archive

7. StoryNory

8. Learn Out Loud

9. Librivox

10. Scribl(App)

11. Lit2Go

12. Audible

13. Voscreen

14. TED Talks

15. Fluentu

16. Lyricstraining

17. BBC Learn English Teens

18. Listen A Minute

19. Learn English Podcasts https://www.lifewire.com/free-movies-and-tv-shows-3482216

SPEAKING

Speaking is one of the most valuable skills for people who are learning English. The aim of speaking activities is to help students overcome their inhibitions about speaking English by stressing the fact that the only important thing is to communicate. Frequent activities help students see the fact that the speaking competence of students get better in the process of learning.

SPEAKING STRATEGIES

1) Online and presentation applications encourage students to utilize speaking skill by developing their audio-lingual skills.

2) The skill of empathy can develop as a result of communication with other cultures that take place in social environments. Activities that focus on speaking can also improve memory and reinforce learning.

3) Speaking skills can be improved by devoting frequent and short time. For example, 15-20 minutes per day can help students get used to speaking by practising.

RESOURCES

The resources used in developing speaking skill are very important. The resources which will help you in this process are listed below.

1. English games and activity (Taboo, Monopoly, Game nights vb.)

2. Online applications and websites (Voki, DuoLingo, Cambly, Verbling, Busuu, Speaky, Italky, Club Online, Speaking24 vb.)

3. Presentation applications (PechaKucha)

4. Platforms in English (ESN Network, English Spoken cafes)

5. Cultural exchange programs (Workaway, Work and Travel, Interrail)

6. Applications for pronuncuation (Sounds, English File Pronunciation, Howjsay, Forvo)

7. Medipol University Speaking Club

8. Online games (with English- speaking partners)

9. Outdoor activities

10. Video Blogs (Vlogs)

11. Audio recordings

READING

Reading is one of the most effective methods of learning languages. We not only learn words while reading, we also become familiar with learning various grammatical structures, as well as increasing the speed of reading and speaking. Therefore, it is very important to continue reading out of the school. We may not able to choose the texts we read in the clasroom. We can improve our comprehension ability and vocabulary by reading about topics in which we are interested.

READING STRATEGIES

1) Do not try to understand every word. Try to understand the meaning of the words you do not understand from the text.

2) Write the repeated words you do not know on a sticky paper and stick it to the page it is written in. Check the meanings of these words from bilingual dictionaries.

3) Note down the new words you learned while doing reading and revise them by using flashcard applications such as Quizlet.

4) Rather than reading different books all the time, read the same books and materials multiple times. This will help you acquire the words and grammatical structures more easily.

5) The more you read, the more your reading skill develops. As your proficiency level increases, the need for learning new words will increase as well. Henceforth, try to read as much as you can without getting overwhelmed. 

6) It can be very useful to summarize the book or the text you have read in our own sentences.

7) If you read a story book, please look through the title, the visuals, the sections, titles and subtitles in the book before starting to read.

8) If you are reading a text, the first thing you should do is to skim the first and last sentences of the paragraphs in order to get the main idea of it. After getting the main idea of the paragraph, you should read each of the paragraphs separately. In other words, it can be said that reading should be done in a general-to-specific manner. If there are comprehension questions related to the text, one should answer the question by looking at the main ideas of every paragraph and read the relevant paragraph throughly.

9) If you are a student who learns visually, you can create a story with the words you have learned and draw this setting.

10) If you are an audial learner, you can reinforce your acquisition by listening to the audiobook or the audio version of the text you are reading simultaneously.

RESOURCES

1. Oxford Select Readings (it should be taken in series)

2. Reader At Work 1 & 2

3. esl.fis.edu

4. British Council | LearnEnglish Teens

5. Breaking News English

6. http://www.ngllife.com/student-zone/interactive-reading-practice

7. English Club: short stories

8. Using English.com (free for a month)

9. InfoSquares.com free member

10. Newsela (APP) 11. http://www.onestopenglish.com/

12. Dreamreader

13. https://etc.usf.edu/lit2go/ (high level-free reading)

14. https://tr.englishcentral.com/videos (1 video free per day) (for word)

15. https://readtheory.org/ (look at)

16. http://www.manythings.org/ (as audio book) (it can use as generator sentence )

USE OF ENGLISH

Grammar is one of the most important stages in the learning process of English. Our grammatical knowledge needs to be sufficient to properly provide reading, listening, speaking and writing capabilities. In addition, our grammar knowledge is evaluated not only in our exams but also in our projects and portfolios during the year.

LISTENING STRATEGIES

1) Try to socialize by using English. Trying to use English without the fear of making grammatical errors would be very helpful.

2) Visual or auditory resources can be used by considering the differences in personal learning styles.

3) Watching movies and TV series with English subtitles can improve our capability in both listening and grammar.

4) Reading books is very useful for developing our grammatical knowledge as it is for every skill.

RESOURCES

There are some sources that we can use to improve grammatical knowledge.

1. Murat Kurt – English Grammar Today (Book)

2. Pearson-My Grammar Lab (Book)

3. Cambridge-English Grammar in Use (Book)

4.  www.grammar-quizzes.com

5.  BBC Learning English Website & Youtube Channel

6.  British Council

7. A-Z of Grammar and Punctuation (Free application)

8.  Learn English Grammar (Free application)

9. Cambly (Free for only first 3 uses)

10. Speaky (Free application)

11.  6 Minute Grammar (Podcast – Free with Spotify)

WRITING

Most people think that writing is a skill that is specific . But writing, which is a language productive skill, is linked to all other skills and is quite important for learning languages. For this reason, the importance is given to the development of this skill as of the first track in our institution.

WRITING STRATEGIES

1) There are four criteria that you should always have in mind in order to improve writing. Increase you’re the number of the words you know, learn spelling rules, read regularly, and improve your grammar in order to advance your writing ability.

2) Study sample paragraph and essay types.

3) Specify the paragraph and essay type to write on and revise the rules of the structure. For instance, pay attention to the conjunctions used in that specific type of essay.

4) Note down and organize your ideas on the topic of your choice.

5) Use the grammar structures you have learned. For example, include the ‘if clause’ structures you have learned in use of English courses in your article.

6) When you complete your essay, make sure that you’ve paid attention to the steps above. Then, review and revise the essay by making necessary arrangements.

7) Make sure to use the target words in your reading and listening books.

8) You can watch videos that will contribute to your writing techniques and general culture. For example; TedTalks, NatGeo, BBC Doc etc.

9) You can sign up to online platforms or forums in order to be a part of an exchange of information in written English.

10) You can find pen pals to practice English in writing.

11) You can create an online blog. You can use grammarly.com to check the spelling mistakes in your piece of writing (free of charge).

12) You can get grammar and vocabulary support by downloading apps to your phone or by reviewing websites.

RESOURCES

1.         Duolingo (practice))

2.         British Council Learn English Grammar)

3.         www.quill.org

4.         www.polyglot.com

5.         www.italki.com

6.         www.lang-8.com

7.         www.vozswap.com

8.         www.coeffee.com

9.         www.lingoglobe.com

TIME MANAGEMENT

You can use the sample below in order to come up with your own chart of extra study.


 

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