An Open Letter to English Language Learners

An Open Letter to English Language Learners

“Oh My God! Why can’t I understand you? Why don’t you understand me?” Millions of people in the United States are thinking this very thing at this very moment. 

As an online English teacher, I know that most of my students are English speaking adults at some level but desperately want to improve. This is what they tell me. English is very, very difficult.  

“I am working with my tutor every week, for one hour or two hours. What do you mean, that is not enough?” 

HERE IS THE SAD TRUTH:  

Working with a tutor for an hour or three every week is a great way to improve your English skills.  But, IT IS NOT ENOUGH! Learning any new language is hard.  “So, how do can I make it easy for myself?”  Students are very anxious to speak English without having to translate it in their heads.  I get it. They want to be fluent NOW! Me, too. I would love to speak French without translating it in my head.  Ugh!

JOIN THE CLUB! 

Here is some good news:

There is no such thing as “perfect English”.  No one I know uses perfect English.  In fact, for every 30 minutes of a news broadcast, I count 5 mistakes of the reporters.  

If you are writing something for publication or for a public speaking event, there are always editors and proofreaders available to help. 

A good reader becomes a good speaker, writer and listening.  Reading will drastically improve your English if you read something regularly. Not just technical manuals. It does NOT matter what you read. It only matters that you read.  

Marvel Comics:  Spider-man                  
 Judy Blume:  Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing

There are 1,000,000s of people in the United States trying to improve their English. Most of these people are looking FOR YOU to practice with them. Where are they? 

YOUR NEW FRIENDS ARE HERE: 

Toastmasters International    

This organization is everywhere, around the world! In most cities, there are several groups with opportunities to join a meeting every week.  Members of Toastmasters are improving their speaking skills.  

Public Speaking – Leadership – Teaching – Fluency  

These are some of the goals you can reach with Toastmasters International.  No one is judgmental because everyone is a student. Find a meeting in your neighborhood.  Can you use some new friends?!  Well, here’s your chance.  In fact, some Toastmaster members join 2-5 groups because they enjoy it so much. Anyone can visit a Toastmaster meeting for free. 

https://toastmasters.org

AND HERE: 

Meet Up   

This is an international social networking website for putting together people (like you) who enjoy the same thing. In every medium to large American city, there are several groups practicing their English. Meetings are generally free or have a small charge (-$5.00 or so).  Many of these happen over lunch or dinner in an affordable restaurant.  Everyone who creates a profile on MeetUp will get invitations for events in their neighborhood.  (Your private information is kept private.) 

When you create a profile in Meetup, indicate that you are interested in Language Groups, specifically English. You will begin to get emails inviting you to make new friends, to practice your English and to have fun.  These are almost always free. 

https://meetup.com

Here is an example of an English Language group from the MeetUp area in Los Angeles, California: https://www.meetup.com/Talkusa/

ANOTHER ONE:

Facebook  I’m pretty sure that I do not need to tell you what Facebook is.  But, I want to make sure you know about all the groups in Facebook of people who are also learning English.  Search for English Language Learners.  Here is one: https://www.facebook.com/AmericanEnglishatState/

MORE STUFF TO HELP YOU:

Hey! Are you going to visit at least one of these groups? I’ve spent much of my time putting together this list for you.  At least VISIT! ONE TIME! 

* While you are doing those things, get yourself a library card. Download these (from the Play Store) into your devices.:

Overdrive              
Kindle
Audible

With Audible, you can listen to books as they are read to you.  With Kindle, you can buy books to read on your devices.  With your Library membership, Overdrive and Kindle, you can check out library books — for free — to read when you have time.  

https://overdrive.com    
This is the app for downloading and reading library books.

https://www.amazon.com/kindle-dbs/fd/kcp     
This is the Kindle app for downloading and reading or listening to ebooks from your library and from Amazon. 

https://audible.com     
This is the audible app for listening to audio books (while you work and play).

Well, ok! What are you sitting there for? Get started doing everything here I have told you about.  Take the 1st step.  All of these people are waiting to meet you!  No more negative thinking. No more thinking that you will never fully learn English.  It is up to YOU! So, DO IT! 

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2 thoughts on “An Open Letter to English Language Learners

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