Read books. Watch English movies. Talk in English. Bla bla bla.
Whenever you ask someone “how to learn English,” everyone throws the same old tips at you all the time, and you keep wondering…
- When are you actually going to be able to read all those novels people suggest?
- How on earth do you watch English movies without being clueless about a word they say in their weird complicated accent?
- And most of all, how can you even talk in English all the time when Hindi has got so many cool slangs to express your emotions?
Reading and understanding English is one thing and being able to communicate in it is entirely different.
So before you start believing that you can never speak in English and that it’s a dreadful language, you better read this. I bring this lazy man’s (or woman’s, or kid’s) guide to learning English- a language we all are fascinated with and scared of at the same time.
Bonus- these are just 2 practical, laziness-friendly steps.
Step 1: Stop Trying Hard
You read that right. They say you should try hard to succeed, but, that’s not always a practical advice when you are on a power-saving mode, right?
On a serious note, a language is not something you memorize and work hard to do so. Language should come to you naturally and that is when you can be flawlessly fluent in it. Now when I say naturally, that definitely does not mean Zeus will visit you in your slumber and gift you with English skills overnight. However, what I mean is you should change your approach towards language learning.
Three things you need to avoid to stop trying hard:
- Do not be desperate to learn
- Do not stress yourself
- Do not condemn yourself
Step 2: Take it as a Language, not Science
Now that you have stopped trying hard, you should know why you did so. Not because this is a lazy man’s guide to learning English, but because language is not science, it’s expression of your mind.
Let me ask you this- How did you learn Hindi or your native language?
- It came to your naturally because people around you were speaking the same language.
- Since you were always listening to this language, your thoughts occurred in the same language.
- And because you think in this language, you speak your native language.
So, the ideal process of learning English should be the process that taught you your native language.
- Surround yourself with people who speak in English
- Think in English
- Speak as you think
Step 2.1 Surround yourself with people who speak in English
You have to figure out first if you have people around you who speak in English. If you can’t think of anyone, it will always help to join English Speaking Classes where you find like-minded people and trainers who speak in English. While watching hours of English movies and reading English novels definitely help, nothing works better than a community that understands your pain and helps you rise above it.
Make sure your English speaking classes are structured in real time based on your needs & current levels of knowledge. Following a syllabus or pattern is not how you learn language.
Step 2.2 Think in English
One thing all lazy people like us love doing is to think. We like hours on inactivity lying on our favourite sofa or bed and knitting stories in our heads. This very habit of being lazy might actually turn out to be a boon when you want to learn English.
The biggest hurdle that holds us back from expressing our emotions in English is our fear of speaking it wrong. This hurdle is clearly not a hurdle when you think in English. Nobody to judge you, literally! It’s you, your perfect laziness, limitless stories, and English.
Make it a habit that whenever you speak to your little roommate in your brain, you speak to this ‘self’ in English.
Step 2.3 Speak as you think
You perfected your skills in your native language with practice. You can do that with English too. Speaking in English out of nowhere is tough. But when you are thinking in English, it’s just another language. And believe me, there might as well be times when you don’t even realize that you spoke in English because you were thinking in it.
Over to You
The ball is in your court now. No more impractical tips. You can now learn English effortlessly without having to worry about all those novels you didn’t read, and English movies you secretly watched in Hindi.
The limits of my language are the limits of my world. – Ludwig Wittgenstein
So don’t limit your language, especially when English opens avenues to a new world of possibilities and when learning a new language is really pure happiness.