How not to learn English: common mistakes

  • Tutorial
Learning foreign languages ​​is a long and complex process. It consists of many factors and features, so many students make mistakes in it.

Some errors are harmless and simply reduce the speed of learning a language, but some of them can reduce success to almost zero. In this article, we will examine the main mistakes in learning English, which students most often stumble upon.

Lack of goals

Before you start learning, you must ask yourself the question: “Why do I need English?”.

The goals can be very diverse:

  • go to the UK to study;
  • move to the USA to live;
  • get a job in an English speaking country;
  • increase their value as a specialist and pay their labor;
  • learn to read books and watch movies in the original;
  • communicate with representatives of different countries.

This is only a small part of the list of goals that you can set for yourself. It is not necessary to limit yourself to one goal. The main thing - to choose the actual for you. This will help catch two birds with one stone.

First, you can build a plan and mechanics of classes. For example, if your goal is to prepare for relocation to work in the US, then it is obvious that you need to learn American spoken English. The perfect correctness of grammatical structures is not so important, because most Americans speak as they like. But a large vocabulary with idioms and idioms will help to easily communicate and understand people.

Secondly, a clear goal guarantees a sufficient level of motivation to study. After a month or two, the initial enthusiasm disappears, and during this time the results have not yet had time to manifest. And if there are no visible results, then the desire to learn also disappears. There is often a false impression that “languages ​​are not mine.” And if there is a clear goal, then there will be a desire to continue studying.

Memorize words separately from context

Large vocabulary is great. But only in the case when you know how to properly dispose of them. After all, what's the use of knowing 20,000 words if you cannot explain to a familiar American how to get to your house?

To memorize the meanings of words as they are written in a dictionary is a bad thing. After all, a good half of the meanings are not used at all in the modern language. And still the part needs to be used in accurately certain situations.

If you memorize all the running phrases, it will be much easier to develop communication skills.

After all, in fact, when communicating, your brain will remember the phrase completely, and will not make it up from separate bricks. You will spend a lot less mental effort - both when learning a language, as well as during training and real communication.

The mechanics are very similar to the one that small children teach their mother tongue. They immediately learn to understand phrases entirely, without studying the detailed meanings of individual words. Maybe you should try it too?

Where to take ready-made phrases:

  • Watch videos in English with English and Russian subtitles;
  • read books with parallel translation;
  • use phrasal online simulators .

More theory, less practice

For some reason, many students have the impression that the process of learning a language consists only of memorizing words, translating and performing exercises. Undoubtedly, these are important components, but not all.

Pupils often forget less obvious, but no less important features of the language:

  • speech perception - when by ear you can understand what a foreigner wants from you. Even if he speaks with a wildest accent;
  • thinking skills in English - without it, it’s impossible to speak normally, because the brain will always try to create phrases in their native language and translate them into English;
  • subtle handling of vocabulary - often instead of a variety of synonyms, students use only one word simply because they do not feel the difference between synonyms.

The theory does not work without constant practice. In the correct training system, theoretical materials should occupy only 30% of the total study time, and the development of practical skills - the remaining 70%.

Practice is not only live communication with foreigners on various topics. Many are ashamed of their modest success in learning the language and do not want to speak to people.

Let's open a small secret - almost as well you can:

  • watch movies in the original;
  • play online games;
  • read and leave comments on English-language resources (the same Reddit);
  • enroll in a conversational club in your city or on Skype.

Use English in a natural environment - and in a month you will see how language skills improve.

Fear of mistakes

Only the one who does nothing is not mistaken. Mistakes are an extremely important part of the educational process, without which you can’t do without.

The human brain is not able to perfectly memorize and reproduce all the information that gets into it. Some facts are forgotten, and at first you will be much mistaken in the meanings of words, grammar and spelling.

Remember - this is all normal. No one will point a finger at you if you suddenly forget the three forms of the irregular verb or cannot accurately translate the sentence.

Unfortunately, even now we feel echoes of Soviet education, when it was considered less shameful to not answer the question than to answer it incorrectly.

Correct work on errors is an important part of correct language learning. If you make a mistake, you need to stop and work through this moment in detail: what is the mistake, how did you make it (out of ignorance or inattention) and fix the correct version in the memory with the help of exercises.

Making mistakes is normal. The main thing is not to repeat them again and again.

Use one technique, even if it does not work

There are a huge number of methods of learning English. Only known and common, there are about 40 pieces.

You have the right to choose any method that you like. But remember that each person’s perception of information is different.

Psychologists identify 4 types of information perception by man:

  • Visual. When visual images are best perceived.
  • Audio. When information is best remembered through sound.
  • Kinesthetic. The leading source of information are tactile sensations.
  • Digital When for the assimilation of knowledge a person needs to mentally classify them and bring them into a convenient logical chain.

And it is on these factors that the effectiveness of a particular study methodology will depend.

A technique that is perfect for your friend can, at times, complicate the learning process for you personally. And all because, for example, you are digital, and your friend is a visual. Therefore, visual techniques for you will be of little use.

Just think about what type of information is best perceived by you - and choose a technique that focuses on it.

Try to start with online courses - for training you do not need to go anywhere, and all the necessary materials are conveniently collected on one platform. Such courses are offered by the school, and at registration by referenceYou get a 2 month subscription to all online courses for free. Pass the test to determine your level of knowledge, choose the appropriate course and complete the tasks.

It takes 2–3 months to determine with 100% probability whether a particular English study method is suitable for you or not. If studying is too difficult - change the teacher, school or the specifics of training.

PS If you are a kinesthet, you should not be upset, because this does not mean that you will perceive any other type of information badly. You just need to experiment with the techniques and choose the most appropriate.

Lack of systematic training

It is better to practice every day for 20 minutes than once a week for 4 hours. You will spend less time in total, but the results will be several times higher.

It is all about the features of the perception of information by the brain. The first 40 minutes of training are the most productive. At this time, the brain works very actively: it remembers information, builds logical and associative chains, perfectly perceives the nuances and shades of speech.

If you extend the time of study, the brain will begin to tire. After 80 minutes of training, the brain will work only on 50% of its capabilities. After 4 hours, the effectiveness of the training will be only slightly greater than zero.

But that's not all, because once a week, classes do not allow the brain to form stable memory cells. For a week without classes, you will lose up to 80% of the information studied. Just imagine - 80% of the effort is wasted!

It is better to do less in time, but do it every day, without holidays and weekends. 20 minutes on the way to work or during the lunch break is not so much, and the results will surprise you.


If in the process of learning you can remove these most common mistakes, the effectiveness of learning English will grow at least 1.5-2 times.

At first it may seem difficult, but the effort is really worth it. Learning will be easier, and the language will be remembered as if by itself. is an online school that inspires learning English through innovation and human concern.

→ Crank in English on online courses from
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