Effective Way to Learn English

by Siew Ning
(Selangor, Puchong, Malaysia)

I need your help, Diana! My English is very poor and I need some way to improve my english it. After I found finding this website, I realized that the motivation you mention in here is the same as what my lecturer teacher or instructor has told me before.

It doesn't work for me.

So what is the an effective way to learn English?

I have taken 2 times of Toefl twice and I just scored only 44 out of 120. I tried to find out what my mistakes were, and I found out i knew that my reading and listening part is weak. However, the speaking part and writing part also are not good as well either. I will be taking the test for a third time but what should I do to improve my English before then?

I know that my vocabulary was limited, so when I need to express my ideas, I have no idea how to complete my essay because I don’t know the words. My friend has told me before, to read the newspaper everyday and speak out loud when I'm reading. If have I find a difficult word, i need to I should write down the whole sentence from the newspaper and find the meaning of the words. Is it doesn't work Does this work? Maybe i'm I didn't put a lot of effort into improving my English.

I have searched in many websites for learning English, i have go going through the website and i have done doing all the exercises but it seems like it does not work for me. I think that watching English movies is more effective to for me. First, I watch with English subtitles and then without subtitles. I use a dictionary when they speak out the say words I dont understand. After that, I found find that i have forget I forget the meaning of the words. The reason is i I knew the meaning but I didn’t use it in my essay. So what should I do?

My friend asked me to write a daily diary everyday, but I didn't do it. I have no idea how to start it? I need your advice and what is the motivation I should have to improve my English.

I appreciate for your willingness to help.


Hi Ning,

Several parts of your message trouble me. You said that,

The motivation on websites "...doesn't work for me."

"Maybe I didn't put a lot of effort into improving my English."

"I need your advice and what is the motivation I should have to improve my English."

These quotes frustrate me because it shows me why you are not learning English like you want to.

Wanting to learn a language and actually learning it are two different things. I know you want to learn English, but from your message you don't seem willing to do things to better your English.

You did mention that you didn't know where to start and I will try to help you with that, but you need to realize that right now you are stuck in the "want" stage of learning and you need to get into the "doing" stage.

The first issue you need to address is finding your motivation. No one can tell you what your motivation should be; it is personal and changes from person to person. Answer this simple question,

Why do you want to learn English?

Write down all the reasons you can think of. Your reasons could include travelling, your job, meeting new people etc. Write down your reasons.

Now you can see your motivation for learning English. The reasons that you are learning English are your motivation.

You are trying methods and activities that don't interest you.

Someone tells you to read the newspaper because that works for them. You try doing this but, for you, it's boring. If an activity is boring, it will not help you learn English for very long. Soon you will stop doing it. You need to find something that is interesting for you...like watching movies.

You like watching movies...so do that. After each movie you could write a review of that movie to practice your writing and the words that you learnt from that movie.

You write very well...about how your English is bad...

This is probably because you frequently write about how poor your English is. Imagine if you wrote more about your life, or interesting new things...you would strengthen your writing in all areas.


Listen more to improve your listening

Write more to improve your writing

Read more to improve your reading

Speak more to improve your speaking.

So now you have to choose activities that inspire you, that you enjoy and that you will do daily. That is your responsibility. You have to improve your English and do it in the best way possible for you.

There is no ONE answer.
  • You could listen to podcasts on an mp3 player while you go to work or walk or clean your house.
  • You could read articles about topics that interest you but are in English. I like to read about weight loss, travel and actors in Spanish.

    Basically what I am telling you is this;

    1) You need to find your motivation, the reasons why you are learning English.

    2) You need to choose ways to study and use your English that are interesting and fun for YOU.

    3) You need to stop wanting to learn English and DO it.

    I know you are looking for answers and quick fixes but you really have to find them for yourself. I can give you ideas but I can't force you to use them. I hope this helps you. Please let us know how you are progressing in the future.

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    Extra Help!

    In order to review and learn from your mistakes I invite you to correct your story and post it again as a comment below. This is a simple, easy and fast way to learn from your mistakes.
    Take 5 minutes and do it. You will notice a difference!

  • Comments for Effective Way to Learn English

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    Click here to add your own comments

    Dec 25, 2012
    I really want to be proficient in English
    by: naw rin seng

    Firstly, I want to say thank you for your web.
    Whenever I read, speak, listen and write in English I wonder how I can be proficient because English is not my mother language. So I have been searching for effective guidance. I need somebody to remind me what I should do or what not to do and your website gives me many effective ways of learning and practicing English. Thank you!

    May 18, 2012
    How to improve English
    by: M. Rasyid

    Hello, I am also interested to this page in relating how to improve English, especially for people where English is not their native language.

    You know that English is not my native language, English becomes a foreign language, not second moreover first language. It means that English is just used at school.

    When we are out of school we never again speak English. English is not used in the public space or in the office.

    Shortly, the environment does not support me to communicate English. How to overcome this problem. I tried to improve my English by using some facilities through internet.

    I tried hardly to get as many as possible the address which relate to increase English. after I got them, then I studied.

    Next I communicate it with my friends that previous we have made such a commitment to communicate in English with the percentage 75% by using English and 25% by using our own local language.

    How is the result with this way? How amazing and embarrassing we get good progress in English.

    That is my experience in learning English.

    Hopefully, the instructor or the member of this website could correct me when I make mistakes. Thanks before.

    Mar 30, 2012
    Taking English Courses
    by: lamia

    I'm tired of learning English but despite always failing I will never give up. I want to ask, how about taking courses?

    Oct 15, 2011
    cant write english properly.
    by: Anonymous

    In English if I write a essay I find a lots of grammatical mistakes.i cant avoid it even if I learn about that. I cant write English essay very quickly I need a lots of time to complete it, but still I make some mistakes in that and because of this I lose a lot of marks.

    May 30, 2011
    help me how to improve my skills learning english
    by: kakuzu

    hello..I'm one of the person that very interested in learning English..i tried to remember new words every day..unfortunately..its no working for me..sometimes i want give up..then i also try to learn by watching movies with subtitles.but..i forget quickly..so what should i do??try to watch it 2-3 times in a day or what..one more thing..my vocabulary is poor..when ever i do my essay in test..i take long time to remember or arrange my words..i also have problem with my grammar..please help me as soon as possible..

    Dec 30, 2009
    by: nada

    as i can see we have many things in common .because me too i am facing a lot of troubles in learning english ,such as unable to remember vocabulary especialy when i speak or write i feel like if my mind had been swept
    so far i have been uncapable to fix it though i have tried many ways but i usually end up with failure nothing work out.

    I accustomed to hear others saying that when you love something the most and really intersted in it no doubt you will achieve it soon or later you will what matter is one's belief yeah i do absolutly agree with that in my case i think that i have the ediquate motivation yet still part missing from my puzzle it is how can i put into practice.

    being shy is one of the obstacles which keeps me away from my goals so that others rude ramarks depress me all the time otherwise i perfer to don't talk in public beside number of snags
    hope that i will benefit from this website to improve my english despite things are difficult i want give up on my faith

    Oct 02, 2009
    Help me Improve my english
    by: Anonymous

    my requirement is that I want to speak english fluently and I have been working on it for 2 months, I am trying to put my most effort on to it.

    I learn hard and am trying to remember words as much as I can, but when it comes to speaking those words are not coming out automatically.

    I don't know the reason and the second problem is when someone asks a question I can't answer...it takes some time

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