If you are studying English in San Diego or San Francisco, then you know what thousands of former CISL students know: learning a new language is incredibly fun, but can also be challenging! To help our students, we are providing a list of the three common mistakes many English language students make. Follow our tips for avoiding these mistakes and your English will continue improving in a way that only English students living in full immersion will understand!
Three Common Mistakes English Students Make
1. Saying “I’ll never learn English.”
We will say the obvious: that is not a very good attitude to have!
Students get frustrated when they are practicing English a lot, but still have conversations where they don’t understand all of the words a native speaker uses. Here is the thing about learning a new language: YOU WILL NOT LEARN IT ALL. Go ask an English speaker if he or she knows the meaning of the word “macrosmatic.” They probably won’t know . . and it will make you feel better! (By the way, “macrosmatic” means “having a good sense of smell”.)
Try some of these suggestions for improving your English:
- Dedicate yourself to a language school like Converse, where you will have 7 classmates or less (and a competent English instructor).
- Once you are a student at CISL, go out and into the city! Check out CISL’s activities to help you learn more about SD or SF.
- Check out our blog to improve your reading skills and vocabulary.
- Use iTeach.world, an interactive reading application, to help you learn new vocabulary while you read online.
2. Not practicing outside of class.
Of course, you will learn a lot during your time at CISL: the “English only” classrooms are a great place to learn new grammar and vocabulary, and an excellent way to practice your English skills through conversation. However, when the class stops each day, the learning should continue. Make American friends, talk to people when you are out in the city, and ask people questions. Students time and again tell us that Americans are very friendly and helpful, and they are definitely eager to help you practice English!
How else can you practice outside of class? Try some of these suggestions:
- Try some of our tips for improving your English skills while studying at CISL.
- Read our suggestions for enhancing your conversation abilities.
- Check out this article on improving your English . . . even after you leave CISL.
- Review some of our suggested websites for learning English.
3. Worrying too much about grammar.
Many students are worried about saying a sentence incorrectly, so instead, they say nothing at all. But how else can you learn? Of course, grammar is important. But don’t worry about making mistakes! Remember, people are happy to share their native language with you, and they will not be offended if you make mistakes. We all do!
Instead of worrying so much about your grammar, worry about finding chances to practice your grammar. Try some of the following to help you practice:
- Check out a new class in San Diego or San Francisco.
- Join a club or sports team (click here to learn how to get more involved when you are an international student in SD or SF).
- Connect through food: farmer’s markets in San Diego and San Francisco are great places to chat!
Do you have some tips for English language students? If so, post them on our Facebook page!