Typical Mistakes that Prevent You From Mastering English

You’ve set a goal to learn English and have even begun learning vocabulary and grammar, but think the progress is insignificant? Maybe, this is due to the wrong concept. Let us analyze the typical mistakes that prevent even the most diligent students from mastering English and other foreign languages.


1) Lack of Connections/Associations:

We all know that to hone the knowledge of a foreign language, we need to constantly fill up the vocabulary. However, even having a rich vocabulary, we are sometimes unable to correctly apply it. How do you solve this problem?

First of all, be sure to remember new words in ready-made phrases. This way of learning is more capacious, but believe me, the result will justify itself.

2) Bet on the Grammar:

When it comes to learning a foreign language, one of the main concepts is working on all the skills at the same time. Many expect to speak fluently, having learned the most common grammar, paying up to 90% of time and attention to it. But the truth is that you should spend up to 60% of the time on the ability to recognize the speech aurally. This is the first step to communication, which is the actual purpose of any language. Well, if you’re lacking grammar skills, you can always hire professionals to help you with an essay or other kind of writing.

It’s natural that we strive to use a new language correctly. But often people delve into grammar, leaving the practical use of the language only on the background. Of course, the grammar is one of the main aspects of the language, but it’s absolutely useless if standing above the practice.

Please first create a solid foundation – learn the words and start to understand the language. Then grammar examples will be clear and you will remember all the rules much faster and easier. Moreover, by regularly listening to the correct English, you will improve the grammar automatically, even without noticing it.

3) Lack of Practice When Reaching a Certain Level:

Trite but true: having reached a certain level and believing that they have mastered the language to the desired extent, most people stop learning anything new. But when faced with someone whose vocabulary is more complex and richer than usual, they realize how much they still have to learn.

The language has no boundaries and is constantly changing. As there’s no final point, you always have something to strive for.

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4) Getting Stuck on the Correctness of Pronunciation:

Too much attention to pronunciation is another typical mistake. The English language has many forms and dialects; so trying to learn to speak with the "British" accent can get you into a mess. Even a Londoner has an accent different from a Mancunian, let alone more striking differences between other regions of the United Kingdom.

5) No Contact with Native Speakers:

If you are looking to learn English, using only textbooks, as well as audio and video materials, then I have bad news for you. No one disputes the benefits of these tools, but without the help of native speakers, you will never learn the correct pronunciation, idioms, and slang. After all, the modern spoken English is very different from that taught by textbooks.

6) A Belief that You’re too Old to Learn English:

I don’t know why, but many people consider themselves a certain age, after which they assign the "too late" cliché to some things, including learning a language. In this case, recall the wisdom of the great Michelangelo Buanorroti, who at the age of 87 years said he was still learning. It’s never too late turn things around!

7) Absence of Versatility:

Focusing on one kind of English is also a huge mistake. Don’t you think you can ignore official or business English if you know some other kind of it? Even if you just plan to take a vacation trip, make sure you have a considerable language baggage.

The ambiguity of English words creates some difficulties, but only as long as you have not started to read. A well-organized reading practice will acquaint you with the genres and rhetorical figures. Follow the reading with a few exercises on understanding, and you’ll significantly improve the perception speed. Perform the same exercise after listening.

8) Fear of Making Mistakes:

The fear of making mistakes is, perhaps, the banalest and the most stupid mistake. The process of learning is inevitably connected to making mistakes, so why to begrudge? Don’t be afraid to stumble, and you’ll succeed in learning through trial and error!

Let me end with three key factors that determine the overall result:

A. The correct formulation of the goal.
B. A systematic approach.
C. Work on mistakes on all levels.

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