Is English The Hardest Language to Learn? Yes it is! Among the romance languages, English happens to be the most difficult to learn. It has been established by results of surveys conducted that within a year, children learning other languages master the basic elements unlike those who are learning to speak English. It takes longer than 2 years to attain the same level for English learners.
There are a lot of principles guiding the English language which must be strictly adhered to in spoken or written form. Most of the diction patterns and pronunciations are confusing due to the imbalance underlying the rules of phonetics.
Now, take a look at the reasons why English language is the hardest to learn:
- Your Negative Mindset
Steer clear of any discouraging thoughts that may be forming in your mind by imagining a confident version of yourself. The entire process of learning to speak English is in your head. So, it will do you a lot of good if you begin to portray a positive mindset about it.
Inculcate the habit of speaking with confidence even when you are yet to be perfect. It will help you build a good impression about yourself when you speak in public. Enroll in an English speaking course to further improve on your competence. Online English tuition can provide an avenue for you to speak while you are monitored and corrected instantly. Otherwise, you can send a recorded speech done by yourself to the moderator handling the tutorials.
At every opportunity you have, speak and expect to be corrected if you make any mistakes. Don’t feel shy to express yourself. Only you can help yourself to be structured in your speech and engage in fun and exciting conversations flawlessly.
- Difficult Pronunciation of English Words
Your native language has a queer way of slowing down your progress in pronouncing certain words in English. To worsen the condition, you may not even be able to tell the difference between the correct pronunciation and yours. The reason for that is, your ears haven’t been trained to know the discrepancies between the wrong and right sound production. There are many words you may never have had the opportunity to even pronounce as a learner.
The problem can be resolved by constantly learning how to produce sounds of English vocabulary correctly and getting used to them. Sounds like the “sh, th, and ch” that can be tongue twisting should be added to your daily practice. If you are able to get conversant with making such tricky sounds, you will gain more confidence and sound more fluent than you really are.
A hard copy dictionary or an online dictionary will be helpful to get past the pronunciation challenge. If you can depict the phonetic transcription of words correctly, then a physical dictionary will be great for you. Online copies of dictionaries are designed to read out words in their proper sounds through your PC or mobile phone speaker. These methods of English tuition are quite beneficial to make learning easier for you.
- The General Educational System
You can’t change your current English proficiency but you can improve on it with time. Your background in English is also unchangeable now since there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it. Even if you studied English in college, chances are that you never had the opportunity to practice speaking the language regularly during your study.
The school structure is a determining factor in language mastery. The structure of education in our society makes it difficult to achieve learning seamlessly. When you consider the number of students in a class, the short period of learning every subject daily, and the examination structure, you will discover that the school is not designed for language practice. Teachers do not have enough time to practice speaking with the students. School is not the best place for learning a language especially English.
- Impatient Native Speakers
To provide the right response to what someone has said in any conversation, you must first understand what the person is saying. Listen attentively and decipher the point the person is trying to pass across before you respond. For a close friend or partner, choose to associate with a native or fluent English speaker. Especially one that is on an equal level of learning your native language. That will help you achieve your goal of learning English faster because they will tend to be more patient with you since they can relate to the struggle of language learning.
You will always have to find the appropriate vocabulary to use during every conversation so that you can fully express yourself. The right vocabulary will also help you sound more fluent and confident than you actually are. I recommend you to learn a few emergency words and phrases in case you happen to have difficulty understanding your speaking partner.
But if you know what the topic of discussion will be, prepare yourself in anticipation by learning the fundamental points to discuss. You can’t speak to yourself, else it could have been a wonderful idea to practice speaking alone but you can record your speech and try to have an ardent English speaker listen to it and make necessary corrections to your grammar and pronunciations.
It can be overwhelming and frustrating trying to learn the English language especially when you have grown past your childhood. The struggle is a great one that requires perseverance and constant practice. Some rules do not just apply to every word spelt the same. For example, if you want to remember that letter “e” comes before letter “i” in words like “conceive” or “receipt” which appear after letter “c”, then how do you classify a word like “science”?
The learning process is a continuous one even for fluent speakers of English. That is because there are a lot of aspects in English that we cannot finish learning within a particular period. An aspect like placing emphasis on words in a sentence one by one. For example, in the sentence: “I told her a story” if we place an emphasis on “told”, it means that I told her a story but I am not sure she listened. We could change it by placing the emphasis this time on let’s say “her”, then it would mean I told her a story and not anyone else.
Don’t relent on your oars. Keep practicing how to speak more fluently without any discouragement. You can do it! Nothing is too difficult beyond learning.
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