learn english tips

I Speak English!

To assist the Hispanic English learner

To help with reading comprehension: Google Translate

This site was initially created to help students improve their pronunciation skills. Barcloaf’s audio lessons present simple subjects in a way that is easy and fun (presentar temas en una manera fácil y divertido). You listen (escuchar), you repeat (repetir) and you understand (entender) by answering questions (responder preguntas). –Ed Collins

Suggestions to speed up the English learning process (acelar el proceso):

Practice pronounciating.

Always be practicing a tongue twister (trabalenguas) And it’s fun if it’s something that makes people laugh (hace reir). Examples: Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the noonday sun. Curiosity killed the cat; satisfaction brought it back.

Watch TV and movies.

I suggest PBS’s Sesame Street. And cartoons are fun and helpful (The Cartoon Network). And Nikolodeon (nick.com––programs for kids). And cowboy movies (simple words, often spoken slowly––pronunciadas lentamente). And Spanish movies with English subtitles (subtítulos), as well as English movies with Spanish subtitles.

Read.

On the internet you can read newspapers for youth (check out scholastic.com). Comic books are good because the illustrations make it easier to follow the story (las ilustraciones que sea más fácil de entender la historia). (A good example is Archie). Choose something (elejir algo) not too difficult. Go to the library (or thrift store) to find books for children (libros para niños).

Speak.

The best way to learn English is to speak with an English speaker. I know it’s exhausting (sé que es agotador), but there is no better way to learn than by doing (aprender por hacer). And don’t let your limited vocabulary stop you (no deje que su limitado vocabulario deja). If you don’t know a word for sidewalk, just say “The part next to the street where people walk.” You will be understood and eventually you’ll know the word. (se le entiende y, finalmente, aprenderá).

Keep a journal (mantener un diario).

Write something every day, or as often as possible. For example: “Today for breakfast we went to Denny’s. I had scrambled eggs and pancakes. The service was good but the food was not. Today the weather was cloudy, windy and cold. I forgot to bring a jacket when I left the house. When will I learn?”

Listen to a podcast.

On the internet you can find programs on many subjects, including learning English. An iPod (personal listening device) makes it possible to learn throughout the day––while you do gardening, walk in the park, travel in a car, clean your house. Transfering audio files to your iPod is easy. Here’s how:

Think about it

Before you can take a step forward, you must know where you are. An honest self appraisal is necessary (una auto evaluación honesta).

Be careful of wasting time (cuidado de perder tiempo). We do so because we’re lazy. Instead of challenging (desafiante) ourselves, we take the path of least resistance (el camino de menor resistencia). It’s our nature (carácter).

As wrong as it sounds, confidence is gained by failing (por fallar, gana confianza). It’s by making mistakes (cometer errores) that you gain insight and set a course to learn (establecer un curso para aprender).

Most of us lack self confidence (no tenemos confianza en nosotros mismos). We are afraid of embarrassing ourselves (miedo de avergonzar). But isn’t it true that anyone who would judge or even laugh at you for not knowing a word or mispronouncing a word cannot speak a second language? (Pero no es cierto que cualquier persona que se ríen de ti por no saber una palabra o pronunciar mal una palabra no puede hablar un segundo idioma?)

Help out

Do you have an idea for an audio lesson? Want to produce one yourself?

Well, go ahead. Just e-mail it to me!