Frequently Asked Questions
1. - I want to speak English with others or
- I want to improve my Speaking skills or
- I want to talk to English with foreigners.
- Chat with EF lovers in the EF Lounge
- Share your Yahoo! Messenger ID and talk with each other in YM Club
- Chit-chat with kaskusers through Y!M in Let's Chit-Chat in a Fun Way
- Chat with foreigners in Omegle.com (should be careful, though! There are so many perverts! )
2. - How to improve my English skill? or
- How to improve my English generally? or
- How are the easiest ways to learn English?
- Read 'Tips to Improve Your English'
Read 'Tips to Improve Your English - Part II'
- Read 'Funny Tips to Learn English'
- Read 'Study Vocabulary'
- Read 'How to Improve One's English'
- Read 'The New Method to Improve Your English'.
- Read '[HOT] How to Improve English Grammar'
- Go to sources given in the '[ENGLISH LEARNING] Sources to Learn English'
3. I want to ask others' opinion on my writing.
- Go to '[WRITING] Improve Your Writing, Get It Revised By Others'
- Go to 'Share Your Writing for Academic Purposes and Discuss It With Others'
4. - I want to ask something/some word/some sentence I don't understand in English or
- I want to check whether something that I wrote is correct or
- I want to ask about Grammar or
- I want to ask about how is the correct way to say/use bla bla bla...
- Go to 'Permintaan Bantuan Terjemahan English <-> Indonesia'
- Go to All about Grammar & Tenses - The correct way to say/use .... ask it here !!
5. - I want to ask for a specific e-book or
- Where can I find e-books of English learning material? or
- Anyone have e-books of grammar? or
- I am a teacher, where can I find sources for teaching English?
- Go to E-Books: English Study Materials
- Go to 'Cool Sites for English Teacher'.
5. I want to know Quotes, Idioms, and Aphorisms in English.
- Go to 'Quotes, Idioms, and Phrases'
- Go to 'English Aphorism and Such'
6. I want to know the nearest TOEFL Course in my city
Go to 'Everything about: TOEFL Courses All Over Indonesia'
7. Why are my post counts not increased when I post something in 'Fun With English' subforum?
'Fun With English' Subforum has disabled post counts function.
That's all for now... Will add some more if there's anything that's not here but felt important...
|Don't Ask What English Forum Can Do For You, but Instead...|
Ask Yourself, What Can You Do For English Forum!
(p1nk KasKus - 198x - now)
The most common questions people asked to me are:
- I want to learn English.
- Can I have your YM/FB to learn online?
- Do I have to learn grammar?
- How long will it take me to learn English?
- Is learning English difficult?
- Is English Grammar difficult?
- What is the most difficult thing about learning English?
- How can I improve my English?
- Is there a difference between American and British English?
- Which is better US English or British English?
- What do I need to start learning English?
- What is the best way to practice my English?
- What is the best way to use a DVD player to help my English?
- Are you really a female?
I want to learn English.
Actually this is often phrased as "I want learn English," and I am always tempted to say "Well you've found it!" As it is I have a few points to make:
1. This isn't a question, it's a statement.
2. It's boring.
3. You need to be more specific.
Can I have your YM/FB to learn online?
Even though I'm so happy to let you all know my face (and to prove that I'm really a female! ), I'm sorry to say no. The Facebook contains too private data and the YM are for friends only. However, I do give out my YM to people that I feel I already know them better. So, be nice to me!
Do I have to learn grammar?
Of course you do. Sorry! Think of English vocabulary as the bricks of the language and grammar as the mortar that hold those bricks together, without the mortar the bricks can come tumbling down! A lack of grammatical skills can cause embarrassing misunderstandings.
When you begin to learn English, speaking and building up your vocabulary is more important than worrying about correct grammar. However, as you progress you need to incorporate more grammar into your learning programme. At an advanced level you should be thinking much more about the correct use of the English language. And eventually you should be able to forget about it all together and start doing what comes naturally.
There is a common impression that learning English grammar is painful, but it is a lot easier than many other languages. Of course, English is more than just memorizing grammar rules, the grammar must be incorporated into the everyday use of the language, theory and practice should go hand in hand. For more information on grammar check out my little grammar page.
How long will it take me to learn English?
How long is a piece of string? Actually, if I had Rp.1,00 for every time I have heard that question I could travel round the world. The answer is, "It varies", it depends on a variety of factors. For instance; your motivation (if you have a gun held to your head I bet you'll learn very quickly), the level of English you wish to acquire, not everyone needs or wants to be fluent in a second language, someone who wants to use English on holiday does not need the same level of English as someone who needs it for business purposes. As a result some people are happy after 1 to 3 years, whilst others might take 4 years, 10 years, or a lifetime! You can't give accurate time frames for learning.
There has been a lot of research done into this area by people a lot cleverer than I, it shows that effective learning is influenced by many factors, some of which are:
* Access to effective teaching and educational materials influence the length of time it takes to learn English.
* People vary in abilities, motivation and readiness to learn.
* Classes should be tailored to the linguistic, cultural, and academic learning needs of the learner.
Is learning English difficult?
No, English is an easy language to start learning because:
* it has no genders. Apart from people, all objects are 'neuter', not 'masculine' or 'feminine'. So you say 'it' for such things, and do not need to learn any genders.
* it usually has easy verb endings. Apart from a few 'irregular' verbs, verb endings are easy, and hardly change.
* adjectives remain the same for all words - there are no different endings to learn.
* the singular and plural pronoun 'you' is the same. There is no need to decide whether to use a polite form, or an intimate form.
Is English Grammar difficult?
No, English grammar is not half as difficult as some other languages, such as German. We have the French to thank for that. In 1066 William the Conqueror brought to England the French language as well as the ability to build impressive castles . French was the official language in England for nearly 300 years and so the English language was kept alive by the common people (rather than the academics who do like to keep the status quo). As a result nearly all the difficult word-endings, inflexions and marks of gender and case were gaily dispensed with.
What is the most difficult thing about learning English?
The most difficult things about learning English are:
* Spelling and pronunciation - the spelling of a word may not show what the pronunciation is. This is because English words came from many different sources, learn the phonetic spelling sounds and make and use a good dictionary.
* False friends - because English came from two main sources - old French, and old Anglo-Saxon, there is a very large vocabulary of words. Watch out for words that seem similar, they may have come from your language and mean the same, these are called cognitives, or they may have different meanings these are false cognitives (false friends).
* Idioms - native English speakers use a lot of idioms, that is - words used in a way which is not their obvious meaning. Learn them, but try not to use them in important meetings etc., they can be quite open to misinterpretation. If the people you are talking to suddenly look very shocked you've probably just misused one.
How can I improve my English?
This is a huge question. So, i've written a whole section on How to improve your English. See the links provided above.
Is there a difference between American and British English?
Unfortunately the answer to this question is yes. There are many differences between British and American English, pronunciation, spelling and grammar are just a few. In fact English is the first language in many countries and there are differences between them all, these include; Australia, Canada, Ireland, Jamaica, New Zealand, South Africa and the USA. This site is devoted to British English.
As one of my favourite writers said "We have everything in common with America nowadays, except, of course, language." (Oscar Wilde, 1887, The Canterville Ghost).
Which is better American or British English?
It depends upon which English you will be most exposed to. If you are moving to the US then learn American English, if you're going to work for a British company then learn British English. And don't forget there are many different kinds of English and the rising star of International English.
What do I need to start learning English?
1. Time - practise your English every day, listening, speaking or reading.
2. Patience - do not give up, learning a language can be a long process, but don't panic.
3. A sense of humour - learning English should be fun, so have fun!
4. Having a good English teacher or an English speaking friend is always going to help, you can learn English through books and tapes but books and tapes can't answer questions or help when you are stuck.
5. People to practice with - get together with other people who are interested in learning English, it increases the fun and reduces the frustration. Join or start an English club or join a book reading club, if you can't find one in your area set one up or join the BBCs on-line book group.
6. A vocabulary notebook - write down new words in a notebook. Don't translate them, but write the new word into context in a meaningful sentence.
7. A good English dictionary - not an Indonesian-English dictionary, but a real English dictionary. Look up the meaning of new words here first, this will help you build your vocabulary.
What is the best way to practise my English?
I have included a whole section on this here.
What is the best way to use a DVD player to help my English?
Using a DVD player is a great way to help you improve your English. It is best if you have some knowledge of English. Make sure the DVD has the film or programme in English with your native language, both as the spoken word (dubbed) and with sub-titles. Always check on the back of the DVD.
I recommend my intermediate to advanced students to watch DVDs in the following way.
1. Watch the DVD all the way through in English only (no sub-titles).
2. Watch it again (scene by scene) in English with your language as sub-titles. Repeat scenes as necessary.
3. Watch it again in (scene by scene) in English with English sub-titles. Repeat scenes as necessary.
4. Watch it again in your language all the way through with English sub-titles.
5. If you aren't sick to death of it yet watch it again in English all the way through with no sub-titles.
As you watch the film scene by scene make a note of the main new vocabulary, especially new phrases.
Are you really a female?
Duh. Do I really need to open up my shirt and flash you my boobs?