A balanced diet of English
If the first Informed English Student ‘It’s the Verb!’ (Portuguese version / English Version) we learned that most of our language ability comes from language that we subconsciously acquire (we don’t notice it when it happens), not language that we consciously study.
If that’s true – and it is!
Porque este texto esta em inglês? (Clique aqui)
How do we acquire language? There is only one way:
By understanding messages, in other words, by reading and listening to understandable English.
Remember how I compared acquiring language to eating a balanced diet?
I suggested that English learners should treat themselves to a good, balanced diet of English and trust our minds to acquire the parts of the English language that it needs when it is ready for them. If you didn’t see that comparison, it’s in Informed English Student #2 (First Things First).
Let me add to that comparison.
When we eat, we are careful – usually!
to feed our bodies foods they can digest (easily absorb and use). In the same way, when we want to acquire a language, we must feed our minds language that our minds can absorb and use.
We only acquire (pick up or absorb) language when we understand what we read or listen to. If we understand what we read or hear, our minds will acquire the elements of the new language that we are ready for. We don’t have to consciously study them.
Many students believe they have to work hard to acquire new language.
They read or listen to things that are too difficult.
They stop frequently to look up words they don’t understand.
That doesn’t work very well! We only acquire language when we understand the language we read and listen to.
Treat yourself to a digestible diet of English!
If you have trouble understanding what you read and listen to, find something easier.
Be patient. Slowly increase the difficulty of the things you read and listen to. If you do, your English will steadily improve.
If you have any questions or comments, please let me know!
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