Why do we terrible at English
English as a global language is essential, especially for someone who wants to obtain first-hand information or live oversea. Chinese students spend much time learning English in their K-12 educational experience, but many still stay low. The reason I think is because of the wrong way of learning english.
In Chinese english Education, the most crucial purpose of learning english is not to communicate with people but to pass exams. That is why Chinese students are constantly reading and writing much better than listening and speaking because they spend much time on grammar, vocabulary, and reading exercises.
The origin of language
At first, primitive humans did not have a literal. The way of conveying information is speaking, the first edition of language. So we can see the basis of language is not about reading and writing but listening and speaking. After years of human revolution, primitive humans became cultured. They lived far away than they used to be, which is why we need the paper word to write letters, announcements, and something else. That is why language can be split into two parts: listening and speaking, which is based on audio, and reading and writing, which is based on vision.
The right way to learn English
As mentioned above, We know that language learning is divided into two parts, and each part can be divided into the input and output parts. If we want to improve our whole English level, the input is critical because the input is the ceiling of the output. That is why we need to set listening and reading as our priority.
The Part of the Input
As a Chinese IT industry practitioner, using VPN is a fundamental skill, which is a great advantage to learning English. Because the video resources on chinese websites such as bilibili can not compare with Youtube, and the most important is that the resources on Youtube are free. Besides Youtube, podcasts are also a helpful tool for learning English. Listening to podcasts is way better than watching TV series or movies because audio has more intensive information than video.
Besides listening, reading also is a part of the input. This part is relative to writing. To write concisely and correctly, we must read continuously and read everything in english, not just fiction, reports, novels, etc. For example, as an IT developers, we can read all software documents in English. Software documents are often written in simple sentences, which is a good beginning for us to start reading in English. If we can skim the documents without obstacles, we can change to reading novels.
The part of the output
This part is the most difficult for me. As a non-native speaker, I do not think we have too much opportunity to speak, so I do not focus too much on that. I only spent a little time shadowing English Youtubers or reading books aloud. Maybe I will pay some English speaking coach to improve my speaking.
Writing is also tricky, but it is easier to solve than speaking. Speaking needs a partner to practice, but writing can practice by ourselves. We can write diaries, blogs, articles, etc. Another trick of writing is to use grammar-checking tools. Writing does not have to be too much; we can start with a tiny step, with no need to feel too much pressure. This is why I decide writing in English from now on. Maybe we will write with flaws, incorrect grammar usage, or something else, but a least it has started.
Anyway, after learning english for two years, I feel kind of stuck, which is why I wrote this blog to recap. I hope I will be better.