English Deutsch

Learn English!
With Christopher Rehm and the Intensive Language Acquisition Program.

Tips for Effective Self Study

There are some very important things you can do to improve your English. The number one thing that will improve your ability to speak and understand English is free reading. EVERY student needs to read something in their free time away from class. There are many options. For beginners there are books like Penguin Easy Readers, Recalm readers, and others as well as magazines like Business Spotlight, Spotlight, Spot On, and Engine. Reading magazines in English about your hobby is an excellent way to practice. You should try to read at least 5 hours per week.

There is a method for reading that will make it much easier. You need to download a dictionary to your smart phone. I recomend using dict.cc, you can use it off line (no internet connection) and it has over 900,000 translations. You can use your smart phone as a dictionary in one hand, while you hold the book in the other. This way you can look up words as you go. Buy paperbacks, used paperbacks if possible. When you find a new word that you don't know, write the word in the book right above it, or on the margin. Some mobile phones have dictionaries built in. If you have a phone with this option use it.

Learning Strategies:

Learn the tenses in this order, and make sure you know when to use each of these tenses before learning how the more complex tenses work:

  1. present simple
  2. present continuous
  3. past simple
  4. will future
  5. present perfect
  6. going to future

It is very important to understand the differences between past simple and present perfect. Present perfect, in ENGLISH is a PRESENT tense. There is always a strong connection to now when you use present perfect. It is NOT used to talk about events that are finished; but it can be used to talk about events that are new news now, and are important news that requires further action. It is used to talk about things that started in the past and continue to now.

Learn past simple first. MEMORIZE the past simple forms of common verbs. The sooner you do this the better your English will sound. Trust me.

Learn to use the helping verb do properly. This makes a big difference in how your English sounds. It is one of the quickest methods to improve your English.

Learn to use the am/is/are going to form to talk about plans. You will sound more like a native speaker.

Learn English word order. Use it.

Try to think in English whenever you are using English. Do not think in German and translate

Remember there is always more than one way to say something in English. There are usually at least 3 possible sentences to describe anything and they all basically have the same meaning. In many cases there are more ways to describe something. Be flexible. English is a very flexible language

Students should make a binder with material given to them by your teacher. Include separate notes for any problem areas you have. You MUST take notes in class when your teacher corrects you. You must remember what the correct way to say something is, and understand why it is a mistake.

Idioms and fixed expressions are very common in daily English. You MUST learn to understand them if you want to understand native speakers. You should keep a separate section for idioms and fixed expressions in your binder.

Phrasal verbs are very important in English. They are what we use, many times, to create more informal English. You should keep a separate section of phrasal verbs in your binder. Since almost all phrasal verbs have more than one meaning and since usually one of them is slang its important to write down all you know about a specific phrasal verb.

Review your binder at least once a month. Find area you need to review and re read your notes on the subject.