The Beginner’s Guide to Learning English

When you’re just starting out learning English, there’s a lot to learn and the idea of it can be daunting. To make it easier, there are several strategies and tips that can take you from beginner to talking in no time.

  • Set goals for your learning.

The purpose of your learning can determine what part of English is most important to you. If you just want to talk in English, then focus on speaking. If you need English for school or work, then you probably need to do more work on writing and reading.

  • Buy a good dictionary.

The best way to learn is to be active. So buy a dictionary and learn on your own as well as in your lessons. Look up new words and use them as often as you can.

  • Make English part of your life.

Practising English once a week in your class isn’t enough. You need to read English, speak English and listen to English as often as you can to improve and get used to the way it’s supposed to sound.

  • Don’t be afraid of mistakes.

If you’re making mistakes, it means that you’re trying and learning. So pay attention when you make them, learn about the mistake, and don’t make the same one again.

  • Have fun with your learning.

It shouldn’t be all textbooks and tests. If you enjoy word puzzles in your native language, try them in English. Play English games, listen to English music and watch movies in English. The more you enjoy learning, the faster you will learn.

  • Take control of your learning.

Your ESL teacher will help, but whether you learn or not is really up to you. Take responsibility for your learning by doing the work, getting help when you need it, and doing as many extra exercises as possible.

If you do all of this, before you know it you will soon understand enough Basic English that you will be able to take an English exam and move up to the next level!

For more about learning a language, visit our Language Learning Tips blog.

About the Author

Gayle Aggiss is an ESL teacher and a dedicated traveller. She’s taught in Fuzhou, China and Hanoi and she much prefers smaller cities to the larger options. When she’s not on the road, she lives in Perth, Australia.  She writes about education, ESL teaching specifically, and you can view more examples of her work at











Related Posts

English Conversation Starters

English Conversation StartersDo you want to speak in English but you don’t know how to get started? You’ve made the connections, but it can be difficult to actually start the conversation. Making what is called “small talk” is an excellent way to improve your English because it gets you used to everyday conservations in an informal way. […]


English Learning Tips for Advanced Students

English Learning Tips for Advanced StudentsOnce you get to an advanced level it can be tempting to just skate along. After all, at this level, your English is probably very good and you understand grammar in a way that most native speakers can’t match. But even at this stage, there is still a lot to learn. 1. Focus on the […]


ESL Learning Tips for Intermediate Learners

ESL Learning Tips for Intermediate LearnersOnce you’ve moved up to an Intermediate English level, this is where the complexity of the language becomes clear. At this stage of your learning, you need more advanced strategies to help you overcome your more complicated learning issues. Talk to native speakers. Chances are that you will start learning English from someone who speaks […]