The best way to learn English – Part 1 : What you need to speak English (Full transcript included!)
(The full transcript is below the video!)
This is the 1st video in the series “The best way to learn English”.
In this series of videos, I talk about the best way to learn English, (or any language), and explain the why’s and how’s of doing so. I will also talk about some of the common problems that students have when learning English and how you can remedy those problems.
This is a big topic and cannot be covered in just one video so there will be several episodes.
Full transcript (thanks to the great work of Tran Thi Hai!):
Hi, welcome to Slow Easy English. My name is Syl.
A lot of my students and sometimes people who are not my students; A lot of my students have asked me how they can learn English better, how they can improve their English. And I thought maybe some of my viewers would also like to know what the answer to that question is. So, I decided to do this series of videos and give you some advice and some tips, and also a little bit of extra knowledge about English that can help you learn English better, faster and more completely.
Ok. So, I hope you enjoy this series of videos. I don’t know how many videos I will have. I am thinking more than five probably. But I don’t know how many exactly. It is a big topic. I can’t do it in 10 minutes so I will be breaking up these videos and I will be adding some until I’m finished.
So, today I want to start with something very simple. And that is simply “What is language?” Ok. So, when we talk about language, what exactly are we talking about? Ok. Well, LANGUAGE basically is a system of symbols and rules that we use to communicate with each other. Alright. Now, in English I’m gonna be talking about English. Ok. Most people watching this want to learn English so that’s what I am talking about. In English when I say symbols and rules, I am talking about what? I am talking about VOCABULARY and GRAMMAR. Ok. So, everybody knows this. Right? If you ask anybody “If you want to speak English well, what to you need to know?”, most people will answer… you need to know vocabulary and you need to know the grammar. Obviously, everybody knows this. This is not news.
Vocabulary means — those are — that’s — the words you know. If your vocabulary is only twenty words or even one hundred words or even 500 words, you probably can’t have a very good conversation. But if you know twenty five thousand words, you can probably have a good conversation, if you know enough grammar. Vocabulary alone is not really enough.
Grammar is the system of rules that help you order your words to provide different meanings. For example, if I say “The dog bit the boy.”, you know what that means. That’s no problem. If, on the other hand, I say “The boy bit the dog.”, well that’s a strange sentence. Well, maybe it is strange. Maybe it’s strange for a dog. I’m sorry. For a boy to bite a dog. That is probably strange, but it can happen and I’m sure it has happened. So, the important part to know here is that the grammar, the words were the same. The dog bit the boy. The boy bit the dog. It’s just a re-ordering of the words. The words are the same but the grammar tells you that the meaning is very different because the order is different. So in English grammar is often determined by the order of the words. Ok. So, we need vocabulary, that’s the words we know and we need grammar, those are the rules for ordering the words for different meanings. Ok. This is nothing new, everybody knows this so why am I talking about it? Well, the reason I am talking about it is because I want to make sure that you understand this. But also one more thing that everybody ignores. Nobody pays attention to it and yet, it is as important as vocabulary and grammar.
That third thing is what? Do you know? It is PRONUNCIATION. Ok? I have to underline that three times because I want to make sure that you understand how important pronunciation is. Ok. I’m going to talk more about pronunciation in the next video. I don’t have time today but just give you a quick example of why or how important pronunciation is. If I ask you “What is the most important part of a car?” A lot of people will just automatically answer “The engine”. Well, yeah, the engine is very important. But when I say “What is the most important part of a car?”, the question is wrong because if I say “the most important”, it kind of means there’s a one, and a two, and a three and so, if there’s “1. The most important” — and then there’s — the others are not as important. It sounds that way. The truth is to drive a car, you need an engine, yes. You also need wheels because if you have an engine, even a fantastic engine, and no wheels, you are not going far. If you have wheels and a fantastic engine but no steering wheel, you are not going far. So, you need wheels. You need a steering wheel. You need an engine. Those are all absolutely essential. You cannot take one off and still have a car that works. So, in English, this is the same thing. Vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation; they are all equally important. Again, I am running out of time. So, I have to finish but I will cover more and I will explain more about why pronunciation is so important. Everybody knows vocabulary and grammar are very important but a lot of people don’t understand how important pronunciation is, and how essential it is to learning a language properly. Or, even, I say “properly”, just learning the language, period . Knowing pronunciation is not just about speaking more clearly or speaking with a nicer accent. It is not about accent. It is about communication. It is about being understood. And it’s about understanding other people. Pronunciation will help you do those things. So, don’t ignore pronunciation.
Anyway, come back. In the next video I am going to talk more about pronunciation and I hope I will be able to get across to you why it is so important and what you can do to improve it. So, that’s all for today. Thank you very much. I hope you enjoyed the video. If you did, please click the ‘Like’ button and share this video with your friends and family and anybody, really, so… That’s it. Thank you very much. I’ll see you again next time. Bye bye