About English learning

For a non-native English speaker, is English phrases learning more important than remmembering words? Since the first day I study English, teachers always tell me to remmember words, but when I have bear in mind lots of word, I still do not know how to say it in an understandable way. And now, I have realised that study English by learning phrases should be more efficient, because phrases can make up sentence easier.

Jun 3, 2014 6:28 AM
Comments · 6

In my view, you need some contexual input. Words cannot stand alone. You are better off building up a collection of useful (personalised) English collocations/phrases. So, I recommend you read my article on 'personalising language'

June 3, 2014

I would say learning words in their context in the most effective way to learn the language, speaking from my personal learning and teaching English experience. That's why I always encouraged my students to use E-E dictionaties, e.g. Oxford, as they always include examples to demonstrate how a word is used in sentences. When learning a new word, try to make your own sentences with it (meaning also learn the choices of other words to go with it), things that you would want to say in your own (imaginary) situations. A new word will only become your own knowledge once you know how to use it. 

June 3, 2014

Use the method that works best for you. With time you will be able to incorporate from both styles of learning.

June 3, 2014

Hi Petrelbear,

I see what you mean, I acknowledge it could become complicated when having studied just words and never have learned how to phrase them in an understandable way. I don’t think you’ll learn English when you’d only read a dictionary, at least I didn’t. It’s an handy tool to find the most convenient words, but not the only learning method.

Dictionaries have collective contents of words that are being used and sometimes give examples in a common sentence, the more well-knowing ones, the more common. Some languages have paradigms, that’s why new editions have to occur. English is a dynamic language, and users could train their intuitive way of speaking, that’s why I love English J

Start to look for the grammar rules in your native tongue, and look for any similar or dissimilarities with the grammar from the target language. Studies have showed this is the best method. If you know how your own language works, the bar will be lowered for another, making you more receptive to grammar by means the rules of constructing a sentence in this case the target language.

I hope this was useful, also communicating is just good orientation in a language.

For instance: If someone doesn’t understand you, you’ll feel like rephrasing what you’ve just said, but you want to make your message across like you’ve meant it.

June 3, 2014

If you want to know English well then you should learn both. Learning lots of words is very important for learning any language however, you will start writing or speaking good English when you learn grammer. So knowing words but not being able to create sentances is normal for beegining. What comes to phrases, you can't always use them in all situations.


June 3, 2014
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