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Practical Plan for Mastering English on One's Own

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by Mike Shelby

I can give you practical suggestions on mastering English on your own.

You could combine self-study (teach yourself) books for learning English with English phrasebooks and conversation books. Such books often come with audio and even video aid. Teach yourself books for learning English may be monolingual (in English only) or bilingual, cover major English pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary, some conversation, and have the key (the answers to the exercises) for self-check which is important.

The duration of each lesson may be one hour every day.

1. Learn English pronunciation including intonation (major rules of reading English letters, the articulation of vowels and consonants, stress in words, phrases and intonation in sentences). Do practical phonetic exercises including listening exercises.

2. After mastering English pronunciation, you can learn English grammar and practise grammar rules in exercises that have the key for self-check.

To enliven learning English you can study at each lesson a certain number of fixed thematic conversational phrases that do not require grammar knowledge (for example, greetings, forms of addressing a person, thanks, well-wishing, apology, etc.). It is preferable to listen to audio recordings of such phrases that must be memorised through multiple reading and self-check. You also learn a certain number of English vocabulary in grammar exercises. There are also English grammar practice books with the key for learners at beginning, intermediate and advanced levels.

3. After mastering English grammar and fixed conversational phrases you can concentrate on mastering everyday conversational topics and vocabulary from English phrasebooks and conversation books in the following sequence: listening and pronouncing, speaking with self-check, reading and writing. Conversation practice should include dialogues (day-to-day conversations between two or more people), narrations on daily conversational topics, questions and answers on those topics, a list of vocabulary on each topic and usage sentences with difficult vocabulary on each topic, and extensive thematic reading.

4. Master English vocabulary thoroughly from general thematic English dictionaries combined with English synonym dictionaries that provide vocabulary usage explanations and example sentences.