4Learning
English Resource

This resource is designed to help students and graduates around the world tackle academic college English assignments, even if English is not their native language. Enjoy the abundance of guides, manuals and samples written for ESL students.

4 Tips for Adult English Learners

Adult English learners may be tackling a hard task, but learning English can be made much easier if adults choose to follow these simple tips:

  1. Speak English as much as you can. The best way to get comfortable with a language is to use it as much as possible. The more you speak it and apply it, the deeper the language will become ingrained into your mind. Plus, if you use the language in everyday situations, you’ll likely get valuable input on your language strengths and weaknesses that will only help you improve. As with anything, practice makes perfect! Apply the language to your everyday life as much as possible, and you’ll see significant improvement, faster.
  2. Take classes or get outside help. This may be an off-putting idea to some, since they don’t want to be treated as an inferior student in a classroom setting. After all, it’s likely that the English-language learner has a job, cares for family members or otherwise functions as a supportive, responsible adult. Going to classes or getting a tutor, however, certainly does not cause you to be less respected. Tutors and teachers understand that you’re an adult, and they’ll treat you as such; if anything, they’re simply helping you to become the best you can be, so that you may earn more respect. Taking classes or hiring tutors is a great, effective way to learn English as an adult.
  3. Don’t go beyond your current capabilities. Everyone learns at a different rate. Some individuals may pick up English instantly, while some take a little longer. It’s important to know that English is a complex language, and learning to master it is not a race. Some native English-speakers, in fact, don’t even have mastery of their own language! It’s important that you don’t try to do too much at once. Learn basic rules first; once you’ve mastered those, you can move on to more complex language regulations. Master what you’re learning currently, before you try to tackle more.
  4. Don’t think in translations. When individuals learns a new language, they often want to mentally translate thoughts, sayings or other communications from their native language, or into their native language. This is very prevalent in adults, because they are so well-established in their native tongue. However, it’s important not to think in translations. When someone tells you that ‘apple’ is the English word for ‘manzana,’ don’t keep thinking apple = manzana. Make the word the exact reflection of the thing (apple = apple). Think about it in the sense of teaching a child new words (what is this bright red fruit? It’s an apple. Say, apple.) The word is the thing – not something translated and then applied to the thing.