Hello to all of you. How about beginning with our first lesson of English? Did you know that English, although a funny language, is fun to learn. All you need to do is follow a method and within no time you are as good in English as that ‘arrogant’ (proud) friend of yours, who struts (walks) just because he/she can speak fluent English. Let us get started and work towards making that ‘haughty’ (arrogant) friend of yours jealous!
There are some rules that you will have to follow, if you want to achieve this objective of yours, and be good in English.
You will have t
Be constantly in English ‘ambience’ (environment). By reading and listening.
Be very strict with yourself so far as reading and doing your daily homework is concerned.
Speak in English (doesn’t matter, if it’s with lots of mistakes). Maybe, ‘initially’ (in the beginning) your friends will find you silly and laugh at you. But then remember all good efforts are laughed at first!
Watch lots of English programmes – news, views, movies and serials.
Read one novel a week and read any three articles from an English newspaper everyday.
If you strictly follow these simple rules, you will in about 12 weeks be able to make that ‘conceited’ (haughty) friend of yours ‘gape’ (stare, look) open mouthed (surprised) at you.
Today I will tell you about READING and its rewards (advantages) as far as its importance in learning English is concerned. You will, probably, wonder why I am not starting with grammar. Well, to answer this I will ask you a simple question – When little babies begin learning a language, do their parents sit down and say, “Come on baby, let’s get on (begin) with the parts of speech – this is noun and this is pronoun…”. The little baby will perhaps take her plastic bat and hit it on the dad’s/mama’s head as if to say – “What’s wrong with you buddy (friend)?”
Like children, even adults need to learn a new language by using it first. So let us for the moment concentrate only on using English in our everyday lives and you will learn grammar eventually (finally).
Now about reading: Reading has many advantages, the best part about reading is that you are constantly learning so much about the language without actually realising that you are learning and it is so much more enjoyable.
• Improves your vocabulary.
• Gives you a better understanding of the subject you are reading.
• Enriches (improves) your general knowledge.
• Teaches you correct grammar.
• Helps you to express yourself better.
This is how you must begin to read:
• Subscribe to an English newspaper and become a member of a good library.
• Do not be shy of starting to read from the children’s section. You will not believe what a treasure chest (box) they are! There are many grown-up brilliant users of English who rejoice (enjoy) in reading comics and children’s novels. And to learn you do have to start reading simpler English, before you graduate to complex ones. Isn’t it?
• Do not sit with a dictionary while you are reading; it is most boring to do that. I know, at the outset (initially) everything will seem like French and Latin to you, but do not worry, for after a few days you will comprehend (understand). Just keep on doing the good work.
• Read every single day.
Your FIRST Assignment:
• Read any article from Ahmedabad Mirror and select any five different words.
• Now sit with a dictionary and try to find out as many synonyms (similar words) of each selected word.
• Also find out the opposite of each of the selected word.
• Make a list of all that you learnt from today’s column.
• So, I welcome you on this journey to learn this strange yet very important language English. Just REMEMBER, the key to learning English is practising it every single day.