7 Ways you’re scientifically proven to learn english faster

But sometimes we can not act quickly. For example, we all know that learning a new language takes a long time. There are new rules to memorize and new words to learn. You have tons of things to learn and practice and remember, and all that takes time.

But still, there has to be a way to learn English faster … or?

There are many tips online on how to learn English fast. FluentU has its own guide on how to learn English in just 35 minutes a day. We also have lots of tips and tricks to make your English learning faster and easier.

So how do you know which tips to use? You can always choose the language learning methods that work best for you. But that often means you have to try many different methods before you find your favorite one. You can waste a lot of time trying other methods that don’t work well for you before you find the perfect one.

If you’re in a hurry to get faster English learning tips that really work, then you need to take a look at, what science has to say!

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The science of language learning

Language learning is a very important area of research for scientists. That’s because the ability to learn complex (complicated) language is something that sets humans apart from other animals.

Science knows how the human brain works (mostly). Science knows how we learn and speak.

There are many, many scientific studies that focus on how people learn languages. Some studies are used to try to understand how and why we learn languages, and some are done to find out the benefits of learning new languages. Some studies focus on babies, who are excellent natural language learners, and others focus only on adults.

That’s a lot of information! What can you do with all this research?

By understanding how and why we learn languages the way we do, we can make our language learning journeys faster and easier.

Thanks to some scientific studies, you can now learn English faster! We show how.

1. Listen a lot English

What the science says:

Scientists who learn languages have a special term for one of the ways we learn languages: unconsciously or implicit Language learning. This kind of learning happens when we don’t even try.

It doesn’t happen when you sit at a desk and study rules over and over again. Instead, it happens when we hear a lot of English and when we don’t pay much attention to it. The sound of English stays in the background, and your brain automatically absorbs the tones, accents, words, and grammar, even when you’re not listening, speaking, or taking notes well.

The crazy thing is that we learn from listening, even if we don’t understand what the words mean. Study after study shows that it’s possible for people to learn any language by listening in this way – we can even wrong Learn languages (the ones scientists invent for their research) just by listening to them.

That’s because when we listen to the language, we hear the patterns. It’s a more natural way to learn – kids do it all the time. Think about it! When babies are very, very small, they can’t speak. You can only listen. They spend a lot of time listening before they can understand what is being said and before they can use the language on their own.

What you can do:

Listen to as much English as you can. Listen constantly! Whenever you can, make sure you hear something in English in your room, in your office, or on your headphones.

Watch English TV, listen to English music and listen to English audio books. Go to places where you can hear native English speakers talk. Listen to as much English as you can. You don’t have to listen closely – while you listen, you can just walk around, enjoy the sights, do the dishes, read a book, work out at the gym, do homework, write an essay, or do your daily chores.

No matter what, as long as the sounds of English penetrate your ears and brain, you’ll learn more English than you think you will!

2. Learn the similarities

What science says:

One of the hardest things about learning a new language is learning all the new sounds. The English language may even have some sounds that are never used in your native language!

There is good news though – according to this study, we are all born with an understanding of which sounds make sense and which don’t. Although languages can be very different, they all have some things in common.

For example, although some English words start with the letters "BL" (like "blink"), you will probably never hear a word start with the letters "LB". Try making this sound. It is strange! Some sounds don’t make sense, even to babies who don’t know any words at all.

What you can do:

Consider this fact when you learn English.

If you hear a word or sound that seems impossible, chances are it is impossible! If you know that some sounds are very unlikely in the English language, you can learn to spell them more easily.

For example, if you’re trying to spell the word "ghost" and you’re not sure if the "h" comes before or after the "g," try pronouncing it out loud.

When you try to say "hgost", the sound "HG" seems impossible to pronounce, doesn’t it? But the sound "GH" in "ghost" is possible. Use it!

3. Learn new sounds separately

What science says:

Learning English changes the way your brain works. Surprisingly, learning a new language makes your brain grow! A study a study found that parts of our brain get bigger when we learn a language. The bigger the growth, the easier the new language will be for you.

But an even more interesting part of the experiment in this study showed that our brains respond differently to different sounds.

For example, the letters L and R can be difficult for language learners to hear, especially if their native language has only one letter for both sounds (like Japanese). The experiment showed that when English speakers heard the letters L and R, two different parts of their brain responded to the sounds. Japanese speakers responded in one area only.

What you can do:

Before you can speak and understand English like a native speaker, learn English sounds. This is a great post full of information about different English sounds and how to pronounce them.

Find the sounds that are most difficult for you to understand or pronounce and learn them especially.

Some experiments show that listening to slowed-down sounds can help you learn them in less than an hour. That’s fast!

You don’t need special software to slow down sounds – YouTube can do it for you! Find some videos of native speakers with the sound (or sounds) you need help with. Here is a great video with different words that contain the letters R and L.

To change the speed, click the settings icon at the bottom right of the video player (it looks like a little gear or wheel). Click then on "speed" and choose a speed that is less than 1.

Try to listen at 0.25 speed for 10 minutes, then 0.5 speed for another 10 minutes. Then play the video at normal speed. Do this a few times with different sounds and you will find that it becomes easier and easier to hear the difference between difficult sounds – that’s your brain growing!

4. Use word associations

What science says:

If you word associations use words with other words, sounds, movements, ideas or images. When you hear the sound "woof", you associate it with a dog. When you see a picture of a sun, immediately think of the words "sun", "warm" and "hot". You don’t have to spend time thinking about it, these words automatically come to mind.

Learning words by association is not only fun, it’s also a very useful way to speed up English learning. Scientists are using this study to look at sign language, a language deaf people use to communicate that uses hands and fingers instead of sounds to form words.

One experiment showed that it’s much easier to remember characters that look like the word look, What they stand for. This means that it is easier to remember the sign language word for "eat" because it looks like a person is eating. It’s harder to learn words when the movement of your hands is not so strongly connected to the idea.

What you can do:

When learning new words, try to learn them in groups. Combine a word with a picture, a movement or another word. If you have this strong connection in your head, you will have an easier time remembering it.

Try to use your hands and body to show the meaning of the words you are learning, at least until you remember it yourself. You can also try drawing some pictures instead of writing the definitions.

As a fun activity, try making the words mean what they mean. You can find some ideas by using Google Images search. This will help you remember not only the meaning, but also the spelling!

5. Remember patterns, not rules

What Science Says:

Watch the first minute of this video.

Can you repeat the pattern? How well you remember and repeat patterns can tell you a lot about how easily you can learn a new language.

In this study, students were shown a group of forms one at a time. The students who were best at finding the patterns in the forms were also the best at learning Hebrew. Languages are made up of patterns, and the easier it is for you to find those patterns, the easier it will be to learn the language.

What you can do:

You might have spent some time learning the rules of grammar and spelling in English. Instead of thinking of them as rules, try to remember the patterns.

For example, look at the past tense. The rule says: "To change a normal verb to its past tense, add -ED to the end of the verb." If you can remember that as soon as you read the sentence, great! However, for most of us, it is difficult to understand the rule if we don’t see it being used.

To learn the rule as a pattern instead, just look at a group of regular verbs and their past tense forms:

Rain – Rained
Want – Wanted
Learn – Learned

See the pattern? Let’s take another step. There is a difference between this next group of verbs and the previous group.

Plan – Planned
Red – Rotted
Stop – Stopped

See the difference here? What is the pattern? The rule that these last three verbs follow is that "when a verb ends as "consonant – vowel – consonant", the last letter is written twice before -ED is added."

Next time you have trouble memorizing rules, look at the patterns instead.

6. Learn phrases, not individual words

What science says:

Some words have a meaning by themselves, but a very different meaning when put together with other words. When we hear or read a sentence in English, we look for these groups.

In the phrase "I ran around" you are saying that you ran around without a destination. If you add just two words, it turns into "I ran around the park," which has a whole different meaning. You learn more and more information about the sentence and the words in it as you listen.

This may not seem so surprising, but until recently linguists (people who study languages) thought that we listen to a whole sentence and then break it down into parts. A study explains that the order of words might be more important than the whole sentence.

Think about it: "bread and butter" and "butter and bread" have the same meaning, but only one has the right word order (bread and butter).

What you can do:

Learning words on your own can be difficult, as many words have more than one meaning. Just knowing a word doesn’t mean you can actually use it. So when you learn new words, you learn how they are used in phrases, sentences, and conversations.

For example, the word "retrospect" means to look back on something. You’ll probably never hear it without the word "in" in front of it: "In retrospect, I shouldn’t have eaten the whole cake." Learn how words are grouped and you’ll sound more natural when you speak.

7. Learn with music

What science says:

Remember the great songs you learned as a child? I bet you can still sing the songs your mother or teachers taught you. But you learned these songs a very long time ago! How can you still remember them so well?

For a child, music is very important for language learning. That’s why there are songs for children to help them remember numbers and letters, learn vowels and new words. Repeated singing of songs and music help children remember important parts of the language.

Adults also learn more easily with music. Language skills are usually considered very important and music is not that important. But according to a study, the ways we learn music and language are very similar, and both are very important! We learn that "ba" and "da" sound different, just like we learn that a trumpet and a piano sound different.

What you can do:

Language is almost a kind of music of its own. Learning language skills through music makes learning easier and faster. There are many songs to learn English, many of which can be found on YouTube or right here on FluentU. Listen to songs and sing along, and you’ll soon be speaking like a native!

You can use FluentU on the website with your computer or tablet, or even better, download the FluentU app from the iTunes store or the Google Play store.

There are no real shortcuts to learning English quickly, but the Science has proven, that some tips work better and faster than others.

According to scientific studies and experiments, the above tips will help you learn English better and faster.

And as you learn and grow, your brain will too!

If you liked this post, something tells me that you’ll love FluentU, the best way to learn English with real-world videos.

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