6 Common Problems in Learning English and How to Improve Them_featured image

Learning to be fluent in English, especially when your first language is in no way similar to it, can be very challenging. As a new learner, you are bound to face many problems in learning English as a second language. Even native speakers often end up making mistakes because of the differences and intricacies that can be found within the language. So, if you think that problems faced by students in learning English are exclusive to them only, you are wrong.

However, there are a few solutions to deal with the problems faced by students in speaking English. One of the most effective ways to deal with such problems is by hiring an English Tutor Online. If you do not have the time to commit to an online schedule with a tutor, you can try our suggestions to overcome Arabic speakers learning English problems. So, let’s take a look at the most common problems in learning English faced by beginners and experts alike and how to improve them:

1. Poor English Vocabulary

Vocabulary is one of the integral parts of learning any language, including English. Any language, including both Arabic and English, has hundreds and thousands of words and it is impossible to know all of them at a given time. Even native speakers do not know all the words of their mother tongue. There are way too many words for any person to learn, however, you do not need to learn every single one of them. That being said, you still need to have a strong vocabulary to speak fluently in English.

If you want to be an advanced speaker, then you need to know 4,000 to 10,000 words and if you want to become fluent, then you must know more than 10,000 words. Now, the list is way too long to display, but a good way to start is by reading through the list and identifying the words you already know. However, apart from learning all the words, another one of the problems in learning English that people face is forgetting the words soon after learning them. So, how can you overcome that?

poor english

How to Improve English Vocabulary?

You can start with some simple methods and games to learn and play, respectively, to work on your vocabulary. We suggest making a list or flashcards of twenty-five words that you want to learn and keep reading it. Do not forget to write down the meanings of those words along with them so you can remember how to use a certain word in a certain situation. Divide the list of words into five parts and study five words every day.

Now, this is where the trick comes in, on the second day try to recall the first day’s five words and write them down. Continue the pattern of writing down the previous day’s words for five days. On the sixth day, try recalling all the words and write them down. When you are done, check your list and see how well you have done.

If you use this method, you will see an improvement in your English vocabulary and you will never forget the words you learn with this trick.

2. Confusing Spelling

There are hundreds and thousands of words in English that have completely different spellings but sound the same when pronounced. You can have a ‘pair’ of shoes or eat a ‘pear’ for lunch. These words sound the same but have vastly different meanings and spellings. Moving on, you will also notice that individual letters in words can sound different. For instance, the letter “f” can be spelled in different ways. You can spell it like a “gh” in words such as “enough, or tough,” or you can spell it like a “ph” in words like “phone,” or you can use it like a double “f” in words like “fluff.” Whew! That’s a lot. This has to be on the top of the list of problems faced by students in speaking English.

confusing spelling

You can improve these problems by reading books and watching movies and noticing how some letters have different spellings and pronunciations.

3. No Interaction, or Lack Thereof, With Native Speakers

It is important to regularly interact with native English speakers if you want to be fluent in English. It can be very difficult to work on your speaking skills without a partner and can cause many problems in learning English.

Luckily, there is a solution for all Arabic speakers learning English problems, including this one. You can find native speakers via Facebook groups and Reddit communities. Besides, you might get an amazing friend along the way!

4. Difficult Grammar

English grammar is intricate and tricky. Learners can find grammatical patterns difficult, especially in speaking and it can lead to a wrong message being delivered. English grammar rules are not clean-cut and there are way too many of them. As a result, they are tough to memorize, and even tougher to apply.

You can work on grammar by starting with the basics, including plural forms, comma rules, and pronoun-agreement rules.

5. Feeling Embarrassed

Learning a new language can feel overwhelming, so the embarrassment that comes with it is natural. So, if you feel embarrassed when practicing around people, especially when the people around you are fluent, remember that it is natural. You feel out of place because you are unable to express yourself properly.

To deal with the embarrassment, practice as much as you can. Try speaking in English alone or in a comfortable space where you can speak out loud. Or you can read to yourself out loud. Just keep in mind that English is not your first language and you are still learning, which is incredibly impressive so you do not need to be embarrassed.

6. Confusion Colloquialisms and Slang

This is one specific area that is challenging to learn. Slang is the casual language used in day-to-day conversation. It is difficult to learn slang when you are not an active part of the local culture. Luckily there are many ways to get hang of common slang and colloquialisms.

Take advantage of pop culture and the latest trends like famous TV shows and radio shows to learn the casual language you need to carry on day-to-day conversations. Listening to native English speakers will help you gain the proper understanding of how to make conversations by picking up cues such as non-verbal clues or tone of voice.

7. Pronunciation

English does not follow the rules of phonetics because it is not a phonetic language. So, oftentimes you do not say a word the way it is spelled. For instance, in “I am going to read a novel today,” and “I read an interesting novel yesterday,” the word ‘read’ is spelled with the same letters but both words are pronounced differently.

There is a wide array of words like ‘read’ that can confuse beginners. Words like ‘read’ are called heteronyms (words that spell the same but have different sounds when pronounced). Another example of heteronyms is the word ‘tear’. Therefore, someone can either say “I have a tear in my almost new shirt because of the nail”, or they can say, “I have a tear in my eye”.

How to Improve Pronunciation?

Try watching movies in English because that is one of the easiest ways to deal with the problems faced by students in speaking English. Hearing words spoken out loud acts as a mirror effect and improves your speaking skills. It is super important to keep practicing. So, no matter whatever hurdle life throws at you, do not give up.

You can also try reading novels. But read them out loud. Make sure that you pronounce the words right and read them slowly so you can pay attention to them properly. The point is that you pronounce the words out loud while practicing speaking English. This also acts as a great solution for people who do not have any native English speakers to talk to. So, reading can act as a solution for many problems in learning English.

Fluent, Spoken English Is Not That Difficult of a Goal to Achieve (Conclusion)

The best way to overcome all the problems in learning English is to practice as much as you can while fully immersing yourself in an environment that is full of like-minded English speakers. Even though there are many Arabic speakers learning English problems, there are some things that make learning easier. For instance, in English, nouns do not have a gender. You only need to learn three basic tenses. These aspects simplify a lot of things.

Keep in mind that you will not learn English fluently overnight. The most important thing is not to give up, no matter what. Learning English can be the most entertaining and exciting experience of your life if you overcome the problems in learning English.

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