Features of self-learning of English

UDC 378.147
Publication date: 20.12.2023
International Journal of Professional Science №12-2023

Features of self-learning of English

Lashina E.N.
Senior Lecturer of the Department of Foreign Languages,
St. Petersburg State University of Industrial Technology and Design.
Higher School of Technology and Energy
Abstract: English is the most important means of communication not only between its native speakers, but also as a universal language of communication and transmission of information throughout the world. Therefore, its learning is becoming increasingly in demand today. For this purpose, there are various methods of self-learning that show good effectiveness. The article discusses the features of using these methods as a way to learn English on your own.
Keywords: foreign language, English, self-learning, learning methods, efficiency, communication.

There is a huge amount of information with recommendations, different approaches and systems for learning English on your own. However, most of them have a drawback that cannot be taken away – the lack of an individual approach. Having decided to learn a language on his own, the student must understand that now the responsibility for the results lies only with him and, to some extent, he benefits from this. After all, no one knows him better than himself, which means a person, based on his own feelings, is able to create an ideal training program for himself.

At this stage, it is useful to decide on the purpose of learning English – work, living in an English-speaking country, passing an exam, etc. At the same time, students can deepen and expand the knowledge and skills they have already acquired, as well as learn to independently replenish them and critically evaluate their capabilities. A clear goal is the driving force behind self-education. Without it, the process of acquiring knowledge will be delayed.

Once the task of learning English has been determined, you can proceed directly to mastering the language. To organize your studies so that it is as effective, interesting and simple as possible, you need to understand which ways of perceiving information are easiest for the student, or better yet, try them all and combine them [1].

There are many methods for learning English on your own; let’s look at the most effective ones.

1) Ilya Frank’s method is an excellent way to passively learn a language. It occurs through reading adapted texts in foreign and Russian languages. You read books in English without a dictionary, quickly getting used to the language system and gaining vocabulary. The original work is broken into parts. After each part in a foreign language there is a translation and a small lexical and grammatical commentary. The advantage of this method of language acquisition is that vocabulary is memorized not through cramming, but naturally through repeated repetition of the word. Another advantage of Ilya Frank’s technique is that words are repeated in different contexts, this will help you see the difference in the semantics of polysemantic words. With regular reading using this method, in just a year you can actually learn to read fluently in any unfamiliar foreign language [2]. When reading by Ilya Frank’s method, only mechanical memory works, so memorization requires almost no effort, only a large number of repetitions are needed. There are many books adapted from Ilya Frank’s method that can help in mastering the English language. However, we should not forget that this method is only an addition to the general program of learning a foreign language, a simplified way of acquiring new vocabulary.

2) One of the most popular methods of mastering spoken English is the Pimsler method. Dr. Pimsler focuses on the formation of associative thinking, consistent training of short and long-term memory, taking into account the specifics of working memory. Outline the four main principles of this methodology:

— the principle of expectation, or the “request-response” principle, which activates the thought process before constructing a phrase in order to retrieve a vocabulary structure from memory;

— memorization through interval repetition, which is based on the features of short-term and long-term memory;

— core vocabulary: 100 words are enough to understand 50%, 500 words are enough to understand 80%, 1200 words are enough to understand 90% of the language, while the grammar is “sewn into” the vocabulary base and is learned intuitively;

— functional (organic) acquisition, which is more natural than learning a language in a classroom, because, according to the author, a student learns better with his ears than with his eyes.

Due to the fact that a student can concentrate and maintain attention for no more than half an hour, according to the doctor, each lesson lasts 30 minutes. One level of study covers approximately 500 words. There is a rule: 1 day = 1 lesson. The student listens to enriched phrases in two languages, which are performed by native speakers of the target language. At precise intervals he is asked to repeat these phrases after the speaker. After this, a new cliche is introduced with an explanation of the meaning. Having repeated the new phrase several times, the student returns to the previous construction and introduces new words into it. Next, the process of introducing new phrases is repeated, old constructions are reproduced at lengthening time intervals [3].

3) If a student needs to gain the necessary communication skills in a foreign language in a short time, Dmitry Petrov’s method is suitable. The main emphasis is on the ability to automate the basic algorithms of the language and learn to easily create a large number of combinations even from a small number of words. The course consists of 16 lessons that you can find on the Internet. The essence of Dmitry Petrov’s method is as follows: the backbone (matrix) of the language being studied is created and studied, not exceeding the multiplication table in volume. In any language, 90% of the same words are used in everyday life, approximately 300-500 words, which are used by almost everyone, regardless of education and culture. These words include approximately 50-60 of the most commonly used verbs, as well as prepositions, conjunctions, interrogative and function words. You don’t need to get hung up on the rules, you just need to talk, and mistakes shouldn’t embarrass you. The main principle of this method is to think about what to say, and not how to say it correctly, avoiding tension and violence against oneself. It is necessary every day, little by little, but regularly to repeat simple, visual patterns with words and phrases. You don’t need to learn complex rules, you don’t need to spend a lot of time, short repetitions are much more effective [4].

4) Watching British and American TV series with double subtitles is a method for those who are just starting to learn English. Using this method, the student simultaneously hears the original English speech and learns the translation and spelling. It’s better to start by watching episodes with Russian subtitles in order to hear and understand the essence of the conversation. In this case, the words, short phrases, phrases and phrases that are most often repeated will be stored in your memory along with the association of the situation in which they are involved. Once you feel more confident, you can move on to watching episodes with English subtitles. In this case, in addition to listening skills, visual memory is trained. This technique forces the brain to work, process heard and read information faster, and improves reading skills. Watching TV series in English is the development of commutative skills, such as speech perception, vocabulary enrichment, and grammar consolidation [5].

5) An alternative method of learning English was proposed by Alexander Dragunkin. In his methodology, Alexander Dragunkin abandoned the classical study of the rules for reading English words, replacing the traditionally used International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) with “Russified transcription” (teeth – тииф, thing – финг, knowledge – ноолиджь, etc.), explaining this by the fact that at the moment the number There are so many accents and dialects that pronunciation is no longer important. In addition, he derived 51 “golden formulas” of English grammar, which differ significantly from the classical ones. This does not mean that he offers “his” English, he simply offers his own logic for understanding grammar, which does not contradict the rules. Complete avoidance of memorizing any grammatical and other rules. The method is based on analytical logic, which helps to understand the mentality of a native English speaker in comparison with Russian, which ultimately leads to the rapid development of a flair for the English language, which is necessary for the development of speaking skills. The method is built on the principle of “why it should be said this way”, and not “how it should be said” [6].

6) Duolingo could be another interesting project to help you learn English. There is a free version of this Program. Duolingo works as follows: the student selects the language he wants to learn (English). Next, the student selects the level of English on Duolingo. It is possible to start learning a language from the very beginning (Basics 1), which assumes that the learner has no prior knowledge of the language. You can also take a short “test” to see which level suits you best. Thanks to Duolingo, language learning is carried out in traditional ways, that is, the learner learns vocabulary in several stages, starting with things like animals, food, plurals, clothes, conjunctions, etc. Each of these levels has from 1- up to 8-9 or more lessons, which in turn contain a certain number of exercises. As you progress, the phrases used in the lessons become more complex.

Each lesson consists of 4 types of exercises [7]:

— translation exercise, where the student is required to translate from his native language into the target language or vice versa;

— listening exercises, where the student listens to a short phrase that is spoken and writes what he hears;

— matching exercise, where the student is introduced to new vocabulary and needs to compare it with the correct photograph or vice versa;

— speaking exercises, where the student must read aloud a sentence in the target language.

Duolingo is a fast, easy and free way to learn a foreign language. What is attractive about this method is the simplicity of its use with the element of play present in it. It should be actively used in combination with other language learning tools.

In any case, when choosing a method of learning English, it is necessary to focus on the type of information perception that is characteristic of a particular student. As already noted, today there are countless methods of learning a foreign language that can provide the most demanding level. The successful development of science, technology and intercultural communication in general is impossible without the exchange of information, and English is used in this capacity, which, in turn, helps to increase interest in learning English.


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