Sergey Sulimov


Sergey Sulimov


Don’t do this: common mistakes in learning English


Many people have difficulties learning English. Some people spend years learning the language but never get the results they want – progress is very slow and motivation fades. To avoid this, understand what problems can slow down the learning process and prevent you from achieving the desired results. Today we will list the most common mistakes when learning English and tell you how to deal with them.

Trying to learn English in a month

You’ve probably seen adverts for various courses that promise to teach you to speak fluent English in a week or a month. As much as we would like to, it is impossible to learn the language in such a short period of time, so we advise you to pay attention to courses, for example, at the EnglishPaPa language school, which honestly tell you how much time you really need to master even basic English skills. On average, it takes at least six months of study to notice the first tangible results if you decide to start learning English for the first time.

Occasional study

Many people start learning English with great enthusiasm, devoting several hours to it every day, but over time they lose interest, get lazy and stop studying. To avoid this mistake, firstly, you should set yourself clear goals and preferably a specific time frame for achieving them. Here are some examples of successful goals that will be a good motivation:

  • to master basic conversational English in 6 months, so that you can easily start a dialogue on dating sites and communicate without the help of a translator or dictionary;
  • to prepare for the IELTS or TOEFL language exam for admission to a foreign university;
  • learn specialized vocabulary for working abroad in medicine, business, economics and so on.

The second tip to help you stay on track is to make a clear plan and stick to it. The tactic of “okay, I’ll skip a week, and then I’ll study for 3 hours at once” will not lead to success. It is better to study every day for 20-30 minutes and do not forget to repeat the material learnt so that the information is not erased from your head after a month.

Memorize lists of words without context

This is quite a popular practice and advice that can still be found in mainstream schools and even in some language courses. You’ve probably come across lists on the internet like “Learn these 100 words and you’ll learn to understand 90% of English”. No, it doesn’t work like that. In such lists you will find either a lot of prepositions that won’t make much difference to your language skills, or words that almost nobody uses in modern everyday speech. By using context, that is, not just one word directly, but a group of words that help you to understand the meaning of what is said, you will, firstly, be able to expand your vocabulary faster and, secondly, learn to speak in whole phrases without trying to remember every word.

Focus on old manuals

Any language is constantly changing in the process of its development and what was relevant 10 years ago may not be used by native speakers now. Not only vocabulary changes, but also some grammar rules. Therefore, if you want to learn the English that is now used in England, the USA and other English-speaking countries, try to choose books that were published in the last 5-7 years.

Be afraid of making mistakes and practice speaking English

English is not just grammar rules, not just new words, not just speaking and so on. It is a set of all these skills that, ideally, should be developed in parallel. That is, to think that “I will learn grammar and at least 1000 words, and then I will try to speak” is wrong. Even having learnt all the grammatical rules, having expanded your vocabulary to the maximum, you will not just speak. That’s why you should build your first sentences, even if they are wrong, from the first weeks of your studies, gradually improving your skills and supplementing your existing knowledge with a new and more in-depth understanding of English.

Школа английского EnglishPapa в Минске

We hope our article was useful for you. We invite you to take our English courses for adults at our school to start learning English or to improve your knowledge. Take an English level test on our website and sign up for a free trial lesson of English online. With EnglishPapa, you will definitely begin to speak English!