In 2019, I have set an annual goal to start learning English again.
This is a hard thing for me to do. Because when I was studying English, I felt like I never got the hang of it.
Many of my friends, after seeing this message, suggested many study methods to me, and I read dozens of study articles of all kinds.
What is the right way to study? What is the best way to guarantee the final result?
Thinking about it, I think there is only one ultimate path, and that is to pile up time.
As with any learning, learning English well is not something that can be done quickly, but rather something that can be accumulated over a long period of time, such as investing 3000 hours first.
But our daily time has been invested in the things we like to do the most, such as microblogging, watching dramas, jittering games, etc. Doing these things is enjoyable. It is anti-human behavior to squeeze out 1-2 hours a day and 3000 hours as a whole from the things we like to do the most in life.
Why is it so hard to keep up? Because it's hard to be pleasant. If you do something unpleasant every day, you're bound to quit in a month.
The difficulty in learning English as an adult is not to find the most efficient way to learn at once, but how to "keep going 30 kilometers a day".
So the strategy I set for myself is: all the methods that can keep me going are good methods; the methods that can't keep me going are bad methods. Then judge for yourself which methods may be suitable for other people but not for you. And in the long run, I believe that it doesn't matter if you learn poorly or inefficiently, as long as you stick with it.
Next, I took a very stupid path to learning, and here's what I experienced.
1) Start with natural pronunciation instead of the International Phonetic Alphabet.
Compared to the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), the natural spelling method is easier to learn, and after learning it, I can pronounce about 70% of the unfamiliar words. I think it is more important to build up initial confidence and a sense of accomplishment quickly, rather than striving for perfection. I watched a YouTube channel called "Teresa's English Club" to learn natural spelling. The teacher was Taiwanese and specialized in teaching children, so the lessons were easy to understand.
2) Learn basic English grammar for kids
After learning natural spelling, I started to learn basic English grammar again. I bought Teresa's grammar course for a few hundred dollars, and every day I watched the videos on udemy's iPad, used my Apple pencil to do my homework on notability, and then compared the standard answers on Google Drive. It is not difficult to understand the content because it is taught to children.
- memorize 15 new words every day
After finishing the basic grammar class, my vocabulary was almost up to about 1000 words. Then I saw that my idol, Mr. Huashan from Shanghai Huahehua Company, insisted on memorizing words every day on Weibo, so I also started to memorize words on Hundred Word Chopper. Then I memorized 15 new words and 18 old words every day, with no expectation of remembering anything that had been coarse-toned and then fine-toned. So far, I have memorized more than 11,000 words in 372 days and remembered about 3-4,000 of them.
- reading comic book hero novels
During the epidemic, I had a lot of free time at home, so I started reading comic book heroes on Mint Read. What Spider-Man Iron Man story, already familiar, so the novel to read although hard but not boring. It took me 100 days to read 85,000 words.
- learning Duolingo's short story
It's a learning app in the US, which is mainly about repetitive practice through simple but repetitive sentences, and I feel that such a foolish method is quite to my liking. So I bought a VIP, and I'm still working on it after 115 days.
To sum up the above, because I am a fool, the methods I chose are all foolish, simple and persistent.
When Zeng Guofan attacked Anqing and Nanjing, his strategy was to build a hard fortress and fight a dull battle, which eventually killed the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom. Today, in learning English, I believe that everyone can learn English well with some slow work and some stupid work.