May 22, 2020

English Training for Your Family

How can your family members learn English for free?

Free or low-cost online options

There are plenty of free resources available online that your family members can use to learn English. The Internet has made it easy for non-speakers to learn from home whenever it's convenient. Go online and you'll find mobile apps and websites featuring English tutorials, tips, and exercises that are an invaluable resource for beginner speakers.

Take an English Course

English is an easy language to learn, but enrolling in a course can sometimes be tricky. Warning: Don't confuse courses described as ESL/ EFL� or even ELL� with courses described only as English.�English courses, such as those offered through a college or university are usually listed as ENG100 or ENG (and a number). These typically are courses in English Literature and are not intended for English language learning.However, courses labeled as ESL (English Second Language), EFL (English Foreign Language), and ELL (English Language Learners) are designed to help learners develop their skills in the domains of reading, writing, listening, and speaking in the English language.

What if my family members don't want to take a course?

Some alternative suggestions include:

  • Try talking to each other in English at designated times each day.
  • Watch TV shows and movies with the subtitles off.
  • Shadowing, or mimicking spoken English is a great way to improve your pronunciation and intonation (or rhythm) when speaking. It is an easy way to practice and it really helps! Just watch a short YouTube video clip, paying attention to a specific speaker. You should listen to it a few times to get the meaning, this time to hear where the speaker pauses, and which words and sounds are emphasized. Then play the video again, and you speak the part of the speaker- as if you were an actor. Try to sound exactly like the person in the video. Next, turn the video off and try to write down what the speaker says. Check to see if you heard all of the words correctly.�
  • Change the language of the computer and cell phones to English to immerse your family members even more.

Some important things to remember when learning English:

  • Keep a positive attitude. Don't feel like you have to apologize for having trouble speaking the language. If you don't know what something means, ask if they can explain it in another way.
  • Make an effort to practice reading, writing, speaking, and listening exercises at least a few times a week.
  • Take a brief moment to think in English before you speak.
  • Ask friends and family to converse with you in English so you can practice with them.
  • Get feedback on your pronunciation to help you speak with confidence.
  • When you come across new words and phrases that you don't understand, write those down somewhere and look them up in your free time.
  • Don't be afraid to make mistakes. Everyone does when learning something new.
  • Above all, don't give up.

Free online resources:

Future Learn offers lessons about English listening, speaking, reading, and writing� Easy World of English offers grammar, pronunciation, and an interactive picture dictionary.� Cambridge English helps children learn reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills.Feel free to reach out to your most current assigned PassportUSA representative if you have any questions.Be sure to check out more great articles in the Employee Education Center to help you succeed in your new life in the USA!

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