Learning by doing

  • Hello guys!

    A new discussion for everyone! If you can speak englisch, mostly you had to learn it. So, tell us about that!

    Where do you learn the language? How long are you learning the language now? Do you have bad experiences with learning? Or was there something really great to talk about?


  • Hey Franzi, ok I try it haha :)

    I had learn english in the school and then i had a big brake, but now I´ll learn this language better. I´ll go to England sometime and there I must speak very good english :) It´s easy for me write or read. speak is ok and listen is very hard. hmm I don´t know, how can I learn better this language? I don´t understand all in movies or Interview, cuz they speak so fast, haha :)

  • I had some simple words in the elementary school, two years. Then, I startet English in class five. In class eleven and twelve I had English as Advanced Course. In 2009 I took part in an evenig course for business english. And now, I have got english at university.

    I listen to songs and try to understand the words that are in and read the lyrics. It's a good exercise for listening. We had listening in our exams, so we practiced a lot and I'm very good at it.

  • Nearly the same like your experience, Lily.

    Had English at school up to 11th form. After a long break I started reading in English, took a course at VHS and listened to DVDs and audio books, which helps me a lot in understanding.

    Steffi, you have to learn a lot, cause your grammar isn't that good and you won't understand people, if you haven't got a basic knowledge. :hmm

  • My mother was English, born and raised in London and my father was chief translator of Ford Motor Company in Europe. But despite that fact I was very bad at English at school, the teachers complained constantly about my lack of interest and lazyness, but at least they praised my accent, if only a little. My vocabulary was poor, my knowledge of grammar non-existent.
    I suppose that my parents sometimes secretly thought of giving me away for adoption. My
    opposition was of course a sort of juvenile deviancy.
    I hardly passed the final exam - the Abitur - but when I went to university I had to read a lot of English and American psychological literature. So I had to make up for my laziness and try to learn English as fast as possible.

    I began to read a lot - mainly novels, crime fictions and so on. And in the course of time my English improved considerably, especially my vocabulary of various ways of murder. But I never allowed for going to a real school to improve my English even further. I was satisfied to be able to read and understand English more or less fluently and did not care much about grammatical faults.

    In April 2010 I flew to London because I had tickets for the Shakespeare play "Richard II" done by the Almeida Theatre. Since I had read the play before, I was even able to understand the storyline and some of the soliloquis and dialogues. I was very proud of my being a good linguist.

    After the play I met some friends in the bar of the theatre and while chatting with them I suddenly saw the actor, who had played Henry IV, Linus Roache, drinking a glass of wine at the bar. I had loved his performance (and not only his performance - I love him deeply!!!) and so I went to him to ask him to sign my programme.

    "Hello, Mr. Bolingbroke, may I ask you to sign my programme.?" I asked him, trying hard to speak my most beautiful accent. He beamed and asked amiably: "Where do you come from?" My jaw dropped. I had only spoken that single sentence and instead of asking me if I had liked the play he merely asked that outragious question. My whole self-confidence collapsed. My answer was a little miffed. "From Germany!" "Ah yes" he nodded knowingly and put paid to my pride even further.Three days later I enrolled at the School of English and six months later I sat my CPE exam.

    That was 10 years before and I fear that my English has gotten pretty rusty since then. :(

  • I always worked in an international environment, so I always needed English.

    Besides, I love to read english books, watch movies in original language and listen to english audio books.

    When I was at "Gymnasium" I had a very hard english teacher (a bit like Snape but better looking :D ). At that time I cursed him because I had to work a lot but nowadays I'm grateful. Although there were times when I did not speak so much english, I never forgot it.

    Wenn du ein Schiff bauen willst, so trommele nicht Männer zusammen um Holz zu beschaffen, Werkzeuge vorzubereiten und Aufgaben zu vergeben, sondern lehre die Männer die Sehnsucht nach dem endlosen, weiten Meer.
    (Antoine de Saint-Exùpery)

  • In elementary school we sang some English songs or read comic strips and in grade 5 I started to learn English. So I'm learning English since 6 years and I really like the language. Every other year we're flying to the US and I try to improve my English in this days especially in the last years when I had to go to the local Seven Eleven to buy some stuff, for example. :D English is everywhere an that's why I'm learning the language in every airport of the world there are English announcements and in most countries the people do unterstand at least simple English words so that you can order your meal in English everywhere and usually you won't have serious problems to get what you want.

  • I learned English at school, in Gymnasium level from 3rd to 8th grade, and as soon as it was available, I volunteered for additional conversation classes with a British actor who taught at our school at that time (no, not Mr. Rickman, though).
    I started very early to listen to English radio programs, and I tried to understand the rock-n-roll songs that I was listening to.

    After school, my parents allowed me to go to the United States for a month, so I spent four weeks at a language school that was integrated into a college in Oakland, CA, near San Francisco (just on the other side of the Bay). Fact is that I met two guys from Geneva there and improved my French at least as much as my English (not to mention that I met a very lovely Japanese girl there, but my Japanese is still limited to two or three lines). Nevertheless, I finished these four weeks with a Michigan Proficiency level, which basically entitles me to teach English as a foreign language on conversational level.

    Coming back to Switzerland, I chose to further improve my English by watching movies in the original version, reading novels in English instead of the translations (S. King and others) and still listening to the text of the songs on the radio.

    During my studies, I didn't need English too much (except for some specialist literature), but later I joined IBM, and English was the language to be used in international projects, of course. And I had the opportunity to travel to the US twice, and to the UK (Cambridge) once, but for five weeks (my best time at IBM, really).

    And now? I am translating English to German. That helps me with both languages :) (yes, German is kind of a foreign language to me, too :) )

    I can only advise you all to use a foreign language as much as you can (no matter if it's French, English, Italian or whatever), even when it's far from perfect. Well, the French might laugh at you when you make a mistake, the British, Italian and others will welcome you for trying and help you as good as they can.
    Go for it :)

  • I started to learn english in grade 5, probably like the most. I never put real efforts in learning it, but one day I started to watch (mainly Harry Potter) in english. I was addicted to some voices so I had to watch them in english. Watching movies in english improved my language rapidly. I started to read english books and to join communities and suddenly I liked english language.

Participate now!

Don’t have an account yet? Register yourself now and be a part of our community!