December 26, 2004

Our guest writer: Bruce Lin

I have known Mr. Lin for quite a while. We have been friends since we worked at a company in San Francisco in 1996. He is also working as an English teacher in Taipei currently.
It was the other day that I asked him to give us some advice about learning English, in no time he sent me an article via email which referred to improving people's English proficiency. I copied the whole article and pasted it here as follows, so please enjoy reading it.

A Short-Cut to Learning English?

From time to time, students ask me how to study English. It is difficult to answer because each student?s learning behavior is unique. When walking into a bookstore to find a good English reference book, students often feel lost in the jungle of books. Worse, they buy tons of books or magazines but seldom use them. Using English is very important.

I found a good website (from British Broadcast Corporation service/learning English/) for students to USE English. I list out many benefits students can get from it in the following. Please visit the website NOW.

  • Efficiency
  • The articles on the website are short.
  • The website has a new article every 2 or 3 days. This makes learning English burden-free.
  • Listening
  • You can LISTEN to the short article on the website in English.
  • Practicality
  • It is in British English, which, I think, it more helpful for students to get used to the English accents of the countries such as Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, etc. Of course, it helps with understanding American English.
  • Words and terms
  • Following an article, there is a list of explanations of words, terms, and phrases in English.
  • Thus, it is a good chance to USE English to learn English. TRY NOT TO USE CHINESE TO LEARN ENGLISH.
  • Focus
  • You can listen to the same article many times a day and for many days. Repeatedly learning the same thing over and over is powerful because you tend to have deeper impression of what is learned. The logic is, it is better to learn one thing WELL than to learn one hundred things NOT WELL.
  • Daily habit
  • English ability is accumulated little by little. You can check the website every day to develop a daily habit of reading English.
  • Knowledge
  • It is a window to gain the information of the world, which, as you know, is the very reason why we learn English. You get double pleasure to learn English and world affairs at the same time.

    If some articles are too difficult or boring to you, then don?t force yourself. Eventually, you?ll have to develop your own judgment of what should be learned and what should not.


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