Why Is Learning English So Difficult?

By Terryl Miller Sky

Why? There are many reasons, I am afraid to say. However, perhaps if you understand what some of the “hurdles” are to learning English, some of the obstacles and irregularities, you can be more prepared to tackle the challenges of the English language. Are you confused and discouraged sometimes? I understand. Don’t give up! You CAN learn English and become a fluent English speaker. It will take several years and lots of practice and study, but you CAN do it! Have faith!!! How do you think I feel? When I started to learn Thai, I was excited and enjoyed it. Then, I discovered how difficult it was. There were 3 major dialects, 5 tones, 44 consonants, and 33 vowels – 13 of the vowels are unwritten! But, I studied and practiced everyday and then the language became easier and more understandable, and even fun to learn! To learn anything well takes time and practice. I think that if you have a relaxed, fun, and patient attitude, and study a little bit everyday – and use your English, that it will be more of a smooth experience for you. Please read my blog/article: Tips To Help You Learn English. For now, here is a partial list of common difficulties for ESL (English as a Second Language) students:

  1. “TH” words: Most all ESL students have this problem. The secret to pronouncing TH successfully, is to place your tongue between your teeth, slightly open – then blow out softly.Try it; …THis… THe…  WeaTHer… BoTH… If you just practice and practice TH words over and over, you will be successful in pronouncing TH words accurately. Please visit my YouTube video about TH words and it will help explain THis !!!
  2. Homonyms are words that have the same pronunciation and/or the same spelling, but are different in meaning. For example;  for/four, read/red, desert/dessert, cent/scent, dear/deer, know/no, meet/meat, sight/site, to/too/two… There are many, many more. Go to this website for a longer list. Study and familiarize the English homonym words often and you’ll get it write… I mean right… I mean left… no, I mean right!  ;))) http://usefulenglish.ru/writing/homonyms-short-list
  3. Synonyms are words that are similar or have a related meaning to another word. Here are some examples:  chilly/cold,  delicious/yummy, silly/funny, weary/tired and blue/gloomy. Go to this site for more useful information: http://examples.yourdictionary.com/examples-of-synonyms.html.
  4. English grammar! I think English grammar is complicated and confusing (compared to many languages). Many English students have many difficulties understanding English grammar. Guess what? Me too! However, if you keep trying to study it, and have patience, someday English grammar makes sense and you just “get it” (understand it) and apply it to your English. For some basic English grammar help, I suggest you visit this website. It has lots to learn, and is somewhat simple.  http://www.talkenglish.com/grammar/grammar.aspx  Don’t give up! Everyone has a problem with English grammar! Me too! Just try to learn and review a little bit everyday!
  5. Dialects and accents: Most ESL students prefer to learn the “American” style of English. In addition to sounding different than the English in Britain, or Australia for example, there is also a slang or dialect mostly from  southern U.S.A. Even within Great Britain there are “dialects” like Cockney, or in Scotland. If I were to go there as an American, I often would have difficulty understanding the British accents, and certainly Cockney and others. So, most  but not all of us ESL teachers suggest, and most schools prefer that their students learn the American style of English. Certainly the correct English grammar must be used however. My point is, that even when you learn correct English grammar, you will encounter slang which you must learn too. Go to this website which lists more than 280 American slang words and meanings! : http://www.manythings.org/slang

So, dear students, please try to learn and understand  the English grammar rules and the other challenges that the English language gives you. Write them down, take notes, practice difficult language problems have faith, and conquer them! Good luck!

Special English words in the article/blog:

tackle                 to deal with something difficult hurdles that makes an achievement difficult obstacle         something that makes it difficult to do something

hurdles              something that makes an achievement difficult

irregularities   something that is not usual or proper Hononyms  (see above)

Synomyms       (see above)

conquer            to take control, to gain control

Sentence example: We will tackle any hurdles, obstacles, and irregularities in our effort to learn English!

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Terryl Miller and Skypeenglishexpress.wordpress.com, 2015 -2025. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Terryl Miller/Skypeenglishexpress.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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