Learning English

edited December 2013 in The Universal Membrane
Have any of you ever used any online or computer based program to learn or improve your English? (Non-native English speakers)

I'm looking at buying a program for someone who needs to improve their English and the online reviews are extremely polar with their reviews.

Any help is appreciated!

Edit: I should say the person already 'knows' English, they just have a hard time with some pronunciation, using articles, and understanding someone who they aren't familiar with speaking. Some vocabulary problems too.


  • umm noo. My dad did once though.  He joined this bible study thing at this one church and they gave him these ESL disks. I can't really tell if they helped or not. 

    My mom learned through watching a ridiculous amount of TV though. She found that the easiest way for her was to just talk a lot and slowly.

    I think, as with any language, just being bold enough to talk helps the most. 
    Commission List: Aesi, Kenway, Shimi, Kythra, Trey, Sholen .... 5/5 CLOSED
    I will not draw them in the order that they are requested... rather in the order that I get inspiration/artist block.
  • Don't use the online learning things for English. For speaking I suggest they just go out shopping and talk to people to learn practical English and also pick up the accent. They learn from a foreign source the slang and enunciations could be vastly different, causing more problems later.

    Above doesn't seem to apply to the Chinese dialects, French or Japanese for some reason re issues. Haven't been busted yet for it.
    "Faded away like the stars in the morning,
     Losing their light in the glorious sun,
     Thus would we pass from this earth and its toiling,
     Only remembered for what we have done."

  • Shirszae speaks Spanish? :O
  • TharvisTharvis The Land of Beer and Chocolate!
    Anedhel said:
    Shirszae speaks Spanish? :O
    ¿Quién no?
    Aurora says, "Tharvis, why are you always breaking things?!"
    Artemis says, "You are so high maintenance, Tharvis, gosh."
    Tecton says, "It's still your fault, Tharvis."

  • edited December 2013
    Muahaha. Time to have secret(ish) conversations with her so that no one else knows what we're saying!

    ETA: To keep on topic: I had to use a software program when I was interning at an embassy, and it was terrible. Just... terrible. Speaking/watching tv/reading more better.
  • Yeah, best way to learn english is to just go and experience it. Whether t's by speaking with english speaking people, or just listening to TV... Watch Sesame Street. As long as you can put up with them misspelling "-our" words and pronouncing Z as Zee. Sure, it's a kid's show, but it's probably better at teaching english than an on-line program.

    English is a cluster-frak of contradictions that ... I have no idea how any of us even learn them to begin with. In fact, most non-native speakers I know, who picked it up as a third, or fourth, or fifth language can use the damned thing better than I ever knew it could be used.
    When Canada rules the world,
    things will be... nii~ice.
  • True, Tecton. Achaea played a bit role in my learning of the English language years ago. French here,

  • NizarisNizaris The Holy City of Mhaldor
    I've had some limited experience with a demo version of Rosetta Stone. Based on what I saw, and off of my teaching experience, I can say without a doubt that it is one of the best-constructed systems in existence. It is built to work in the same way that we learn naturally, by building understanding and making connections. The best recommendation that I can think of with it is that it is used by several American government departments to learn foreign languages, including the CIA.

    Yes, it's expensive, but it's definitely cheaper than taking several classes and living in native speaking countries for a while.
  • JozlynJozlyn out of here.
    I used to tutor esl students ranging from elementary age to adult (which is hilarious because now I'm a grammatical nightmare). At the request of many of my students' parents, we would play games and read stories to let them become accustomed with hearing the language. It worked really well. I'd give them short writing assignments on things they were interested in and ask them to send letters to an english speaking pen-pal. My favorite student was a mother of three kids that wanted to spend our study sessions going over the transcripts of the latest Desperate Housewives episodes... It worked really well. We discussed odd turns of phrase, illicit language, and social norms.  

    Now I miss my students, they quickly became my friends. 

    I suggest finding multiple conversation partners and reading.
     yes, sir.
  • I find the best way to delve into a language is to play games associated with it. Word games, card games, nursery rhymes or children's games that play on the words, all of these are some of the most effective teachers. I went from no knowledge of Mandarin to a fluent speaker in about a year and a half, I credit these methods as the real learners.
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