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Learning languages

Listen to Simon talking about how he learned several languages in a variety of different ways.

Do the preparation task first. Then listen to the audio and do the exercises.



Language level

Upper intermediate: B2


I am learning English all my life, and I am not satisfied. Sometimes I thing that never know to speak very good.
This web site is great, I like it so much. :D

What great tips on this audio.Thanks

I'm learning English language, because I need to know this language to study in PhD. I know that to learn English you should try to reading, to watching and to listening every day. But have a problem when I'm learning English after some time I get bored to learn. Please Can you give me some advice how to learn English?

Hello Farukh23,

I'm really not sure I can give you advice on how not to get bored! Different people find different things interesting but remember that there are many ways to learn a language. Look for topics and subjects which interest you in your own language and read/listen to these. You can find a lot of authentic materials such as podcasts on a wide range of topics from good media institutions like the BBC or the Guardian newspaper and listening to these will be both helpful and interesting, I expect.

We have a section with learning tips which may be useful to you. You can find it here.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

To be honest I never went to an English school in my whole life. Initially I wasn’t bothering myself to learn English I was not in need of it. I was taught other languages in the school and that was more than enough for me in that time.
Listening to music like Blues and Rock was my favorite thing to do at my young ages, and I was very interested to understand what these songs were talking about, that is when I started to pay more attention to English language. Since there was no one around to teach me, I started to watch American movies with translation subtitles on the bottom of the screen. I was watching, listening and reading the translation at the same time. After a while I was succeeding to understand some simple sentences that it was repetitively used from time to another in the movies. Furthermore, I started to catch up on the meaning without reading the translation. Despite my cheating by looking to the translation subtitles from time to time I find myself understanding the movie subject, and that’s what stimulated me to start working on myself more and more. Reading books written for young people was little embarrassing at the beginning but very helpful and interesting indeed (I like stories and legends about heroes and beauties). That was my real first step into the English literature.
Reading, reading and reading is of course the best way to improve your language skills. However listening and writing are not less important. Thus language has three legs to stand on. Reading, writing and practicing, are the golden triangle that must be maintained in order to express your feelings, thoughts and emotions fluently even in your mother tongue language.


Hello! Everyone
Even though British English is different from American English. Some words are the same meaning but we write or speak we use different words but the same meaning. I like British English and I have learned a lot experiment

guys i'm new here and i don't know where nor how to ask questions about grammar, but i have this grammar course where they gave us a homework to search about and couldn't find anything ' why does the verb phrase in "i stayed up to see the film" contain two processes while " i started watching the film" contain one process also whether " the driver appeared to stop and check the map" two processes or one and why? thank you so much for helping and sorry if it's the wrong place to ask i apologize

Hello rin,

Our English grammar pages are the best for a question like this, though I don't think you'd have found an answer there. I think it'd be best to ask your teacher to explain this a bit more. Perhaps they meant that the actions of 'staying up' and 'seeing the film' are two separate actions, whereas 'started watching' is really one -- 'start' doesn't mean much in itself, it's part of the action of watching.

If that's what they mean, then I'd say the other sentence has two processes (stopping and checking).

I hope this helps you.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

I think the most effective way for me to learn languages is by forcing myself to read newspapers and also listening to music is very useful way