Essay 1: An Essay About Why We
is much more than a fad; it is really a must! Let's take a look
around us: the latest information around the world is written in or
translated into English. To keep up with the ever-changing world, we
must be equipped with a good command of English. From a more
practical point of view, armed English is one of the most important
required subjects for the university and high school entrance exam.
To do well on the exam, we must, again, study hard to score high in
Frankly, my English is not good. But I have been doing my best to
improve my English in order to pass the college entrance examination
.In my case, I force myself to memorize at least a few new words
every day because a large vocabulary is essential in learning
English well. Second, I review some grammar rules every week,
which helps me make fewer mistakes in writing English. Third, I read
short articles and then write an English composition every other
day. I hope to get high marks in both reading and writing. Now my
English is improving day by day, and I hope I can do well in the
English test for the coming college examination.
English has always been my headache. Whenever I have an English
class, I feel bored, sleepy and frustrated. All those meaningless
drills, repetitions and are meaningless drills, repetitions and
pattern practices confuse me and are more likely to lull me to sleep
than to acquaint me with basic language skills. They always make me
uneasy and uncomfortable. And with those repetitive, perplexing and
monotonous noises, I cannot but feel as if left alone and helpless
in an exotic land. My poor pronunciation and broken knowledge about
grammar have become a great subject of joke in class. Whenever it is
my turn to read a paragraph or two, the classroom is sure to ring
with loud laughter, which makes me embarrassed. For all these
reasons, it is not surprising that I hate English.
Essay 2: How to Learn English
language is mainly based upon self-struggle. Maybe the only thing to
be done by the teachers on this subject is to advise a method.
Because, in a sense, language cannot be taught but learned.
So, it’s suitable that the students are shown ways to increase their
capabilities and advised methods that give path to discoveries,
instead of being obliged to memorize piles of information.
In language learning process, a target should be made clear
at first. What can be expected from a student who cannot answer the
question “Why are you learning this language?”. This point
should not be forgotten: Language itself is used to reach some
certain aims, to make some certain plans real in the real world.
Therefore, one should have a target while s/he study a language.
Under the light of these facts, what must your target be? The
decision seems to depend on you.
Success in learning a foreign language is closely related to the
student’s knowledge of his/her native language (But, unfortunately,
because of the variety of materials in ELT, English is taught in
better ways than the native language). A student adds the
information s/he knows about his/her native language to the language
s/he’s learning at present. Sometimes just the opposite is also
possible. A foreign language can make understanding of the native
language easy. The student realizes that his/her native language is
another language among the others and becomes much more aware about
the activities s/he carries out about his/her native language. As
Goethe says “One cannot know his/her native language if s/he does
not know his/her native language.”
Repetitions and using the language are vital in language learning.
It’s very easy to learn something if you really need it. Therefore,
“motivation,” which has a main role in learning, should not
A language seems to be a pile of infinite rules, but you do not have
to know all of them. Once you learn the basic rules, you start to
analyze and realize the other rules with ease. The important thing
is to understand where these rules are applied, not to memorize
them, anyway. Using a language sufficiently is more important than
knowing a lot about it.
Learning a language requires talent as well as knowledge; and
talent is gained only through practice. You may know how to drive a
car, but you have to have much practice to be a good driver.
Practicing with simple examples is not a good idea. Everybody should
try to use the language in complexity to gain the ability to think
and express him/herself fast.
Repititio est mater studiorum. (Repetition is the basis of
The things you remember are the ones to which you pay attention to.
It’s vital to repeat in order not to forget. The secret in not being
able to forget the things of great importance to us is repeating
The more you know about something, the easier it is to remember it.
The more you know about somebody you have met recently (i.e.,
his/her country, father’s name, occupation, school, etc.), the
easier it is to remember his/her name, for instance. Addressing him
with his name several times, establishing connections between his
attributes and the others you have known already makes remembering
his name easy. Because, if newly learned information is based upon
the old ones, they will not be forgotten with ease.
To learn a new word is similar to meeting a new person. To have
information about this new word in detail (it’s written form,
pronunciation, word type, base, affixes, etc.), using it orally and
in written form several times, establishing links between our past
and present knowledge can make remembering easy. This fact must
always be on your mind: To remember something, you must recall a
clue about that invoke your feelings.
Systematic information may easily be acquired. The opportunity to
make a comparison among the arranged sections gives strength to the
message and meaning of the text. Only the meaningful things can be
Another obstacle waiting for the students is to digest the
unfamiliar information getting familiar with them in time. It’s the
teacher’s duty to arrange this unfamiliar information and present it
to the students.
• Knowledge about language can be divided into three main groups:
1. Knowledge of Vocabulary
Words in target language may be divided into two:
a. Words we recognize: They are the ones we understand passively as
if we work out their codes while reading or listening.
b. Words we use: They are the ones we produce actively as if we
write a code for them.
(A warning: Communication mustn’t be understood that simple. The
network of concepts in the brain is in a very complex relationship.)
In understanding process, we follow a way that is from sounds and
images to meanings. In oral or written forms, this way is from
meanings to sounds and images. Perception is based upon analysis,
recall and memorization. Usage is related to synthesis and
reproduction. In language learning, perception must precede
using the language. If the studies are directed to writing in the
target language, learning should take place from a word in
the source language to its equivalent in the target language; if
directed to reading, this should happen from a word in the target
language to its equivalent in the source language.
Researches about memory have shown that words are memorized by
connotations. There is also a close relationship between recognizing
a word in different texts and using it sufficiently. Therefore, to
comprehend the word, it should be put in the middle of a firm
network of connotations knitted by preliminary knowledge.
Words in our memory are in a relationship with each other not only
in the viewpoint of sound, part of speech and meaning but also in
the viewpoint of “shape”. We link the words alike in our memory.
This link also exists among the words in a text. Coherence, that is
the relationship between the concepts, reinforces the connection of
meaning. For that reason, reading on a specific subject
systematically, that is to say directed to a specific aim, increases
the knowledge of vocabulary.
Fries, a linguist, divides knowledge of vocabulary into four:
1. Fundamental words necessary for recognition the structure of the
2. Words necessary for forming new words.
3. Words necessary for recognition while reading or listening.
4. Words necessary for special.
Essential points that must be focused on in choosing words for
memorizing can be summarized as:
4. Suitability for learning
Continuous listening and reading are the best ways to increase the
knowledge of vocabulary. In more contexts you meet a new word the
more it is easy to digest it. However, it is possible to make use of
some methods before proceeding into this condense reading phase.
You can find the most appropriate method for you trying the ones
about memorizing words below:
a. Try to use the newly learned word not only in one sentence but
also in a context formed by several sentences. You may use some new
words together and even write a short story with them. So, the
number of links in your “network of connotations” will be increased.
This network of connotations is very important in improving the
talent of communication.
People think with the help of frames of concepts. For instance,
there is a mental frame of Lincoln in an American’s mind, and inside
the frame are full of information piles. As an example, pronoun “he”
is used when he’s mentioned for that he’s male, he was the sixteenth
president, he was assassinated and killed, etc. These piles of
information differ accordingly with experiences. The frames in a new
student’s mind are not full at the beginning. Then, as the
experiences increase, the frames get filled. These frames are not in
an order as one after the other, but they are in a complex network.
This complex network, formed by the frames of concepts in
relationships, plays a great role in comprehending the
multi-directional and delicate meanings in texts.
b. Record the words and their meanings on a cassette and listen to
c. Write the difficult words in another color so that it draws your
d. One of the biggest problems of vocabulary is memorizing the
abstract words. Therefore, start with the concrete ones.
e. Make use of the words borrowed from the target language. (e.g.
system, method, information etc.). But be careful with the change of
meaning on some words.
f. Try to remember the words with the resemblance of the sounds with
your native language.
g. Memorize the words dividing them into classes. (e. g. colors,
fruits, vegetables, etc.)
h. The connotations increase if you memorize the words that are
similar in written forms together. (e.g. stationary - stationery)
i. You can use some mnemonics while memorizing words. E.g. in the
above-mentioned example, “stationary” is an adjective. The only
difference between the two words is on the last third letter. The
one with this last third letter “a” is the adjective. (That is
j. Words starting with the same letters (or sounds) can be memorized
together (e.g. when, which, who, where, what, etc.)
k. Remembering becomes easy if a relationship is established between
the word and its physical attributes such as color, sound, smell,
etc. (E.g. fruits)
l. Some other relationships such as the words and their functions
are also useful. (E.g. furniture that is used for sitting, sleeping,
m. Memorizing the words with their pronunciation makes remembering
n. Words with the same roots can be memorized together. (E.g. white,
o. Connections between the words and the texts can be established.
p. Practicing on texts with some words excluded, guessing the words
not written or written partly are also good study for learning
the words in context.
The elements causing connotations between words can be ordered as:
a. Synonyms (e.g. flower = blossom)
b. Antonyms (e.g. wet X dry)
c. Classifying as sub-groups (plant > rose)
d. Classifying as upper-groups (spinach < vegetable)
Or: Some other links may be organized between a word against two
giving X receiving = taking
old X new = young
good X bad = poor
Elements helpful for guessing the meanings from the context are:
a. Title: Calls up the words related to the subject since it
determines the subject
b. Repetition: It is easy to guess the meaning of the word that is
repeated in different sentences.
c. Logical correlation: To guess the meaning of a word you can look
for logical correlations such as the cause and result relations of
the word with the other words.
g. Synonym and antonyms
h. Summary: The summary of a text may have clues about meanings of
words since it’s a repetition in a sense.
a. Repeat a word carefully after hearing it.
b. Record your own voice on a cassette and compare it with a native
c. Try to say a sound first on its own, then in words or even in
d. Make a list of “difficult” words for you and study them more
e. Choose a dictionary and try to get familiar with its
a. Decide on which areas are you successful at, such as changing the
tenses of sentences, filling in the blanks, translations, answering
the questions, writing a composition etc.
b. Use the tenses not in different sentences but in the same one.
c. Make sure if you are good at oral or written exercises.
d. Decide if an exercise is more useful with rules given beforehand
e. You can notice the exceptions if you put every new grammar rule
into an empty grammar table in an orderly fashion. Do not forget to
add extra information for unclear points while repeating.
One learns to understand and speak the target language imitating and
listening to a native speaker. Listening to the target language not
only improves your reasoning but also helps your pronunciation and
Choose the listening material according to your aim. If you have
started recently you may improve your memory by listening to the
cassettes of a text and your pronunciation by repeating what you
listen to. Further on, you may increase your perception, grammar and
vocabulary by listening to cassettes of conferences, stories and
The obstacles while listening to something in the target language
a. Not being able to remember the long texts
b. Fast speaking of native speakers
c. Unknown vocabulary
The biggest mistake of a student while listening is that s/he tries
to understand each and every word. On the other hand, as it is the
same in our own language, we usually understand someone not
according to what s/he says but according to his/her intention.
(That’s why we listen to him/her as nothing happened when s/he says
something wrong not on purpose). Once we understand his/her
intention we do not pay much attention to every word s/he says.
Hence, we hear what we hope to hear in a sense. Because, we face
with familiar structures and expressions continuously. (Even the
ones we are surprised at are within a limit of familiarity, but when
this limit is exceeded we react. For instance, we laugh when we hear
a child talking like an adult, or an adult talking like a child.)
Perception requires choosing the “important”; but if we try to
concentrate on every word we hear we cannot talk about perception
because of the weight-load of the mind. We need time to get used not
to pay attention to the extra information.
A successful communication depends on understanding the person you
are speaking to by reasoning with the help of his/her sayings.
Besides, talent of communication improves not only with being
expertized in language but also with the increase of experiences in
society. It is hard to keep the sentences in mind in a foreign
language. So, it is suitable to classify them briefly in order to
Repeating what you listen both reinforces the memory and helps you
comprehend the logic of that language listening to something to talk
about it later helps you concentrate on that subject. Gestures and
mimes also make understanding easy. Body movements, facial
expressions, instant changes in breathing, stress and duration of
pauses are “beyond language” clues of that kind.
Speaking about a subject requires some conditions.
b. A correct grammar
c. Correct pronunciation
d. Suitable words
Mistakes in speaking tend to increase since you have to express
yourself faster than in writing. Other conditions are not usually so
distinct because meaning is important. Few mistakes of the speaker
are accepted because examining each sentence of his/her is too hard
for the one s/he is speaking to. The important thing is to notice
the repeated mistakes. There is a “tolerance of mistakes” in each
language. Knowing the limit of this assures you speak in a more
Social English (How do you do, see you around, etc.) is also
necessary for a fluent and sufficient speaking.
Memory plays a great role in dialogs. Responding the one you are
speaking to depends on using the memory adequately. Answering a
question of someone relies on comprehending the intention of him/her
and guessing his/her allusions.
The importance of knowledge of vocabulary is unquestionable in
fluent speaking. But, it is wiser to reach the level of talking
about what you mean briefly instead of trying to memorize every word
you meet. Because language is for communication. A parrot repeats
words but it cannot speak.
Do not look up each word you meet in a text, so be careful while
choosing the texts you will read. Look up the words you do not
understand after reading the text several times. Do not lose time
with the ones you are able to guess. Increase the number of pages
and the level of texts as days pass. Choose texts on your favorite
subjects. Do not forget to study the magazines and newspapers as
well as books. Pictured materials are more comprehensive with the
clues they contain. “Who,” “where,” “how,” questions are very useful
to perceive the flow of the events and the gist of the text. If you
do not understand some words do not give up. Go on reading. Some
ambiguity prevails in our native language as well, but we do not
give up reading hoping the text will be clearer after a while. This
is the same for a foreign language.
Dialogs are easy to remember since they contain real communication
among people and are social units. Therefore, they are more
important than written texts; and the best way is to stay in the
country in which the target language is spoken.
Writing helps us make established to expressions we learn In the
target language more lively and remember them. Keeping a diary,
writing a short story, summarizing the daily news can contribute to
us in acquiring a writing habit. Writing about your ideas of a book
you have read, extracting some passages, taking notes on some
aphorisms may be beneficial.
Though it seems as an outdated method, translation is a helpful
element that helps students improve their basic skills (reading,
writing, listening, speaking). Especially, students can acquire
conscience about language through the knowledge of Text-linguistics
which studies the elements of a text. Besides, students will have a
general information about the subjects they translate. While making
a literal translation a method mentioned below may be used. First
you read the text several times. You can talk about the ambiguous
points in consultation with others. The unknown words are looked up
in a dictionary. Then, with the help of a Thesaurus you find these
words in the target language that draws the border of the semantic
field of the one in the source language. After learning this
frame of concept of the word you can find the exact word in an
English to English dictionary (if you are making a translation into
English). Using a dictionary that gives details about the conceptual
fields of a word and its usage is very helpful. (e.g. Collins
Cobuild Dictionary.) You choose the best word with the aid of your
intuition. Then, you may check which verbs, objects, adverbs, etc.
to use with the word in a dictionary such as BBI Combinatory
dictionary of English.
Translating on technical fields is also attractive for students; and
in that way they can memorize the terminology of a specific field.
Practice is essential
Language should not be a pile of rules but a skill. The points
mentioned below may be some of the exercises in the target language.
a. Grammar exercises
Students generally accept a rule as it is and do not try to use it
in a different way. The rules should be used as flexible as
b. Vocabulary exercises
When you hear a word try to use it with different objects (E.g. to
finish, to finish a school, to finish a work, etc.)
c. Exercises on suffixes, affixes and prefixes
If you know the suffixes, affixes and prefixes in forming words you
may memorize words very easily (E.g. reader, rider, teacher, etc.)
d. Speaking exercises
The easiest way to practice is to make repetitions silently, because
there is no need for a specific place, time and book. For instance,
you can try to say the names of things around, or translate the
dialogs during shopping, etc.
e. You can make use of word games, puzzles, etc.
The ability of understanding and using a language is improved not
only by learning the meanings of words but also with social
experiences, different relations initiated with several people and
with continuous studying. As your ability is improved you start to
think in the target language. Meanwhile, understanding the jokes and
dreaming in the target language are proofs of your progress.
While learning a foreign language a successful student does
not claim that he does not know anything about that language. On the
contrary, s/he tries to save time finding the similarities and
differences between the two languages in the fields of vocabulary,
pronunciation and grammar. With constant practice he tries to
acquire a firm thinking and an effective communication ability.
Do not forget: “PractIce makes perfect”