English Grammar In Focus
Learning English Grammar As A Foreign Language

date: January 27, 2010

FIRST THINGS TO DO FO NON-NATIVE SPEAKERS

Belajar Bahasa Inggris Grammar & Conversation Lengkap
English Language is an internation language. Learning english for non native speakers should be done intensively. To comprehend English language, actually, is simple!. In this opportunity, let me please discuss what first things to do or to learn English effectively for you.

1.    Find a proper dictionary for you to start. Therefore, I recommend you to buy an oxford dictionary or webster’s dictionary (not to promote). It is because the dictionary has been completed with the 3 criteria as minimum requirements for a good dictionary:

a.    How to pronounce or phonetic is available.
b.    Type of word is available.

1)    n = noun
2)    v = verb
3)    vt = verb transitive
4)    vi = verb intransitive
5)    adj = adjective
6)    adv = adverb

c.    Meaning is available
d.    Examples of the word’s usage in a simple sentence is preferable. Read More ...... .



  • For indonesian students, I recommend you to buy a dictionary written by John M.Echols and Hassan Saddily.

2.    Take an empty book for you to write the words you don’t know the meaning or words for you to memorize. Try to memorize 3 or 4 or 5 words a day. Concentrate yourself to memorize verbs first. Because verbs is a vital word in a sentence.


3.    Read a lot! Find a book of story or a paragraph (whatever) or a simple sentence and read it in a good pronunciation based on the phonetic or the way to pronounce available in your own dictionary. Read it word by word clearly and as fluent as possible you think.

Note : Simple sentence, here, is a sentence that contains, at least, one subject and one verb, like;


I go ( I = subject and go = lexical-verb)
I write (I = subject and write = lexical-verb)
They escape (They = subject and escape = lexical-verb)

4.    Try to say in English whatever you do or act everyday or in your daily routine which contains, at least, 2 words, such as “I go”, “She Understands”, “I forget”, “I eat”, etc. When you feel that everything has been okay, try to use three words in a sentence, like;


a.    I want it.
b.    She blamed me
c.    I love you
d.    I understand it
e.    I need you
f.    I forget everything
g.    I learn English

Note:
when you feel that not all words you know, just blend it with your own language. But when you do this, and when you go home and back to your bedroom, find the word you don’t know the meaning in your dictionary and write it down in your special book (or you can put a paper decorated on the wall of your own bedroom – this method is like a fool, but it helps you to memorize the words everytime you enter your bedroom! One thing for you to remember is that we need the result! Not a fool way!).


Decorated paper

Decorated paper should be designed based on your creativity and style. Then put on the wall of your bedroom. This following picture is only for illustration.



Words you write on the paper should contains, at least, 4 parts, they are;

1.    English word, like ‘say’
2.    phonetic, like /sei/
3.    type of the word, like ‘v’ (verb)
4.    meaning, like ‘mengucapkan, mengatakan.

This method is effective enough for the beginner to start to learn english. Everytime you enter your bedroom you will see the paper and take little time to read for a second. Place the decorated paper at a certain and strategic place for you to see at every parts of your bedroom.

 



When the word you memorize has been okay, write again a new word with the same method below the previous word. Do not use a folded paper. This will stop or disturb you to look at the next page and again and again....

Vital word

The vital word in a simple sentence is a verb. There are two types of verbs in English:

1.    Lexical-meaning verb
2.    structural-meaning verb

Lexical-meaning verb is a word that has a spesific meaning. On the other hand, when you look up your dictionary, you will find an exact meaning for the verb, e.g. home, speak, tell, good, come, where, etc.



Structural-meaning verb is non-spesific verb in meaning. Let me say that there’s no an exact meaning for this verb, e.g. is, am, are, was, were, been (word of be(s)). Those words will have a certain meaning (but hidden in our mind) when they are used in a sentence. Let me say that the words can not be used without another word. It is different of the verb as a vital word. You can use it in a command sentence like, Go! or Sleep! or go to sleep! or stand up! or sit down!, etc  (although there’s a hidden word “you” at the beginning but omitted because the subject ‘you’ is understood.)

The usage of the verb depends on what kind of sentence that is. There are two kinds of basic sentences in English, they are;

1.    Verbal sentence
2.    Nominal Sentence

As a vital word, a verb describes or modifies what the ‘doer’ or subject does or act and decides what will happen to object of the verb. Without using a verb in a sentence, the verb will not be completely built.

Examples:

I am a student. (I .... a student ---> false)
She invites me at a wedding party (she .... me at a wedding party ---> false)

This will be different when the object is omitted, like;
I speak to him.
and
I speak.
Reading technique

Reading technique here means that when you read a story or a paragraph or a sentence,  you should read it based on the phonetic  in your dictionary. First, read word by word clearly and then read two words, like;

A sentence to read : She would like to tell me the news.

Step 1 : she / would / like / to / tell / me / the / news.
Step 2 : she would / would like / like to / to tell / tell me / me the / the news.
Step 3 : she would like / would like to / like to tell / to tell me / tell me the / me the news.
Step 4 : she would like to / would like to tell / like to tell me / to tell me the / tell me the news.
Step 5 : she would like to tell / would like to tell me / like to tell me the / to tell me the news.
Step 6 : she would like to tell me / would like to tell me the / like to tell me the news.
Step 7 : she would like to tell me the / would like to tell me the news.
Step 8 : she would like to tell me the news

Then read it fast, faster, and fianlly the fastest you can do.
Practise the way to read like above regularly to get a better pronunciation.

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