Why Learn English At All?
This is probably the most obvious question with an even more obvious answer. English is an inevitable skill in the present age. Not undermining the importance of knowing other languages, including your mother tongue, English remains as the third most spoken language in the World. The top two languages, i.e., Mandarin and Spanish, I believe are more of concentrated languages, mostly specific to their geographic areas. That leaves us with English, which is spoken in almost every country of the world. It would be therefore safe to assume that English is the common link that connects us to the outside world (even internet needs a language).
Hence, learning the English languages becomes even more important. For non-native speakers, however, it is a constant challenge. It is one thing to learn your native language and English simultaneously from the beginning, and it is an altogether different thing to start learning English as a second languages at a much later stage. But how difficult can English really be?
The Hardest Part About English Language Learning
Most non-native speakers would agree with me when I say that one of the most difficult aspect of learning English is the part of pronunciation. There are words that sound the same but differ in meaning. Then there are phonetics that are hard to comprehend. There are vowels and there are the diphthongs (Why are we talking about things??). Then there are these rules that tell you what part of your mouth is used to utter a particular sound. Learning and mastering these skills can be pretty exhausting.
And as if all this was not enough. A standard dictionary presents to you two options in which you can pronounce a word. The BrE (or RP, i.e., Received Pronunciation) and the AmE (Mostly GenAm which is General American). The British English (God save the Queen) and the American English (God Bless America!).
Its a never ending debate as to which one is the better. However, for English language learners, the choice should depend on the usability rather than the popularity. Let us for the sake of this piece assume that the learner is looking for a way to realize his/her American Dream!
Learning English Online
Perhaps the best use of technology these days is the accessibility and the scalability options it provides and the huge amount of consequential learning realized. A multitude of websites offer online English language learning tutorials, resources, content and what not. For a beginner, the vastness of online resources can be intimidating and even discouraging.
I can however put your doubts to rest by suggesting a reliable, easy to understand, and highly affordable resource, suitable for any learner keen on mastering the art of pronunciation.
Rachel’s English and the American Accent
Rachel of the Rachel’s English fame is a popular YouTube celebrity. Here is more about her:
“Rachel is the founder of the popular Rachel’s English and is a star YouTube teacher. She has more than 5 years of teaching and pronunciation experience through Rachel’s English, and before that taught ESL in Boston and the Dominican Republic. Rachel's initial idea in developing Rachel's English was to make the kind of resource for self-study that she wished she could find for her own foreign language study.
In 2013, Rachel was named a YouTube Next How-To Guru, an award given by YouTube for her exceptional teaching videos. She has a great passion for classical music and the performing arts in general.”
Check out her teaching style by browsing her library of over 300 videos on YouTube!: Rachel's English on Youtube.
Rachel’s New Course on WizIQ
Rachel is all set to start her all new course, this time via the WizIQ Virtual Classroom platform.
In this course learners will learn how all the vowel and diphthong sounds are made, compare similar sounds, and learn about common mistakes people from different language groups make. They will also learn some key related topics in English pronunciation, like syllable length and placement. The live classes each involve a lecture by Rachel and a Question and Answer session.
Anyone looking to improve their spoken American English should take this course. Teachers who are native speakers are also welcome to take this course to learn in-depth about the vowel sounds, and observe Rachel’s teaching technique.
For more information on Rachel’s new course, visit the course page. Course starts March 10!
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