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Aug 11

What Makes English Easy or Difficult to Learn?

English concept with person holding a smartphone

English, with its irregular verbs and weird spellings, is believed to be a difficult language to learn. Silent alphabets, confusing verb forms and differences in British and American style of English create further complications. All of this is because it borrows from many languages.

The past tense of sell is sold and buy is bought. Why can’t English be simple and let us use selled and buyed? This just one example of the exceptions that exist in English.

The ordering of words is another difference. In any other language, “You are James?” is a perfectly valid question, but English demands that you say “Are you James?”.

All such irregularities can be a headache for learners. Yet, I feel it the easiest language to learn. I know most of you do not agree with me but wait, just hear me out.

Why English is Easy to Learn

The two main reasons why English is easy to learn are:

1. Accessibility: Access to language learning resources makes a huge difference. And thankfully, the internet is flooded with resource materials, exercises, English quizzes, online English tutorials and so on. Not only these, but spoken English classes are also available on internet via Skype, phone or podcasts.

Not only this, you can also learn English by watching movies, listening to songs or reading books.  As English is the most widely spoken language, it is easy to gain access to all these learning resources in English which is not the case for other languages.

2. Approach: The approach you choose to learn also matters a lot. You may have all the resources in the world but if you do not use them to your benefit, you will never learn. Each individual has their own way of learning – recognise which way you are comfortable in.

  • Do you study better in the morning or evening?
  • Do you wish to learn the new way or traditional way?
  • Are you a fast learner or a relatively slow one?

Think about such questions and discover your method of learning English.

Learn the Fun Way

Another mistake learners make is to drown themselves in books  – mugging up would get you nowhere. Subjects like mathematics, history and geography require mugging up formulas, facts or concepts, but English requires understanding. Frankly speaking, learning from textbooks is boring. If your  mind is bored, it will not absorb any information. Learn English the fun way – use post its, play vocabulary games, read comics, watch movies and videos with subtitles, listen to English songs, converse with friends in English or join a course like Genlish for interactive learning.

Choosing the wrong method can make English learning difficult. For example, if you decide to learn all the words that have silent alphabets, you will fail miserably. But actually using these words, and reading the newspaper or books will introduce you to more and more words and you will be able to understand the exceptions better.

So basically, it is you who decides whether learning English is easy or difficult. The mantra is to choose your way of learning wisely and then implement your learning by practising.


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