As an ESL student, I understand well why learning English is often challenging. I keep making the same mistakes while trying hard to improve my English skills. However, it does not only happen to me. Many ESL students have the same problem as I do. I often learn from my mistakes. On this post, I will explain what mistakes that ESL students often make based on my experience interacting with ESL students and my own experience in learning English.
It is great to speak like native speakers but copying their accent while not improving the grammar skills and pronunciation can become a huge mistake. I speak from my experience. For example, when I talked about something to a friend in college a year ago, she did not understand what I said until I corrected my grammar errors and pronounced the word correctly. Although people say that pronunciation and accent are the same, I notice that it is quite different. For example, I can copy the way Canadians talk, their tones or their speaking style, but I mispronounce the words “ask” “ax.” It can become a real problem. Don’t try to imitate the way the native speakers speak rather focus on the phrase that we pronounce so that other people will understand what we say. Your accent will change naturally as you improve your speaking skills.
English in one of the hardest languages to learn. One of the most difficult parts to master is the speaking. We need to have the courage and feel confident to speak clearly and naturally so that people will understand what we say. Many ESL students often are not confident to speak clearly because they are afraid if they speak English incorrectly. Mistake is an essential part of the learning process so that we can learn from it. Another problem is that many students speak their native language with their friends while in class. It is difficult to improve your speaking skills if you get used to talking in your native language.
Many new ESL students often confused between summarizing and copy-paste writing. They also have trouble with differentiating between summarizing and quoting sentences. From my experience in high school, we learned a lot about how to write in English, but we were never really good at it. Many of us often neglect to put quotation marks when quoting someone’s words or just don’t know how to differentiate between summarizing and copy-paste writing. It is indeed a serious problem. The thing is that you can’t improve your English skills if you rely on copy-paste writing.
It is unavoidable that ESL students make grammatical errors, but there are specific mistakes that they tend to make consistently. It includes the incorrect use of preposition, articles, punctuation, and tenses.
Learning English may not be as easy as you thought but there are always ways to learn it. If you know the core mistakes that you make, then you will know how to avoid them as much as you can so that you can improve your English skills.