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.

Accent and Pronunciation

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 such as pronouncing the word “ask” “ax.” It can become a real problem. Don’t try to imitate the way the natives speak rather focus on the phrase that we pronounce so that other people will understand what we say. Let your accent naturally change.

Speaking skills

English in one of the hardest languages to learn. One of the difficult part 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. Mistakes are an essential part of the learning process so that we can learn from them. Another problem is that many students speak their native language with their friends while in class. It is difficult to improve our speaking skills if we get used to talking in our native language.

Writing skills

Many new ESL students often confused between copywriting and copy-paste writing. They also have trouble with summarizing 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 copywriting and copy-paste writing. It is indeed a serious problem. The thing is that we can’t improve our English skills if we rely on copy-paste writing.

Grammatical errors

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, punctuation, and tenses. Learning English may not be as easy as we thought but there are always ways to learn it. If we know the core mistakes that we make, then we know how to avoid them as much as we can so that we can improve our English skills.