View Poll Results: How easy is it to learn English?

Voters
2291. This poll is closed
  • Very Easy

    509 22.22%
  • Easy

    441 19.25%
  • Average

    620 27.06%
  • Hard

    452 19.73%
  • Very Hard

    269 11.74%
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  1. #1
    Red5 is offline Webmaster, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Is English an easy language to learn?

    Is English an easy language to learn?

    This poll was inspired by the following weblog entry:

    http://www.usingenglish.com/weblog/archives/000037.html
    Red5
    Webmaster, UsingEnglish.com

  2. #2
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    If it were easy, we wouldn't need forums like this one. :wink:

    During childhood, a person can learn two and even three languages with relative ease. As one approaches adulthood it becomes more and more difficult to learn new languages. It requires conscious application and considerable motivation.

    :)

  3. #3
    Red5 is offline Webmaster, UsingEnglish.com
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    50% of voters say English is a hard language to learn.
    Red5
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  4. #4
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red5
    50% of voters say English is a hard language to learn.
    Of course it is hard. That is because learning English does not come "naturally" to them. That would probably be the case with any second language. When you ask if English is a hard language to learn what are you comparing it to--other languages? What method is used to make that judgement? Unless you have learned several languages, how are you to make a comparison that English is either harder or easier to learn than another? Also, there are differences between Asian and European languages. Is English harder or easier to learn than other European languages? If your first language is, for example, Chinese, learning English is likely to be harder in some ways than learning another Asian language.

    :)

    More important than whether it is hard to learn English or not is probably the question of whether it is worth the effort.

    :)

    [Edited to correct a capitalization error.]

  5. #5
    Red5 is offline Webmaster, UsingEnglish.com
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    Very true! Polls are never perfect, but their results are often interesting.
    Red5
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  6. #6
    whisper Guest

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    I think if someone is desirable to learn English, it won't be hard at all. It is absolutely hard for those who complain there are too many vocabulary to learn but hardly pick up a book to read.
    Many Asian students, include me, have difficulties with talking with English speaker because we didn't use English a lot.
    This place is so useful that I recommand to many friends of mine to join.

  7. #7
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    Learning a second or foreign language is supper HARD. I've been learning English for more than 10 years. During my childhood and adolescence, English was an subject that was not used to communicate but to pass monthly stupid test. During college, English was evev farther away because we had different majors at school. Mine is education, all textbooks and projects are done in my mother tougue. In the past decades, English was taught in a rote learning way, every student seemed to be a ROBOT who can response to all questions AUTOMATICALLY without any one second hesitation. We had to memorize endless and tedious rules and vocabularies in order to pass the tests, and to get the certificates or degrees.

    Now, it's changed. We teach English in a more communicative and interesting way, but the result is not what I expected. Students don't need to talk with foreigners, what turned out to be is the purpose of learning English is JUST not to fail in the exam. THAT's IT. I don't see any students who learn English for a communicative purpose. Say 1 out of 50 would do that. Pathetic, our education system sucks.

    The most reverberating dispute on language learning is the lack of natural, practical and physical language environment. You can easily create an atmosphere of learning a language by turning on your TV and stay tune to English programs, or listening to English radio all over the world thru broadband internet. But, how to practice your speaking ability?

    Learning English is one thing, speaking it is another.

    When I write an essay, I can pause to ponder over the tense. When I talk, I have to manipulate two codes. Switching codes is not an easy task because of different grammatical systems. It's easy to make mistakes that even you want to slap on yourself.

    If you have a conversation with a foreigner, it's a headache.

    What makes real conversation difficult?
    (A) clustering
    (B) redundancy
    (C) performance forms, like hesitations, false starts, caughs...etc
    (D) colloquial language, like idioms, slangs or reduced froms
    (E) rate of delivery
    (F) stree, accent, rhythem and intonation
    (G)Interaction, like negociation, attending signals, turn taking and topic nomination, maintenance and termination.

    It's a chain of listening and responding.

    I agree this is a rather good language forum where gibberish topics are forbidden. I'm not saying topics other than language are worthless. But there's a one bad, how can learners practice speaking ability here? hehehe.



    Sorry for bad grammar. :wink:

  8. #8
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    I must say learning English is much easier than mastering it. :wink:

  9. #9
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    We've no objection to other topics, but we've had enough trouble in the past with certain topics that get out of hand. Discussing other things is always a good way to practise, but some topics have a tendency to lead to trouble.

    "learning English is much easier than mastering it"- I'll let you know when I've mastered it how difficult it is.

    I agree with your point about exams. Unfortunately, we are so exam driven that a lot of teaching has become simply cramming for exams, but I'm afraid we're stuck with that. ;-(

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    We've no objection to other topics, but we've had enough trouble in the past with certain topics that get out of hand. Discussing other things is always a good way to practise, but some topics have a tendency to lead to trouble.
    Yes. Any topic is welcome. Just cultural and conceptual difference would accelerate bias establishment.

    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    "learning English is much easier than mastering it"- I'll let you know when I've mastered it how difficult it is.
    Sounds horrible!

    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    I agree with your point about exams. Unfortunately, we are so exam driven that a lot of teaching has become simply cramming for exams, but I'm afraid we're stuck with that. ;-(
    Susie told me teaching is one of the best ways to learn a language better. It forces you to study. I agree with her. Always learn some new ideas only when you are deeply involved in a certain activity.

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