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  1. Ined's Avatar
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    #1

    Lightbulb Self-Study: If you have to start from scratch, how'd you do it?

    Hi,


    I stumbled upon this amazing forum, while browsing the internet, looking for a community where I can improve my English grammar.
    In advance, I would like to apologize for all grammar errors made in this post.


    A little bit of info about myself. I've been using English language for about 20+ years and I am completely aware that my grammar is awful. I lost my job recently, and while I'm looking for employment, I would like to improve my English. I think now's the time, well, I have all the time, and I don't want to waste it.


    I would have love to pay for instructions, unfortunately my current financial situation is not good at the moment, I simply can't. So, I was wondering if teachers could share tips on self-studying and how would you go about it if you have to teach yourself from scratch.


    So, my questions are:
    How would you teach yourself all Parts of Speech?
    Which ones to start with first?
    Would you go one by one or with multiple classes? If multiple, which ones?
    How would you practice?


    Where is my problem?
    I have always been a visual guy, as you can see, I can write, also I can easily remember words and their pronunciation. However, when it comes to rules, well, I simply just ... I don't know. I don't consider myself stupid, but I just can't grasp them. Perhaps, it has something to do with how I was taught in school about 20 years ago. I simply didn't have a good teacher, she was awful and old.


    For instance, about 5 days ago I have watched a video on YouTube where the teacher demonstrates tenses using timelines. It blew my mind! Since I'm a visual guy, it just made sense for me. Afterwards, I've found diagrams about aspects and all made sense for me. If only my teacher used them when I was in school. I've started making diagrams for everything; nouns, pronouns etc. Reading and looking at them multiple times a day.


    Anyways, I've been watching lessons on Khan's Academy and lovely lessons by Ganesh over at Learn English Lab. Ganesh is really a great teacher. I've watched nouns, pronouns and verbs for now. I think this is enough, even now I'm afraid it's a lot of information to absorb in a week. As I already mentioned my visual capabilities, I'm afraid that online tests where I have to choose between words or fill the blanks is not working for me much. Each and every test I took I had a very high percentage of correctness. I've been using English wrongly for 2 decades so I guess it's a memory thing. What I want is to understand WHY certain PoS are used. For example, to understand tense used in a sentence, to identify nouns, pronouns, adjectives etc...


    I don't know if I can link YT videos after reading the rules. However, I found a simple video on how to practice tenses. Not sure if I understood it correctly, but I think it is a good way to practice. So, the teacher drew the timeline on a piece of paper, then he created actions/states and he placed them somewhere on the timeline. I think this is brilliant approach for learning. I am definitely going to use timelines for learning tenses. If there are similar ways for learning other Parts of Speech, please share them, it would be much appreciated from my part.


    Hope this was not long and painful to read. Hopefully I will find a good soul who's willing to help and share knowledge and experience.


    Cheers,
    Ined

  2. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Self-Study: If you have to start from scratch, how'd you do it?

    Welcome to the forum, Ined.

    Your English is very good. Why are you particularly struck on investigating parts of speech? What is it that you want to know exactly?

    Of course you are more than welcome to ask any specific questions you have about any aspect of the use of English right here on this forum. Given your level, that might be a more useful approach to fill any gaps that you still have.

  3. Ined's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Self-Study: If you have to start from scratch, how'd you do it?

    Hi jutfrank,

    Thank you for the welcome and your candid words, I appreciate it a lot.

    Well, I am always uncertain, whether I'm writing or having a conversation. I'm constantly asking myself: have I constructed this sentence correctly, is it in the right tense, did I miss an article etc... Obviously my brain works automatically while using English after all these years, so I would like to understand why and how. Perhaps for the long run, I would like to translate short novels I have been writing in my native language, but this is not important. I'm not a professional nor I am striving to be one. It's a hobby, it relieves stress for me. Oh, and I get anxious every time while writing emails to clients, it stresses me out. I'm kind of a perfectionist, I guess.

    With that being said, it's not my desire to be able to break sentences like a professional teacher, however, I would like to understand basic stuff. For instance, I can easily recognize all nouns in a sentence, but sometimes I struggle with abstract nouns. Verbs and tenses are hard for me to grasp. I understand simple ones, but let's say perfect or perfect continuous, or even complex sentences are hard for me. The method with timelines opened my mind towards it, so I would like to finally learn it properly and use it without any concern, with ease.

    Since I have time now, I'm willing to start learning English from scratch. I have definitely decided to do such a thing, it can't harm me, I can only benefit from it. I already have some knowledge, so it doesn't have to be like teaching a beginner. What I'm trying to say, I am not searching for a specific thing, rather I want to know what is the best practice to start learning from scratch. For example, firstly master nouns and how to practice them, secondly master pronouns and practice them, afterwards verbs etc .... combine learned together. I guess I am lost on how to practice and what to learn first and what to leave for the end.

    It doesn't have to be very specific and in detail, but I would like to know how would a professional teacher start if he must to teach himself from scratch? Like some kind of a break down. 2, 3 or 6 phases of learning, I don't know, I'm rambling since I am ignorant about it. I hope this explains it.

    I will link a few videos, if this is forbidden please correct me and I will delete them. I don't want to make any trouble, so please don't ban me.

    This video blew my mind, I have never thought of it in this way.
    Credits of YouTube channel: LoveMyESL

    This one, as well.
    Credits of YouTube channel: Advance Consulting for Education

    This guy blew my mind with how to practice.
    Credits of YouTube channel: Canguro English

    Thanks!
    Ined

  4. Ined's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Self-Study: If you have to start from scratch, how'd you do it?

    Hmm, well browsing the forum I thought I would find a good soul who's willing to help. Clearly there are many competent people here, not sure why they don't want to give a thought or two. Actually, I really don't need help, a guidance of sorts. Anyways, I guess I will have to take a harder more time consuming route, which is trial and error until I understand it well. Sorry for bothering.

  5. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Self-Study: If you have to start from scratch, how'd you do it?

    Maybe the lack of response is because we don't understand what you mean. It's not clear what you're asking for. You can't learn English from scratch if you're already at an advanced level, can you?

    Perhaps if you explain a little more about what you're thinking, maybe we can advise you better. What do you mean by "master nouns" for example?

    One way that I get my advanced students to practise their skills is by giving them reading and writing tasks to do. If you don't have a teacher, there are lots of good books that can provide you with good practice exercises.

  6. Ined's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Self-Study: If you have to start from scratch, how'd you do it?

    Thank you for your response, I appreciate it.

    I wouldn't say that I'm at an advanced level, at all, or perhaps my perception when comparing myself to native English speakers is distorted. Anyways, I thought I was clear enough, I guess I wasn't, sorry about that. I did post some questions and I gave an explanation.

    Okay, I would like to go through all Parts of Speech, for once to learn them properly. Let's call it a re-learning process. I don't want to check and re-check myself constantly, I don't want to be uncertain whether my grammar is off or on point. I'd like to understand it, simple as that.

    Let me put it this way, since you all have more experience than me (especially at teaching), I would like to get some suggestions on where (what) to start and how to practice. For example, do I start one Part of Speech by one, or should I learn some of them simultaneously? Which one to star first? What's the best practice of each? For instance, I took a bunch of (pick & choose) online tests, and the results of them were quite high percentage-wise, because of my memory and usage. I would read a sentence with each offered answer and by the sound of it, I know which one to pick. However, if you give me a sentence, I wouldn't know how to break it down. I have the same issue while talking or speaking. In the back of my head I am constantly in doubt, and I don't want that doubt anymore. That's why I think it would be best for me to revisit everything from scratch, it can't do any harm.

    Thanks for the suggestions. I do read aloud while reading articles and books. Also, I've been using English subtitles for movies and TV shows for the past 7 or 8 years. Mainly because characters have tendencies to whisper, so I can't recognize some words.

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    #7

    Re: Self-Study: If you have to start from scratch, how'd you do it?

    In this thread's subject, the contraction "how'd" is incorrect. It stands for "how did", so the subject asks how the reader did something in the past.

    The subject should read If you had to start from scratch, how would you do it?
    I am not a teacher.

  8. Ined's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Self-Study: If you have to start from scratch, how'd you do it?

    @Glizdka, thank you for the link, I appreciate it.

    @GoesStation, thanks for the correction, I appreciate it. See, this is exactly why I asked for help.
    Also, I thought that let's say adding ('d) is equal for would, had and did. So, I wrote it with "how would..." in my mind. However, I was uncertain about "If you have..." or "If you had...". I guess I'm not advanced after all, this should be a breeze for an advanced speaker.

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    #9

    Re: Self-Study: If you have to start from scratch, how'd you do it?

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    In this thread's subject, the contraction "how'd" is incorrect. It stands for "how did",
    I don't agree. I think it can stand for 'how would'.

  10. VIP Member
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    #10

    Re: Self-Study: If you have to start from scratch, how'd you do it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    I don't agree. I think it can stand for 'how would'.
    In any case, the contraction doesn't work in the subject.
    I am not a teacher.

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