How to learn English on your own?


Everyone has their own reasons for learning English. Some want to move to another country or go on a tour, others seek to improve their professional and business skills, build a successful career, others learn the language for self-development and broadening their horizons. If you are interested in how to learn English on your own from scratch without teachers without leaving your home, this article will be useful for you.

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  • How to start learning English: defining skills
  • How to learn English on your own at home: compiling a program
  • English grammar: features and secrets of learning
  • How to Learn Spoken English Easily: Useful Techniques
  • Reading texts: which books to choose
  • Methods for self-studying English
  • How to learn English with pleasure: useful tips
  • A little about children: how to start learning English for a child

Today, those who want to master a foreign language at one level or another have more and more opportunities. Linguistic studios, courses and private teachers offer their services. It is possible that it is easier to master all the subtleties and complexities of a foreign language with real professionals. But if you do not have the physical or financial ability to study with qualified teachers, do not despair: you can learn English on your own from scratch at home. Moreover, this method also has unconditional advantages:

Freedom to choose your schedule

You do not need to plan your day based on a strict course schedule. You yourself determine the time and duration of your own classes and can vary them depending on your employment.

Individual program

Despite all the advantages, the programs of courses and studios are still somewhat generalized and designed for the average potential and goals of students. Studying separately, you yourself determine which language aspects you need to pay more attention to, and select materials and methods taking into account your personal training and the peculiarities of acquiring knowledge.

Smart spending

Any language courses involve financial investments, the amount of which depends both on the prestige of the methods and on the duration of the programs. If you decide to study English at home, the cost of studying can be added to the price of the textbooks and online courses you choose - and even then you will notice the benefits.


Going to the teacher on the other side of the city on a rainy autumn evening, going to classes after a working day, when dreams of a cozy chair and a cup of tea overshadow any ambitious plans - all this can significantly reduce motivation. But if you decide to learn English yourself, you can forget about such difficulties. You do not waste time traveling, you do not need to leave the house when there is no mood or weather. You just take a textbook or computer, connect to the Internet and study without leaving your favorite room.

All this is true if you really decide to learn English from scratch on your own, without leaving your home. Without courses, studios, tutors and teachers. Textbooks and online courses can become your mentors - and, as practice shows, self-study can be just as effective.

Note: Having decided to study English on your own, be prepared to show willpower, patience and endurance. One of the keys to successful language acquisition is consistency, so make sure you have the inner readiness to practice regularly so you can force yourself not to be lazy.

And one more small warning: there is simply no universal recipe for how to learn English on your own at home from scratch. It all depends on the right learning materials, the frequency of classes, the ability to perceive information and your personal linguistic inclinations. But if you are determined to try and are confident that you can master the language nuances you need without intermediaries, feel free to start. By the way, you can watch an animated video in which we tried to convey the main theses of the article.

How to start learning English: defining skills

Proficiency in English at any level relies on 4 important language skills. Let's take a closer look at what these skills are and what each of them is responsible for.


The ability to understand what is written, analyze and draw conclusions is especially important now, when there is a huge amount of information around that deserves our attention. Full-fledged mastery of the skill suggests that you can read fiction, journalistic and scientific texts in English practically without a dictionary, you can quickly highlight the main ideas and theses in them and even explain them to someone else in your own words.


Successfully mastering the skill of writing in English will allow you not only to actively communicate on social networks, but also to conduct business correspondence, which is especially important if you are learning the language for career purposes. The key aspects in this case are impeccable spelling and grammar, the ability to build sentences, and in some cases, knowledge of the basics of business etiquette.

Listening or Listening (Listening)

It is possible to declare that you know a foreign language well only if you can freely perceive speech in it by ear. If you decide to learn English from scratch on your own, you need to pay enough attention to this skill. Listening to audio and video materials will also improve your speaking practice. A good level of listening proficiency assumes that you understand at least 65% of what you hear, which means that you can freely communicate with native speakers and perceive important information that they are trying to convey to you.


In communication, it is important not only to listen, but also to be able to interact with the interlocutor. A developed speaking skill assumes that you know how to pronounce certain words correctly, build sentences, talk on certain topics and, of course, have sufficient vocabulary. That is, your ability to maintain dialogues is implied.

As in any other language, in English all 4 skills are interdependent and one cannot develop properly without the other. In this case, the answer to the question of how easy it is to learn English is unequivocal: when compiling a lesson program for every day, be sure to include reading, speaking, listening and writing exercises in it.

Note: Not always tasks for 4 skills should be present in equal proportions. If you feel that you lack practice in one of them or you are learning English for very specific purposes (travel, business correspondence, etc.) you can pay more attention to the required skill. But you can’t forget about other aspects either: find for them at least 15 minutes of the total class time.

How to learn English on your own at home: compiling a program

So, you still decided to study English on your own in your favorite room. It remains only to decide where to start. If you really start from scratch, then you will have to start with the most basic - the rules of reading and pronunciation. However, do not stay at this stage for too long, and gradually move on to learning other language aspects.

How to learn the alphabet

There are 26 letters in the English alphabet - 20 consonants and 6 vowels. Starting to learn English from scratch at home, proceed in the following sequence:

  • Start with vowels - Aa, Ee, Ii, Oo, Uu, Yy. Be sure to check their sound in transcription - today there is such an opportunity online.
  • Move on to letters similar in spelling and sound to Russian - Bb, Cc, Dd, Kk, Ll, Mm, Nn, Pp, Ss, Tt. This is the easiest way to learn most of the alphabet - at least you will already know what to rely on when reading.
  • Lastly, memorize letters that are not in the Russian alphabet - Ff, Gg, Hh, Jj, Qq, Rr, Vv, Ww, Xx, Zz.

Write down all the letters (both large and small) along with the transcription in a separate notebook and carefully pronounce each of them when writing. This will help to quickly form a visual image of the letters - and, therefore, learn to read in a shorter time.

How to learn sounds

Most letters in the English language have several pronunciations - it all depends on the position of the syllable and the surrounding letter combinations. You can remember all the reading rules using:

  • Special tables that you can find in the textbook or online.
  • Notebooks where you can write down all the sounds in groups, including diphthongs (complex sounds of two vowels) and triphthongs (complex sounds of three vowels).
  • Cards that you can make yourself in any convenient format.
Note: Be sure to find programs that allow you to practice pronunciation aloud - only in this case the rules of reading will be fixed in the shortest possible time, and you will be able to boast of the correct pronunciation.

How to replenish vocabulary

Giving recommendations on how to quickly learn English, professional tutors advise you to start working on vocabulary from the very first days. And how many lexical units do you need to know?

Experts suggest proceeding from the following values. For everyday communication, you will need 1500-2000 words, for a comfortable long stay in the language environment - about 5000 thousand, and if you are planning a professional career, then the minimum bar will be 20-25 thousand words. But the latter is for a more distant future. In the meantime, do any of the following:

  • Serial. Take one topic, select subsections in it and make cards with words and expressions for each. Set yourself a goal - for example, memorize 10 words daily. Stick to your chosen plan. Once a topic is mastered, move on to the next one. Thus, in a year you will master at least 20-25 large lexical sections, which will allow you to communicate quite freely.
  • Visual. Hang cards with their names in English on all items in the apartment - the memory will work involuntarily. If you begin to notice that when you see this item, the English equivalent comes to mind by itself - remove the card.
  • For audio. If you find it easier to memorize by ear, watch films and TV programs in English (you can turn on subtitles at first), listen to songs and poems, and write down your favorite words and expressions. Special audio courses will also come in handy.
  • For book lovers. If you like to read more, then you should immediately start by reading and translating texts. Start with the simplest ones, where a maximum of 5-7 words are of interest to you. Over time, find more difficult sources for translation - and you will be surprised how quickly new vocabulary is fixed in memory.
Tip: Try to include at least three verbs in the list of memorized words for the day - they are the basis of the lexical base in English. And do not forget to look into the dictionary at the slightest interest or doubt: for the period of learning the language, it should become your reference book.

English grammar: features and secrets of learning

It is impossible to determine how to quickly learn English if you do not have an idea about the grammatical norms and rules of the language. And it is worth saying a few words about this separately.

English belongs to the analytical type - that is, logical connections between words in a sentence are formed not with the help of endings and suffixes, as in Russian, but due to prepositions, auxiliary and phrasal verbs. Other features of grammar include:

  • clear and unchanging word order in sentences;
  • the presence of articles;
  • lack of a grammatical gender category;
  • special rules for the use of possessive pronouns;
  • a large number of tenses of the verb with a focus on completeness, duration and regularity.

In fact, learning English grammar is easier than it sounds - just follow three basic rules:

  • Go from simple to complex (for example, from Present Simple to Present Continuous)
  • Try to understand, not memorize.
  • Practice, practice and more practice.

All the basic English grammar rules are presented in various tables, along with exceptions and examples, so memorizing them will not be difficult with frequent lessons. Those who master grammar from the very beginning will appreciate the convenience of tables in the process of learning the language. And if you find a good collection of exercises and devote at least 10-15 minutes a day to them, you will successfully bring knowledge “to automatism”.

How to Learn Spoken English Easily: Useful Techniques

If you need to speak English as soon as possible, but you do not know how to start, just start with the most important thing - what we talked about above. In addition, we offer you some very useful ideas.

  • Listen more. Start watching movies in English, don't miss clips of your favorite English bands, add their songs to your playlist, follow the news. So you will not only expand your vocabulary, but also learn the expressions characteristic of the spoken language.
  • Reconfigure the mobile phone interface to English - the same goes for the tablet and computer. Choose English-language sites to search for information.
  • Look up the meaning of words in an English-English dictionary - the benefits will become noticeable very quickly.
  • Try joining English-language chats on social networks - and discover something new for yourself every day.

Perhaps, over time, you will also have your own secret techniques for learning English vocabulary. Be sure to use them - the more comfortable the methods, the better the result.

Reading texts: which books to choose for a particular level

At the very initial stage, short children's fairy tales are also suitable for you - to get used to literary speech and easily catch the plot. Moving to a higher level of knowledge, you can start reading adapted literature. An example list is below.

Level A-2

  • The Fisherman and His Soul (Oscar Wilde);
  • Dracula (Bram Stocker);
  • Mr. Bean In Town (Richard Curtis).

Level B-1

  • 1984 (George Orwell);
  • Three Men in a Boat (Jerome K. Jerome);
  • Forrest Gump (John Escott).

Level B-2

  • Airport (Arthur Hailey);
  • Four Weddings and a Funeral (Richard Curtis);
  • The Talented Mr. Ripley (Patricia Highsmith).

Level C-1

  • Brave New World (Aldous Huxley);
  • Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte);
  • Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen).

Of course, this list is approximate. You can choose books according to your tastes and level of knowledge. However, do not forget to read them regularly - and if you are familiar with their Russian-language versions, you will be even more interested.

Tip: Do not try to understand the meaning of each word - it is more important to understand the thought. Moreover - in the book you have chosen, you should be familiar with a maximum of 70% of the vocabulary - so that there is where to grow and what to learn.

So, the alphabet and phonetics, the grammar rule, learning new colloquial phrases, a little reading and listening - your lesson should consist of approximately such parts. Evenly distribute time between them - if necessary, you can always adjust your plan.

Methods for self-studying English

To successfully learn English from scratch at home, you can use various methods, which will be discussed below. However, professional teachers advise combining them all - so you can systematically develop all language skills at once.

Books, textbooks, tutorials

Over the past few years, the following textbooks have been most often on the lists of the most effective manuals for self-study of English:

  • "English step by step" (N.A. Bonk);
  • "16 English lessons" (D. Petrov";
  • English Pronunciation in Use (Johnatan Marks);
  • English Grammar in Use (Raymond Murphy);
  • Speakout (Frances Eales, Steve Oakes).

Each of these manuals has strengths and benefits that make them key to learning English on your own. And yet, whichever comprehensive course you choose, do not forget about additional materials (apps, online seminars, chats, etc.) and exercises.

Audio courses, audio lessons

Audio courses are great for those who more effectively perceive information by ear and want to be able to practice English anytime and anywhere. We present to your attention the 5 most useful and comfortable benefits:

  • "English on the road" (Chudakov I.V.);
  • "English in 6 weeks" (E. Smith);
  • “So they say in America” (English USA);
  • British Council Podcasts;
  • BBC Grammar Challenge.

All audio materials are available for download. Before you download them, you can read the detailed description of the course and determine if it suits your goals and level of preparation.

Online learning

Studying English at home from scratch is not an easy task, so the Internet and related online learning can be called upon to help.

Online English learning services are gaining popularity - and for good reason:

  • convenience - training is possible at any time of the day or night, only a computer is required;
  • cost - online courses are much cheaper than regular ones, and if you wish, you can find programs available for free;
  • individual approach - the service selects a program suitable for the student based on the results of the preliminary test;
  • comprehensive coverage - online courses are balanced and cover all language aspects, including vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation.

One such popular service was the Lim English online tutorial. A full-fledged learning platform, a simple, intuitive learning algorithm, progress tracking and an extensive vocabulary base with “live” conversational units and expressions will allow you to achieve a high level of English knowledge in the most exciting way. The service will be useful for all beginners to learn a foreign language.

Do you want to learn English?
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English for films, series, songs

If you have already reached the basic level, feel free to include films, songs and series in a foreign language in your learning process. This will not only pleasantly diversify your classes, but also allow you to quickly master live conversational speech.

Another advantage is that the materials can be very different. BBC video tutorials and documentaries, favorite soap operas, songs from childhood pop and rock bands, and even comic books will help you immerse yourself even more deeply into the language environment.

Tip: Do not forget to write out and repeat interesting vocabulary - you will definitely need it in live communication.

Immersion in the language environment

Under immersion in the language environment, linguists mean a complete environment with information sources in English and active interaction with native speakers. For you, this dive may include:

  • reading the press - newspapers and magazines - in English;
  • watching news, series, TV shows;
  • communication with native speakers live, in social networks and chats such as skype or other instant messengers;
  • living abroad in English-speaking families;
  • switching all home appliances and gadgets to the English interface.

This method can be a little stressful - but its effectiveness cannot be overestimated. Be sure to try this immersion for at least a few days, and you will notice how much freer your speech has become.

Note: When communicating in English, in no case be embarrassed and do not be afraid of mistakes. The Americans and the British are extremely friendly to those who want to learn the language and will definitely support you. Even a short communication with them easily removes the language barrier.

How to learn English with pleasure: useful tips

So, we have analyzed the basic methods and rules for building programs for self-study of English. In addition, we have prepared a few more recommendations for you - perhaps they will be useful to you and help you not lose interest in the language:

  • Clearly define the duration of the lesson - at least 1 hour daily. Whatever happens, try to stick to the chosen time frame - and even study a little longer.
  • Sing! One song in English before the start of classes will relax and allow you to tune in to the positive - and the result.
  • Type or write something in English. Even a small paragraph will set up your thinking correctly and help consolidate knowledge.
  • Find a soul mate. Try to learn the language with someone else, study in pairs or in a company. This is not only more fun, but also more useful - you will be able to test each other, and the spirit of competition will play its role.
  • Get native speaker friends. Visitors to social networks and online chats are willing to make contact and will definitely help you master the nuances of English.
  • Reward yourself. For a week of stable activities, treat yourself to something delicious, going to the movies or other pleasant little things. Encouragement is never too much.

And, of course, the best incentive is a great result. Take small online tests regularly, start reading a new book or watch a new movie. Realizing how much your English is improving, you will feel a surge of enthusiasm for further improvement.

A little about children: how to start learning English for a child

Is it possible to teach English to a baby or a preschooler at home? Surprising as it may sound, in some respects it is even simpler. The fact is that a child of 5-6 years old begins the so-called sensitive period - when he is especially susceptible to learning languages and easily remembers not only words, but also grammatical constructions. If you start studying with him right now, further training will go like clockwork.

One of the problems in learning a language for children is weak motivation or its complete absence. If adults study English for a specific purpose, directing volitional efforts to achieve it, then the child most often vaguely understands why he needs it. And if you decide to do children's education at home, then the key to success for you will be an entertaining, playful form.

Various games and competitions help develop the child's interest and captivate him. The most popular methods of learning English for children:

  • poems and songs;
  • watching your child's favorite cartoons (and then films) in the original;
  • online services with games and interesting tasks.
Note: When choosing materials for a child, be guided not only by his age, but also by the relevance of the topic - find stories that he likes. And try not to overload the baby: as soon as you feel that he is losing interest, you can finish the lesson. Usually 30 minutes a day is enough.

As you can see, everyone can learn English on their own at home from scratch. The most important thing is desire, diligence, consistency, system, and, of course, interest. If you manage to find the most suitable and comfortable ways and methods of learning a language for yourself, clearly define your goals and do not deviate from what was planned - in a few months you will be pleasantly pleased with the results. Spend just an hour a day on self-study of the language to get closer to your cherished goal. And finally: no bees - no honey, no work - no money! Your perfect English is in your hands. Good luck!