Speaking Time: Learning a Language

Language is the most powerful tool we have for reaching out to other people. We use it to express our thoughts and feelings, to spread ideas and even to establish peace. Such problems of the twenty-first century as war and peace, ecology, demography cannot be solved if people cannot speak the same language. English is becoming a global language. Thus, English can be an international bridge between nations. Learn English, it’s important. Keep in mind that learning a language takes a lot of patience and time.

Level B1/B2

Learning a language is a long process when you try to master skills such as reading, writing, listening and speaking.

Foreign language is also important for your future lives. You should not waste time to get used to working hard in the secondary school. Then you can acquire new knowledge and pass school-leaving exams successfully. After you finish school, you may progress to higher education where English may help you learn more useful skills such as business management or computer science.

And if you live a long way from a college, you may join an online course using the Internet. Your school days are just the beginning of your education. You live in a changing world and you should continue to work on your English. You should build up language habits, whether you are sixteen or sixty. You are really never too old to learn.


master skills – оволодіти навичками
waste time – втрачати час
acquire new knowledge – здобувати нові знання
pass school-leaving exams successfully – успішно скласти випускні іспити
join an online course – приєднатися до онлайн -курсу
build up language habits – формувати мовні звички

Learning English is like learning to swim or to dance, play ball or ride a bike. We learn to speak English by speaking English. Acquiring the ability to use a language automatically is a process of habit formation. Forming any kind of habitrequires much practice. Learning English efficiently requires the intention and will to learn. Language is not to be taught, language is to be learnt.

Language learners who make the most progress are those who take responsibility for their own learning. This is known as independent or autonomous learning.

Independent learners:

  • know how to use a dictionary to look up words and keep organized vocabulary notebooks
  • use the language outside the classroom getting more exposure and practice
  • watch subtitled films
  • listen to songs and use the lyrics to learn new words
  • use reading as a favoured strategy (reading books and newspapers, browsing the Internet, flicking through magazines)
  • write emails to friends in other countries
  • use the language in chat rooms on the Internet
  • use the language to practice speaking skills

If you want to speak the language fluently, use different resources and grab all opportunities to practise foreign language skills.

What can help you achieve good results in learning a language?

  • high self-motivation
  • good time management
  • good memory
  • taking responsibility for own learning
  • using all resources available
  • working out own learning strategies
  • attending subject courses

Have practice in writing an informal letter about learning a language

You have just finished a language course in Scotland. Write a letter to a friend and tell him/her:

  • what you did at the course

  • how you spent your free time

  • what the other people were like

Your letter should be at least 150 words.

You can use the following:

School: big, small, well-equipped, famous, popular with, an attractive building 

Location: in a suburb of …, on the outskirts of …, central location, in the centre of …, near business centre, easy to reach by public transport, easy access by bus or underground

Courses offered: in general English, in business English, a wide range of courses, examination preparation, for teenagers, for adults, daily language classes

Courses last: three-week/one-month/twelve-month/six-week courses, between three and six months

Staff: experienced and qualified teachers, native speakers, friendly atmosphere, lots of attention to individual needs

Accommodation: homestay accomodation, staying with a local family, the host family treats the student as a member of the houshold, host family, residential accommodation, shared apartment, hotel, at the campus

Activities beyond the classroom: a full programme of sports (volleyball, tennis, swimming, etc.), social activities (discos, quizzes, film club, etc.), outings (Glasgow, London, Bath, etc.)