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17 votes
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Is doing a huge amount of grammar exercises helpful for learning English?

I will tackle this questions in two steps: first, findings by researchers and teachers, then an alternative approach. Grammar Instruction in Isolation Is Not Effective In 1974, E. Hatch ("Second ...
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15 votes

Able to understand conversation but not speak

What you need to do is find native speakers (or other people with a near-native level of English) and engage in conversations with them. To make this more concrete: You can look for a so-called "...
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15 votes
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Can I understand 95 percent of CNN and talk show, movies, anything just in 3 years?

Three hours/day for 3 years is over 3000 hours. That is a LOT of time, so, YES, you can do it if you take the right approach. You are already well past the beginner stage. But of course you will have ...
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14 votes
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Is it too late to teach my 10 year old son English now?

It's never too late to learn a language! And it's especially worthwhile to learn English, seeing that it is the modern world's international language of business and science. I do recommend that you ...
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13 votes

How can I stop/prevent conversations from switching to English?

First, let them speak English when they switch - but keep speaking the language you're learning confidently. They may switch back to the other language, once they realize you are happy using that ...
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  • 1,817
13 votes

Is doing a huge amount of grammar exercises helpful for learning English?

It all depends on the person. I have a student who feels comfortable doing grammatical exercises, as those are reasonably clear-cut, compared to, say, writing or speaking. Grammar exercises are almost ...
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12 votes
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Open-source English-French Dictionary

Finding such a dictionary in open-source format is unlikely, due to the labor-intensive nature of composing dictionaries. Your two best bets are probably: Wiktionary. You can download the entire ...
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  • 5,032
11 votes

What are the most common languages among people who DON'T speak English?

If my interpretation of your question as "except for English, what other languages are most often used for communication between people of different nations so that the language used for communication ...
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9 votes

British colonial era English reader's primer

To be entirely honest, I didn't think I could find this one..but I did (I hope so!) On this French eBay page, the vendor is selling a copy of Longman's Indian Readers Primer. II 1948. As you can see ...
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9 votes
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Similar Languages to South-Slavic/Balkan

I suggest that you learn the constructed language called Interslavic. In fact, it would be a service to the community if you learned it well, used it for communication, and then reported the results. ...
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  • 4,996
8 votes

Is doing a huge amount of grammar exercises helpful for learning English?

I'd say that you should study as much grammar as you need to learn the language. For some people, who have little foundation in grammar (in their own language), or who speak a very different language ...
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8 votes

What are the most common languages among people who DON'T speak English?

Please check Wikipedia's List of languages by number of native speakers. Mandarin is the biggest language, as expected, followed by Spanish, English (which we exclude for this question), Hindi, ...
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8 votes
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Improving a language at B1 level

Reaching level B1 after learning English for roughly two and a half years is not bad. There are several ways in which you can improve your level and especially your grammar. Extensive reading, also ...
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8 votes
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Should I learn English from the UK if am I learning English from USA?

There are many varieties of English, not just British English (UK) and "American English" (USA) but also Canadian English, Australian English, New Zealand English, Indian English etcetera. Which ...
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7 votes

What are the most common languages among people who DON'T speak English?

Based on this wikipedia page, I would say your best shot would be to pick a language based on which country has the smallest number of English speakers, then figure out what the most popular websites/...
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7 votes
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How to find out your own English level?

Here are 10 different options to help you find out your English level: 15 questions - Language Levels 83 questions - Cambridge Institute Cambridge Assessment placement test (must register) Grammar/...
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  • 4,996
7 votes

How to improve my English skills while using it daily with people who are not proficient in using it, without absorbing their mistakes?

I have some experience with the struggle you are describing in your post. My boyfriend with whom I am living is not from an English speaking country, nor am I. As I am not yet proficient in his mother ...
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  • 181
6 votes

Improving my English Skills (CAE) without a language trip

I had to pass a TOEIC test and obtain more than 780/990 in order to graduate from my engineering school in France. The first time I took the test, I got 480. Fair to say, not quite enough! For the ...
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  • 181
6 votes
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Is there a certification in English beyond C2 that a foreign speaker could pursue?

Some companies may not be familiar with CEFR and it may sometimes be safer to use descriptions such as "near native" or "fluent" (see e.g. Describing language skills on the Jobline ...
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6 votes

Can I understand 95 percent of CNN and talk show, movies, anything just in 3 years?

I am not sure about "anything/everything", but after 3 years of watching CNN, you will be able to understand standard American accent. You might still have issues with other American accents (southern,...
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6 votes

What's the most complete book on English grammar?

The most comprehensive grammar of the English language that I am aware of is The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language by Rodney Huddleston and Geoffrey K. Pullum (Cambridge University Press, 2002)...
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5 votes

Able to understand conversation but not speak

As the people above have said, the best thing to do to improve your speaking skills is to find people around you or on the Internet with whom to speak. In another discussion, I have given a link to a ...
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5 votes
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Should I use my second language to learn my third language?

There are various ways to learn or teach a foreign language. At one end, there is the direct method, and at the other end there are methods such as the bilingual methods and the grammar–translation ...
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5 votes

Which American accent to learn for differentiating the most words

Being a native speaker of US English, I would recommend either a New York City or Philadelphia accent as having more-than-average phonological diversity. New York City and Philadelphia accents ...
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5 votes
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Language learning seems tough and a long process

Think in terms of a process rather than results You are continuously using your native language (I guess) and learning new words, since the language has to talk about new concepts, so new words are ...
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4 votes
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How important is accent for being understood in a given language?

The accent in terms of phonetic prominence is not so important as dynamic accent (also called pitch accent). So the best is to be natural and not to "fake" your accent (the way you're talking—phonemic ...
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  • 724
4 votes

Open-source English-French Dictionary

You can try this list generated by a Wiktionary user from the data at the website’s translation tables. There’s a page for each letter, but it shouldn’t be too hard to put them all together.
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4 votes

What are the most common languages among people who DON'T speak English?

I'd use the same list that Christophe Strobbe referenced, but with a few corrections. As he stated, the top 10 most spoken languages in the world (excluding English), ordered by native speakers, are ...
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  • 8,937
4 votes
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Has a corpus-based unprofessional bilingual dictionary ever been written - how was it received?

Dictionary creators who are not trained in linguistics or lexicography are in good company. Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) created his A Dictionary of the English Language between the years 1746 and 1755 ...
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4 votes

Is it too late to teach my 10 year old son English now?

| Should he learn it? | Obviously, if you could add a language to your son's linguistic diversity, you should definitely do so. English, particularly, is a very good choice as it is one of the most ...
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