Why is English difficult to learn?

by Louisa / 04 April 2013 / No Comments

English difficult

Well, English is not so difficult at lower levels. It is easy to say ‘I can, you can, he/she can’ etc.

But to talk at a higher level is more difficult.

One issue is pronunciation and ‘shifting stress.’ Consider this pronunciation poem which is underlines just a few of the problems:

Here is some pronunciation

Ration never rhymes with nation

Say prefer but preferable

Comfortable and vegetable.

And there are 3 more verses of this!  Incidentally, you can practise this rhyme in your Phone English classes if you like – it is a great way to remember intonation patterns and the pronunciation of many useful words.

English is a rich and changing language, heavily influenced by American English and with rules, sub-rules and rules that can be broken (if you are a native speaker and know when to break them.)

Phrasal verbs also cause difficulty. This is when you add a verb to a preposition to create a literal or non-literal meaning. For example:

The plane takes off  (literal – meaning ascend)

He takes off the Prime Minister well (non-literal – meaning mimics)

The endless variety of  verb/preposition combinations with their literal, non-literal meanings are mind-boggling! (Confusing)

At Phone English we know that speaking English fluently is about more than just accuracy and rules. Phone English provides a safe place to practise English, listen to English and refine your grammar, accent, pronunciation and improve confidence.
Why do you need to learn?

About the author:

Louisa is Course Director at Phone English. She helped start Phone English after many years of teacher training and materials development at www.global-english.com.

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