In the words of Rita Mae Brown, “Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going.” Every culture has its way of communicating. In most instances, language serves as the foundation of daily interaction. Understanding the culture—or the various cultures—of the language a person is learning can help evolve a student into a native speaker—or at least someone who sounds like a native speaker. Cultural awareness is fundamental to growing in your online English course.
The Key to Help You Grow in Your Online English Course
According to Bao-he Zhao, “English learners should be informed about how native speakers of English see the world and how the English language reflects the ideas, customs, and behavior of their society.” Yes, having great grammatical skills is great. After all, it contributes to perfect sentence structure to communicate effectively. However, familiarity with as much cultural knowledge of the various English-speaking societies helps expand idiom, phrasal verb, and common humor usage—as this is what helps you sound like a native speaker most.
How to Learn More About English-speaking Cultures
The more you submerge yourself into the different cultures that use English as a first language, the better. While this is somewhat difficult if you don’t live in the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, or any other English-speaking country, there are some things you can do to help:
Surround yourself with native speakers
The easiest way to sound like a native speaker is to surround yourself with them. One-on-one interactions work great. But for better results, try to find a group of native speakers and join them on a day out. When speaking among themselves, you’ll pick up on phrases and idioms that might be completely new to you. Ask them what it means and take mental notes.
Watch TV shows in English
Language learners hear this all the time. Are you actually doing it? When you watch something in English, you’re listening to phrases native speakers use commonly. Write them down and look them up if you don’t know what they mean. This will help you put them to use in the future.
Travel to English-speaking countries
If possible, booking a trip and submerging yourself in an English-speaking country will help you obtain a better perspective of the language. Instead of booking a private hotel, try to book an Airbnb and stay with a local. Ask them questions and pick their brains!
Learn new idioms and phrases
The internet has a wealth of information regarding idioms and phrases. Google “English idioms and phrases” and print out a copy to hang up on your wall or mirror. Practice them every day and put them to use.
Watch stand-up comedy
Watching a good comedy show can help you boost your English skills. You’ll hear a bunch of different phrases that you typically won’t find in textbooks. You may not understand all of the jokes, but researching some phrases will help you piece together some punch lines.
Cultural Awareness is Essential in Your Online English Course
The English language is filled with cumbersome phrases that will help you sound native. In order to peak at sounding like a native English speaker, you must be aware of the culture behind the language. At English Services, we fill our lessons with various phrasal verbs, idioms, phrases, and speaking activities that help you reach a higher level of English.
If you’re having trouble reaching a higher level of English, see how English Services can help you grow here.