Struggling with my English

Hi, I’m a Spaniard trying to improve my english level. I’m using some of the antimoon’s advice but, I think that I’m doing something wrong. I think this because I don’t feel my english improving at all. I’m in a school taking English classes with people of all levels and doing tests every 2 weeks. I see how people with less level than me getting better grades in spite of their lack of vocabulary.
The tests mostly consist of grammar.
I’m asking to me what I’m doing wrong. I get lots of input, I’m listening to podcasts and watching english dubbed fims.
I’m upset because I don’t want to think that my efforts are a waste of time and sad because my english has been in the same level for years.

All advice is welcome, thanks for reading.

They’re probably getting better grades because they’re focusing on what their teacher has told them to focus on. However, this doesn’t mean they necessarily know more English than you. Also, some tests require writing and speaking, something which you lack due to the way you usually study English, which is plenty of input.

If you want to do better in your tests then I suggest you follow your teacher’s advice. Setting school aside, if you want to continue improving your English, continue doing what you’re doing, occasionally submitting some writing and signing up for some conversations here.

Hope that helps.

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I see how you type English and it isn’t that bad. You had some small mistakes, but that can be fixed with a lot more experience. So far you are doing great in English and I’m encouraging you to do better in the future. I hope we can speak in English for you to practice. I hope that you can be more confident in the language.

One of my nieces has been learning English for 5 years (she´s 13) and she´s by far the best student in her class. (<–judging by her grades)
A few weeks ago, I tried to have a conversation in English with her…

Me: How are you?
Her: NEIN!

English tests test your ability to take tests that pretend to test your knowledge of the English language. Actually learning English is a different matter. I absolutely agree with csno1…

“If you want to do better in your tests then I suggest you follow your teacher’s advice. […] if you want to continue improving your English.”

PS: Your English is pretty good :slight_smile:

" (she´s 13)"

“Me: How are you?
Her: NEIN!”

She doesn’t even know her own age?

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…ok this one was pretty bad, but it was at least better than my ‘insektisch’ joke on the other thread!

13 years old and already 5 years of classes? I did not get my first opportunity to take a language course until I was 15.

Speaking of said language course. I got low C’s, generally. Below average grades infact. Now I speak pretty well for a guy who’s never lived incountry. It just took doing things my own way, as an (almost) adult.

@ adrianfora
THe grammar tests and the general knowledge of the language are quite different things.
You haven’t to be frustrated if you know more words and more speaking skills than the students who have better results in the grammar tests.
But to ignore the grammar absolutely like a lot of learners do is also not such a clever thing. We need some basic grammar to make up phrases and not to make the elementary mistakes.
If you don’t understand some grammar rules, you can ask your teacher or find a lot of materials in the Internet or also in the English library in Lingq.
I’ve made a lot of lessons here together with the teachers from England and Australia where I try to explain some English tenses and other difficult grammar topics with a lot of examples and as simple as possible. You can use my courses ‘Step by step’, ‘Let’s start’ and ‘English grammar and vocabulary’.
Good luck with English!


German tourst: “Can you tell me ze nummer for polizei?”

English person: “Nein! Nein! Nein!”

(Groanworthy indeed, :-D)

@adrianfora: As Evgueny wrotes above the grammar tests and your abilities in English are different things. I support my daughter in learning English. I train her general understanding using LingQ, and before tests in school we have a look at English or French grammar. To learn some grammar doesn’t hurt as long as you don’t understand it as a drill exercise only. Learning grammar helps you to be more aware of the grammar structures in the other material that you use. Podcasts are great in my opinion. If you watch dubbed films or TV programs it depends on what you are watching. Sometimes the language in movies or TV programs is not proper.

@Paule: What kind of school is your niece attending? My daughter is 13 too but she is able to hold a conversation in English, and her understanding is quite good. In elementary school they started with English on a very low level (knowing numbers and colors, naming animals and other things). English started seriously in grade 5 so I would say she is learning English for 3,5 years now. You should also consider that they have only 4 to 5 lessons a week, each 45 minutes (which means about 30 minutes of real learning time). That is not much compared to the time that what learners on LingQ often put in.



I made a joke. “Nein” sounds like “nine”, you know?^^

“they started with English on a very low level”

Same here. I had my first English lesson when I was 8 and I had a lot of fun, actually. ^^
Some of our “learning songs” were pretty catchy : Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes - Mother Goose Club Phonics Songs - YouTube
Head, shoulders, knees and toes! sings along

“English started seriously in grade 5 so I would say she is learning English for 3,5 years now”

What do you mean by “serious”? Doing grammar exercises instead of singing songs?
And why is fun less valuable than seriousness?

" Sometimes the language in movies or TV programs is not proper."

Which is good because most people don´t speak “proper” English. Just sayin´

@Paule: “Serious” refers to the number of words she learned in elementary school, not to the grammar. I guess it would need one month of serious learning to achieve the same like in 2 years in elementary school. In my view it was a waste of time. It is not about fun, it is more about the quality of the lessons and teachers she had in elementary school. Their English were terrible according to vocabulary and especially their wrong pronunciation. Maybe the intention to start with English in elementary school is good. But how they do it is terrible.

@Paule: “Which is good because most people don´t speak “proper” English. Just sayin´”
I gave an explanation why this doesn’t help in the tests. I don’t say that it is terrible to watch this kind of programs. If you like it, and if you learn English just for communication where proper language is not needed, it is fine. But if you have to be able to write properly (for example for your job), than it could mislead you.

@Paule + Vera

This is the kind of stuff my generation (Jahrgang 75) was listening to on TV as kiddies:

(Und stellt euch vor: Frisuren wie die schienen uns damals NORMAL…! :-D)


Alright. ^^


Sowohl die Frisuren als auch der Song sind absolut episch. xD

Nein Nein Nein jokes… Hmm that reminds me of Papa John Herman Cain’s pizza prize plan when he was running for President in 2008.

I have no idea what you´re talking about, but it sounds interesting. ^^

Mind posting a link or something?

“Mind posting a link or something?”

I always enjoyed this one.

Hammerzeit! xD