Many people envisaged the benefits of being multilingual and for foreigners in Singapore, learning English can certainly make a significant difference in addition to their native language. Whether it is to navigate more conveniently in Singapore or to open doors to new career opportunities, learning English ultimately embarks you on an exciting adventure brimming with countless possibilities. However, learning it as a second language comes with its difficulties.

There are some common challenges beginners tend to face in the process before fully mastering English. This is why even after learning for a while, many still yet to have full confidence in using their English speaking skills in everyday situations. If you are self-learning English, here are some challenges that might sound familiar to you:

1. Getting a hang of vocabulary words with multiple meanings.

Also known as homonyms, they can sound or be pronounced the same way but differ in meaning. For example, while the word “rose” can be suggesting the flower, it is also the past tense of “rise”, which means moving from a lower position to a higher one. There are, in fact, quite a few vocabulary words where this applies, which can get confusing when they are used in conversations.

2. Pronouncing words with silent letters

Some English words are also not necessarily pronounced the way it is written. Native English speakers learn from young that there is no need to pronounce the “k” in the word “knot” and the “b” in the word “comb”. However, for English beginners, it can be hard to grasp at first, which is why it comes as no surprise when you make mispronunciation mistakes. Some words can look quite complicated at a glance, making you second guess when trying to get the right pronunciation.

3. Working on spoken English skills

In a nutshell, you may have already understood and mastered the rules of English. But ultimately, the main challenge is speaking the way it is spoken. You may find it hard to express yourself well, which can limit your communication with native English speakers at times. As a result, you feel nervous and even uncomfortable responding in any situation.

To increase your fluency more effectively, there are many ways you can overcome these learning hurdles. For example, watching your favourite shows with English subtitles can help you pick up the structure of the language better. Or you can practise out loud while referencing a dictionary app. Most importantly, take your time to find the learning method that works best for you and enjoy the process along the way.

Yet, if you still find yourself struggling, it can be hard to get back on track. Without the right guidance, these challenges will remain a prevailing issue in your potential to fully get the hang of the language.

Get on the Right Track with ULC

If you are considering joining classes in an English language school in Singapore, United Language Centre (ULC) offers six English levels from Beginner to Advanced based on your English proficiency. In a comfortable and confident learning atmosphere, our team of qualified and dedicated teachers will help you get a grip of the basics and make the learning process an effective one. On top of that, you will also be learning alongside others that are at the same proficiency stage as you. So if you have been hesitant to talk to native speakers, you can give it a go by first conversing with your classmates as a start. Rest assured that we will help you improve in all aspects of your English until you feel ready to handle social situations with fluency and confidence by yourself.

To get started, check out our range of Essential English courses here.

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