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Non-native English speakers of dev.to how do you keep your English skills sharp!

fidelve profile image Fidel Sanchez-Bueno ・1 min read

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Image by Tessa Kavanagh from Pixabay

I have seen that dev.to has a pretty big global community, so I would like to ask all the non-native English speakers in here, how do you maintain your English skills and what do you do to improve it?.

In my case, I'm using blogging in dev.to as a tool to improve mainly my writing skills, one of the things I use and highly recommend to anyone is Grammarly!, they have a really nice chrome extension to check your grammar.

Discussion

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I read a lot in English. A bit of everything really, from articles in tech, to romance books.
I also write at least one post a week, in English.
Watch movies/shows in English. Never dubbed, sometimes I use subtitle if they talk to low or too fast.

 

I'm on that at least one post a week bandwagon also, I think is a great way to keep learning and not letting my English rust.

 

I subscribed Youtube channel named Daily English Conversation.
And is there any way to speaking fluently?πŸ€’

 

My main language is Spanish and I never studied English in a school or taking any other form of courses. I Started learning back in 2000, when I had my first computer. I was curious of how the internet worked, and how website were made and the most useful information about it were in English. There was so little in Spanish, that I started reading anything in English and translating it in a dictionary. Later on, I started reading books and watching TV in English.

After some time I felt confident enough to start translating forum software into Spanish. Now, I can read almost anything and I understand it as if it were my main language... the only problem is that I do not speak it, when I try I feel like I can't combine words into a sentence that make sense. It is so hard trying and the worst thing is that I do not have people around with whom to practice.

I keep reading in English, I search anything in English and I plan on taking some courses to start speaking fluently.

 

As a native English speaker, I just want to tell you all that what you're doing is extremely impressive. It's difficult enough to learn how to code, but learning a second (or third) language on top of that is an amazing achievement. Kudos to you all!

 

Thank you man, really thank you, since i have read your comment, every time i get confused because i don't understand a concept or anything and specially because of my weak english i remember your comment and i tell myself that i'm doing a great job.I keep repeating it:
Thank you man, thank you a lot.

 

I guess for us non-native speakers watching movies, listening to songs , reading books , and some conversation courses , also reading programming blogs especially for dev terms. But I think you need to learn express your thoughts in English by writing and speaking to improve your language skills.

 

I watch shows in English, often with subtitles. I read books and articles, and write articles. I used to look up almost every word I didn’t know when I was younger, but I am getting a bit lazy about that :-) Teaching Training courses and talking with native speakers help as well.

 

I read and write a lot in English - I'm an active member here in Dev.To and in Stackoverflow, I write almost all my work-related emails in English, I maintain a professional blog in English (though I don't post there as much as I would like to) - so I get to practice reading and writing English a lot. I've been doing that for quite some time now so me English skills are pretty good.

 

reading and writing is easy to practice. there's so many articles and books in english that you'll never run out of something to read. speaking and listening can be hard to keep sharp though. even if 95% of my work emails are in english, speaking doesn't come up as often. and somehow youtube videos and playing games in english didn't prepare me to listening to real people talking in real life. most of my thoughts during a short trip to ireland were "maybe i should learn a sign language and lip reading and pretend to be deaf because i don't understand people unless they are speaking directly to me anyway"

 

My mother tongue is French which has a very peculiar relationship with English.
Basically you have countless English words than come from French and countless French words that come from English.
So reading and writing English is quite easy for us.
On the other hand, countless of those words have a completely different and completely arbitrary prononciation.
So understanding and speaking oral English is really hard for us.

Native English speakers who try to learn French find it tricky for exactly the same reason : it's so familiar and so different.

 

Re: Grammarly

I totally understand the need for something like this, but after having tried it, I think it's a bad software.

It's well known not because it's good but because they are quite aggressive in publishing advertisement all over the internet.

My main grip is that a lot of false positives, it points out "errors" that are in fact correct.

The irony is that if you pay for premium, Grammarly will detect more fake errors. So if you use it, make sure to use the free version :)

But seriously you should rather invest time setting up a good spell check in your favorite OS or text editor than use Grammarly

 

I guess reading (not only tech stuff), watching conferences, tutorials and tv shows is a good way to stay in touch with the language. Working in an english-only company helps too. :)

Captions under tv shows/talks are helpful :)

 

I think reading works best for me, especially fiction. Sometimes after I read, I realize I use words in my speech that I had no idea I know.

 

I read English newspapers. They help me how to place the content in a way it's clear for the reader to understand.

 

I am thinking internally in English.

 

I answer questions on stackoverflow

 

Speak to coworkers who speak English as a first language on every opportunity I can get. Read and only use English resources. Don't be afraid to admit you can't remember a word or phrase.

 

I usually listen to podcasts and read books.

 

Uhhhh this is gonna be awkward but I've kinda forgotten my own language and now only remember English.........