Learning English
A simple guide to the world's most popular language

English is the world's most popular second language: the language of the Internet and international commerce.
Because English comes from a variety of other languages Latin, French, Ango-Saxon and Spanish some people find it hard to learn.

But the world's top-selling book in 1999, The Learning Revolution, provides a simple guide to English that will help even very young people learn it as a foreign language.

Co-authors Gordon Dryden and Dr. Jeannette say that, to learn anything, it's always best to "see the big picture first"; and when students see "the big English picture" first they then find it much easier to learn the main points. And that "big picture:"

  • English has a total of 550,000 words more than any other language. Learn only that fact, and English might seem far too complex. But
  • 2000 to 2500 words make up 90 percent of most speech. In fact, the same applies to most European languages. Learn to use those 2000 words fluently and you're well on the way to being fluent in your new language. Small children generally learn 2000 words by age four.
  • Amazingly, 400 to 450 words make up 65 per cent of most writing, even in adult books. Most of those key words are "small inking words", such as the, a, an, about, over, under, to, until.
  • Of the 70 sounds that make up all the world's main languages, English uses a maximum of 44.
  • Those 44 sounds can be spelled using only 70 different combinations.
  • About half of those combinations are phonetic (pronounced roughly as they sound, such as hat, mat, cat and bat) and half are not (including difficult spellings such as though, tough, cough, where, tight, weigh and bridge.)
The Learning Revolution's chapter on The vital years from birth to ten provides a simple six-step guide to learning English.


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