Learning a new language can be like visiting a new country.
When you’re in a new place, the sights and sounds are unfamiliar.
In the same way, when you speak a new language, you may find it uncomfortable at first.
English is a language that definitely takes some time to get used to!
Benny Lewis, author of “Why English Is Easy,” is a native English speaker. But he admits that even he has struggled with the English language.
In “Why English Is Easy,” Benny looks at some parts of English that can seem more challenging. He explains why these parts of the language may not be as challenging as you think, and how it’s completely possible to learn to communicate in English quickly.
So, you might be wondering how “Why English Is Easy” is different from any other book that’s supposed to teach you English.
If you’ve been learning English for a while, you probably already have a lot of books: textbooks, dictionaries, grammar books. Maybe you even have books of English stories and some English novels.
“Why English Is Easy” isn’t like any of those books.
It’s not a book that gives you a lot of information to memorize about the English language.
Instead, it gives you information about how to learn English more effectively.
You could think of this book like a tour guide, or a person whose job it is to show travelers around an unfamiliar place.
“Why English Is Easy” takes you inside the English language and shows you around. Along the way, it tries to help you understand how you can master the harder parts of English, so you can feel more confident.
And we’re taking the opportunity to explain to you in depth exactly what you’ll be getting. You can check out our General Learner blog for reviews of two other FI3M resources for language learning: FI3M Premium and Conversation Countdown.
What’s even better is that until Saturday, November 24th, 2018, The Black Friday Language Learner’s Collection is offering a bundle of the following FI3M (Fluent in 3 Months) products for only $197:
- Benny’s Bootcamp ($297 value + bonuses)
- FI3M Premium ($97 value)
- Conversation Countdown ($97 value)
- My Complete Easy Languages Package, which includes “Why English Is Easy” ($234 value)
This is a total value of $899, for just $197, or 75% of a reduction.
In the meantime, you can check FluentU.
FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.FluentU will also show you that English is easy if you learn it the right way. Give it a free try and see for yourself!
And now, let’s take a closer look at “Why English Is Easy,” so you can decide whether it’s right for you.
Who Is “Why English Is Easy” Good For?
- Learners who can read English pretty well, but want to improve their speaking, listening, grammar and vocabulary. If you’re reading this post in English, you can probably already read English pretty well. This means you’ll be able to understand and use the English version of the “Why English Is Easy” e-book. Often, when someone studies a language, they learn to read faster than they learn to speak or to understand the spoken language. If this sounds like you, you’ll find plenty of advice and resources in “Why English Is Easy” for improving your English.
- Beginning learners of English who can understand Italian, Portuguese, Russian or Spanish. These are the languages that the book is available in (aside from English). So if you or someone you know can read one of these languages, the version of “Why English Is Easy” that comes in that language may be helpful to have.
- English learners who feel “stuck.” If you feel like there are some parts of English that are just too hard, like spelling and pronunciation, you’re not alone! English is a very weird language, and these things are hard for native speakers, too. This is a large part of what “Why English Is Easy” is about. Instead of just looking at the problems with learning English, though, it offers solutions to these problems.
- Learners who can’t afford to take regular English classes, or don’t want to take them. “Why English Is Easy” mostly looks at ways to learn English through online resources, talking to people and self-study (learning on your own). This means that it’s great for learners who don’t have access to English classes, or who would just rather learn by themselves.
The main thing to know about “Why English Is Easy” is that it’s meant to give learners confidence. If you want to keep learning English but don’t feel like you can do it, this book may help you to feel better about your abilities and to come up with a learning plan. It shares lots of helpful resources that you can use to improve your English. However, it probably won’t be as helpful for learners who are more advanced in all their main English skills (listening, speaking, reading, writing).
“Why English Is Easy” is not an English course or a textbook. It won’t explain parts of the English language to you in detail. Instead, it shows you just enough of the language to help you see that it’s probably not as difficult as you think.
What “Why English Is Easy” Can Help You With
As already mentioned, the idea behind “Why English Is Easy” is to take the hardest parts of learning English and offer better solutions to learning them. But what are the “hardest parts,” and what areas can you expect to improve on?
Here are the main areas that the book focuses on:
- Speaking. In general, Benny tends to recommend speaking as soon as possible when learning any language, and not worrying about making mistakes. He stresses the importance of making the beginning stages of learning a language easier. Again, if you’re reading this post, you may already “know” English pretty well. However, if you haven’t started actually speaking English with natives yet, there’s plenty of advice in “Why English Is Easy” that could help you.
- Understanding spoken English. There’s also a lot in “Why English Is Easy” about how to practice listening to English. You’ll find advice on what resources to use, what to listen to and how to practice speaking and listening.
- Pronunciation. English pronunciation is very difficult, sometimes even for English speakers. I’m a native English speaker, and that has been true of my own experience. Like Benny, I had a hard time pronouncing the English “R” when I was younger, and there were many words that I didn’t know how to pronounce correctly until I got older. Sometimes I still get words wrong! Because pronunciation is so tricky in English, having a written guide like this to walk you through some of it can be very helpful. “Why English Is Easy” gives you some quick pronunciation tips and good advice on learning more.
- Grammar and vocabulary. Both grammar and vocabulary are necessary to speak any language well. While they can be easy to start learning, they can also get frustrating and tiring very quickly. In “Why English Is Easy,” Benny gives you tips and resources for making these parts of English learning more fun and effective.
A Closer Look at “Why English Is Easy”
Part One: Getting Started talks about Benny’s general philosophy of language learning. This includes things like surrounding yourself with the language you’re learning, being okay with making mistakes and focusing on smaller goals. This part of the book is very good for motivation, or making you feel like learning English is something you really can do.
Part Two: Speaking English has recommendations for different kinds of English audio to listen to, a quick pronunciation guide and a section on how to practice English with natives. It also includes a part on how to choose between learning British or American English.
Part Three: Grammar starts by looking at ways that English grammar is easier than grammar in some other languages. Then it moves on to some of the trickier parts of English grammar. One of these parts is phrasal verbs, or verbs that can include two or more words. English has a lot of these, and they can be hard to remember for learners. Other areas that Benny focuses on explaining in this section are irregular verbs and the many different tenses that are used in English. He gives you some tips and resources for getting past these places where learners often get stuck.
Part Four: Words is all about building your vocabulary. It includes ideas for memorization, finding words in English you might already know and ideas for what to do when you don’t know the word for what you want to say. It also includes some quick tricks you can use for getting English spellings right.
“Why English Is Easy” comes with two bonus items:
The English Digital Immersion Setup gives you directions for how to change the language on your devices, browser and Facebook page to English. It also suggests some tools to download that can help you learn English.
The English Online Immersion Sample gives an example schedule to show how you could work English immersion (surrounding yourself with the language) into your everyday life. The schedule is very specific and includes things like thinking of English phrases while showering and listening to Beatles songs.
Wrap-up and Conclusion
Learning any language can be challenging, especially when you’re just starting any part of it. This is what “Why English Is Easy” seems to be all about. So if you’re okay at reading English but haven’t really started speaking, this book might be just what you need to get started. If you still have a hard time understanding spoken English or writing it, “Why English Is Easy” contains resources and suggestions for how to get better at those skills, too.
Even though Benny is a native English speaker, he’s spent a lot of time teaching English learners. So he knows what issues English learners deal with. Also, because he’s a language learner himself, he’s able to use his own experience to understand how English learners feel. Throughout the book, he talks about his own experiences learning languages, and he does so in a way that’s very friendly and often funny.
If you’re already immersing yourself in English and know a lot about what online resources are out there, this book may not tell you much that you don’t already know. But if you wish someone would tell you what resources and techniques are the best, “Why English Is Easy” is worth checking out.
There are so many materials out there for learning English, it can be overwhelming! What’s great about “Why English Is Easy” is that it isn’t overwhelming at all. It’s short, but full of great advice for learners, along with links to specific resources that can help you continue to improve your English.
So if English is stressing you out, let this book guide you!
Elisabeth Cook is a freelance writer, language learner and literature lover. You can check out more of her writing on her blog, Lit All Over.
And One More Thing...
If you like learning English through movies and online media, you should also check out FluentU. FluentU lets you learn English from popular talk shows, catchy music videos and funny commercials, as you can see here:
The FluentU app and website makes it really easy to watch English videos. There are captions that are interactive. That means you can tap on any word to see an image, definition, and useful examples.
For example, when you tap on the word "searching," you see this:
Learn all the vocabulary in any video with quizzes. Swipe left or right to see more examples for the word you’re learning.
The best part? FluentU remembers the vocabulary that you’re learning. It gives you extra practice with difficult words—and reminds you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned. You have a truly personalized experience.
Start using FluentU on the website with your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or from the Google Play store.
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn English with real-world videos.