Ingrid is right - you should probably stick to english style if you've already gotten used to it with the knit st. either way is akward at first. i do sort of a quasi continental-throw style knitting/purling (affectionately known to my friends as weirdo style), but that's how i taught myself so that's what i've stuck with. Traditional continental I could see making purling very difficult, I've tried a few times but keep going back to my weirdo style.
one thing i started doing when i learned purl stitch...kind of hard to describe... I wrap the yarn over the needle to purl the stitch. Then I hold the working yarn down taut below the needles and out a little with my thumb as I pull the loop through. That extra tension helped to keep the yarn from slipping off and also kept my needle from piercing the yarn and catching only part of the strand. The only problem with this tip is that you may end up knitting too tightly like me
good luck and keep practicing. you'll get it in no time!