Learning English is not about sitting in a classroom full of other students. It’s about surrounding yourself with the English language, living in an environment based on English, and allowing yourself to live your life in a foreign language culture.
Improving language skills is a path worth going through, and we’re here to help you achieve your goals.
10 things you can do to improve learning English
1. Listen to improve learning English
How do babies start speaking a language?
First, we listen, then we talk, and then we learn how to write and read.
So let’s take baby steps (pun intended) and start by listening to the spoken language we want to learn.
I smiled proudly through the parent-teacher meeting (back when I was in school) when the teachers told my parents that my English was phenomenal for my age and group. Later at home, we discussed how watching cartoons dubbed in English helped achieve advanced vocabulary, and perfect pronunciation.
If you’re an adult trying to learn English, it’s not too late to invest your time listening to TV, videos, or podcasts in English. If you’re planning to teach your kid better English, then you should consider letting them listen to more English.
What good is listening to English?
- By listening to a native speaker speak English, we are experiencing the use of English in daily life (grammar, vocabulary, intonation, accent, and interpretation).
- Learn new words and your vocabulary.
- The brain adapts to the words it hears and tries to imitate the accent, pronunciation, and intonation.
- It’s easy, and you can do it alongside with another task.
- It can become a hobby, and you can listen to books, videos, podcasts, whatever.
- You can also learn to be more attentive. Listening to something helps!
2. Think and speak in English
Multilingual people, such as myself, tend to think in several languages.
Be honest, how often do you talk to yourself? The odds are high that at one point in your life, you’ve spoken to yourself, and it’s an entirely healthy sign of being a human being.
Many people find it helpful to think to themselves or talk to themselves loudly. Some therapists even advise their clients to talk themselves through problems daily.
Make a habit of talking to yourself in English every day. Create your own TV show (in your head), read a book out loud, explain something to yourself out loud, just talk to yourself, and practice English every day.
To some people, thinking and speaking in a second language comes naturally. I was 7 when I realized that my thoughts in the Russian language, and not in my native Georgian. One time, my parents caught me speaking perfect Russian and preparing a meal for myself when I thought I was home alone.
3. Play vocabulary games
A rich vocabulary is a huge part of actually speaking a foreign language. With only a few words, you can deliver your message to the listener. Still, having a rich vocabulary will help you communicate in a more engaging way If you know several synonyms (words with similar meanings), you’ll be able to choose the best word for the job.
Games are fun to play, and they keep our attention span to the maximum. According to recent research, due to technology entering our daily lives, our attention span has lowered to average 12 seconds (it differs within the age groups, professions, etc.).
So instead of reading and writing, some companies have developed apps and games to teach students more words and improve English grammar.
If you’re a smartphone user, you can download these apps to practice your vocabulary daily in a playful manner.
If you prefer human contact, you can still play and learn. You can come up with a game with your friend, or find a community at English Forward Forums. Here you can find online tutors, fellow students, and others that can participate in a new thread and accompany you on your educational journey.
4. Write in your diary
While having a diary/journal is a great way to deal with your emotional issues and everyday problems, you can also use it to practice learning English better.
A lot of people today have taken up food journals, therapy diaries, and many more to help them go through their daily habits and problems. If you already have such a journal, try writing inputs in English. And if you’re new to the journal idea, trust me, it’s a massive change in your life and English knowledge.
5. Change the language on your smartphone and social media
Yes, it might be difficult at first, but you’ll learn to adapt yourself to the changes.
You use smartphones and social media every day, so you might as well benefit from by learning some of the words and terminology you already knew.
6. Subscribe to newsletters
Subscribe to newsletters (in English) and turn on the notification on your email app.
Find interesting online magazines and platforms that send out valuable information to their audience. Weekly (or even daily) newsletter will remind you to read something every day, even if only a few sentences of the message (article, blog).
7. Join communities learning English
Support is always essential, whether you’re going through something physical or psychological. A lot of people have reported that support groups and communities have helped them overcome their issues and learn more.
Join such groups on social media and participate in daily communication. Not only will you be able to find a supportive community, but learn daily slang, expressions, terminology, and fill in your vocabulary.
8. Plan to take a test weekly/monthly
You might give up if you don’t notice the progress is often hard. But transitioning to another language takes time.
Plan weekly or monthly tests for yourself and see how you have developed your English knowledge.
You can access online tests, or find a tutor at English Forward and ask them to help you evaluate your knowledge.
9. Surround yourself with English speakers
The global doors are open, and everyone has the possibility to meet at least one English speaker in their hometown.
Personally I, meet freelancers every day by working and studying at cafes and coworking spaces. Facebook and other social media are very transparent about events and meetups going on near you, so dive deep in those events and meet new people to practice new rules in English grammar.
10. Watch videos over and over again learning English
This might seem tedious, but hear me out!
By watching something in a foreign language, you won’t truly understand everything at once. By rewatching it over and over again, you will catch some of the missed terminologies, strange words, expressions, jokes, and more. You are improving learning English by repetitions.
Remember, consistency is the key to learning English.
Create a schedule for your English learning plans and follow all of these steps to achieve the maximum result.
Create your own classroom, reading materials, and videos. Keep track of everything that you use in your journey and go over it once again. And who knows? Maybe someday, you will be the one recommending others to read, listen, and speak English following your method.
Practice the 4 core skills: reading, writing, speaking and listening. They all need to be worked on for you to improve. Keep a notebook of new words you learn. Use them in sentences and try to say them at least 3 times when you speak.
One cue: When you can’t remember the word in your native language, but remember it in a foreign one. To be sure, Take fluency tests to find out how fluent you are in English! The English fluency test will indicate your level of English.