All learners want to improve their English, but as you know, it can be difficult! For you to learn, you need to work on all areas: Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening. Our English courses promote these ‘core skills’ because all need to be worked on for you to learn English well.
Here are some ways to help you learn.
Speak as often and as much as possible! This is the best way to learn English! There is nothing better than conversation to help you improve. Whereas, you can practise reading, writing, and listening on your own, it’s obviously better to speak English with someone. The best way to do this is to be in an English speaking environment. Go on holiday in English-speaking countries (we can help you with that during the summer holiday), go on camps where you work with native speakers or attend conversation classes.
Also, get into the habit of thinking in English, don’t translate from your own language into English, it will slow you down. When you talk, use the sentences which instantly and naturally feel right to you, these are often the correct ones. Many students learn to develop an ‘intuition’ about English, use yours and trust it.
This might sound a little strange and embarrassing at first, but record yourself talking and listen to your own pronunciation, talking speed and the flow of your speaking. It will give you a great chance to see the areas you need to work on. Also, right before going to sleep, try talking to English people in your imagination. It’s a fun way to develop fluency! Finally, it’s fun to sing in English, so learn some English songs and sing your heart out!
This really is a skill that needs to be worked on every day. Like speaking, it’s better for you to be in a totally English speaking environment. Again, nothing can beat learning at an English language school abroad (check our site to see where you could go).
It’s also good to watch TV shows, or movies in English. As an exercise, it’s good to have something you can listen to over and over again. When listening to something more than once; first, try to catch the general meaning, then, listen a second time for more in-depth information, but remember that a native English speaker is not going to repeat something 10 times for you to understand, so as a long to term goal, you must focus on learning to get your listening right first time.
Reading English is something you can do to help you learn on your own, outside of the classroom. Have a dictionary with you to look up new words and then write them down in a notebook. Try to use these new words in conversation, it’s a great way to learn.
When you read don’t worry about trying to understand every world, don’t keep reaching for the dictionary every few seconds (use one only for emergency situations)! Instead, try and understand the general meaning of the text first and then re-read it for more detail. For words you don’t understand, try learning how to guess the meaning from the context. Look at the other words in the sentence; they will give you clues as to its meaning. Check to see if the English word is a verb, a noun or an adjective. The Internet is full of stuff you can read and learn from.
Try keeping a diary; write something in English in it every day, even if it’s very simple. Start with small sentences and make them longer. Again, the Internet is a great way to help. Try to make friends online, visit chat rooms, forums, or post comments on blogs. These are all useful tools for you to learn well from.
Writing gives you a good chance to review words you have learned in the past, and allows you the time to think about grammar as you write. Go back and review anything you might have written in the past,when your English was at a lower level, and try to find any mistakes you made.