How to Improve Your English
Students often ask me how they can improve their English. There are several things you can do to improve your English.
Learn New Vocabulary
In order to understand and speak English well, you will need to learn a lot of vocabulary words. In the beginning, you don’t need to focus on the most difficult vocabulary words, only the most common. Reading children’s books or watching children’s television in English is usually a good place to start. Books and programs that are made for children ususally contain the most basic and frequently used words in English. When you read, write down any words you don’t know and look them up. If you’re watching television, you can use English subtitles and also write down new vocabulary words. Try to use those words daily until you are familiar with them. If that becomes too easy for you, you can graduate to books and programs made for teenagers, then easy books and programs for adults such as short novels or sitcoms.
Listen, Listen, Listen
It may seem obvious, but how do we learn our native languages? We listen! We hear it every day, spoken all around us. So expose yourself to English whenever you can. As mentioned above, watching television can help. Another great way to listen to more English is to download podcasts onto your mobile device and listen to the same ones over and over. Lingq.com has some great free English podcast lessons available for downloading.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Needless to say, it’s important to practice speaking English as much as possible. How can you do this? First, you can find people on Skype to practice with. Search the Skype community for English learning groups that host English conversation clubs and/or meetings. Even if you don’t find native English speakers there, you will still get a chance to practice speaking in English. If you want to practice with a native speaker, you might be able to offer to teach them something in return such as your native language or another skill you might have like playing guitar.
After you start learning and practicing on your own, you will get to a point where you will want feedback from a professional qualified English teacher. You may find courses at your local college or take courses online. Check out my post “How to Choose an Online English Teacher” for tips on choosing the teacher that is right for you.
How about you? What do you do to improve your English? Tell us below in the comments!