Tips To Improve Your English
There are no magic tricks that will have you fluent overnight, but there are plenty of things you can do to make your time more productive, to improve your English quicker.
1. Know how you learn
Some people need to write things down to remember them, some make mental pictures, others need to hear them, or say them out loud. Some need to understand the mechanics, others want to learn parrot fashion.
There are many different ways of learning and it’s good to know which works best for you so you an get results more quickly and more easily to improve your English faster.
If you’re not sure, experiment – over the next few days try learning 10 new words every day using one different method per day – writing, reading, saying aloud etc. and see which works best.
2. Just Do It
We all like to dream that we’ll do x, y, z…. but then somehow… it doesn’t actually happen. We may have great intentions, and make plans, and even commit to some degree – may be watch a few Youtube videos on how to do it quicker, easier, better.
We might even actually sit down, and focus, and do some work, but before long, it begins to get tougher and the novelty wears off, then next thing, we’ve abandoned it altogether.
Obviously that’s not how you’ll improve your English! or anything for that mater.
You need to commit. Set a timetable, of actual time slots. Half an hour a day of real concentration and effort is better than two hours of fidgeting and constantly checking the clock to see if it’s time for a break yet.
Also decide on the tools you want to use and stick with them – don’t chop and change; you won’t progress like that. Most importantly, decide to do it, and just do it!
Read. Read. And then read some more.
Nothing will help you more to develop vocabulary and grammar, and so to improve your English.
It almost doesn’t matter what you read, as long as it’s stretching you at least a bit. It’s important that you enjoy it so that you look forward to coming back to daily.
And take the time to look up new words and note them down.
Find a whole variety of different reading resources to help you on your way.
4. Read Aloud
Whilst we’re on the topic of reading – read out loud like there’s nobody listening! Use a loud clear voice.
Reading out loud will help train your mouth and tongue to make the correct positions for English sounds. This helps your pronunciation, which in turn will help you build confidence for conversations and will improve your English fluency.
Use read aloud apps – as the name implies they read any text that you give them out loud. You can follow along listening first, then go over the same text shadow reading.
These listening resources will also help with your reading practice when you use the transcripts available.
5. Speak English!
It’s going to seem obvious but…. you’ve got to actually practice speaking English!
It’s the one issue that most people say they find most difficult.
Of course, there’s so much to remember – the right vocabulary, the correct verb tense, the right word order, good pronunciation – there’s a lot to get your head around. But there’s really nothing for it – whatever your level, practice really is the only answer.
Don’t worry, you will make mistakes but we really do learn from our mistakes.
If possible find a native English speaker to practice with to make faster progress. These pronunciation tips will help you too. And there are a number of apps and online resources to help you learn and improve.
6. A word per day
You can get apps or subscribe to email lists to receive a word per day. My tip though is to learn a word that is actually useful to you in your own life; that way you’ll learn it, use it and remember it.
Get into the habit of looking up a new word every morning and try to use it that day, and repeat the word to yourself at certain times throughout the day – you can even set an alarms so you don’t forget to practice!
7. Go Label Crazy
Put sticky labels on everything around your home or office with the word of the item written in English. This is also great for learning English spelling, which we all know is a nightmare.
8. Make 1 into 4 or more
When you learn a new word, note down all it’s different forms in the various words classes i.e noun, verb, adjective, adverb etc.as well as any related words, for example:
to fly (verb)
fly off the handle
Many online dictionaries will give you a range of information like this by looking up just one word. These two are specifically aimed at English learners, and have simple, easy to understand definitions: Oxford Learner’s Dictionary and Cambridge Learner’s Dictionary
If you need some dedicated support, check out our review on the best English language learning systems available.