English is a beneficial and fun language to master. There are so many easily accessible resources available that will enable you to improve your English language skills, even outside of the classroom.
Here are our top tips on how you can practice your English in your spare time:
1. Watch television shows or movies in English (or with English subtitles)
Admit it, we are all capable of binge-watching television series or movies. Since the UK produces some of the best content in the world, you can practice your listening skills whilst enjoying a good movie (or two). Even if you are not confident enough to watch a movie with the original English audio, go ahead and add subtitles so that you are able to listen and read at the same time. This is also an effective method to familiarise yourself with different accents and dialects.
2. Subscribe to YouTube channels or listen to podcasts
YouTube is the hub for engaging and fun video content. In fact, there is a wealth of language related channels that focus on learning English. Whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or advanced learner, there are videos catered to all levels. So, if you have 10 minutes to spare, why not search for a short YouTube video?
3. Read ANYTHING that you can get your hands on
Whether it’s a newspaper, a magazine, a children’s book, a menu, a food label, or even a road sign, READ IT. Why is that? Well, if you do, there will always be some juicy new words to learn. Reading is a wonderful way to expand your vocabulary and familiarise yourself with how the language is properly structured. For those of you who are feeling extra confident, check out online news articles and read about current affairs.
4. Label the items in your house
This is a super fun method if you have a lot of sticky labels or post-it notes at your disposal. Simply go around your house or your bedroom and label every item with the appropriate English word. That way, you will always be surrounded by the language!
5. Invest in a good bilingual dictionary
During your language learning journey, your bilingual dictionary will be your new best friend. Now, you don’t necessarily have to invest in a physical dictionary as there are plenty of free online dictionaries that you can use. So, whenever you stumble over a word that you are not too familiar with, use a dictionary to find out its meaning. Simple!
6. Change your social media or smartphone settings to English
Have you ever accidentally changed the language settings on your device or on a website and then struggled to change it back? It’s mind-boggling, we know! However, changing the language settings on your social media accounts and on your smartphone can actually be a creative way of engaging with new everyday language.
7. Make a note every time you learn a new word or phrase
This is an old school method, but it is highly effective. It is so easy to forget a word if you’ve only encountered it once or twice. Physically making a note of new words or phrases on paper or on your phone can help with the memorisation process. You can refer back to your glossary whenever you wish in order to refresh your memory of all the new words that you’ve recently seen.
So, go ahead and test out all of these tips to see what works best for you. Just remember, everyone has a different way of learning, and as such, if one of the methods works for someone else and not for you, don’t worry about it. When it comes to improving your overall English skills, it is important to practice regularly using different methods and materials.
Simply go ahead and enjoy your language learning journey!