As one of the most spoken languages in the world and the common tongue of business, education and entertainment, learning English is nearly a necessity these days. Although it is often considered one of the most difficult languages to learn, with the right attitude, commitment and these 10 tips, anyone can do it! Read on to find out 10 tips to learn English:
1. Build your vocabulary
Work on building your vocabulary every day by choosing new words to learn and repeating each word over and over to reinforce the memory of those new words.
- Underline words you don’t know. Look up the word in an English dictionary such as Merriam-Webster (not the translation!). You’ll get much more out of reading the definition, and then read sentences using the word to get to know the meaning.
- Choose five new words that you would like to learn each day.
- Write the words and their meanings out on paper at least ten times each.
- At the end of the week, go over each day’s 5 words for a total of 35 new words a week!
This daily task will only take 30 minutes, but it will greatly improve your knowledge of English words.
2. Speak English
Speaking English daily will help you learn English and will also help your confidence while speaking the language. Keep in mind that confidence is the key to sounding natural and feeling good about your learning experience. Even if you only know a little, keep speaking out loud. Speak as often as possible, even if it’s only to yourself!
3. Use online translators to help with pronunciation
As we mentioned in Tip #1, we recommend looking up a word you don’t know in an English dictionary. However, online translators can be a great resource as they can clarify your understanding and pronunciation of a word. To hear the word, you can click the audio button and listen to how the word or phrase sounds.
4. Active listening
Listen intently to a variety of English content anywhere you can. Paying close attention to sources like the news, popular songs and everyday conversations can greatly increase your knowledge of words, word patterns, phrases and expressions. By focusing on the audio alone, you can learn a great deal about inflections and nuances of specific words.
5. Read ofter and read out loud
Reading will help in the repetition of seeing what English words look like. Reading out loud will help you pair the sound of words to the text on the page. Remember that reading books with dialogue is also great for deriving meaning from context clues and will usually involve conversations that you would hear in everyday life.
6. Practice with friends
Set up scenarios with friends so you can role play in different settings to practice your new vocabulary and phrases. Since you won’t know what your friend will say next, it’s great practice for thinking quickly, as you would when speaking English in a real setting. Here’s a small list of some good topics to try:
- Going to the movies
- Eating at a café
- Grocery shopping
- Talking about school
7. Use an online dictionary for synonyms
Use an online dictionary to look up synonyms of words that you know. Keep an ongoing list on your computer or in a notebook of words paired with their synonyms, so that you can help build strong variety in your English.
Example word: Beautiful
Synonyms: Gorgeous, stunning, striking
8. Watch films, cartoon, and television shows.
Hearing and watching characters in film and TV will help your English skills immensely. It’s an entertaining way to pick up on visual cues from the characters, like their facial expressions or their tones, paired with the words they are saying.
9. Plan a trip to an English-speaking country
Take a trip to a place where English is the primary language. Don’t be afraid to start conversations in public places with passersby. This is an excellent way to gain real experience and start putting your knowledge to the test. Don’t worry about making a mistake, the most important thing is to gain experience and try!
10. Set Goals
Setting goals and rewards is a fun way to reinforce your learning and to celebrate each achievement you make along the way. New languages are always difficult, but with practice you will be a pro in no time. Just remember to keep trying and don’t give up!