Learning to speak in a foreign language can be difficult, time-consuming and frustrating, but it should also be enjoyable, rewarding and ultimately life-enhancing. Of course, it takes hard work and commitment to memorise vocabulary, and grasp those all-important grammar rules, but here are ten top tips to enhance your English-language skills practice.
1 Don’t give up
First and perhaps foremost, you must practice what you know on a daily basis, adding new material as you go. The more you read, write, listen and speak English, the more confident you will become in the language.
2 Learn from mistakes
All English-language learners make mistakes. Even advanced students slip up on a regular basis, so don’t be afraid to get things wrong. Instead, do your best and make an effort to revise anything you’re struggling with as this will help you improve.
3 Label objects in your house
Words are the building blocks of every language. The more you know, the more you’ll be able to communicate. So, to expand your English vocabulary, try labelling objects in your house. Every time you see a particular item, say its name out loud until it rolls off your tongue.
4 Watch English television and movies
Whether you enjoy sitcoms, horror movies or documentaries, try to watch your favourite films and TV shows in English as this will introduce you to new words and sentence structures. If you struggle, turn English subtitles on as this will give you a chance to practice both listening and reading skills.
5 Listen to music from the English-speaking world
The great thing about music from the English-speaking world is that it tends to be both catchy and repetitive, making it easy to pick up certain words and phrases. With this in mind, turn on the radio as much as you can or play top hits in your spare time.
6 Keep a diary… (in English or course)
Writing diary entries in English each and every day is a great way to practice both sentence structure and the past tense. Try to include any new words you’ve learned that day and take the time to read through previous entries from time-to-time.
7 Be social
One of the best ways to enhance your language abilities is to surround yourself with English-speaking friends. While this might seem daunting at first, you’ll soon get to grips with how people from English-speaking countries communicate.
8 Talk on social media
We live in a technologically advanced world, so if you can’t meet with people face-to-face, how about using social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to communicate in English? Skype is also a great way to have an English conversation with someone and you can even send messages via your smartphone.
9 Read books
As an English-language student, try to read as many books as you can. If you’re a beginner, don’t be afraid to start off with children’s literature as this is clear, concise and full of useful vocabulary. If you’re more advanced, you may want to try novels such as Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White, which is simple and easy to understand.
10 Make your English studies fun
When it comes to learning a new language, many students make the mistake of reading their textbooks from front to back and getting study fatigue. This is not particularly productive or fun, so why not spice things up by doing different activities such as listening to English speakers in a café instead or joining an English conversation club?