10 ways to improve your English

Feb 14, 2012

Do you really want to improve your English?

Many people have gym membership, but are still fat. They say they want to lose weight, get fit, or get muscles. Of course, they think they want these things. But do they?

In the same way, there are many people who join English schools, enrol on a course, but don’t improve. In my experience as an English teacher, there are a lot of students, perhaps 50%, who take an English course, but who get better very slowly. Some are too busy; others don’t come to class as often as they should. Some learn things and then forget them immediately.

The question is: are you really committed? Do you really want to learn English? If so read on:

The 10 best ways to improve your English language.

 1. Come to class every day. Obviously.

2. Be organised and respect your materials. Make good notes and write down new vocabulary. Keep the sheets that your teacher gives you in a file. If you have a text book, keep it in good condition. Use a good dictionary. Most electronic dictionaries are unreliable.  They are good at translating from English into your language, but not from your language into English.

 3. Do your homework. If your teacher doesn’t give you any homework, then do some anyway. Learn something, write something or watch something.

 4. Write every day. Most English students don’t write enough. You need to practise your spelling, because English is a very difficult language to write in. Also, writing a lot will improve your speaking, and give you confidence. It’s a very good idea to keep a diary. Write stories using new vocabulary. Write dialogues.

 5. Remember your mistakes. If you make a mistake and don’t write it down, you will make the same mistake again and again and again. The best thing that a teacher can do is correct you when you speak or write. If your English teacher corrects you in class, write it down.

 6. Learn the phonemic alphabet. This will take you about 2 or 3 hours. There is no better method of learning English pronunciation, and it is very easy. If you see a new word in a book, or a newspaper, you will not know how to pronounce it unless you know the phonemic alphabet because this is what dictionaries use.

7.  Use what you learn. Have you just learnt the past perfect? If so, you need to practise, or you will certainly forget it. Practise it in writing, and in speaking.

 8. Socialise in English. You remember things you say or write much better than things you hear or read. Do English outside class, Newspapers, radios, TV, dvds e.t.c.

 9. Give yourself realistic objectives. If you work hard, it is possible to go up a level every three months. From intermediate to upper-intermediate; from upper-intermediate to advanced. Do you have problems with reported speech? Give yourself a month to learn it.

 10. Care about your progress. Learning is easy. Remembering is difficult. It is your responsibility to improve, not your teacher’s!

Click here to enrol for English courses in London.

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