Taking an English language course is without a doubt the best way to learn English, but in order to improve your vocabulary and pronunciation, and to get to grips with understanding and speaking the language in real world environments, it's a great idea to carry your learning out of the classroom. Here are what we have found to be the top methods of improving English outside of your language school.
1. Watch film and television with subtitles
This is a simple but really effective way of improving English - simply watch your favourite films or TV shows with English subtitles. You'll be amazed at how many new words or phrases you pick up when watching the translated subtitles and it's a great excuse to kick back and relax in front of the television.
2. Listen to English music
Listening to English music is a great activity because you'll find yourself naturally singing along to the lyrics and learning as you go. It's really easy to find song lyrics online too, so if you don't quite understand something in a song, you can easily look it up before continuing on with your singalong!
3. Speak English with friends
It can be so easy to simply fall back into our first language when speaking to our friends, but by making an effort to speak together in English, you'll all get the chance to practice the new language and improve in a relaxed, friendly environment. There will be no pressure if you get things wrong, because you can simply revert back to your first language to clear up misunderstandings, so it's a great way to become more confident with English. Plus, it will get you into the habit of falling into the new language more easily.
4. Read books in English
Reading in your first language is already a valuable way of improving your vocabulary and the same goes for reading books in English. You'll no doubt come up against words or phrases that you've never heard before in your English language school, so it's a brilliant way to teach yourself whilst enjoying an entertaining story. A good place to start is with books you've already read in your first language and know well, so that if there is anything in the English version that you don't understand, you can reference your existing knowledge of the book.
5. Attend the cinema or theatre
This is much like watching television and videos in tip one, but without the support of subtitles! Immersing yourself in a gripping film or play is a great way for you to really focus on what's being said. You may not understand each and every word to begin with, but the more often you do it the better your English language skills will become and you'll be surprised at how quickly you improve. Plus, if you do ever find yourself a little lost, the emotions and actions of the characters will usually help you get back on track.
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