Learning English in London, outside the classroom

Jan 24, 2012

At the Islington Centre for English, we always tell our students that their English courses do not stop when they leave the course or the classroom.  Indeed, much of the best vocabulary comes to students in their daily lives in London.  A typical English course takes 15 or 20 hours of your time per week only.  Don't waste the rest of your day!



Here are a few useful tips to build your English vocabulary from Tim Shoben, ICE Director:

  1. Carry a notebook with you and jot (quickly note) down any new words you see or need during the day.  Go back to the words at the end of the day and revise at the end of each week testing yourself by covering up the words and rewriting them.

  2. Watch TV with the subtitles on so you can read and listen at the same time.

  3. Listen to BBC Radio 4.  In our opinion, this is the best talk-only radio station and is particularly useful for those students studying for a Cambridge Exam or IELTS as there is a great deal of formal language.

  4. Download podcasts and listen to them more than once so you can pick up on words that you didn't get the first time.  I recommend learning passages by heart.

  5. Making English friends can be difficult when English is your second language, so why not join a club in your area?  If you are good at sport or music, this is a great opportunity to make friends with real English people!

  6. Subscribe to an English Language Learning Twitter feed such as ours.

  7. Offer free language exchange lessons in a cafe with an English person.  There are many English people who want to learn or improve a second language and you will get good, focused practice as a result.


There are, of course, many other ways, but these are some of the easiest and quickest.

Best of luck with your English language!

Tim


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