Real English- listening and reading

Apr 11, 2012

Hi guys.

Hope you had a good Easter. Now it's time for some more English blogs.

Today we're going to talk a little about English materials. What are the best things to read/listen to outside of the classroom to learn English?

Well the boring answer is that it depends on what level you are and what your particular tastes are. From my personal experience of learning languages the first thing to say is that if you can make learning fun, then it's much easier to do it and it's easier to make yourself do it every day. If you enjoy reading newspapers, then do that, if you prefer documentaries to comedies, then obviously try and find documentaries in English.

In general, if you want reading material the obvious things to mention are newspapers, magazines, books e.t.c. but it's good to choose the right grade of language for your ability in English. For example, if you are intermediate level, then tabloid newspapers like The Daily mail or The Sun will be better than broadsheet newspapers like The Telegraph or The Financial Times. The same is true of books. I'm a big believer in Graded Readers. That means books for people who speak English as a second language. There's something very satisfying about reading a book where you understand nearly all the words. If you are a perfectionist and you want to look up every single word that you don't understand then you need to read a book that isn't too difficult. I spent 2 years learning all the words from a book in Spanish and then somebody told me that the book I was reading was difficult for Spanish speakers to understand and had a lot of words that they didn't really use. I had wasted so much time! After that I started studying children's books, because I knew that every single word I knew was basic. I'm not saying you need to start reading lots of children's books, but it's good to know what you're reading before you start learning from it.

As for things to listen to, BBC iplayer is great because it has up to date English with subtitles. Whatever it is that you want-radio, television, music, films, news, you can find it on BBC iplayer. Press s for subtitles.
Youtube is great too. You can find many English series on youtube, which is great because there aren't any American series there. The disadvantage of youtube is that you don't usually have subtitles of what you're listening too. But, on the other hand, there is a lot of variety of what you can get there. For example, songs. You can listen to the words, try to write them down, and then google the lyrics. is good for academic English or IELTS, FCE and CAE.
In general, you should try to listen to something every day, and it's really good if you can access a transcript or have subtitles of what you're listening to.
Anyway, that's it for now. Next time I'll recommend some specific things to read/listen to.

Good luck with your English!

Click here to enrol for English courses in London.

Category: Study tips

Add Pingback

Please add a comment

You must be logged in to leave a reply. Login »

Category List

Tag List

grammar tips (1)
Things to do in London (6)
Learn english online (12)
Adjective (2)
London Marathon (1)
Francais (2)
Where to visit London (3)
Students (2)
pronuciation (3)
Attractions in London (1)
the people's tower (1)
future tenses efl (1)
english course london (12)
Victoria park (1)
english grammar online (1)
Journalism Course London (1)
Christmas in London (3)
Events in London (1)
english school (2)
Recording vocabulary (3)
english review (1)
Field day (1)
english study tips (1)
music festival London (1)
English vocabulary (3)
London markets (4)
english school london (12)
Journalism Masterclass (1)
Listening in English (2)
Relaxing London (4)
study english (1)
Tourist tips (5)
efl (4)
Journalism classes London (1)
Journalism evening course London (1)
music festivals uk (1)
defining relative clauses (1)
Winter in London (6)
New vocabulary (4)
mini-saga (1)
Somewhere to visit London (1)
things to do london (1)
Peaceful London (2)
ICE (5)
writing a mini-saga (1)
free english grammar (2)
Social programme (1)
New language (7)
Tweed (1)
exams (1)
Islington Centre for English (6)
CAE (3)
Historic moment (1)
Barney Ronay (1)
London Summer (7)
Idiom (3)
Beautiful London (8)
study english onlline (1)
grammar (1)
New blog (1)
Free english lessons (10)
Vocabulary notebook (8)
Cycling (1)
silent disco (1)
study tips (9)
Halloween (2)
narrative voice (2)
past modal verbs (1)
london events (1)
Places to see in London (4)
Basic English mistakes (1)
Somewhere to go London (3)
Insider info London (14)
Things to see in London (4)
Cambridge Exam Preparation (1)
English grammar (4)
Improve your vocabulary (5)
past modals (1)
student study tips (1)
Polite questions (1)
saga (1)
english as a foreign language (3)
English tips (4)
FCE (4)
english courses london (1)
Journalist Course London (1)
Hello from Ally (1)
London (5)
making predictions (1)
Covent Garden (1)
ILEC (1)
Vocabulary (11)
English (1)
writing a mini saga (1)
english grammar help (1)
Business English (1)
Shopping in London (4)
spelling (1)
the shard (1)
english grammar tips (1)
Fun (1)
Sport Journalism Course (1)
Learn English (15)
future tenses english (1)
Learning tips (10)
Reading in English (1)
Cool as a cucumber (1)
English food (3)
Somewhere to visit (9)
english school online (1)
World Naked Bike Ride (1)
reading tips (1)

Tag Cloud

English foodeflSocial programmeFree english lessonsThings to see in LondonEnglish vocabularyImprove your vocabularystudy englishstudent study tipswriting a mini-sagawriting a mini sagastudy tipspast modal verbsmusic festivals ukLondon SummerFunmusic festival LondonJournalist Course LondonspellingEnglish tipsBarney Ronaynarrative voicethings to do londonTourist tipsEnglishLondon marketsexamsReading in Englishenglish school londonSport Journalism Coursefuture tenses eflIslington Centre for EnglishVocabularypast modalsstudy english onllineenglish grammar onlineLearn english onlineEnglish grammarShopping in Londongrammarenglish reviewSomewhere to visit Londonenglish as a foreign languageInsider info LondonWhere to visit LondonAttractions in LondonHello from Allyenglish course londonFCEenglish grammar tipsSomewhere to go LondonICEPlaces to see in LondonJournalism Course LondonAdjectivesagaLearning tipsStudentsLearn EnglishVictoria parkenglish courses londonRelaxing LondonBeautiful LondonILECEvents in LondonCAEHistoric momentsilent discoVocabulary notebookNew languageChristmas in Londonenglish study tipsenglish schoolCambridge Exam PreparationNew blogenglish grammar helpBusiness Englishfree english grammarNew vocabularySomewhere to visitthe shardBasic English mistakesmaking predictionsWorld Naked Bike RidePolite questionsJournalism classes Londonreading tipsFrancaisgrammar tipsthe people's towerpronuciationThings to do in LondonCyclingmini-sagaLondonField dayRecording vocabularyIELTSListening in Englishenglish school onlineLondon MarathonJournalism MasterclassJournalism evening course Londondefining relative clauseslondon eventsWinter in LondonHalloweenCovent GardenPeaceful Londonfuture tenses englishCool as a cucumberIdiomTweed