Do you often feel like you don’t have enough time to study? Learning English can seem like a huge task, and most of us are too busy to study for hours every day.
Don’t worry! Here are five fast, easy and fun things you can do to keep making progress every day! Ultimate guide on how to learn English + checklist!
1. Surf the web!
Find a couple of English websites related to your interests. Try using Google or another English language search engine to find new and interesting websites. Or try these ideas:
– Do you like to check the news every day? Go to VoaNews.com and read a short article or listen to a podcast. These articles are written very clearly, especially for English language learners.
– Do you love travel and world cultures? Visit the National Geographic’s website or check out videos on Travel Channel.
– Do you enjoy learning new things? Search for your favorite topics in Wikipedia’s Simple English site. The encyclopedia has almost 100,000 articles – all written for English learners like you!
Don’t worry if you don’t understand everything. Try to learn 2-3 new words or phrases every time you surf!
Surf when you have a little extra time and enjoy learning more about what you love in English!
2. Listen to music!
Listening to music is a great way to learn new vocabulary. Singing is one of the best ways to improve your pronunciation.
You can enjoy music at home, when you are traveling to work or school, alone, or with your friends. And even better, learning with music is enjoyable, relaxing and stress-free!
Again, you don’t need to understand every word in the song: it’s enough if you understand just a little. If you learn a couple of songs a week, your confidence will really improve!
– Do you have a favorite band that plays songs in English? If not, try listening to classics like The Beatles or Madonna to get started. Or ask your English teacher for recommendations.
– Song for ESL students channel on Youtube and MyEnglishPages have great songs for English learners.
– You can find the words to almost any song on Lyrics.com. Print the lyrics or write them on a piece of paper so you can read while you listen to the songs! Try to sing along while you listen!
– If you enjoy karaoke, this is an extra-fun way to get English practice!
3. Build your vocabulary!
Vocabulary notebooks and flashcards are great ways to improve your vocabulary. You can learn up to 7-8 words a day—and it only takes a few minutes!
– Carry a small notebook with you all the time. Write down words you learn from music, reading, and conversations.
– Note the meaning AND the pronunciation – that way you will be able to practice by saying the words out loud.
– Try to write down phrases and example sentences, not just words – this will help you use the words correctly later.
– If you hear/see a word you don’t know, write it down and check a dictionary or ask your teacher later!
– Make flashcards with your new vocabulary when you have time. Then, carry 4-5 cards with you in your pocket or your bag. Look at them for 2-3 minutes, a couple of times during the day, until you are sure you know them.
4. Keep a Journal!
Many people feel shy or embarrassed when they talk to other people in a new language. Some people feel that they can understand English, but they don’t know how to form sentences or speak fluently. A journal can help!
– You don’t need a lot of time to keep a journal. Try to write at least 2-3 sentences every day.
– Write about what you did, how you feel, and any interesting ideas you had. Write about your plans for the next day or the weekend.
– Write about how you feel about learning English, or any problems you are having.
You will get practice expressing your thoughts, feelings and experiences in English. You can take as long as you want to think about what you want to say. This practice will help you feel more comfortable expressing yourself when you speak with others.
5. Make friends!
The best way to improve your English is to practice with friends.
– It is fine to practice with native speakers or with other learners like you.
– You don’t need long conversations to get better at interacting in English. A quick telephone conversation, an email, a text message, and a Facebook chat are all good ways to practice a little every day!
– Talking every day helps you to feel more comfortable and less nervous when you have long conversations in English.
– Ask your teacher if you need ideas about how to make some English friends! Look at this popular post on making friends online.
Did you know that you actually learn more if you study for 15 minutes every day than if you study for 2 hours at a time, once or twice a week?
These ideas take very little time – the important thing is to get into the habit of using English every day!
You will be amazed at how fast and easy it is to take your English to the next level! Enjoy!!!
Jamie McDaniel is from the United States and has been a TESOL-certified English teacher for over 5 years. She has taught adult students from throughout Latin America, both online and in the classroom, as well as Japanese university students and private students from various backgrounds. Jamie loves loves reading, hiking, cooking, live music and learning about different cultures and languages: she speaks fluent Spanish and A-Level Portuguese.