❝ One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way. ❞ -Frank Smith
1. Be active and take control of your own learning
When in class, try to participate as much as possible. Be determined to use the language and grammar your teacher has presented. Making mistakes is a natural part of the learning process, so don’t let that stop you. By being active and taking control of your own learning, you will soon start to see results.
Tip: There are many language apps available to help you connect with speakers of English such as ‘HelloTalk’. This app will help you use your language skills outside the classroom.
2. Find interesting things in English to watch and listen
To succeed in your English learning, you need to watch and listen as much English language as possible. However, it’s crucial to make sure the topics are the ones that interest you. Get into the habit of watching TV shows or movies, listening to songs and radio shows. The English language is truly global and the opportunities are endless.
Tip: YouTube is a free and seemingly infinite resource of English language videos. A good place to start with is the British Council’s YouTube channel and Ted-Ed and to watch Tv series with English subtitles visit OroroTv.
3. Read everything you can get your hands on
Classic literature, paperbacks, newspapers, websites, emails, your social media feed, cereal boxes: if it’s in English, read it. Why? Well, this content will be full of juicy new vocabulary, as well as a fair amount you already know. This helps you improve quickly, as re-exposure to familiar vocabulary gives you new examples in context, therefore reinforces those words in your mind.
4. Talk to yourself
When you have no one else to speak to, there’s nothing wrong with talking to yourself. This can keep new words and phrases fresh in your mind and build up your confidence for the next time you speak with someone.
5. Leave your comfort zone
Being open to make mistakes means being ready to put yourself in potentially embarrassing situations. This can be scary, but it’s the only way to develop and improve. No matter how much you learn, you won’t ever speak a language without putting yourself out there: talk to strangers in the language, ask for directions, order food, try to tell a joke. The more often you do this, the bigger your comfort zone becomes and the more at ease you can be in new situations.
6. Actively take note of new vocabulary
When learning, we often enjoy a new word or phrase so much that forgetting it seems impossible. But trust us, not everything sticks the first time. To fight this, get into the habit of carrying around a funky notebook or using a tool like Evernote. Whenever you hear or read a new word or expression, write it down in context: that is, in a sentence and with its meaning noted.
Tip: Memrise is a fun way of learning English especially new words.
7. Review your lessons and self-study notes regularly
To successfully learn new vocabulary and grammar, you need to review your lesson or self-study notes regularly. Go through the notes you took in a particular lesson and try memorising some or all of the important language or grammar points. Then, writing on a blank piece of paper, see how much you can recall. Repeat the process until you’ve memorised all the things you set yourself at the beginning of the task.
Tip: Some learners benefit from creating flashcards that you can store on a smart phone. Quizlet is one such app. There is also GoConqr, which can help you bring all your lessons together in one place. You can even create vocabulary mind maps from your lessons! With so many tools to help you online, find out which ones work for you.
8. Have fun with it
Using your new language in any way is a creative act. Think of some fun ways to practice your new language: make a radio play with a friend, draw a comic strip, write a poem, or simply talk to whomever you can.