Monday, September 24, 2012

20 Ways to Improve your English

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  1. Download and listen to English podcasts or to radio programmes in English (BBC, ITN, etc.)
  2. Listen to English music.
  3. Read the lyrics to a song with a dictionary.
  4. Sing karaoke in English.
  5. Only search in English: switch your search engine to the English language version. This cannot only be a good way of practising fast reading for specific information in English, but could also give you a wider choice of sites to choose from, and give you an idea of what foreigners are writing about your country and your area.
  6. Read a book you've already read or seen the movie of in your own language. Read a translation into English.
  7. Read graded readers. These are books that are especially written for language learners like you.
  8. Read the whole thing with no help. Although using a dictionary has been shown to help with both short term and long term learning of vocabulary, the fact that using it slows reading down can stop some people reading in English at all. Reading a whole book quickly through just for pleasure from time to time will help you remember how fun reading in another language can be.
  9. Read English language comics. Even more than books with lots of dialogue, comics can be easy to understand and full of idiomatic language as it is actually spoken. Serious or advanced comics are usually easier to understand than funny ones.
  10. Read English language magazines. Like books, if you can read two versions of the same magazine (eg Newsweek in your language and in English, for example), that could make understanding much easier.
  11. Play English language learning games on your videogames console.
  12. Watch English language films with English subtitles.
  13. Watch films in your language with English subtitles and films in English with subtitles in your language.
  14. Watch the same film or TV episode over and over again. This cannot only save you money on DVDs, but will mean that you can really learn the language without having to study it. Some comedies can also get funnier the more you watch them, especially if you watch them with no subtitles and so understand a little more each time you watch it.
  15. Keep a list of language to learn, e.g. a vocab, irregular verbs, etc. and go through your list several times every day.
  16. Chat online. The closest thing to speaking for people who do not have the chance to speak English is online chat, as you have to think and respond quickly, and the language is short and informal just like speech. Occasionally talk to or e-mail your friends in English. Many people find this a bit false or embarassing, but if you think of it as a study club and set a particular time and/or place, it is no different from studying maths together.
  17. Record your own voice. For people who do not have much or any correction of pronunciation from a teacher, recording yourself and listening back makes it easier to hear whether you are really making the English sounds that you are trying or not.
  18. Take holidays abroad.
  19. Switch your computer and mobile phone operating system to English. Changing the operatin g language of your mobile phone, computer, dvd player, videogames console, favourite social networks etc. to English can be an easy way of making sure you use the language everyday.
  20. Set goals. Deciding how many hours you want to study, how many words you want to learn or what score you want to get in a test are all good ways of making sure you do extra study.

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