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Learning a new language is never easy. However, as you get older, the ability to pick new things up seems to deteriorate. Continue reading for 10 easy ways to improve your English language.
1. Spend time in an English-speaking country
Taking time out of your usual routine to spend time abroad in the United Kingdom or Canada, for example, is a fantastic way to learn more English. Being around people speaking their mother tongue constantly and reading signs, newspapers and adverts are great ways of improving. You naturally soak up the language, both formal and informal. Take the time to speak to natives and have conversations about simple things like the weather or food. If you are feeling brave, choose a more challenging topic like politics. A simple holiday can be a valuable learning opportunity.
2. Watch English-speaking television programmes
There are many English-speaking television programmes widely available across the globe. Finding one that you love is a fantastic chance to open your mind to more English, which can be incredibly challenging to learn. If the viewing is too difficult to begin with, why not switch on the subtitles? They will allow you to ease yourself in gradually. Slowly, as your English improves, you will probably find yourself becoming less reliant on the subtitles and, eventually, you won’t even switch them on anymore.
3. Consider a private tutor
Although there are many opportunities for a self-taught route to learning English, for some people, this will not be enough. Seeking out a high-quality private tutor is a valuable way to improve your language skills. Furthermore, they ought to have qualifications in language teaching and therefore understand the pedagogy behind the learning. This means they will employ suitable methods and tailor your lessons to your learning style.
4. Find a friend
Making friends with someone who is a native speaker can be an excellent way of conversing in the language. It may well be that this friend would like to learn your mother tongue, so it could be a reciprocal arrangement. Although this would be an informal way of improving your language skills, for some people, this works better as you are more relaxed. Meeting in a café or library is a good place to start.
5. Don’t hold back
One of the reasons why older learners find it more challenging than youngsters is because of our inhibitions. As we age, we can become more fearful of making mistakes and embarrassing ourselves. However, it is important not to hold back. When conversing with someone, just go for it. If you make a mistake, so what? What is the worst that can happen? Every time someone corrects an error of yours, you learn something new. It’s a major part of learning.
Learn to sing songs in English. There are so many to choose from and they are readily available. Listen to BBC radio online and it is unusual to hear any language other than English within songs. Alternatively,
check out music videos on YouTube. Be sure to research what the actual words are though as mistakes could be easily made.
Listening to and speaking English are the easier of the four main language skills to learn. However, why not try combining listening and writing in the target language? Watch a scene from a television programme and write down exactly what they are saying. After you have done that, revisit the text and check for spelling, punctuation and grammar.
8. Take a class
Evening classes (some areas host daytime ones too) and language schools might be the perfect place for you to learn the English language in a formal set-up. Unlike private tuition, you will have the support of your peers. In other words, there will be other students in your class who know exactly what pressures you are feeling. They will understand the assignments you are expected to complete and you can support one another.
9. Record yourself
It can be a nerve-racking experience to hear your own voice talking back to you, but it is a worthwhile thing to do. Doing so gives you the opportunity to check your pronunciation of words as well as your assumed accent. It allows you another perspective and the chance to tweak what you might otherwise have considered to be acceptable.
10. Learn your verbs
English is full of irregular verbs, many of which native speakers struggle to conjugate correctly. Often, the only way to actually get them right is to study them and learn them off by heart. Reading English books, newspapers and articles online is a great way of seeing the verbs in context too. Aside from just learning them by rote, try writing them down in a variety of sentences and try to use several tenses too.