Updated: Dec 6, 2020
Learning English does not need to be confined to a classroom, You can incorporate Language learning into your everyday life.
It’s also not just about reviewing language points, vocabulary or grammar you learnt in class, for homework.Learning a language is an ongoing process which you can help yourself in.
You should also take responsibility for your learning – this is called Learner Autonomy.
So … why not combine your English learning with things which are interesting to you! Make it useful and fun!
1. Read in English
Reading books in English is GREAT, however long articles or books require STAMINA to finish. You might not be able to cope with this. Don’t even bother to read books which you will never finish. Moreover, these long books might only provide you with a certain type of vocabulary.
Instead, look at incorporating short bursts of reading or listening into your daily life. This will allow you to focus, and you can even fit them in to your daily commute, lunch break etc.
Just by doing 10 minutes a day you will not only develop your reading skills, but it will also impact upon your accuracy and fluency. Our brain takes in a lot more than just ‘the storyline’ of what we read. Reading provides models and examples of language in use and in context.
The language we are reading becomes meaningful. We can see how it is used.Finally – short texts are manageable and do-able. Finishing off a short text in English will increase your motivation.So now that we have established reading in short bursts is a good idea, here are a few ideas of what and where to find interesting English material.
2. Read the Daily News
Every day, pick a topic in the news which you are interesting. First, read about it in your own language. Then look up the news on that topic in any English-speaking news website such as the BBC or CNN.
Once you have read about that news item in your own language, it will be easier for you to understand a text about the same news item in English, as you already know the background.
3. Watch the News
Practice your listening skills by watching the News in English.
Most news websites, such as the ones mentioned above contain video clips of news items. Many of the video clips have supporting articles which you can read before – or after – you watch the news clip.
4. TED it
Visit the English website, TED. TED is a non-profit global community that is devoted to spreading ideas. On the English website you will find a number some really interesting short videos, 18 minutes or less, about Life, Business, Education and any other topic you might be interested in! Most TED videos also have a downloadable transcript so you can read while listening to the video.
5. YouTube it
Search for ANYTHING you are interested in on YouTube. There is so much there in short video clips that you may never need to watch TV again. YouTube is perfect for a quick daily dose of English Language. Subscribing to channels that feature clips on topics you might be interested in, such as Business news, teacher training, sport, fashion etc is a great idea. Alternatively you may want to watch your favourite TV series or film in English.Every time you log in to your own account, (you should have a Google Account for this), YouTube will present you with a number of videos that meet your interests.
6. Pronounce- Pronounce- Pronounce
Use online dictionaries to check the pronunciation of certain words. Nowadays many online dictionaries supply the audio clip of words being read out. Some useful dictionaries are Cambridge and Macmillan, but a quicker way is to just google the word and add pronunciation. Try it out!
For example; type in the word longevity in one of the online dictionaries mentioned above and check the pronunciation for it. You can easily check the pronunciation, which is often given as both UK or British English and as US (American) English.
YouTube too can be used as a tool to work on your pronunciation. It has a vast archive of English pronunciation clips .
7. Stress it
Besides pronunciation, make a note of the stressed syllable. Use the online dictionaries for pronunciation and make a note of where the stressed syllable is. After some time, you will start to notice patterns in certain words. Perfecting this will help you sound more like a native speaker.
Visit Slideshare and search for anything you are interested in. The likelihood is that someone has already created a Powerpoint Presentation on the topic you are interested in.
9. BIO. it
Interested in people? Check out Biography.com . Read the biographies of anyone, from reality TV celebrities to pioneers who have changed the course of history. Whoever or whatever you might be interested in, biography.com will help you find out all you want to know about them.
10. Business English
If your interest is Business then find out what’s in the News in Business worldwide by browsing through: BusinessWeek If you are really interested in Business, then you will also enjoy reading about the ideas from the Masterminds of Business – the Management Gurus who have shaped business thinking.
On this site you could also read about the 12 different styles of management which have influenced the world of work. Who knows, they could influence your business skills too.
You can also:
read short biographies of these Management Gurus
listen to a radio interview about them
and read the transcript of the interview.
So, there you have it! Choose one and get to it!