As an English Language Instructor for students from all around the world, I am always asked about the best way to continue studying English after finishing the course. My friends and family always ask me about the best way to learn English. Although there’s literally no “best” way to learn English – because we’re different – I put some of the tips that I follow and apply to my language learning as a second language learner. I also learned English almost the same way my students learned it.
- The one guaranteed way to be an excellent language learner is to be in one of my classes. If you couldn’t, please proceed to No. 2.
- Keep a vocabulary journal. When you write down the new word / idiom, don’t translate it. Write the definition in English in your own words. Then write a couple of example sentences. Your example sentences should be explanatory sentences. Meaning; if your new word is Banana, don’t write: “I like Bananas” as your example sentence. Write for example: “I ate a banana last night. I like fruits“. This was you know that a banana is a fruit. You also want to write down the part of speech of the word and the form of tenses if they were verbs. Go back and revise the words periodically.
- Speak English with real people, with people from your life who are either native speaker, or fluent in English. Make friends from English language countries over the internet and talk to them daily. Ask those people to correct you, and don’t let your mistakes discourage you.
- If you have the financial ability and time, travel to English speaking countries and enroll in Intensive Language courses. This is the most effective way. You’re not only going to to study in English, you’ll also live, eat, breathe and dream in English! You’ll meet people from all around the world, who don’t speak your language, you’ll be forced to use English.
- Watch movies and series in English. Try to watch them without subtitles to strengthen your listening skills. If you really have to, then watch them with English subtitles. You’ll learn so much about how native speakers use their expressions. I recommend you start with watching sitcoms. They’re the easier to understand. They don’t require high level fluency.
- If you like an English speaking celebrity, watch their interviews and read about them a lot. If you like a subject matter, like History, learn it in English. Your interests are your biggest motivation.
- Don’t just say “I wanna learn English”. Know why you want to learn it. When you know your needs, you know where to begin. If you want to learn a language because of travel, then learn travel lingo. If you want to learn English for Medicine, then learn medical terminology. So on!
- Know your limits. Don’t expect the impossible and burden yourself with more than it takes. Language needs patience! (This also applied to everything in your life!)
- When you come across a word you don’t understand, look it up in Google Images. Don’t try to translate it or look the definition up. Images are powerful. They stick in your head better than words.
- Lastly, look up applications and websites that are free and have plenty of exercises to review grammar point. Just google “ESL Activities”, you’ll get plenty!
This feels like the 10 commandments!