Are you thinking, I want to learn English, but don’t know what to do? There are so many options that it can be difficult to decide where to start. Here are some useful tips from ESL teachers.
1. Know Yourself
Do you enjoy learning by yourself or do you need a teacher? Do you like learning in groups or do you want private lessons? Do you want to learn from textbooks or do you want to learn naturally? Do you want to learn English quickly or do you want to take your time?
It doesn’t matter how you learn English. What matters is that your English learning is the best path for you. Whether you take private lessons, online classes, or study by yourself; just make sure that you study English in a way that makes you the happiest and most successful.
What works best for someone else might not work best for you, and that’s okay!
2. Try a Language Exchange
Are there English speakers in your area? Look at local international magazines or go to an international center to see if there are people looking for language exchanges. It’s a great way to meet new friends and to practice your English.
You shouldn’t pay any money for a language exchange. You teach a thirty-minute lesson in your native language. Then, you receive a thirty-minute lesson in English.
3. Watch Movies and TV Shows
Watching videos can help you speak English more fluently. Plus, movies and TV shows are a great way to learn vocabulary and phrases.
When you watch and listen to a native speaker in the video use English, you learn how to fluently use the language. Over time, you can copy the way the actors speak and develop a more native accent.
There are many techniques to learn English from movies and television shows. Click here for some ideas.
4. Think in English
Try to start thinking in English. For example, when you are driving, think about your actions in English.
“I am driving. I will turn right. There is a store on the left.”
Just thinking in English can help your language skills improve.
5. Look for English Around You
Printed English is everywhere and in every country. For example, you can find English on international food labels and packaging. When you see English, make a point to read it.
You might find that many of the translations are incorrect or contain grammar mistakes. This is wonderful practice! If you can spot errors in English, then that means your English is improving.
6. Make Grammar Fun
Make grammar interesting by playing grammar games. You can find grammar-based games online or try playing board games with friends. Make English fun by trying to use different grammar tenses with friends.
You can learn the basics of English grammar from a book, but you will never be fluent in English until you can use English grammar in the real world. Put away your textbooks every once and a while, and try to use the English you are learning.
7. Keep an English Notebook
It is very important that you take notes about the English you are learning. You can keep a paper notebook or you may prefer to keep a digital notebook. They are both great.
Your notebook should be organized. Try dividing it into categories. For example, you might have sections for grammar, vocabulary, phrases, writing, and questions. Try to keep your notes neat, and don’t be afraid to use colors to keep the information understandable.
Start your notebook with a list titled, “Reasons Why I Want to Learn English.” Then, write 5-10 reasons why you are learning English. Make your list personal and true to your life.
You can write this list in your native language or in English. Re-read this list frequently so you can remember why you are working so hard.
8. Make Mistakes
Your English will never be perfect. No one’s English is perfect. Native speakers make mistakes all the time and so will you. It’s important for you to know and understand that mistakes happen.
Do not feel shy or embarrassed about the mistakes you make. Instead, learn from them and use them to improve.
If you don’t have many opportunities to use English where you live, consider traveling to an English-speaking country. It is an excellent way to practice.
When you have to use English to communicate, you learn a lot faster.
10. Don’t Pressure Yourself
You will feel successful some days and you will feel unsuccessful other days. It’s important to not put pressure on yourself. Avoid being negative about your learning. Instead, try to stay positive and keep working toward your goals.
11. Ask Questions
Never be afraid to ask questions. You are an English language learner, which means English is your second language. It is normal for you to have questions. The important thing is to ask your questions.
Don’t be afraid to post things on English learning websites, to ask your teacher, or to ask an English speaking friend. Getting answers is how you learn, so be sure to ask anytime you have a question.
Learning English successfully is all about staying positive. If you’re saying, I want to learn English, then stay focused and work toward achieving your goals.