Improve your English- learning outside the classroom.
Mar 15, 2012
Today we’re going to look at ways of improving your English outside of classes.
First of all, whatever you learn in class needs to be revised. Many English students learn things in class, and then forget it the next day. A good rule to follow is if you spend an hour learning something, you should spend another revising, and another practising. People often forget what they learnt yesterday!
Also, it’s important to keep a record of everything you learn. I would keep a book for the classroom, and a vocabulary book as a minimum. It’s also a good idea to have a little book for the mistakes you make, or maybe different books for different types of English. You could have a book especially for slang for example.
Of course it’s good to read outside of the class. Newspapers, books, e.t.c. are good. Again keep a record of what you learn so that you don’t forget. Should you learn every word? It depends on your level of English and your ambition. If you’re a lower level learner then you could perhaps try one of the special level books we keep in the school. But always be aware of the type of thing you are reading and adapt your learning to that. If it’s a technical book, don’t learn all the English, but choose words which you think you will need.
Then we have listening. When you are studying listening you have to worry about two things- the vocabulary and your ear. You need to learn words of course, and by doing this you’ll improve your passive vocabulary. Generally, words which you hear are more important than words which you read. This is because we use a greater variety of words when we read than when we write. When you watch a dvd or do any kind of listening, keep an internet dictionary on your computer so that you can easily look words up. Internet dictionaries are great for this purpose. I recommend using BBC iplayer.
Socialise. It can’t always be easy making native English speaker friends, but it is possible. Try to share interests and do things like sports with English speakers. However, it’s also very easy to make friends with other students, and some (but not all) will want to speak English a lot like you. For this you can use the ICE social programme. Avoid staying in groups of one nationality because they usually don’t want to speak English. Of course one of the best things you can do for your English is find a native English speaker as a lover!
Buy a grammar book. I recommend the Blue Murphy book. It’s called intermediate but it’s quite advanced. The green book is really for proficient learners.
Remember- a bit of English every day is better than a lot on one day.
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