It is undeniable that learning English or any other languages takes time, effort and dedication. To improve English, the key is to continuously make improvements in every single aspect. This task requires regularity while still needs practicing little by little so that you don’t feel overwhelmed. The best way to better your English is by adopting small habits that you can be maintained everyday to push your learning forward. They don’t have to be things that take up a lot of time or require big efforts. Today we are sharing four things with you that you can and should do everyday to improve your English. They are by no means huge tasks, and in fact, you can make them a bit of fun too. What are you waiting for? Let’s check this out!
Pronouncing the sounds of a language correctly is significant to learners, so you should spend time practicing your pronunciation everyday. It is not about trying to get rid of your own accent, but to make it clear and precise enough so that others can understand you completely when you speak. There are many advanced English learners out there who have amazing grammar and vocabulary skills but struggle when communicating because their accent makes it challenging for listeners to understand what they speak. In class, your teachers may not have focused on your pronunciation, because it is not their priority at the time. The teachers’ main aim is to broaden your vocabulary and grammar so that you can get high marks in exams, not your pronunciation. However, in the real world where you use English to communicate with others, your pronunciation and fluency is incredibly important. That is the reason why you should practice your pronunciation everyday by yourself, which will help you make considerable improvements in a short space of time.
So how can you start doing this? You can search for native English speakers’ videos on YouTube, and try to imitate their accent. This is an awesome and simple way to practice your pronunciation. Add your favorite videos to a playlist and come back to them as often as you can. You can also record your voice and compare it to the speaker’s in order to identify the mistakes you usually make when pronouncing. Doing this every day will help your mouth muscles to get working and make the sounds more natural when doing it. It’s as simple as that and it doesn’t take you long, just five or ten minutes a day is plenty. Just make sure you’re doing it consistently.
You could even do it by singing your favorite English songs. Search for the song’s lyrics video on YouTube, and sing along! When you sing, you need to make each sound a lot clearer and louder than when you speak. This gives the muscles in your mouth a real workout, just like going to the gym does for your body, and makes it easier to speak in real life. However, there is something you need to bear in mind: singing in English does wonders for your pronunciation and intonation, but when it comes to grammar, this does not actually help. There are songs with spelling and grammar errors intentionally added to be catchy. For example, in Justin Bieber’s well known “Love Yourself”, there is this line: “My mama don’t like you and she likes everyone”. You can clearly see that it should be “doesn’t like” instead of “don’t like”. This is proof that English songs should only be used to enhance your pronunciation, not grammar.
To absorb is to take in information so you’re like a sponge soaking things up, taking in new ideas, new words, new ways of expressing yourself and you can do this in lots of different ways. Watching an English movie, listening to a song, reading a book, there are hundreds of things you can do on a daily basis to improve your English. This does not have to be a time-consuming task, but the important thing is to search for the right type of content. Find something that interests you – DIY, makeup, gardening,… It should be something you are looking forward to doing every single day.
Then you can read articles or watch videos about that topic. As for videos, you should choose those with English subtitles, so you can listen to the speaker and read the subtitles at the same time. Remember to keep a handy notebook by your side: if you see an interesting word/expression that you don’t know, write it down! This shouldn’t feel like you’re having to practice English, it should feel like you are having fun when finding out more about your favorite contents. What is more exciting than learning English and enjoying yourself at the same time?
Calm down, we’re not talking about writing essays. We’re just asking you to write a few thoughts everyday and nobody ever has to see it, it’s just for you. Here are some reasons why writing helps your vocabulary to stick.
Writing is one of the best ways to recall new words and expressions that you’ve come across. When you watch or read something, you might find interesting new words, but you will soon forget them unless you actually use them. When you write, you think of sentences and your own ideas about how to use these words. That way you’re producing your own sentences rather than just passively listening to other people’s, and this helps you memorize much better. You should write about the things you are actually interested in, so that you can stay motivated, and try to include as much new words as you can.
If you are not confident enough about your grammar, you can copy/paste your writing into a grammar checker to see if you have made any mistakes. Grammar checkers are mostly free and very easy to find. You can also use a thesaurus to find synonyms and replace your own words with more advanced ones, or try to paraphrase your sentence in different ways. These are just a few ideas but getting into a daily writing habit creates so many opportunities for you to apply what you’ve learned or what you’ve seen in English and then review it.
4.Join a discussion!
Again, this may sound serious and complicated but it’s not at all. We want you to join English discussions about stuff that interests you. This can be done either online or in person. As for online, you can easily find active groups on social media where people with the same passions as you are interacting. They’re sharing their ideas, they’re giving opinions and you’re able to respond. So you can comment and actually be a part of the discussion as it happens. You should join a few different communities to see which one is the most active and has truly interesting discussions happening in it. All you need to do is check the groups once a day and see if there are any new posts. If someone shares something and is asking for others’ opinion, don’t hesitate to leave a comment. Isn’t it great to know that you can learn English, stay connected and talk about your favorite things at once?
While joining online discussions mainly enhances your English writing, a face-to-face conversation boosts your listening and speaking skills. First of all, find yourself an English-speaking conversation partner. Anyone will do, whether that is a friend, a family member, etc. Then choose a topic that both of you are interested in and talk about it. When you are in a discussion, make sure to balance your listening and speaking – you should listen to the other person attentively in order to give a corresponding answer. Again, this should not feel like you are practicing, because you are actually having an informal conversation with a close friend about what you both enjoy. You can also record your conversation to listen again later and see if you have made any pronouncing/spelling mistakes that need to be solved.
Conclusion: So if you can bring those four things into your daily routine in some way, you will absolutely, without a doubt improve your English. Easier said than done, remember that creating good habits is not as simple as deciding you’re going to do it. So we’ve got a couple of extra tips to help you get started.
Do your research first. Note down a few topics that will keep you interested so you don’t have to look for it later. It can be anything: makeup, football, DIY, gardening, politics, etc. Give yourself a week or so to find the right type of community to join and be part of the discussions with.
Then create a regular schedule to help you get started and decide when you’re going to do these four things. For example, pronunciation practice might be in the bathroom for five to ten minutes every morning as you’re getting ready for school. Then listening to your favorite podcast on your way to work and you’re writing down your words on the bus. Your lunch break might be the time to check a Facebook group and write a group comment. Then spend ten minutes at the end of your day writing about what you did or what you learnt before dinner and simply put that on repeat. This schedule is flexible, just adjust so that it fits in your daily routine and you feel comfortable following it. It only takes a couple of days until you are actually used to the new timetable. Very quickly you’ll realize that English has become a regular daily part of your daily life.
We hope that you found all of these ideas and these suggestions useful. Good luck you all!