There are many reasons why people learn English: for promotion at work, for pleasure or travelling, etc. All language learners are under the impression that their English is at a standstill at the point, and that can be either their illusions or the truth. If you belong to the latter category, this post can help you make some progress with your English, and the significance of improvements depends upon your efforts. So, are you ready to go?
1.Set up your learning routine
If you cannot remember what learning activities you were doing at the same time of yesterday or one week ago, a fixed learning schedule may do you good. In other words, you can do the same work at the same time of every day or every week, and once getting used to your timetable, there is no need for you to look at it to know what you should do next. You should also highlight some specific goals such as “Speak English fluently in 3 months” or “Being able to understand at least 60% of news programs within 4 months” so that you will have motivation to keep yourself going. Stay away from vague targets (“I want to be good at English” or “I want to write fluently in English”) because there is no time limit, and whenever you sit in front of your desk, you may think “There is a lot of time left, so I can study later”. In fact, this is a widespread disease among students: procrastination, which makes them postpone their plans time and again. In short, the schedule should be stuck in a place where you can see it easily and regularly in order to be reminded of your plans and targets.
Practicing exercises of the core skills is a traditional method that has been adapted by various generations of students, but we cannot deny its effectiveness. Exercises vary from printed to online ones, and you can choose materials from famous publishing houses with just a click of the mouse. Through many attempts, your English will be pushed to a higher level.
IMPROVE PARTICULAR SKILLS
Listening skills, with which we can understand others, are undoubtedly of utmost importance. And here are some useful tips for your advancements as regards the skills.
- Listening to music
You must have heard about this method at least once before. The reason behind people’s preference for it is its ability to help them relax and elevate their English. If this is new to you, you should start by listening to simple songs, and write down their lyrics on your own. You may not make out some words, just leave a blank and check them all on the Internet. Keep a notebook of new words for future revision, and your wider vocabulary is a foregone conclusion. Patterns in every language support each other, and indeed you can only understand spoken English when you know the words. You can also listen to music when you are on the bus, or waiting for your order at the coffee shop without papers and pens with you, too! You are completely wrong if you think you can learn nothing new, but the fact is that passive listening helps train your ears and accustom you to standard pronunciation.
- Watch news programs
There’s nothing greater than keeping yourself abreast of the latest events all over the world while your English listening skills are steadily improved. There are various channels which provide on-the-scene pieces of news with great accuracy such as: CNN, BBC, Wall Street Journal, etc., which you can place your trust in. Also, you can learn how pronunciation, intonation and even the accent of the TV presenters or correspondents when you listen to them on a regular basis
You can go for all types of books, magazines or articles you like, as long as, of course, there are words within to read. On doing this, your reading skills and speed as well as writing skills can be better, not to mention the dramatic increase of your knowledge. Also, there has been evidence that reading enhances your imagination, lower levels of stress, and boosts your sleep. It is a cost effective way to get you closer to your English goals, not to mention its mental, physical values and the gain in your understanding of the world around you. There should be nothing coming between you and reading, as once you have managed to find your likes, you need not worry about the rest (reading will do that for you!)
Personally, I think English learners have greatest difficulty mastering speaking skills, as I always come across such questions as “How can I communicate fluently and confidently?” or “How to speak English without hesitation?”, both in real life and the virtual world. However, all you should do is to take it easy and keep a positive mind instead of being under stress, as it will make you trip over your words more easily. You cannot reach your target of effective communication, and even come over as being timid and coward-the most hated characteristics in learning languages. So, do not think that speaking fluently is an impossible mission, and jump at the chance of talking to foreigners whenever possible. You may eventually realize that you have done much better than expectations, but prior to that proud moment, you need a little courage to get the better of yourself.
Conquering writing skills is quite a challenge to all language learners, because it requires the use of academic words and accuracy. Accuracy here can refer to the use of punctuation, or the fact that you should not use idioms, phrasal verbs or abbreviations in your writing. However, it does not mean that there is nothing you can do to better the situation. You can join writing forums or write a blog of your own, where a lot of like-minded people can see and offer practical advice so that you will sound more natural and professional. There are many people out there who are willing to assist you overcome your obstacles, and help is always close at hand for those who need it. With an ardent desire to learn and hard work, you will achieve your ambitions before long!
Above is useful advice from the bottom of my heart, and I hope you can make progress with my tips. This post concentrates on your attitudes towards learning English rather than learning materials, which you can find millions of results online as I see a lot of potential students are hindered by their shyness. A combination of confidence and hard work is totally important to your success, and do as I said before: Take it easy!