Some advice on how to improve your English.
As soon as you start traveling e seeing the world, one of the first you’ll notive is that the most common language is English. Of course, someone said, but not everyone is aware about it. I’m 35 right now and I’ve traveled enough to say that is not so obviuos that you need to know English to travel. But the truth is, that you must now the English if you want to have a good feeling abroad. But. how can I improve my english? I’ve heard thousands of people saying me ” Go in a native country and speak with other people, that’s enought!” Eeeeeee…nope! Not so fast! This is sentence is true, provided you have a good and solid english grammar in your back! Otherwise, the thing is a little bit more complicated than that!
I’ve been looking for a way to improve my english for months, and I’ve just realised that there are several points that you must be care of if you want to improve your english skills. I’ve made a lists of the things that you have to do to improve your English. But be carefull, I’m seeing that the path will be flat if you’ll follow my advice, I’m just telling you what I think you’d do to improve your skills. So let’s start.Listening.
I wanna start with the LISTENING part because, up to me, is the most difficult thing to do to improve your english. I’m Italian, so I’m not used to listening English. We all hear music on televion, we listening to music on the radio, but how much of what we hear we understand? Trust me, almost notithing! That happens because we don’t care about the word we hear, we’re focused on the sound of the song and nothing else, that’s why we don’t know what the singer is singing. So first of all my suggestion is starting watch movie and listen to music with subtitles. NOTE: don’t think that this is the right way to understand english people, this could be useful the first two months, than you have to forget the subtitles! Why? the answer is super easy, people don’t speak with subtitles. But at the beginning this is the best way to understand what we are hearing. My favorites website for movies is Netflix. There are plenty of movies, tv series and so on, so you can’t get bored here! But you can also watch movies everywhere on the web or, if you like sports, than watch sports channels, such as ESPN or SKYSPORT. Insted if you like music more that movies, so I suggest using Musixmatch. This app is awesome, it gives you songs’ lyrics in real time, and this is great! Another way is to listen English radios and english podcasts. My favorite website (there is an app as well) is Tunein, which provides thousands of radio stations from all over the world. Speaking about podcasts I’ve severval choices in my pocket such as “English as a second language (ESL) podcast”, “English phrasal verbs podcast” and “The English we speak”. You can find them with any kind of podcast app. My favourite is Overcast. Don’t be scared and don’t give up soon. I know that this could be really difficult at the beginning, and you’ll be tempted to set your favorites channels in your native language, but don’t do this. Give yourself some time to get used to this new process, even if it takes times.Speaking.
Look. I’ll be totally honest with you. The process of speaking is incredible complex and I’m gonna explain you why. When you start speaking your brain has to deal with several problems. You don’t know the language, so your brain has to think about: 1. What you want to say in your language 2. Translate in English, and this means that you must think about the right tense to use, the right words order, and the words themselves! 4. Pronunce the words with the correct sounds and pitch 5. During the points 1,2,3 and 4 your brain, unconsciously, is thinking again and againg if everything is correct! If you wanna speak well the only way is to repeat and repeat and repeat, until the all process becomes automatised. Practice repeating what you hear on movies, sing the song you like and try to express your feeling in English, use expressions every time you have the oppurtunity. Don’t be afraid of speaking and making mistakes, if you don’t try you’ll never learn. Finally I’ll give you the most common and the best way to improve your speaking, go to a native country and speak with people.
The most of us now are thinking that this is the boring part of the process. This is true, but only if you don’t know how to do this. I’m one of the milions of people who don’t remember anything, and this is a massive problem if you need to learn words by heart, so how can you overcome this? I’ve found a solution to this problem using Twitter and Facebook.. Yes, I know. You’re know wondering how Twitter and Facebook can help you with vocabulary. I use it to follow people who teach English, that’s it. There are many people on Twitter who post daily post related to vocabulary and my favorite one is “BBC learning english”. On Facebook there is a wonderful page called “Learn English Site”, and this is the best page to learn vacabulary I’ve ever seen. Last but not least, just read. Do you have a book in your library? If so, check online and by the English version! Read English books non ‘native language books’!.
Writing and Grammar.
Exercise, exercise, exercise. Practise, practice, practice. No chance, and no other ways to improve your writing and grammar skills. Personally, I’m excercising right now, writing this blog. Do excercise on line, there are website full of english excercise to practise, write down everything you think, and than check if you’re doing right of wrong. Check in your app store, find the app you like the most and use it. Duolingo, Babbel, Mosalingua, these are the 3 most popular app on the market right now.
Starting right now, go on your phone settings and change the language to Engligh, and do the same in your Ipad and computer. Everything around you has to drive you into the language. Even the little thing can be useful. Be brave and change your habits now. Think in Engligh, do in English.