Is your English level stopping you from studying abroad? Today, you can improve your English skills for free! With hundreds of free apps, websites and resources available, you can reach this goal in fast and effective ways.
English is the world’s most studied language – knowing how to speak it can open new life possibilities such as studying at a university abroad, moving to another country, or even getting better jobs.
In this blog, you’ll find out the 6 best ways to improve your English! 😉
#1 Four Core Skills
When learning a language, you have to equally focus on the 4 core skills to be able to use it: writing, reading, listening, and speaking.
Because of schools and examination systems, most of the learners end up being better in reading and writing than in listening and speaking.
However, this makes it hard for people to communicate in English or use the right words to express themselves.
Also, this can lead to misunderstandings and frustrations if you don’t exactly understand what the person in front of you is saying.
This is why you have to pay attention to all the 4 skills to master fluency. Writing and reading are often improved through textbooks, but how about the other two?
Well, you can improve your listening skills in English by:
- Watching movies, shows, TED Talks, and listening to songs and podcasts, etc.
- Learning about the different accents and identifying which one you would like to work on. For example, if you are planning to study in Australia, look for content on YouTube with Australians to get more exposure to the accent.
- Increasing your vocabulary so that you recognize more words throughout the conversations.
- The speed of speech matters when you are listening; either adjust the speed on the videos to make them slower or even ask the person in front of you to speak slower so you can understand better.
And when it comes to improving your speaking skills in English, you can:
- Find a conversation partner or talk to yourself in front of a mirror
- Read aloud daily to enhance your pronunciations
- Learn English idioms to use them and sound more like a native
Generally, the four skills are connected to each other. You can’t work on your speaking skills if you don’t work on your listening skills and vice versa.
#2 Constant Practice
Just like everything else, learning a language requires time, consistency and dedication.
So, you need to establish a routine and set time daily to practice English. Now, practicing can be different for each person, depending on what activities you like.
Figure out how you learn best whether it is by memorizing, reading, speaking, summarizing or other. Typically, you would need to put aside 2-3 hours everyday to do some activities such as:
- Recording yourself speaking the language
- Keeping a notebook to write down new words or even your mistakes
- Using apps;
- Searching for events, social clubs, or people on social media to meet up with and practice fluency
Most importantly, create an atmosphere where you can feel excited and comfortable enough to learn! It can be in a quiet place by yourself or with a group.
And remember: you’ll learn more when you’re enjoying the process…
#3 Set Goals
When we’re at school, we tend to study the most during exam season. This is because we know that there is a test coming up and we need to study harder.
There is a goal that we are working towards: getting a good mark.
This can also be the case when you are learning a new language. To be more disciplined and consistent, you need to set goals and challenge yourself more.
For instance, setting goals can mean:
- Plan to take a practice test online every two months and compare results. You can find practice tests here.
- Keep all the new vocabulary in a notebook and every week, increase the number of words added.
- Record yourself speaking 5 times a day and in the last time, you are only allowed to have no more than 3 mistakes.
- Write an essay and have someone edit it for you and give you a score out of 10.
These are just examples of how you can track your progress and improve based on the results!
#4 Study English Abroad
To reach a more advanced level in English, you can also take an English course abroad.
A lot of the new language schools are implementing new learning methods that do not just include reading and writing, but also communicative workshops.
During these communication periods, you will improve your speaking and listening skills with other students and at the same time be supervised by teachers to correct your mistakes.
Not only that, but also studying in an English speaking country will give you the chance to practice the language on a daily basis, whether it was at school or in a grocery store.
If your goal is to study at a university abroad after improving your English, there is even a better option for you: English for Academic Purposes.
It is a program for international students who want to develop their academic reading, writing, speaking and listening skills.
It is offered at post-secondary institutions in Canada, Australia, USA for students to improve their knowledge and then transition to a degree program after.
The benefits of English for Academic Purposes (EAP) program include:
- You will gain English language skills and understand the style of teaching, research methods, and all about the universities’ culture.
- After completing the program, the staff will help you transition to a degree program to complete your studies at the same institution.
- You’ll make friends with students at the university before even starting your degree program and make connections with other international students.
Some examples of institutions that offer this program are:
- University of British Columbia in Canada
- Ohio Wesleyan University in the USA
- The University of Adelaide in Australia
#5 Internship Abroad
If you feel like your reading and writing skills are great and only want to improve your speaking and listening skills, you might not want to go to a school for that.
Instead, a good way to enhance your fluency is to live somewhere where English is spoken around you.
Look for internship programs abroad on websites like GoAbroad, and use the filter to choose only English speaking countries.
Studying English abroad is great, but how awesome would it be to get a job there as well?
You would be forced to speak it everyday and will quickly realize that your fluency is improving!
Did you find this content interesting? Help out your friends who want to improve their English language skills and share this blog with them! 😉