Learning doesn’t end when your English lesson is over! The best way to learn English is to try to immerse yourself in the language as much as you can. The more resources and methods you use outside the classroom….the faster you’ll learn.
There are lots of things you can do to improve your English….
What’s the Best Way To Learn English?
- Buying, and reading as many English language books as possible
- Listen to English language radio stations
- Watch English TV, Movies and news
- Listen to Native Speakers
- Home stay/Study abroad – Truly adventurous….total immersion
- Use the internet
- Use language software
- Test yourself
Reading Improves Speaking
Students usually attend a conversation class with a native speaker to help them improve their speaking skills. However, reading a lot of English language books, magazines, and website pages – made for native readers – will greatly improve your speaking skills.
Reading will help with sentence building and grammar skills – Because You can see natural phrases in writing, easily remember them, and apply them in your real-life conversations. Listening can be hard work for a lot of people. Reading is definitely easier, as the dialogue is written down in a book in front of you.
Which Books Should I read?
My wife’s English level is considered near native…but she still loves learning new phrases and vocab from reading. She reads anything from Grisham, Ludlum, and Clancy, to Harry Potter and Roald Dahl.
Reading lower-level or children’s books is OK…whatever works for you. Just read something interesting and fun that you chose for yourself (not a boring and unrealistic ESL textbook from the school) it’ll motivate you and help you learn more easily.
It’s a much nicer way to work on your grammar too….you’ll want to read it….and not see it as work or duty. You’ll learn stuff without even knowing it! The same goes for watching movies and listening to music.
You can find English language magazines about almost anything these days. It shouldn’t be too hard to find one on a topic that interests you.
What do you do if you don’t have any English language magazines in your area? Yep…..you guessed it…..go online!
Most popular magazines and newspapers are also available to view online, and they’re sometimes even better because they have more stuff available. Newspapers will also help you learn more about the culture of the country too.
Try reading a book out loud to practice your pronunciation. You could also record yourself while reading to check your errors at the end.
A note on ESL textbooks
I’m not saying to completely avoid your class textbook…or that they’re useless. They definitely have a place in your English learning, but unfortunately…..some authors tend to only include a lot of uninteresting and unnatural sounding dialogues.
They’re not too full of free talking practice either. This can leave you sounding a bit “robotic” when trying to have a conversation in the “real” world. So…not really the best way to learn English.
They’re good for testing yourself and they do have a progressive system and structure (Good for reference). A good teacher will use the textbook’s content and structure, to create their own lesson…..hopefully making it more interactive and fun.
Watch free Harry Potter movies.