Tips to Improve Your English


Decide why you want to study English. Keep this in mind when studying gets tough.

Regular study is important. Try to study a little and often, 30 minutes a day is better than 3 1/2 hours once a week. Motivate yourself by studying for an exam eg TOEFL or TOEIC.


For many people listening is the hardest language skill.

Try watching movies and TV programs, and listening to the radio, in English. Don’t be discouraged if you can’t understand everything first time, the more you listen the more you will understand. With movies on video, if you find it difficult, don’t try to watch everything at once; watch a little at a time,checking any new words in your dictionary.

Tape record English radio programs, listen to them several times.

Listen to songs. Follow the lyrics sheet that often comes with a CD. Try to write the lyrics of a song only by listening to it; you’ll probably need to listen several times with many pauses. (The lyrics of many songs can be found on the Internet by using a search engine such as Google or Yahoo!)


Practice introducing yourself in English.

Prepare a 5 minute presentation on a subject that interests you. Give it to your friends.

Speak to as many English people as possible; if you see English people in your country, say hello and ask if they need any help.

Have an “English Only” party with your friends. Have English food, beer and conversation!


Read newspaper and magazine articles that interest you. Subscribe to an English newspaper or magazine, or read one regularly on the Internet.

When you find new words try to guess their meaning before looking at them in the dictionary.

Practice reading quickly, without re-reading, to see how much you can understand (this can also help your listening). Practice different kinds of reading:

  • Scanning is reading for specific information, eg reading some adverts to find the ones that interest you.
  • Skimming (or reading for gist) is reading to get the main point of a piece of text, eg you might do this with a newspaper or magazine to decide which articles to read in full.


Keep a diary. For each day consider the “WH”-questions (what, where, who, when, why, how).

Write reviews of movies you’ve seen, restaurants you’ve eaten at etc. Describe them and say what you liked – and didn’t like about them.

Start an Internet “blog”. Update it with regular posts.

Find some English speaking penpals or email friends to practice real English communication with. Social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace are a good place to start.

Write letters to English newspapers and magazines on subjects that interest you.


Read newspaper and magazine articles that interest you. Write down any new or difficult words. Try to guess what you think they mean from how they are used.

Check the meanings in a dictionary. Try using an English-English dictionary before looking at the translation of new words.

Write down and check new words or expressions you hear in movies, songs etc.

Do crossword puzzles and other word games.

Set yourself targets for learning new words – eg try to learn 10 new words a week.


Most native speakers NEVER learn rules of grammar.

English grammar rules are complex and have many exceptions. The best way to learn grammar is by hearing and reading as much natural English as you can.

Books to improve your English

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