When it comes to learning English, taking regular classes with an experienced teacher is all but essential for ensuring that you get the grammar of the language worked out as well as possible, and be able to raise any questions as you go.
While English lessons with a knowledgeable and well-qualified teacher can be invaluable, no one ever becomes perfectly fluent in a language without getting around to practising it outside of the classroom as well.
You can learn English from many sources. In your daily life, the list is endless.
So, whether you want to fit in a bit of extra English language practice on your evenings or weekends, or you’re feeling really ambitious and want to immerse yourself in the language around the clock, here are some of the best ways to practice English outside of the classroom.
Socialise with native English speakers, in English
Easily the best and most effective way to immerse yourself in the English language, is to socialise with native English speakers – in English.
If you live in an English-speaking country and are already fairly conversationally adept at speaking the language, this will be significantly easier than it might be in other circumstances. Nonetheless, it’s common for expats to remain within their own communities and – in many cases – to miss out on regular opportunities to socialise with members of the native population.
If you do not live in an English-speaking country, there is a good chance that you will nonetheless be able to find specific meetup groups targeted at English-speaking expats, or specifically focused around providing an environment where people from different linguistic backgrounds can practice their English.
Speaking English in a social context will give you a lot of insight into how the language flows in casual speech, and will also train you in the use of different idioms and expressions that are used in everyday speech.
Watch English Language Films
Yes, you watching action-packed films or musicals is an enjoyable way to learn English. You can practice your excellent listening skills, and practice learning language and sentence structures all at the same time by simply switching on the subtitles.
Write down or draw images of your favourite scenes and characters from the film, be creative, add colour and annotations with simple sentences.
Listen to Songs in English
Listening to the radio and beautiful songs that get you singing along. You can check the song lyrics and practice your sentence structures, punctuation, and significantly improve your language range.
Pick out your favourite words and see if you can create your own poem or song.
You could even record your poem or song and play them back to practice your English language skills.
Read English novels (and keep your dictionary nearby)
Reading novels in English is an excellent exercise in increasing your understanding of the written language.
Not only will this introduce you to things like metaphor, vernacular, and complex or even archaic phrases, but it will give you an insight into the culture of the country in question.
Of course, if you’re going to start reading novels in English, you should keep your dictionary and translation tool of choice within close reach – and, depending on how fluent you are in the language, the process might be slow going.
One of the best ways of getting your English language skills up to scratch so that you can dive into the great literary classics, is to sign up for our courses.
Listen to Audiobooks
Listen to audiobooks in English, and this can help to strengthen your listening skills, you can practice learning speech and build valuable skills to help you create wonderfully language-rich sentences.
Create a story of your own to practice any new words that you have learned.
Watch TED Talks
Subscribe and enjoy watching TED Talks daily. Watching TED Talks will help to develop your concentration, listening skills and help you to build a wide range of vocabulary. The content of TED Talks available covers everything from; Media Studies, Business, Finance, Technology and many more topics.
Draw Pictures to Visualise Words
Draw pictures of what you have learned and create a picture book. The images can help you visualise words and build ideas in your mind of the words you have learned. For example; You could learn the word - Flower – for this you could draw a picture of flowers, or you could break the word down – F for Friend, L for Love, O for Orange, W for window, E for Egg and R for Ring. You can build your words by using phonics learning and sound out each letter you speak.
Create a Vocabulary Notebook
You can use your vocabulary notebook, to write down all the words you learn in a day. Over time it will build into a great resource that you can use to help you create sentences and stories of your own.
Do not just write down the translation of the new word that you have learned. Find the definition in English, learn the different spellings of the word, practice the punctuation and then use it in your writing daily. Try and learn at least ten new words a day.
Read About Something That Interests You
Reading out loud and enjoying practising forming words can be the best way to improve your spoken English. Choose a topic you love and start reading every day, and it will build your confidence when speaking English.
Speak English whenever you can, everywhere you go. You may think it’s a little silly, but every time you talk to another person from a different nationality or a native speaker, you will begin to start building your confidence with the English language and exercise your knowledge muscles.
Don’t be scared about making mistakes, all you have to do is try, and the more you talk in English, the more comfortable and the more exciting life will become. If you make a mistake when speaking, just try to correct the error and find a new way of trying to describe the word instead.