As you work to improve your English skills, it’s always helpful to have some tricks and tips to help you stay motivated. With that in mind, we’ve collated these eight simple tips from fellow English language learners, to help you on your quest…
1. Set yourself small goals. Learning English is a long process, and it may take years to progress from one level to the next. That’s why it’s important to set yourself achievable goals. At Pearson, we work with thousands of English teachers worldwide to define what it means to ‘be at a level’ in English. Learn more about the GSE Learning Objectives.
2. Create a study schedule. Ensure this schedule works around your daily responsibilities and make sure to keep it simple! Try breaking up your English language learning over the course of an entire day, which may make it feel less daunting.
3. Practice a little bit every day. Even if it’s listening to an English podcast during your commute or practicing your favourite words while having your breakfast — every little bit of practice helps!
4. Discover what type of learner you are: Auditory, visual or tactile. Use this as a basis for how you spend time studying. For instance, a visual learner may benefit from flashcards (see point 7), while an auditory learning may benefit from watching a television programme in English.
5. Turn on music in English. Rhythms and rhymes have been found to stimulate the brain and improve learning. In fact, our research found that music can be an invaluable tool when learning English, as it helps with pronunciation, word boundaries and vocabulary.
6. Watch movies with English dialogue. Movies are a great source of native conversation and vocabulary. Plus, the visual nature of film allows you to experience nonverbal context too — such as facial expressions and hand gestures — accompanying and contextualising the film’s dialogue. Above all, watching a film is a fun and motivational way to develop English language skills.
7. Learn new vocabulary with flashcards. While this may be the oldest studying trick in the book, students around the world use flashcards because they work! Use our daily Word of the Day email to get some inspiration for your flashcards.
8. Track your progress. To gain a sense of accomplishment, it’s important to know where you’ve started. We’ve just introduced a new way to measure progress in English. Have a look at it to quickly discover what your areas of strength and weakness are.
Finally, it’s important to keep in mind that not every learning trick will work for you. So, if you find that chatting with native-English speakers helps you progress faster but you’re not always able to converse with them face-to-face, spend more of your time communicating online with your English speaking friends and contacts.