By Jake Smith
“How do I learn English outside the classroom?” As a teacher, I’m often asked this question by my students and the short answer is: by using what you have learned in lessons as much as possible in your everyday life. Sure, studying hard in lessons is important, but putting your books down and trying to use the English that is already somewhere in your brain is just as important to becoming fluent.
Here are 5 tips for improving and learning English outside the classroom. If you use these tips, you will improve your English much faster!
1.Take a break. You’ve been working hard!
Learning a new language is difficult and sometimes it can feel like information goes into one ear and out of the other. The good news is that research shows study breaks and enjoying yourself on your days off have a big positive impact on your learning! So, try doing the things you love, but doing them in English.
2.Read all about it! (In English)
Do you love reading about football, romance or technology? Pick up a book or a magazine about something you’re passionate about and read it in English.
A great exercise to speed up your reading is to time yourself. Put two minutes on a timer or on your phone and try to read as much as you can before the alarm sounds. After this, make notes of what you understood and then read it again much slower, this time checking what you understood was correct. Before you realise, you’ll be reading Charles Dickens as easy pickings.
3.Speak English to English Speakers
Maybe you love playing a sport like tennis, basketball or football? Try to join a local club. Use what you are passionate about to improve your English, you will enjoy yourself while improving your level. Besides, if you join a local club or team you may meet other English speakers that share your passions.
4.Tweet about your problems, but in English
Change your social media, computer settings, phone settings, email settings – everything – into English. The more you are exposed to the language the easier it will be pick up new expressions and idioms. Besides, many of our conversations nowadays are made online, so it is an important skill on the path to language learning.
5.Become a British Spy
Not literally. I don’t mean you need to be clocking into MI5 every morning and catching Evil Villains. But, you should definitely listen to other people’s conversations. Whether you are on the bus or reading a book in the park, sit slightly closer to them and try to understand what language and grammar they are using.
If you want to learn more tips like these, come meet some of our teachers and come to learn English in a great, thriving city of multiculturalism and history. Along with an intensive English course, these tips should have you speaking like a native in no time.
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