English is the most popular and standard language in the world, so why shouldn’t you be able to learn it as well? With the internet having so many sources of information (videos, podcasts, online classes, e-books, webinars, and more) freely available, there is no better time to learn English – even from the comfort of your own home and on your own time!
This article will explain the top 5 tips you must know to learn English and the 4 essential English skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. So let’s get your English ready for that international job or to enjoy that awesome Hollywood movie you’ve been wanting to watch!
Top 5 Tips you must know to learn English
Here are some tried and tested top tips to help you learn English like a pro.
Tip 1: Use Language Learning Software
Current technology gives us so many tools to help us learn and maintain our English and other language skills. They can help us train daily, identify and correct our mistakes in our conversations and work, and also help us stay on track with our English studies. There are many kinds of language software to help us with our different English needs, click the headings to go to their websites to learn more.
Source: Google Images
Yes, we’ve all been there! When we all needed a word that we just couldn’t find for our assignment in our second language class, Google Translate saved the day. Google Translate is basically an electronic dictionary for almost any language in the world, helping millions of people to learn words from other languages in their daily lives. If you want to expand your vocabulary on English from another language, Google Translate is your first pick. But be careful when translating entire sentences from another language, as it may not give you the correct word order for sentences.
Grammarly is an amazing tool that is basically your private proofreader for all your emails, work, and documents – before you send them to your colleagues, friends, or others. It picks up your mistakes and gives you their corrections, helping you learn how to write better English.
Duolingo is a mobile app that helps you learn English daily and on the go. It focuses on helping you increase your skills in vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation. This handy tool is a must-have for all aspiring English students, as it gives you daily reminders and fun challenges to complete which help you to improve your English while still having fun!
Tip 2: Read, Watch and Listen to as much English Media as you can
Learning English should be fun and exciting. What better way to learn than to read interesting books, posts, and blogs; watch a fun movie, series, and Youtube videos; and listen to your favorite singers, podcasts, and radio stations? Learning English while you are doing things you like is a practical and fun way to do it because you will be applying your skills as you are enjoying media. Here are some good sources of English media that you can use:
YouTube is the biggest source of easily accessible video content on any topic imaginable. There are hundreds of channels that are dedicated to helping you learn and improve your English skills.
Check out this comprehensive video from English Class 101, a well-known English teaching channel with over 6 Million subscribers!
Source: Careers Portal
Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter connect you with people all over the world – including both native and non-native English speakers. Sharing posts, photos, and conversations with people who speak English is a great way to practice your English and learn nice phrases, expressions, and other cool skills. There are also dedicated pages focused on learning English such as Learning English with Oxford (Facebook Page), @HappyEnglishNY (Twitter) and How do you do? Learn English Every Day! (Pinterest) – so check them out!
English as a Second Language (ESL) Podcast
The English as a Second Language (ESL) Podcast is a popular and widely used podcast that helps over 15 million students in over 189 countries worldwide to learn English. It is an amazing way to learn how to listen and speak English, with over 1800 lessons! There is a subscription for membership, but you can try your first lesson for free, so you can see if it works for you.
Tip 3: Learn with a Friend or Group
Having a friend or speaking partner to help practice your speaking skills within conversations can help you greatly. People often say that speaking English regularly can help it stick in your head much better than reading or writing. Besides, one of the main points of learning English is to communicate, so it’s good to practice with people often. Having a friend or even a study group can also help keep you motivated and committed to your goals of learning English – having support can do wonders for your learning journey, both face-to-face and online.
Check out this video from Real English with Real Teachers to learn how to make English Friends
Tip 4: Keep a Diary of your learned English words and phrases
This is a classic way to help remember and learn the new vocabulary and phrases you have learned from a conversation, a post, or even a movie. Keeping track of these can help you build a library of English to regularly learn from.
You could buy a regular diary or journal to write in, or you could use a mobile app such as Evernote or Notion so that you can jot down important words and expressions on the go. It is important to make a habit of doing this, so try to write down at least 3 to 5 words and/or expressions every day.
Tip 5: Take an Online class
Millions of students are joining the virtual classroom every day. There are hundreds of online English classes and teachers that offer many engaging and helpful lessons and activities to help you improve your English.
Amazing Talker offers professional 1 on 1 English Tutors and online classes around the world to help you learn English with satisfactory results guaranteed.
Amazing Talker offers flexible lesson plans and accommodates your learning needs. Check out their website to see what lesson plans, rates, and tutors suit your needs to make sure you get the most out of this opportunity.
Read a more extensive and detailed list of 10 other online English courses here.
The 4 Fundamental English Skills
There are 4 major skills that are important to learn for you to be good at understanding and communicating in English. These are: Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing.
These 4 Skills are split into Receptive (Input) and Productive (Output Skills)
Receptive skills deal with what you take in (INput), such as reading words on paper and listening to words being spoken. Productive skills deal with what you put out (OUTput), such as speaking words and writing them down.
If you are good at only one of these skills, you will not be able to use English properly. This is why it is important to study all skills equally, to have a good balance between them. When you communicate with someone, the person you are communicating with uses one of the opposite skills (example: if you speak, they listen). Therefore, in order to understand each other, we must be skillful in all 4 areas.
To further excel and improve your business English, check out these Business English courses here.
People generally learn these four skills in the following order:
- Listening: When people are learning a new language they first hear it spoken.
- Speaking: Eventually, they will try to repeat and speak what they heard.
- Reading: After a while, they see the spoken language depicted symbolically in print.
- Writing: Lastly, they reproduce these symbols on paper in writing.
Let’s look at these 4 skills in more detail and learn how to develop them effectively:
Textbooks can help teach you about grammar and vocabulary, but when you are having a conversation, they might help you as much. If you want to learn to speak in English, it’s better to start by listening first. You will be able to learn useful vocabulary and grammar by listening more without even having to memorize them.
Top Tips to Improve your Listening Skills
- Listen to the radio or a podcast Listening to radio stations or podcasts are a great way to pick up on English dialect, common expressions and tones. TuneIn.com is a radio station that is designed for English students to listen and learn better. It is free to use by anyone worldwide.
- Watch English Television Programs Children’s shows on English TV are actually very useful for English learners. These shows can also have subtitles to help you learn more accurately about what you are listening to.
Check out this Channel’s video on YouTube that helps you find the best series for learning English
- Call Automated Answering Machine recordings This can help you learn the correct pronunciation and formal English without confusion from different people. These numbers can be found at the front of telephone books in many English-speaking countries. But before you call them, make sure that you are calling the free numbers.
- Use listening resources from the Internet You can use many online sources to learn how to listen to English better, such as:
Learning to speak better English is important, and helps you focus on your pronunciation, tone, and dialect. Speech is one of the main ways of communicating daily, so this is a skill that must be developed to help you become fluent in English.
Top Tips to Improve your Speaking Skills
- Find a Speaking Partner to practice with There are many ways to find partners and people to practice speaking with. Social media, study groups, and friends are one of the few ways you can regularly practice your speaking skills and also to learn your pronunciation better. Finding native speakers to help you will help you refine your skills even more professionally over time. Here are some good places to find some speaking partners online: Top 13 Places to Find an English Speaking Partner Online
- Talk to yourself Talk to yourself in the mirror at home, record yourself speaking, or simply talk out aloud while learning. You might be uncomfortable hearing your own voice in English at first, but you will get used to it over time. This is the best way to practice, gain confidence in your speech and pronunciation without fear of mistakes and confusing others.
- Practice Tongue Twisters Tongue twisters are a great way to help you practice your pronunciation and get confident in speaking English. It can also help you figure out which sounds and letters you struggle with so that you can focus on improving them. Here is some useful information on tongue twisters that can help you practice your pronunciation: Tongue-Twisters
Reading is a fundamental process in learning any subject, including English. This is why it is so important to develop this skill. Books are the most classic and obvious way to start learning this skill because it both teaches you the language and help you understand how to use it correctly with punctuation, grammar, and sentence construction. There are also blogs, posts, and articles that can help you improve your reading skills.
Top Tips to Improve your Reading Skills
- Always keep a Dictionary Keeping a Dictionary ensures you are always prepared to learn a new word and that you are never left confused during reading. You can have a hard copy dictionary such as the Oxford English Dictionary or an online one such as the Cambridge Dictionary, which also helps with translations from other languages.
- Read at an appropriate level It is important to make sure that you start reading at a level that is appropriate for you. Reading more difficult books at first can make it harder and more intimidating to learn English and may push you away from wanting to continue. You should start reading at a decent level so that you have the opportunity to learn and stay motivated as you read.
- Read things that interest you If you are enjoying what you are reading, half the battle is already won. Reading enjoyable books, comic books, and even social media posts can greatly help you learn more efficiently as you are more engaged with the material and are more motivated to keep learning as you go.
For many English learners, writing is the first time they actually try to produce language, rather than receive the language. So it is also an important skill to learn.
Top Tips to Improve your Writing Skills
- Practice writing in a Journal or Diary Writing in a book every day can drastically improve your ability to be fluent in English. This also helps you be creative and learn more interesting words and expressions that you can use in your daily life and work. You can even use a mobile app like Daybook or Momento to write on the go.
- Learning Spelling Rules Learning and remembering spelling rules are a fundamental part of improving your writing skills and becoming fluent in English. It makes sure you don’t fall into any common mistakes or confusion that are sometimes found in English. This will help you become more confident and professional in your English writing skills. Here are the essential English spelling rules that everyone should know, check them out: Fundamental Spelling Rules for Everyone to Know
- Get an English Pen-pal Pen-pals are a great way to regularly practice your writing with someone while learning how to write practically and for everyday conversations. It helps you become more comfortable with writing and communicating in English. With technology growing so fast, you don’t need to write letters and mail them anymore, the internet has made it much easier to find Pen-pals online. InterPals is a great place to find international Pen-pals, check it out: InterPals Penpals