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8 Everyday Activities to Improve Your English
May 9, 2018
You’ve decided to start learning a new language, but perhaps you’re finding practicing too time-consuming to commit to in your free time. There are lots of unique and creative ways to practice English without altering your day-to-day routine too much.
Below are 8 everyday activities to improve your English - dive in, and make the most of this great opportunity.
Confidence is key when it comes to learning a new language, but as we all know, that is often hard to come by. So, where does your new found confidence come from? Making mistakes! It does sound counter-intuitive, but making mistakes and learning from them, is the most effective way to progress with language. Test out new phrases and vocabulary at every opportunity – you’ll soon find that those mistakes aren’t haunting, but motivating you.
Think In English
Translating from your native language to English in your head can be exhausting. The solution is to start thinking in English. Take it step-by-step, take certain everyday activities that require communication and force yourself to think in English while completing them – ordering a coffee, asking for information, speaking with your friends, are all simple ways to get used to thinking in English.
Keep a Diary
Whenever you stumble across new vocabulary, new phrases, or new pronunciations make a note of them somewhere, and practice them in your free time. Repeat the word aloud to yourself so you can hear your pronunciation – for this it’s useful to make note of the phonetics of each new word too. You can find helpful tips here.
Tongue Twisters are a series of words, arranged in a specific sequence making it difficult to pronounce altogether. They are really useful for pronunciation, and they’re quite fun ways to laugh with your friends – because believe me; everybody makes mistakes when it comes to tongue twisters. You can find a whole bunch of them right here.
Join a Conversation Group
Joining a conversation group is a great way to practice your English and move outside your comfort zone. There are plenty to choose from, even right here at ISI we run our very own Conversation Corner, or you can join in with Language Ireland here.
Why not go one step further, and set one up with your friends. Agree to meet once a week for a coffee, and only speak English – you can even select topics to prepare on; a TV show, a book, music, etc. This is a great habit to get in to!
Listen, Watch, Read – Repeat
Action Movies, Romance Novels, or Heavy Metal – it doesn’t matter what your tastes are, but start rediscovering them in English. Step 2 – be active; take notes while watching, reading, or listening if you come across vocabulary or phrasing that’s new to you. Make a note in your diary, and return to it later for practice!
Focus on Fluency
When you’re starting off, building confidence is essential. While grammar is very important, don’t get consumed by it – practice conversing, and the consistency with which you talk. Speaking out loud to yourself, or a friend, for 2-3 minutes at a time non-stop, is a simple way to work on this aspect. Remember – don’t be afraid to make mistakes!
Set Achievable Goals
Everybody learns at a different pace, so it is unrealistic to expect complete fluency instantly. It takes time. Each week set a new, specific goal to achieve. This can be anything from conversing, to tenses, to listening, to pronunciation – whatever it is, keep it simple and realistic! Your confidence and fluency will grow simultaneously.
Now that you have the tips, get out there and make the most of everyday practicing your English and enjoy your experience here, with ISI.
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