Watch TV shows and movies in English
If you have an intermediate level of English, watching TV shows and movies in English will help you to improve your listening skills, grammar, and vocabulary. Make a plan for yourself. For example, you could plan to watch TV for one hour a day or watch one movie a week in English. You can choose to put subtitles in your native language in order to have a translation of what’s being said, or you can put subtitles in English if you want to read the words while hearing their pronunciation. There are tons of ways to access TV shows in English; the internet, DVDs or just simply change the language setting on your TV to the original audio for programs that are filmed in English.
Listen to music
There is no shortage of music in English for you to listen to! Find songs that you like and look for the lyrics online. Look up the words that you don’t understand and learn the song! This will help you to broaden your vocabulary and help you with your listening skills.
Read the news in English
Find newspapers or online news websites in English to better your reading skills. You can find simple news articles on the BBC news website called, “English in the News”. When you come across new and unknown words, look them up in the dictionary or use the context and surrounding words to understand them. Write any news words down and review them later. This will also give you the vocabulary necessary to discuss current events in English.
Find yourself a speaking partner! Through a language exchange, you can help someone learn your language as they help you learn theirs. There are many places online to help you find a native English speaker to do a language exchange with. In some cities, there are meet-ups at bars or restaurants where people get together to do a language exchange. Language exchanges can be in person or over Skype, choose what’s best for you!
Travel or study abroad
If you’re starting to get comfortable with your English level why not go and try it out in everyday situations? If you have the means to travel to an English speaking country or better yet, study or work in one, it is the best way to develop your English skills. Being immersed daily in English will leave you with no choice but to improve!
Keep a notebook of new words
In order to remember the new words you have learned and want to learn in the future, it is a good idea to carry a small notebook and pen with you. In this notebook you can write down all of the new English words you encounter from day to day. You can also write words that you want to learn and look them up in a dictionary at a later time. When you have free time, pull out the notebook and study your word list.
Plan to take a test
Are you starting to gain confidence in your English skills? Sign yourself up for an official exam! There are various English language level tests. The official Cambridge exams are helpful if you would like to use your English skills to find better work opportunities, the Cambridge First Exam is desired by many employers. It may be a good idea for you to work towards preparing for this exam. When you set a goal for yourself, it will give you more motivation to study and improve!
Listen to the radio from English speaking countries
Use Tunein.com to listen to radio stations from all over the world. Choose a station from an English-speaking country and listen to it in your free time. As mentioned above, listening to music is a great way to improve your English. Listening to a radio station will give you practice with listening to the conversational English of the Djs and callers as well as hearing the song lyrics in English.
Download a dictionary to your phone
Download a dictionary application to your phone. There are many applications available, just make sure it translates between English and your native language. If you are a Spanish speaker, Spanishdict is a very helpful application. It includes a dictionary as well as translations of words in all of their different contexts with examples. If you need to know a word quickly during a conversation or if you are reading and need to look up a word you will have access to it at any time.
If you feel a bit lost learning English on your own, sign up for some classes. You can go to a language academy or hire a private teacher to come to your house or workplace and give classes that are based on your needs and personal goals. Our academy, Dreaming California, can help you find a native English teacher that is perfect for you! Check out our website at www.dreamingcalifornia.es.
And last but not least…
Embrace your mistakes and don’t be scared to speak!
EVERYONE makes mistakes while learning a language, so don’t be afraid to make them! If you don’t speak and make mistakes, no one can correct you, and therefore you will not progress. In order to learn a language well, you must practice speaking it – it is essential. Don’t let your fear of making mistakes hold you back from improving!