Improve your English

Want to learn the English language or improve your English? Here is a list of things that you can do for achieving better English communication skills.

Practise the 4 core skills: reading, writing, speaking and listening. They all need to be worked on for you to improve.

Surround yourself in English. Put yourself in an all English speaking environment where you can learn passively. The best way to learn is through speaking.

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Be confident. People can only correct your mistakes when they hear you make them.

Practise every day. Make yourself a study plan. Decide how much time a week you are going to spend studying and stick to it. Establish a routine.

Tell your family and friends about your study plan. Get them to push you to study and also don’t let them interrupt you.

Keep a notebook of new words you learn. Use them in sentences and try to say them at least 3 times when you speak.

Do a lesson at least once a day.

Memorisation of lists is one of the most common ways of learning vocabulary for a test. It’s only a good exercise for short term studying because you often do not retain the information that you have learned for a test.

You will find words easier to remember if you try to remember an example sentence using that word rather the word on its own.

Get help! If you don’t understand something you’ve got to ask someone. Ask your teacher, classmates or friends for help.

Review! Review! Review! Make sure that you take the time to review things you have studied in the past.

Watch DVDs rather than TV. It’s better to use something that you can watch over again to catch information you might have missed the first time.

Read graded readers. These books are especially written for your level. Read a whole novel. You can do it! You’ll feel great afterwards.

Children’s books have easier words and are a good alternative to graded readers.

Newspapers are a good place to find passive constructs. Read through an article and see if you can find the passive sentences.

Read for the general meaning first. Don’t worry about understanding every word, then go back and look up new words.

For a word you don’t understand in a sentence, look at the other words around it. They will give you a hint. Try to guess the meaning from the context.

Learn root words. They’ll help you guess the meaning of words. For example:scrib = write, min = small

When you learn a new word, think of all its other forms: Beautiful (adjective),beauty (noun), beautifully (adverb).

Learn prefixes (dis-, un-, re-) and suffixes (-ly, -ment, -ful), these will help you to figure out the meaning of words and build your vocabulary.

English uses word stress. For new words, count the syllables and find where the stress is. Only one stress per word and always on a vowel. Two syllable verbs have a stress on the second syllable (beGIN). Two syllable nouns (TEAcher) and adjectives (HAPpy) stress the first.

Use English whenever you can. It’s as simple as that!

Don’t translate into English from your own language. Think in English to improve your fluency. Talk to yourself.

You can’t learn English from a book. Like driving a car, you can only learn through doing it.

The most natural way to learn grammar is through talking.

Keep an English diary or journal. Start by writing a few sentences a day and then get into the habit of writing more.

Shadow English CDs. Listen to a few sentences then repeat what you heard. Focus on the rhythm and intonation.

Mirror CDs. Read out loud along with a CD. Again, this is great for intonation, pronunciation and rhythm.

Dictation. Listen to a CD or friend and write down what you hear.

Record your voice and listen to your pronunciation and intonation. It will help you to identify your problem areas.

Use an English/English dictionary as it will help you to keep thinking in English and not translating.

Don’t become too reliant on your dictionary. Your dictionary should be an aid, not your main teacher. Try to guess the meaning of words rather than going straight for your dictionary.

You are never too young or too old to start learning English. Don’t make excuses not to learn. What are you waiting for?

Use resources which match your level. Don’t use texts/listening exercises which are too difficult or too easy. Use materials which challenge you but don’t frustrate you.

Don’t worry about making your accent perfect. It’s an important part of your cultural identity to keep your accent. Native English speakers enjoy hearing English spoken with an accent. There are many types of English: British, American, South African and so on. None of these are wrong or not as important. English is English.

Carry cue cards with you. These are small cards which you can write new words on. You can pull them out and look at them whenever you a free minute.

Be the person to start conversations in English. Try to keep the conversations moving and use listening words (‘really?’ / ‘go on…’/ ‘what happened then?’)

Learn English with a friend. You’ll have someone you can practice with and you can motivate each other to study.

Make use of the internet. It’s full of resources to help you learn: BBC Learning English ; learnenglish.ecenglish.com

Source : http://www.langports.com/100-things-you-can-do-to-improve-your-english/