15 Things You Can Do To Improve Your English Today!

Stop making excuses about not having enough time to learn English. By making small changes on a daily basis; learning English will become a habit instead of a chore (or headache). 

You don’t need to spend an hour or two each day to get better at speaking English. Try dedicating 5, 15, or 30 minutes a day to improving your English. If you really commit to practicing English every day you will get better at it. I promise! 

15 Things You Can Do Today To Improve Your English!
1. Listen to a podcast every day
Podcasts are great. You can download them for free to your ipod, phone or computer. You can listen to podcasts while you are going to work, exercising or around your house. There are many podcasts to choose from in iTunes. You don’t have to just listen to English language learning podcasts (Like the English Tonight Podcast), but can find podcasts that are of interest to you. If you are interested in Soccer, Business or Marketing there are many podcasts to listen to. Also, listening to podcasts to varying subjects will ensure that you  stay engaged while listening and learning at the same time. 

2. Change the language on your phone to English
Change the operating language on your phone to English. You can usually change the language under ‘settings’. Though it may be difficult to understand the first few days, you will learn new words in English without even realizing. 

3. Change the language on your computer operation system, Facebook, Twitter, etc. to English
You could also change the operating system language from your native language to English on your computer, tablet or on any social media site that you use; such as Facebook or Twitter. Again you will learn new vocabulary in English instantly. 

4. Read or watch the news in English articles
You may already watch or read the news on a daily basis; now try doing it in English. BBC, CNN or Google News. You will continue your “good’ habit of staying informed on what’s happening in the world and improve your English reading and/or listening at the same time. 

5. Turn on English subtitles on your TV or DVD
Check to see if you can turn on English subtitles on your TV. If you have cable or satellite TV, watch programs in English with subtitles would be helpful. Also, before watching a DVD, check to see if is has English subtitles. You can find this function on the Main Menu of the DVD or sometimes the remote has a ‘subtitles’ button. Being able to hear and see the words at the same time will help to improve your English listening comprehension and understanding.

6. Listen to Music in English and learn the lyrics
Listening to music in English is great but do you struggle to understand all of the words that they are singing? Struggle no longer! You can finds the lyrics of many songs on these two websites: A to Z Lyrics UniverseLyrics.com or you could search for the lyrics on google or your preferred search browser.

 

7. Read more in English- the news, blogs, books, magazines
There are tons of printed information in English- be it on the internet or actual physical books and magazines. Read something in English that challenges you and is interesting. There are a lot of free materials, you can often download books from Amazon Kindle store for free. Don’t have a Kindle or iReader? Don’t worry. There is an app you can download and you can read it from your computer. 

8. Write in a journal every day in English
Practice writing every day. Practicing English for five or ten minutes a day will help. Write about what you did each day in English or write a story. Don’t have any ideas? Check here –> English writing prompts

9. Learn a new word in English every day
  Want to expand your English vocabulary? Great! Check out these word of the day websites: Here, here or here. Some of the words are rather complex but you are guaranteed to expand your vocabulary if you visit them every day. 

10. Speak in English with someone
Try to find someone to speak English with; whether it be a friend, family member or colleague from your work. The more you practice talking in English the better you will get at it. It will become more natural for you and you will start to feel less nervous when you have to speak English. Don’t have anyone to speak English with? You could try visiting these sites iTalkiverbling,  MyLanguageExchange or if you really want to improve your English you could sign up for an online English group conversation class

11. Write down new words and phrases in English that you learn
Keep a small notebook or a computer document (if you prefer) of new phrases in English or words that you have learned. Keep it in a place where you can refer back to it easily. When I was learning my second language, I kept a small notebook in my purse or pocket. I would write down anything new I learned or phrases I didn’t understand and needed to look up later. 

12. Watch children’s cartoons
Watching cartoons is a great activity for learning English. You will hear simple English and be able to see illustrations or animation of what they are talking about at the same time. Cartoons are often repetitive so you may hear some things more than once to help you improve you listening comprehension. 

13. Read children’s books
Children’s books are great for English language learners. You will be able to see words and illustrations and the context is usually simple because the materials were created for children. Don’t feel bad about reading children’s books there are tons of wonderful Children’s books in English that will interest you and teach you new English. You can access some Children’s books at MagicKeys, FreeKidsBooks, or as I mentioned above in Number 7, you can download free children’s books in English on Amazon as well. 

14. Dictate (Write down) what you hear
You should ideally dictate something you can listen to over and over again. You can find listening activities on English Tonight or ton of stories in English to listen to at ESL Fast or Randall’s ESL Cyber Listening Lab. Remember, try to listen first a couple of times and write down what you hear. Then you can check when you wrote down compared to the exact transcript that is displayed on the website. 

15. Set measurable goals about learning to speak English
 You want to improve your English, right? Then you need to set a measurable goals. If you want to improve your English speaking skills you need to set a specific goal and put a plan in motion to help you succeed. Think: who, what, where, when, how?
Example of a measurable goal: I will improve my English speaking skills by enrolling in a speaking course online, finding someone from my work to speak with me two hours a week and by watching the news in English every day for 10 minutes. 

So, are you ready to stop making excuses and do something? Good!
What action will you take today to learn English?
Leave a message in the comments and let us know. 

Don’t let another day do by without improving your English. Register for our 30-Day English Challenge Course, where you will get 1 lesson a day for 30 days on interesting topics. 

Creating Good Habits

This is a free lesson from the 30-Day English Challenge Course. You can sign-up for the entire course (30 lessons) here

Today you will learn about creating good habits. First, listen and learn about creating good habits on the lesson link. After that you can do the four activities related to this topic. 

Lesson: 

 

 

 (PDF Slides of Lesson)

Daily Tasks: Day 1- Creating Good Habits 

Listening: Matt Cutts: Try Someting New- TEDx Talk (Video 3 mins 27 seconds) 

Reading: 18 Tricks to Making New Habits Stick 
While reading, think about the “tricks” to make a new habit stick. Have you ever used any of them?

Writing:  (PDF of Writing)

1. What is a good habit that your would like to develop or form?
2. How can you make this habit sustainable (or last) in your life?
3. How will you know if you reach your goal?
4. How will you feel when you achieve this goal?

Speaking: 

 Have you ever tried to form a new habit? What was it? Did you succeed? Why or Why not? How did you feel about the outcome of your goal or resolution? 

Sentences Starters to Help You Talk…
One time I tired to… 
I wanted to…
I did/didn’t succeed at __________ because ___________. 
I felt ________________ because _________________. 

 Speaking Sample: 

Creating Good Habits Quiz

Start
Congratulations - you have completed Creating Good Habits Quiz. You scored %%SCORE%% out of %%TOTAL%%. Your performance has been rated as %%RATING%%
Your answers are highlighted below.

Congrats! You have now finished Day 1 of the 30-Day English Challenge Course. 

 

Don’t let more time go by without improving your English. You can register for the other 29 lessons of the the English Challenge by clicking the button below. 

 

 

Day 1: Creating Good Habits

Welcome to the 30-Day English Challenge! 

This is Day 1. Today you will learn about creating good habits. First, listen and learn about creating good habits on the lesson link. After that you can do the four activities related to this topic. 

Lesson: 

Creating Good Habits Lesson (Click the link to view)

 (PDF Slides of Lesson)

Daily Tasks: Day 1- Creating Good Habits 

Listening: Matt Cutts: Try Someting New- TEDx Talk (Video 3 mins 27 seconds) 

Reading: 18 Tricks to Making New Habits Stick 
While reading, think about the “tricks” to make a new habit stick. Have you ever used any of them?

Writing:  (PDF of Writing)

1. What is a good habit that your would like to develop or form?
2. How can you make this habit sustainable (or last) in your life?
3. How will you know if you reach your goal?
4. How will you feel when you achieve this goal?

Speaking: 

 Have you ever tried to form a new habit? What was it? Did you succeed? Why or Why not? How did you feel about the outcome of your goal or resolution? 

Sentences Starters to Help You Talk…
One time I tired to… 
I wanted to…
I did/didn’t succeed at __________ because ___________. 
I felt ________________ because _________________. 

 Speaking Sample: 

Creating Good Habits Quiz

Start
Congratulations - you have completed Creating Good Habits Quiz. You scored %%SCORE%% out of %%TOTAL%%. Your performance has been rated as %%RATING%%
Your answers are highlighted below.

Congrats! You have now finished Day 1 of the 30-Day English Challenge Course. 

Talking about Bad Habits in English

A bad habit is something that someone does that is rude, gross or not good for them (or sometimes others). Sometimes they do their bad habit only when they are alone. Other people might not know (consciously) that they are doing something. We can see other bad habits every day in public, at school and at work. We all have bad habits.

  1. Biting Nails: Chewing or biting off parts of the finger nails
  2. Cracking Knuckles: Pulling and bending fingers until they pop or make a cracking sound
  3. Picking your Nose: Putting finger up your nose (or nostril) and taking out the boogers
  4. Twirling Hair: Spinning or twirling long hair by itself or around a finger
  5. Rolling Eyes: Raising your eye balls up and back
  6. Slouching: When people do not sit up straight, their back and shoulders curve around
  7. Picking a Wedgie: When your underwear rides up your butt crack when you are sitting or walking it is called a wedgie. Some people pull or pick it out in public.
  8. Talking with your Mouth Full: Talking when you are chewing your food
  9. Not Washing Hands: After going to the bathroom or touching something gross many people do not wash their hands and spread germs to others.
  10. Cursing: Saying words that are not appropriate and offensive to most people. Like sh*t and f*ck.
  11. Gossiping: Means that you talk about other people behind their back or when they are not there. Some people who gossip just want to find out information while others like to say mean and rude things about others.
  12. Mumbling: When someone does not open their mouth or annunciation all of the words and sounds when they are speaking.
  13. Speaking too Fast: Some people talk so fast that we do not understand them. They slur their words together and are hard to understand.
  14. Always Complaining: Saying negative things about everything no matter how minor it may be. Examples: I don’t like that car. Why is she wearing that shirt? Why is he here? I don’t like that store. I don’t want to go there.
  15. Always Being Negative: This is an ugly habit. Some people cannot find something positive in anything they do. And when they do say something positive it is almost always followed by a negative. Example: This sandwich is good but there isn’t enough meat or cheese on it.
  16. Denying Personal Responsibility: When someone constantly passes that blame or fault to another person. Saying ‘It’s not my fault.’ ‘I had nothing to do with it.’
  17. Over Committing or Always Saying “Yes”: That special someone that says ‘yes’ to everything even though they are very busy. Will you pick up a friend’s kids from work? YES! Will you make something for the bake sale? Yes! Will you take care of my dog? YES! They never know when to say ‘no’.
  18. Never Asking for Help: Someone who tries to do everything either at work or at home. Even if they are struggling to complete tasks they never will ask for help and often will say ‘no’ to help when someone offers it to them.
  19. Always Being Late: This person arrives late to everything; to work, school, appointments, and even funerals.
  20. Spitting in Public: People walking around and spitting their saliva on the ground is disgusting.
  21. Road Rage: When you drive fast or get really mad at other drivers while you are driving. It can be very dangerous when one acts aggressively while driving.
  22. Smoking/Drinking/Drugs/Junk Food: Any of these (in excess) can cause lifelong health problems.
  23. Gambling: Going to casinos or spending half your paycheck on lottery tickets
  24. Addicted to TV/Internet/Video Games/Smart Phone/Porn: Spending too much time in front of a screen it a bad habit; no matter what it is. Cannot go 1 minute without checking your email or Facebook? You’re addicted!
  25. Being a Slacker: Not doing your part of work or a project. Letting others do it for you.
  26. Procrastination: Leaving everything until the last minute or hour or day to do it.

 

What are your bad habits? Think about your friends and family. Do they have any of these bad habits?

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