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. 

ESL Listening Activity: Philippines

English (ESL) Listening Activity: Philippines

The Philippines is an island nation in the southwest Pacific Ocean. The Philippines form a chain of more than seven thousand islands. The capital of the Philippines is Manila. The Philippines have a population of more than 95 million people. Of this 95 million only about 2 million live in the capital city of Manila. The Philippines is located near China and Malaysia.

The Philippines is known for its beautiful beaches. In land on some of the islands you will find hills and steep mountains. On the island of Luzon, there is an active volcano. Millions of years ago the islands that now make up the Philippines were all under water. After earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, they eventually immerged from the sea. There are still earthquakes every year in the Philippines.

The weather in the Philippines is tropical. Most days the average temperature is 80F (or 27C). There is also a long rainy season every year from May to November.

Different groups of people live in the Philippines. The Aeta and Malay are the main ethnic groups but there are more than eighty represented in this island nation. People that live in the Philippines are called Filipinos. In the Philippines, people speak more than 80 languages. Filipino is a language that is based on Tagalog. It is one of the official languages. English is the other official language of the Philippines.

Filipino families are usually pretty large. It is not uncommon for grandparents, parents, children, aunts, uncles and cousins to live together. They often live in a compound; which is a group of houses that are close together. In a ‘typical’ Filipino family that father goes to work while the mother stays home and takes care of the children, home and shopping.

Manila, is a large city. It has many skyscrapers, cars and people. Is the city you can find both very rich people and people living in absolute poverty in little shacks made out of cardboard and metal.

ESL Listening Activity: Dominican Republic

English (ESL) Listening Activity on the Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is an island nation in the Caribbean Sea. The island that both the Dominican Republic and Haiti share is names Hispaniola. About 2/3 of the island is the Dominican Republic ad 1/3 is Haiti. It is located between Cuba on the west and Puerto Rico in the east.

Christopher Columbus ‘discovered’ Hispaniola in 1492 but there were indigenous people there before that. The Taino and Ciboney people were already living their when the Spaniards arrived.

The Dominican Republic seems to have it all. It has large cities, beautiful beaches, winding rivers and vast mountain ranges. The capital of the Dominican Republic is Santo Domingo. Pico Duarte is the highest point in the Caribbean. The three largest and most populous cities in the Dominican Republic are Santo Domingo in the South, Santiago in the center of the country and Puerto Plata on the North coast. The president, as of 2012 is Danilo Medina. The Dominican Republic has population of more than 10 million people.

The Dominican Republic has a hot tropical climate. Rain and dry seasons divide the year. The average rainfall a year is 60 inches. Hurricanes and tropical storms do occasionally hit the Dominican Republic.

What is the Dominican Republic known for? There is large tourism industry in the Dominican Republic. In the last years the Dominican Republic has welcomed approximately 4 million of tourists each year from the United States, Canada, Western Europe and most recently the Americas.

The Dominican Republic produces large amounts of sugar, rice, coffee, sugarcane, rum and cacoa and they export many of these agricultural goods to other countries.

The infrastructure of the Dominican Republic is subpar compared to other Latin American countries. There are often long periods of outages without electricity and no running water and the countries public education system is dismal. The corruption and overall apathy of the Dominican people could be a source of miserable organization.

Despite the problems of the country’s infrastructure, the majority of Dominican people have a positive outlook on life. Dominicans enjoy music and dancing. Bachata, Merengue, Salsa and Reggeaton are the most popular types of music in the Dominican Republic. The most popular sport is baseball. Dominoes are also played very often as well.

Dominicans eat a lot of rice, pink beans and chicken. Plantains and yucca are also a favorite food. Dominicans also eat a wide variety of fruits that often grow in their own backyards.

Test your English listening comprehension on the Dominican Republic. 

Dominican Republic


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