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 Universe, Lyrics.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 iTalki, verbling, 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.