5 things you can do right now to help you with your English

5 things you can do right now to help you with your English

Normally we give you guys tips that admittedly work better in our classes, either online or face to face at our school campus in central London. But what I’m going to do for you today is help you with some tips that you can use during different parts of your day or even during different activities. We are here to help you learn English!

1.Relax!

This is by far the most important tip I will ever give you. At UKCE, we always tell our students to Relax! Students always need to relax regardless of what they’re doing or how they’re doing it. Students take in much more if they’re relaxed compared to when they are stressed. Part of this as well is to lower your expectations of your own learning. I don’t know what it is about learners of English, but the expectation is usually high and the reality is far from it. Some students spend years learning English and others won’t necessarily. If you get stuck or confused, just take a deep breath and start over. Speak slower if you have to and remember to take time to pause and think about your next sentence.

2.Learn Your Most Common Sayings

This one is a little tricky because you have to really take time to notice how you speak in your own language. Ask yourself “What words and phrases do I use most often?” Learn how to say your most commonly used phrases and words in English. Some teachers are advocates of this approach as it’s also useful for students to learn chunks of language, which helps with their vocabulary. I had a friend who decided to write down a list of all of the things she said the most (most of it was ways she could talk about food) and then translate it all into the language we were learning, and then she checked it with a native speaker. She has never looked back! It was a roaring success and now I’m pleased to be sharing this story and technique with you!

3. Learn Word Forms with New Words

Whenever you discover a new word, by hearing or seeing it, drop everything and grab a pen! Write that word down and then get researching. Write the past form and the present participle and then get example sentences that helps you understand or use it. You can even draw a little picture if that helps you remember. The more information or examples you write down, the more it will help you. This way you can practise before you even say it. Take the word ‘secret’ for example. The noun is secret, the adjective is secretive, adverb is secretly, and the other version is secretively. One word turned into four and you didn’t even speak to anyone! Keeping a vocabulary notebook is an extremely useful tool. Ask your teacher for some tips. Remember, we are here to help you learn English!

4.Sing Along to English Songs

Singing along to English language songs will help you become more fluent. Yes, this is 100% true. English is a stress-timed language which means a lot of the stresses used in songs are reflective of the way we pronounce the words and connect our speech. Long story short: it’s very beneficial. .

5. Learn Phrases, Not Words

A really good idea to improve English after you’ve learnt the rudiments of the language is to learn word phrases, not just words. The likelihood is that you might well be using correct grammar and vocabulary, but it’s still not quite how a native speaker would say it. Or you are translating from your first language but others don’t say it like you do. Let’s look at an example: you could say “how are you?” but a native speaker might say “how ya doing?” or “y’right mate?” instead. Phrases and expressions can be helpful for sounding more natural when you speak and can really boost your confidence.

One way you can do this is by really listening when you’re speaking to people, or when you’re watching a film or TV show. Make a mental note and/or write it in your new vocabulary/phrase book (which we told you about it tip 3). Have a go! And remember you can always ask your teacher. We are here to help you learn English.

Laura Villa
Laura Villa