1. Start your own English language blog.
Even for those of you who don't have to write in English, writing can be an excellent way of properly learning the vocabulary and grammar you need to describe your life, hobbies and interests. If you don't know what to write about, keep a journal and write in it every day. You could focus on your experience of learning English or British culture for example. You could translate articles from your home country into English.
2. Keep a news diary.
If writing about your own life isn't your cup of tea, then keep a news diary instead. You can pick certain news stories you read and hear about for your topics. It will also prompt you to read other news websites, which is a great way to build up your vocabulary.
3. Sign up for a regular English language Ezine.
Some English language-learning websites offer a weekly or even daily short English lesson that is sent to your email account. These exercises need only take a few minutes to do, but they add up over the course of a month. Be aware that the quality of many language websites varies significantly and these exercises should never replace more in-depth learning.
4. Listen to English language radio.
There are lots of radio stations you can listen to for free online, such as the BBC Word Service. Pick stations that don't play too much music - your objective is to listen to speech. It's a better exercise than listening to English music. That being said…
5. Listen to English music.
Listening to music while doing something else can help you get used to the natural rhythm and tone of English speech. It's also good practice to really listen to the lyrics and hear what is being sung.
6. Read the lyrics to a song.
Even native English speakers can't always clearly hear the lyrics in English songs. That's why reading the lyrics, either online or in the CD booklet, is helpful. Listen and read at the same time because this is a great way to understand how sounds change in quick, natural, informal speech.
7. Sing along to English songs.
You can put all that listening to music and reading lyrics into practice and sing along. It's a great way to practice your pronunciation. If you're brave enough, perhaps try karaoke!
8. Watch English language films and TV shows.
This is a good way to sharpen your listening skills. You could also set up subtitles for your native language on the programs or DVDs.
9. Search in English.
If you switch your search engines to the English language version, it's a great way to practice your reading skills. And it will give you a wider choice of English language sites to visit.
10. Read a book you've already read or seen the film of in your native language.
It can be hard to maintain motivation when reading an English-language book when you don't know the plot or characters very well. A good way around this problem is to pick a book you have already read or seen the film of in your own language. So, even though you might not understand everything you read, you still know the plot well. You can also check out plot summaries online for added help.
The Key Blog
Hello and welcome to The Key Blog! This is where you'll find information and tips on writing, proofreading, and the English language in general. Feel free to use the articles in your own e-zines, blogs or websites etc., as long as you include the resource box. Thank you!