1. Read a book with lots of dialogue.
Reading a book with lots of direct dialogue in it has quite a few advantages. Less text on the page due to dialogue (lots of speech marks etc) can make it easier to read and easier to write translations as there are simply fewer words. Dialogue is also a lot easier to understand than blocks of descriptive text and is much more like the language you will want to learn in order to be able to speak everyday English.
2. Read English language comics.
Comics can be quite easy to understand and are usually full of idiomatic language that is used everyday. There can, however, be problems with understanding slang and certain jokes and/or dialogue that are written in the way people speak rather than with normal spellings. So, choose your comic with care. And let the pictures guide you too.
3. Read English language entertainment guides.
Most big cities around the world have an English language magazine and/ or online guide to films, plays, art and museum exhibitions that are taking place in the city that week. Reading this in English is not only a good way to practice your reading skills, but it can also guide you to places where native English speakers might visit and where you might hear some English spoken there.
4. Read English language magazines.
Choose a periodical but buy one copy in your native language and the other in English, so you can compare when you need to. Obviously, choose a subject matter you’re interested in so you enjoy reading.
5. Take a one-week intensive course.
Intensive courses are great because they force you to speak, write, read and listen to English pretty much non-stop for many hours each day. It really improves your ability in a relatively short space of time.
6. Supplement your group class with a one-to-one class.
Group learning is valuable, but if you complement it with a one to one teacher, it’s even better. It is more expensive, but you can use the time with your teacher to focus on your weak points, such as pronunciation or grammar issues.
7. Get friends together to chat in English.
You could set up an informal meeting in a café for you and your friends to spend one hour a week chatting in English. Take along comics, entertainment guides etc. and perhaps arrange to visit one of the events you read about.
8. Ask for English classes in your workplace
This is especially useful if you use English in your job. Your company would certainly benefit in having staff that is more fluent in English as it is still the language of international business.
9. Listen to the radio while doing other things
You don’t need to listen carefully to the radio and understand everything. It is still useful to have the radio playing in the background. You’ll pick up more than you realise, such as the natural rhythm of speech.
10. Write lists in English
This could be lists for work tasks or your shopping list or a packing list for a holiday. Say out loud the words as you write them.
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!