How to Improve Your English: 10 Easy Steps
Learning a new language is like learning to play a new musical instrument. You won’t know how to play the guitar the first time you pick it up. You will have to learn little by little every single day so that over time you can become more fluent.
The best way to learn any language is to find ways to incorporate that language into your daily life, so you can keep learning little by little over an extended period of time.
If you are someone who wants to improve their English language skills, whether it’s reading, writing, or speaking, you are in the right place. In this post, I will share some of the easiest ways to start improving your English today.
Table of contents
- 1. Watch English Movies
- 2. Use Your Phone Wisely
- 3. Try to Read Books
- 4. Listen to Audiobooks
- 5. Start Listening to Podcasts
- 6. Never Miss an Opportunity to Practice Your Speaking
- 7. Use a Word Diary
- 8. Keep a Daily Journal (in English!)
- 9. Talk Daily With Natives
- 10. Work on Your Accent… With Tongue Twisters!
- Let’s Wrap It Up
1. Watch English Movies
Watching English movies is a great way to get used to the rhythm of English and understand how natives speak.
If you are a beginner and have a hard time understanding English dialogue, you can turn on the subtitles to better understand what is going on. Make sure that you pay attention to words that connect to each other, this will help you get a feel of fast native speech.
At first, you will hardly understand even 20% of the dialogue, but over time as your listening skills become more sophisticated, you will be able to pick up on every tiny detail.
However, this is not going to happen overnight. It is going to take a lot of time and effort.
2. Use Your Phone Wisely
Your smartphone can be your best friend when you are learning English!
One of the best techniques to improve your speaking and listening skills is to try and reproduce dialogue from a movie. Listen to what the actors are saying in the movie and then record yourself repeating that dialogue. This way, you can focus on the pronunciation and reproduce them in your own speech as closely as possible.
You can also use your smartphone to use different English learning apps like Duolingo, HelloTalk, and Beelinguapp. Some of these are paid, but there are also many free apps that will help you improve your English language skills.
3. Try to Read Books
Reading books can be a little difficult for beginners. However, if you can get yourself to start, you will see that your reading and speaking skills will improve quite quickly.
Find a book or a novel that suits your level and start reading. This will accelerate your vocabulary building, improve your grammar, and sharpen your writing skills.
Many people prefer reading physical books over ebooks, but if you are comfortable with reading on your phone that can be very helpful.
I recommend you use Google Play books because it gives you the option to see the meaning of any word that you don't know, simply by holding your finger on it. This is the most efficient way to find out the meaning of the words that you find difficult.
4. Listen to Audiobooks
If reading is not your cup of tea, then you can start listening to audiobooks.
An audiobook is a recording of a book read out loud by a narrator or sometimes the author of the book. If you have a busy schedule and can’t find time to read a book, audiobooks are the next best thing. You can listen to them while working out, cooking, or driving to work.
Audiobooks are a great way to improve your spoken English skills as they give you the opportunity to listen to pronunciation and the context of words.
5. Start Listening to Podcasts
There are hundreds of thousands of podcasts available on the Internet.
Podcasts are often one-on-one conversations where people talk about all sorts of different things. You need to find one that is not only informative but also helps you improve your English language skills.
For example, if you’re an avid reader and you talk about books a lot, a book-related podcast will teach you all the necessary vocabulary.
6. Never Miss an Opportunity to Practice Your Speaking
Speech is one of the most important skills when it comes to learning English—or any other language for that matter. So make sure that you never let an opportunity to practice your speaking go by.
You can speak to your teachers, friends, and classmates in English. If you see a foreign visitor you should walk up to them and strike up a conversation. See if they need help with directions or anything else.
You should also take part in any English speech or debate competition you can, which will not help you with your speaking skills but will also build your confidence.
7. Use a Word Diary
If you want to improve your vocabulary quickly, you need to make sure that you learn one or more new words every day.
One of the best ways to keep track of new words is to maintain a word diary. It doesn’t need to be a physical diary, you can use your smartphone or iPad.
Whenever you dont know how to say something in English, write it down in your own language in your list. At the end of the day, research all of the written words and translate them into English.
This way, your brain will always be hungry to learn new words. After a few weeks, you will always find yourself searching for new words that you can learn.
Try to work the vocabulary that you learn every day into conversations, this way they become a part of your language.
8. Keep a Daily Journal (in English!)
Starting a daily journal relates to the previous point. You need to find a way to use all the vocabulary that you are learning every day. This is where having a journal will help you out.
Write three or four sentences (in English, of course!) about your day before going to bed and try to incorporate the words that you learned as your daily vocabulary in those sentences.
You're making sure that the new words you learn—and keep in your word diary—become a permanent part of your language. Plus, doing this right before going to bed will help you memorize even better.
Then you can wake up the next morning and go over what you wrote the night before. This way you will have those words fresh in your mind, so you can use them in your conversations throughout the day.
Journaling is one of the most fabulous techniques to improve your English language skills because it builds your vocabulary, improves your writing skills, and also helps you with your reading skills.
9. Talk Daily With Natives
Every English learner would love to get the chance to speak to natives daily, but they don’t know how to go about it.
Here’s the thing: as long as you have a decent internet connection, practicing your English with natives every day is not a problem at all.
If you are willing to spend a little bit of money, you should try Preply, an online language teacher platform and database.
Both native and non-native teachers from across the globe can sign on to these platforms and create their profiles. You can contact these teachers for paid lessons that are a lot more affordable than a traditional language school or an in-person language tutor.
However, taking paid English classes might not be possible for everyone.
HelloTalk allows you to search for native speakers who might be interested in learning your language. You can start chatting with them in your target language, and then potentially arrange a language exchange. This can be a great way to practice your English with a native speaker every day.
10. Work on Your Accent… With Tongue Twisters!
Every English teacher will tell you that accents are the last thing that you need to worry about, which is true to an extent. However, you eventually need to start focusing on your accent to sound more sophisticated and learned.
One of the best ways to improve your accent is to try tongue twisters. Tongue twisters are great to work on individual sounds and train your oral muscles. The idea is to prepare your muscles to pronounce difficult sounds and become more comfortable with the rhythm of the English language.
Here is a list to get you started. Start slow and easy, and then increase the difficulty.
Let’s Wrap It Up
These are some of the easiest and most effective ways to improve your English language skills and become more fluent.
At the end of the day, it is your commitment to practicing and learning that will help you achieve your goals. So make sure that you practice every day, so you can become much more comfortable and fluent with English over time.
Good luck, guys!