5 Things I did to Improve my English
Language level: Intermediate
As someone who has always been interested in languages, I found there were a few things that really helped me get better with my English skills. If you are thinking of how to develop your English, here are my tips on the 5 best things that helped me improve.
We all know that there are millions of videos on YouTube, but we don’t always use them as much as we can. I think it’s really important to practise English with natural examples of the language, especially about topics you really enjoy.
If you’re into sports, why not follow one or two English language YouTube channels about English football or athletics? If you’re into business, why not follow a channel about economics or being an entrepreneur? There’s comedy you could enjoy every week, or Ted Talks for lectures about lots of different subjects. I find that short, 5-minute videos are the best because you can watch them anywhere without it being a problem if there’s something you don’t understand.
2. English course
Taking an English course in London was probably the biggest and best thing I did to improve my English. I had the chance to spend time with both native English speakers and students like me, and together we learnt about a huge variety of grammar, vocabulary, skills and subjects. It’s a big commitment, but being in London was amazing for my English, and the classes were fun, too!
4. Watch films
I started watching films in my own language with English subtitles. This was when I was an absolute English beginner. But then I started watching them in English with subtitles in my own language. After that, I watched movies in English with English subtitles – this was really great for both my listening and my reading. But now I watch movies in English with no subtitles at all! OK, I don’t always understand everything, but I enjoy them, and it’s brilliant practice for listening and conversation.
I love podcasts because I can learn so much about a subject, as well as practise my listening and grow my vocabulary. I found that after listening every week to a podcast about movies, I got much better at thinking and talking about my opinions. It’s not always easy listening to a podcast because the presenters can talk very fast, so I just listen to them for 5 or 10 minutes at a time.
I now understand them much better than before and I feel more confident when I’m discussing a film with someone. Podcasts are a brilliant resource to practise with in combination with your English language course.
5. Read all about it!
I really enjoy reading, and so I was very happy to work on my English reading skills. Just like watching movies, it can help you understand the way that English is used in everyday conversation.
My advice is, instead of reading whole books, read magazines. This is because you often find more natural language, and, since articles are much shorter than a book, you never get bored. Also, magazines are great because it’s easy to find ones that are about topics that you really love.