Top 5 ways to keep improving your English from home
In the UK, as in most European countries, we are currently being advised to stay home and avoid other people as much as possible. It’s all pretty doom and gloom at the moment and there doesn’t seem to be much sign of things changing soon.
There is, however, just one small ray of light in the darkness. In the absence of all the things that used to bring joy and meaning to your life, such as going to restaurants, meeting up with friends, watching football matches, etc…. I think you get the picture… You now have copious amounts of free time. What better way to spend this free time than with boosting your English language skills?
Read on to find out the top five ways to make some big improvements to your language skills from the comfort of your own home.
?? Keep attending class… LIVE ONLINE
Here at the Lewis School, we’re still going to be running classes, just online.
You’ll be able to log on for your daily English lessons. Using online learning platforms such as the video conferencing tool Zoom, you’ll be able to keep working on all your key language skills. Your teacher will give you writing tasks, speaking activities and worksheets, just like normal.
?? Read books
Now is the perfect opportunity to read all those books you always said you were going to. Reading is a great way to consolidate your knowledge and to learn more vocab. To get the most out of the books, focus on getting the gist of the story rather than understanding every word.
Hints and Tips!
So that you don’t spend the whole time with your nose in a dictionary, find a book that is a good level for you. For lower levels, it’s best to buy books that are specifically targeted to language learners. These will be simplified so that beginners can understand them and may even have lists of vocab with it. For intermediate levels, I’m a big fan of young-adult novels as these are usually written in clear and easy-to-understand English and are good fun to read.
?? Watch English T.V
Normally you may feel that watching television is a waste of your precious free time. However, with an abundance of free time and nowhere to go, you’ll probably find yourself watching a lot of T.V in the weeks and months to come. You might as well get something out of all this binge-watching, therefore, by making the most of the huge wealth of English language television that’s out there.
Hints and Tips!
If you’re beginner, put the subtitles in your own language if you can. At an intermediate level, your subtitles should be in English. Only once you feel ready should you try watching your programmes without any subtitles at all.
?? Read the news in English
If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably been spending a lot of time recently compulsively checking the news. Why not make this work to your advantage by reading the news in English. The BBC is a great source for reliable British news. As an added advantage, it’s always interesting to see the perspective of a country that is not your own.
?? Listen to podcasts
Podcasts are another great way to pass the time. I’d recommend podcasts for intermediate to advanced English learners. You may need to download an app but there are plenty of free ones to choose from on the apps store.
Spend some time choosing the right podcast. Whether you’re into comedy, sport or fashion, I can guarantee that there’ll be something for you. With a good podcast, there’ll be no need for motivation or self-discipline, you’ll just be looking forward to the next episode.
I don’t think anyone dreams of being trapped indoors for weeks on end but with the world’s situation as it is, it doesn’t seem like we will have much choice. With so little in our control at the moment, we need to focus on keeping ourselves busy and sane.
Having something to work towards like improving our English is a great way to achieve this aim and once it’s all over and we emerge blinking into a new dawn, won’t it feel great to see that all this time wasn’t wasted and that you have something to show for your enforced hibernation period.