How To Improve Your English

Woman reading an interesting book at home.
Choosing learning materials that genuinely interest you can help improve your learning process. BraunS/ Getty Images

Each learner has different objectives and, therefore, different approaches to learning English. But some tips and tools are likely to help most English learners. Let's begin with the three most important rules: 

Rule 1: Be Patient - Learning English is a Process

The most important rule to remember is that learning English is a process. It takes time, and it takes lots of patience! If you are patient, you will improve your English.

 

Rule 2: Make a Plan

The most important thing to do is to create a plan and follow that plan. Start with your English learning goals, and then make a specific plan to succeed. Patience is key to improving your English, so go slowly and focus on your goals. You'll speak English well soon if you keep to the plan.

Rule 3: Make Learning English a Habit

It's absolutely necessary that learning English becomes a habit. In other words, you should work on your English every day. It's not necessary to study grammar every day. However, you should listen, watch, read or speak English every day - even if it's for a short period of time. It's much better to learn 20 minutes a day than to study for two hours twice a week.

Suggestions on How to Learn English

Difficulty: Average

Time Required: Varies

Here's How:

  1. Remember that learning a language is a gradual process - it does not happen overnight.
  2. Define your learning objectives early: What do you want to learn and why?
  1. Make learning a habit. Try to learn something every day. It is much better to study (or read, or listen to English news, etc.) 10 minutes each day than to study for 2 hours once a week.
  2. Remember to make learning a habit. If you study each day for 10 minutes English will be constantly in your head. If you study once a week, English will not be as present in your mind.
  1. Choose your materials well. You will need reading, grammar, writing, speaking and listening materials.
  2. Vary your learning routine. It is best to do different things each day to help keep the various relationships between each area active. In other words, don't just study grammar.
  3. Find friends to study and speak with. Learning English together can be very encouraging.
  4. Choose listening and reading materials that relate to what you are interested in. Being interested in the subject will make learning more enjoyable - thus more effective.
  5. Relate grammar to practical usage. Grammar by itself does not help you USE the language. You should practice what you are learning by employing it actively.
  6. Use reading to help with other English skills. Reading can be used to help with vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation and much more. 
  7. Move your mouth! Understanding something doesn't mean the muscles of your mouth can produce the sounds. Practice speaking what you are learning aloud. It may seem strange, but it is very effective. Exercises like tongue twisters can help improve your flexibility.
  8. Be patient with yourself. Remember learning is a process - speaking a language well takes time. It is not a computer that is either on or off!
  1. Communicate! Grammar exercises are great, but having your friend on the other side of the world understand your email is fantastic!
  2. Use the Internet. The Internet is the most exciting, unlimited English resource that anyone could imagine and it is right at your fingertips.

Tips:

  1. Remember that English learning is a process
  2. Be patient with yourself
  3. Practice, practice, practice