Improve your English in just Five Step: Hello friend, In this lesson, I am going to share with you five things that you need to practice every day to improve your English. These are the same techniques that I use personally, and I have seen them work for many of my students. And if you develop these daily habits, they will make you a fluent and confident speaker of the language. So, let’s talk about them.
1. Read the newspaper
Of course, I mean an English-language one. The newspaper is a rich source of vocabulary and general knowledge, both of which are important to become a fluent speaker of English. And here’s the smart way to read the paper: start with the front page; read all the top stories. Then, go to the other news sections (local, national and international), and read the headlines. If a headline interests you, if you want to know more about it, then read that story. If a headline is not that interesting or important to you, then skip it, don’t waste time reading it. After this, go to the editorial section. This is where opinion or op-ed pieces are found. These are the really interesting articles in any newspaper, and they are a great place to learn new vocabulary. Read these articles in depth. Spend time analyzing the language used by the author. Try your best to fully understand the opinions and arguments presented here; this will improve your own ability to think and reason in English. After this, finish by perusing (that is briefly reading) sections that are of interest to you: sports, business, entertainment etc. This method will help you save time and get the most out of reading the newspaper. Aim to do this for about an hour every day.
2. Watch English-language TV shows
By doing this, you will develop your listening skills, and you will learn many informal expressions that you can use in everyday conversation. There are many different kinds of shows: drama series, sports programs, movies, documentaries, talk shows, and even the news. So, watch TV shows that interest you. And, as you watch, you should pay attention to the language: what new words, phrases or idioms do you hear? What tone of voice do the speakers use? What’s their body language like? When you see a fluent speaker, your goal should be to imitate his or her language and expression. If you’re watching on your computer or DVD player, a neat trick is to listen to a few sentences, then rewind and practice along with the speaker. This is a great way to improve your pronunciation. So, get into the habit of watching English-language TV shows for at least 30 minutes every day.
3. Learn five new words or phrases
These can be from the newspaper, from any TV shows or movies you see, or even from your everyday conversations with people. Whenever you come across new vocabulary words, phrasal verbs, or useful expressions, you should note them down. You can do this either in a notebook or in a file on your computer (like a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet – that’s what I do). Aim to collect five words or phrases per day; and, when you write them down, also write their dictionary definitions and some example sentences. The important thing is to review all of this vocabulary regularly and try to use what you learn in your own speech and writing. If you do this consistently, you will start to see improvements in your choice of words very soon.
4. An exercise
It will train you to start thinking directly in English rather than translating from your native language. Throughout your day, make sentences in your mind about what is happening around you. For example, let’s say that you’re sitting on the bus and you’re going somewhere. In your head, you can start talking in English – “I’m so glad I got a seat. It would’ve been so annoying if I had to stand for the whole ride. Look at that couple sitting over there – they look very happy. They’re joking and laughing about something. Anyway, let’s look out the window. Oh, what a beautiful park. I wish I could visit it sometime.” And so on. You can do this in any situation: when you’re at home, when you’re bored at work or school, when you’re waiting at the doctor’s office, when you’re taking a walk. Do this exercise many times every day – make it a habit to regularly make English sentences in your mind.
5. Recap your day
This is an exercise you should do at the end of the day – maybe just before you go to bed – or you can even do this as you’re lying in bed before you sleep. Imagine that you’re telling a friend about your day in English – say what happened in school, in college or at work. Give as much detail as possible, and make your descriptions interesting. You can also talk about what your plans are for tomorrow. Aim to do this for about 5-10 minutes before you sleep. What I like about this exercise is that you can do it at the same time every day, which means it’s very easy to make this a habit. So, those are the five things you need to do every day: read the newspaper, watch English-language television, learn 5 new words or phrases, make English sentences in your mind regularly, and recap your day before you go to sleep. If you develop these habits, you will become a more fluent and proficient user of the English language. So, are you going to start doing them? Let me know in the comments. I hope you enjoyed this lesson. As always, happy learning, and I will see you in another lesson soon.