Whatever your reason for learning English- to advance in your career, for travel purposes or just because you want to learn another language; I am sure you are taking an English class, which is essential. However, 1 or 2 hours a week is not enough to improve your language skills quickly. The best way to do this, is bringing English into your daily routine. Think about what you do on a daily basis….
1.Read instructions in English
Whenever you find yourself reading instructions-for example: how to make your washing machine work or how to use your great new hair product, read them in English first. Read the instructions in English try to figure them out and then, only if necessary, check your comprehension by reading them in your own language. I, for example, love to read nutritional facts on food containers and I always try to read them in the language I am learning.
2.Switch everything to English
We all have smartphones, laptops, televisions and various other devices we use on a daily basis. We, also all use calendar apps to set appointments. We probably do these things more than once a day. Switch it all to English. It will be confusing at first, but I promise it will be worth it. Once you get used to it and learn all the vocabulary linked to the apps and devices, it will be as if they were in your own language.
I am sure you watch the news and Netflix or use other streaming services. Personally, it is my favorite thing to do after a long day at work, sit on the couch and turn the TV on. Watch it all in English. You will need subtitles at first, (video; when to use subtitles) make sure they are in English and when you come across a word you do not know, use a dictionary app to find its meaning. This will be time consuming and frustrating at first but don’t let that stop you. I promise you will see results.
4.Find a passion – do it in English
I have several hobbies. I am only going to mention a few. I love doing yoga and I try to do it when I wake up and before going to bed, for about 15 minutes each session, but here is my trick; when I do my daily yoga, I follow videos in the language I am learning and that gives me 30 minutes every day (about 3 extra hours a week) of (ESL) exposure.
I also love to cook and try out new dishes. My cooking day is usually Sunday so I like to experiment with different recipes and try new things. When I am making my new dishes, I usually follow a video tutorial and I try to do this in the language I am learning but obviously, you can listen in English. I won’t lie, I have had to throw some dishes out but then I started improving my language skills and it got better!
Now, look at my tips and think of how much time you spend a week doing those things. Consider time on your phone, reading instructions, cooking and any other activities you do. Imagine you were doing all those things in English and how much free, extra practice you gain! That is way more than 1 or 2 hours a week and over the weeks and months, you will soon feel the results in your speaking and communication.
Ready to dive in?
Start your language learning journey.