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Tips to Improve English

By | September 30, 2013
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Most students are fluent in their native languages but with a language like English that is not the case. Some students are able to write English but when it comes to conversing in English these individuals tend to falter due to lack of confidence. To build your confidence in the English language here are some fun tips which have proved to be effective.

Tips to improve english

Tip 1 Watch Television in English: we all spend time watching our favorite soaps in our native languages, why don’t we take out time to watch programs in English. Most of us have a cable Television with access to about 60 English channels so spending 15 minutes per day to watch these channels isn’t much. You can also watch English news channels as these are informative and keep us in touch with what is happening in different parts of the world.

Tip 2 Watch English Movies with English soundtracks and English subtitles: the more you expose yourself to the English language the better you will become at it. By watching English movies you will be able to learn the language in a fun way. While watching pay attention to the pronunciation of the words and the stress given to the syllables. The stress is usually given to the vowels in the syllables. For instance beGIN, elBOW,  HAPpy etc.

Tip 3 Read English Newspapers: you can read the headlines, the lifestyle and scan the business section. This will not only make you aware of what is happening around the world but it will also expose you to the language used in important national and international, business and pop culture.

Tip 4 Read English Books: you can read a book with easy language per month. Adults can start with teenage books like Gossip Girl, Harry Potter or the Twilight Saga Series as the language used is simple to understand, has a lot of slang terms but are good to enhance your vocabulary.

Tip 5 Listen to English music and sing along: you can listen to English music and sing along with the lyrics in front of you. Once you are familiar with a particular musician then you can listen to more of his/ her songs and it will help you to understand the accent and you can then sing along with the lyrics.  

Tip 6 Maintain a Note book: you can note down new words or phrases that you come across while watching, reading or listening. You can then find out the general meaning of the words or phrases used. If you don’t understand the words or phrases used you can look at the words surrounding them for clues or hints or you can always ask someone who is good in the language to help you.

Tip 7 Keep a dictionary beside you at all times:  after noting the words or phrases used with their meanings you can even look for the synonyms and antonyms of the new word that you have learnt. Once you have understood the meaning of the word then try to use it in a sentence, the same day. Apart from this you can look for the prefixes (un, in) and suffixes (al, ion, ness) for the word learnt. For example the word correct becomes incorrect and the word good becomes goodness. You can also explore its other forms such as the verb, noun, adjective or adverb forms as well for instance the word to beautify (verb), Beautiful (adjective), beauty (noun), beautifully (adverb). You can also pay attention to the pronunciations of words given beside the search word, even better would be if you have access to an online dictionary as you can even hear the pronunciation of the word if you have speakers.

Tip 8 Maintain a Diary:  apart from noting down the meanings and words you also need to write down a few sentences in English in the diary. After reading you can write down what you have understood from the paragraphs or articles read, you can record the events of the day or even pour your thoughts into the diary in English. When you are writing ensure that there are no spelling mistakes, grammatical errors and punctuation mistakes.

Tip 9 Do Not Hesitate: apart from the other tips conversing in English with people who are good in the language has always helped to gain confidence. Try not to hesitate when speaking as this is the only way that can help you to build confidence.

Tip 10 Improve your Grammar: A useful tool to improve your language skills is by referring to Wren & Martin. This book is a perfect guide for improving your grammar as well as your comprehension skills because it has exercises and examples for each topic. It also comes with a key that you can use to verify if your answers are correct. This book will help you to improve your grammar as it has detailed explanations for the different forms of words namely verb, noun, adjectives and adverbs. It also has information about affixes such as prefixes and suffixes, prepositions, tenses and the various forms and lots more.

Tip 11 Practice the 4 core skills: if you practice these four skills namely reading, writing, speaking and listening then you will be able to gain that confidence. The tips mentioned focus on all these areas including the activities, these tips will help you to gain confidence.

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