I'm Confused About Where to Start!
So, you have decided to learn English, have you? That's excellent! Well done!
In our interconnected world, where communication knows no borders, mastering English is not just a skill. It's your passport to global understanding and collaboration. It's a fantastic choice, especially in this fast-moving technological era where English is the common language of innovation and progress.
This blog article will help you create a set of daily principles to really improve your English fast. So, let's start with Tip number 1:
Tip 1 - Wake up Thinking in English: Embrace English the Moment You Open Your Eyes.
That's right! If you really want to learn a language quickly, the first step is to think in that language from the moment you wake up. Imagine opening your eyes, or waking up, to the sound of your favourite English song as the alarm clock tone on your smartphone. You reach over to switch it off, or snooze it, and then you open up your app which gives you a motivational phrase every day, in English. You have already completed the first two tasks in English: listen to and read something in English.
Quality Over Quantity: The Benefits of Spending Just 5 Minutes for Morning Reading and Listening
If you spend just 5 minutes in the morning to read something in English and listen to something at the same time, you will improve your skills very quickly.
So, what can you do to practise reading and listening at the same time? First of all, you need to find something that interests you. It is no use reading something that you find mind-numbingly boring. So, get into reading something that you are passionate about.
Secondly, try to find something to read within 5 minutes of taking the decision to practise reading. Why? Because your attention span will deteriorate very quickly and you will soon find yourself looking at your social media profile.
So, I suggest that you go to an online news website and find an article which is based on an alternative topic to the articles in the current affairs section. For example, something about health, travel, technology, fashion or culture. It is important that the article will captivate your attention and desire to read. So, look for a catchy headline. Take 5 minutes to skim-read the article, then read it again for detail, looking up about 5-10 words in an online English dictionary: it is best to avoid using a translation application, but read the English definition.
Tip 2: Streetwise Immersion: Learn by Engaging with Your Environment
Unlock Language on the Streets: How the World Around You Can Be Your Teacher
In your quest to master English, sometimes the best classroom isn't a classroom at all. It's the streets, where life unfolds in real-time. Imagine turning your everyday commutes, strolls, and errand runs into valuable language-learning opportunities. With the "Streetwise Immersion" technique, you'll experience language in its natural habitat, absorbing its nuances, rhythms, and practical applications.
Signs and Sounds: Turning Everyday Commutes into Language Lessons
Incorporating language into your daily life can be as simple as looking around. Pay attention to street signs, shop names, and advertisements, and say them out loud. Verbalizing these elements not only helps you practice pronunciation but also reinforces vocabulary in context. Plus, it's a discreet way to practice speaking without a classroom or language partner.
The Urban Classroom: Absorbing Language Through Street Interaction
Engaging with your environment is more than just saying words out loud. Observe the people around you, overhear conversations, and engage with locals if the opportunity arises. Listening to how English is used in everyday life provides a unique perspective that textbooks can't offer. It's like being a student in the school of the streets, where you'll pick up not only the language but also cultural insights and colloquial expressions.
By immersing yourself in the urban language scene, you transform your daily routine into a dynamic language-learning experience. Language isn't confined to books and classrooms; it's a living entity, and the streets are its stage. Explore, engage, and embrace the linguistic richness of your surroundings to fast-track your English learning journey.
What if the signs are not in the language I'm studying, or I don't have physical access to them?
In a world where linguistic diversity is abundant, you may encounter streets signs and shop names in languages other than the one you're studying. Additionally, not everyone has the luxury of physically walking the streets. In such cases, consider leveraging technology and creativity. Use language learning apps and websites that offer virtual street signs or shop names in your target language. Explore virtual tours or street view features that allow you to "walk" through streets online, even in places you've never been. The digital world opens up new avenues for streetwise immersion, making language learning accessible from the comfort of your own space. So, even if you can't step outside or find signs in your target language, you can still embark on a virtual journey through language-rich streets.
Tip 3 - Write Something Deep and Meaningful Every Day
The Lost Art of Handwriting: The Importance of Pen on Paper
So, this is probably the hardest tip to execute on a daily basis, but I have intentionally left it until the end, as it is definitely the most important if you want to learn to communicate effectively in English, or in any language to that effect. Why is this tip so important? Because we do not write any more, for a start. We type, we text, we dictate to voice recognition software, which corrects our spelling, our grammar and even our writing style sometimes. So, get yourself a big fat journal diary, and fill it up with daily observations, thoughts and reflections, events which may one day be a historical event, and funny comments which you can look back on in years to come.
Why is it so important to write by hand? This is incredibly important as you will have no digital influences to help you write: no online dictionary, no spellcheck, no thesaurus, no grammar-checking software. Just your creative mind, so go create.
Getting Started: Simple Observations and Reflections
But, I'm not creative! How can I write deep and meaningful thoughts if they don't come to me?
Well, it is important to start simple. When you wake up in the morning, try to make some observations from outside your window. Think about the article you read or the song you listened to (see tip 1), and make a comment on them. Write something deep and meaningful about an activity that you are doing at the moment. For example, an extreme sport, a hobby like photography, or learning a language. This can help you to start building up your creative mind and its productivity.
Enhancing Creativity: Building a Daily Writing Habit
Another great idea to help you write regularly is to find a website which provides writing prompts. These are often topics to write about, the first line of a story, or a more comprehensive writing task with explicit instructions on the style, language, or length of the composition. By doing this as a routine you will definitely improve your skills quickly. Here are some examples of writing prompts which you can use right now:
Write about your favourite food and why you love it.
Describe a special place in your hometown.
Share your thoughts on your last holiday.
Write a short story about a talking animal.
Discuss your morning routine and any habits you have.
Describe your best friend and the things you enjoy doing together.
Write about a hobby you're passionate about.
Share your favourite season and the reasons you like it.
Describe a funny or embarrassing moment from your past.
Write about a book or movie you recently enjoyed and why.
If these ten writing prompts are too easy, here are some more advanced topics:
Describe a vivid childhood memory that still influences you today.
Write a letter to your future self, highlighting your aspirations and goals.
Reflect on a recent travel experience, focusing on the most memorable moments.
Discuss a life lesson you've learned from a book or film.
Imagine a day in the life of your dream job or career.
Share your thoughts on a current social or political issue that matters to you.
Write a short story from the perspective of an inanimate object in your room.
Describe a place you'd like to visit someday and why it intrigues you.
Write a poem about a moment of personal transformation or growth.
Create a fictional character and write their diary entry for an eventful day.
So to sum up, the most important things to do in order to improve your English communication skills quickly are to follow routines which practise the four learning skills: reading, listening, speaking and writing. Then make sure you are inspiring yourself to learn more every day. Reward yourself when you have completed one of the above tasks. Make a study plan in your diary of the tasks you have completed so you can review them in a month's time and see your progress. However, you know that a journey shared is a much more enjoyable one. So, I recommend that you find a language partner to help you achieve your goals. In addition, by learning English with a tutor who can guide you towards your objectives quickly and safely, will improve your chances of success so much more.
Thanks for reading. More tips coming soon!