I want to improve my English but it’s just too hard! I don’t know what to do! If you have ever said this before, then you need to watch this video.
In today’s English lesson, I am going to show you seven things that you can do every day to improve your English. These things are fun and enjoyable and if you make these things into daily habits, your English will get better every day and you will start to become a better communicator in English. Alright, let’s talk about the first one.
The first thing that you should do every day to improve your English communication skills is do your hobbies in English. This is one of the best ways to improve your English because hobbies are something that you enjoy, right? And if you enjoy doing something, it won’t be difficult to add it into your daily routine.
Let’s pretend your hobby is cooking. You can find recipes in English. You can buy English cookbooks. You can watch cooking videos on YouTube. You can search the word ‘cooking’ into Google and read everything about it. Doing this will help you to learn a lot of English vocabulary and phrases. You will see how native speakers use English to talk about cooking. Then, you can use the same words and phrases when you want to talk about cooking.
Doing your hobbies in English will help to make a learning environment all around you. That means you can learn English without even thinking about it, without even making any effort.
Why? Because doing your hobbies is something that you do every day. So if you do your hobbies in English, you can learn English without even thinking about it.
The second thing you should be doing every day to improve your English is reading. Now I know a lot of people say that they don’t like reading. Well this may be because you’re reading something that you’re not really interested in. If you read something that you like, something that you enjoy, you will probably want to do it.
Reading is something you need to add into your daily routine because you can do it anywhere anytime. Now I know you’re probably thinking ‘Shane, what should I read?’ Well, if you’re watching this video right now, and you understand most of what I’m saying, that means your English is very good. That means you should be reading texts which were written for native speakers. For example, books, magazines, newspapers.
Choose a topic that you enjoy and find something you can read on that topic. It doesn’t matter what you’re reading. What is important is that you’re reading something that was written for native speakers because then you can see how native English speakers use English.
Now, the next question you might ask is ‘Shane, how do I read? What do I think about? What do I do when I’m reading?’
Well the first thing you should think about is looking for patterns. A ‘pattern’ is a specific way of doing something. For example, if you read a lot of English, you will see that after the word ‘am’, there is normally a noun, an adjective or a verb ING. But many students, after the word ‘am’, they like to use a verb 1. For example, ‘I am eat.’ ‘I am sleep.’ But if these students read a lot of English, they would see that this is not right. Native English speakers never use this pattern.
Another thing that you should do when reading is to not stop every time that you don’t understand just one word. A lot of the time if you read a sentence and you don’t understand just one word, you can guess the meaning of that word. If you see that word many times in many sentences, you will learn to feel the meaning of that word in English. You won’t have to use a dictionary or translate it from your language to English to understand the meaning.
The next fun thing you can do to improve your English is watch TV and watch YouTube in English. There are so many amazing things to watch on TV and on YouTube on every topic that you can think of. For example, education, comedy, crime, languages, animals, technology and more. And the best thing about TV shows and YouTube is that they are all free. And with YouTube, you can watch YouTube anywhere anytime on your phone.
So choose a topic that you’re interested in and watch one of those TV shows or one YouTube video every day.
Now again, you might be thinking ‘Shane, what should I do when I’m watching a TV show or a YouTube video?’ Well the first thing you should do is listen very carefully. Listen to how the native speakers use English. Listen for connected speech. Listen for the phrases that they do use and the phrases that they don’t use. When you’re watching, sometimes try to copy the pronunciation of the native speakers. For example, if you hear a native speaker say ‘Woddayuhdowing’, you can copy them. This will help improve your English pronunciation and help you to sound more natural when speaking English.
Another thing you can do is think about what situation the native speakers are in when they are communicating with each other. Are they at work? Are they just friends on the bus? And after you have seen which situation they are in, you can use the phrases that they used when you are in the same situation. This is one of the best ways see how native speakers really use English when two native speakers are speaking to each other.
The next thing you should do every day to improve your English is learn five new words and one new idiom. A lot of the time when we’re learning a language, we just use the same words and phrases that we already know. We don’t learn any new words or new phrases. And this isn’t good because that means our skills in this language are not getting better. And you don’t want that.
You want to be continually getting better and better and better. That’s why you should be learning new words and a new idiom every day. So how do you do this? Well, you should choose something that you enjoy doing or enjoy learning about and learn vocabulary from that thing. For example, if you like reading, learn vocabulary from books. But please note that the vocabulary from books may be a little bit formal and/or not used in spoken language. If you like watching YouTube videos, then learn English from YouTube.
Pick something that you enjoy and it will feel easier for you to learn English because you are doing something that you enjoy and something that is fun for you. But, you should always learn words in context. That means you should always see the word used in a sentence. If you just learn a word from a dictionary, that doesn’t mean you will know how to use that word correctly in a sentence. But if you see a native speaker use that word, then you will know how to use that word in a sentence.
Another important thing to do is have a way to remember the new words that you learn. Write them down in a notebook. Write notes in your phone. It’s up to you how you do this but you should keep a list. Why? Because at the end of every week, you should revise and look at the new words that you leaned again. If you just see a word once and never see it again, you will probably forget it and not really know how to use it. But if you use a word a lot, you will probably remember the meaning and remember how to use it easily and without thinking about it.
The next thing you can do every day to improve your English is think in English. We’ve already made a whole video about this which you can check out up here or find the link in the description below.
But in summary, part of being fluent in a language is being able to think in that language. Also, if you can’t think in English, when you’re talking a native speaker, you may have to translate what they say from English to your language and then when you reply, you may have to translate the reply from your language to English and then say the reply. This may make your English sound very slow and very unnatural.
So how can you think in English? Well, there are two things you can start doing right now. The first thing is name things around you that you see. For example, when I look around this room, I see a light. I see a camera. I see a window. So when I see these things, I want the word for that thing to come into my head. So I look at the light, I want to think ‘light’.
And the second thing you can do is Make sentences in your head in English about what you see, about what you hear and about what you feel. You can make sentences about anything – it doesn’t matter. It’s your own little world up there. What’s important is that you start thinking in English.
The next thing you should do every day to improve your English is practise your pronunciation. This is something that most students never spend any time on. Because they never spend any time on it, their pronunciation never gets better and never gets clearer.
Pronunciation is so important. If your pronunciation isn’t clear and your accent is hard to understand, native speakers will find it very difficult to understand you. And you don’t want that because part of being fluent in English is having native English speakers understand you easily so you can both communicate with each other very easily with no problems.
So how can you practise your pronunciation? The first thing you should do is practise making the individual sounds of English. You can learn all of these sounds with our English pronunciation course. This course will teach you how to make every sound of English like a native speaker. You can also check out our free beginner English pronunciation course right here or you can find the link in the description below.
So you should practise making the sounds of English for five minutes every day. Listen to what you hear and copy. Try to sound exactly like the native speaker you are listening to. Forget your own accent. Don’t think about your own accent. Just use the sounds of English.
After you have practised the sounds of English, you should then practise pronouncing full phrases and full sentences. You can do this by watching TV or YouTube. Listen to native speakers and then copy them. Again, when you’re doing this, don’t think about your own accent. Just try to use the sounds of English. This will help to improve your connected speech, rhythm and much more.
Do this every day and after many weeks and many months, you will see that your English pronunciation will get better and better and it will feel easier for you to speak in English because your mouth has become used to speaking English.
If you want to be completely fluent in a language, that means you need to be able to write in that language as well. One of the best ways to improve your writing skills is by writing in a journal. A journal is a book that you can use to write about your thoughts, feelings and experiences. That’s why the final thing that you should do every day in English is write in a journal. You can write about anything that you like. You can write about what you did today or maybe what you’re going to do tomorrow. It’s not important that you write a lot. What’s important is that you write a few sentences every day and you get into a habit of writing in English. It might feel difficult at first but if you write a few sentences every day, it will slowly get easier and easier and easier for you to write in English.