15 Tips to Learn English more Effectively
Learning English, or any language for that matter can be a huge challenge for anyone. It doesn’t matter whether you are an average student in high school or even a top doctor in a top hospital; you still need dedication and motivation to keep learning and moving forward. However, one of the biggest struggles of English learners is to find the best strategies to learn English effectively.
There is no point in trying to learn English if you are approaching it from the wrong direction. There are steps you can take to make sure that you are getting the most out of your learning and making your learning effective.
Now, let’s take a look at 15 tips to help you learn English more effectively.
1 - Know your level to improve your level
It’s important that you study at a level that is suited to your abilities. Think about it. If you study at a level that is too difficult for you, you will not be able to understand words and expressions, follow speech or use the more difficult language, so you will not be gaining any knowledge.
If you study at a level that is below you, you will find that material too easy and you will not progress onto more challenging, but suitable material.
2 - Set yourself targets and have clear goals
Planning is key to any task being accomplished. Especially if you want to learn English effectively, it is vital that you set clear goals and targets. You may have a long-term goal such as, “I would like to be able to speak fluently by this time next year”.
That is a common goal, and an achievable one, but you need to set yourself mini targets along the way to reach that goal. It is important to set targets that are realistic such as; “I want to learn how to introduce myself and talk about myself in the next 2 weeks.
However, a target such as “I want to be fluent within the next month” is simply impossible. Having clear, realistic goals and targets help you to stay on track and not become distracted.
3 - Practice, practice, practice!
Learning the rules of English is one thing, but it is putting it into practice that is very important. The more we practice with anything in life, the better we become at it over time.
We cannot expect to be amazing at playing the piano just from playing it a few times. It is the same for learning English. It takes a lot of time, patience and practicing it over and over again before we can improve!
As the English saying goes; “Practice makes perfect!”
4 - Learn English – Every day
Consistency is key when learning English. There is no use in spending hours and hours learning a list of new words or a set of grammar rules if you are not going to look at them again for a week.
It’s about learning, practicing and reviewing, every day. That is how you will store this information in your long term memory. It’s a good habit to get into and the best way to learn English effectively.
5 - Read, read, read!
Reading is a vital part of learning English effectively. Reading allows you to discover and learn new words and expressions, as well as teaching you how to spell words.
You can see how sentences are structured by reading too. You don’t need to read a long boring book though!
Try reading some English short stories, parts of English newspapers or magazines, or even look up some English articles online to test your reading skills!
6 - Read out loud
Following on from the previous point, it is very beneficial for you if you read aloud.
It seems easy to read when we are reading in our heads. Our pronunciation is perfect and we can read quickly, right?
Well, try reading out loud. You will find that you slow down. This is perfectly normal because you need to form sounds with your mouth and tongue to pronounce the words correctly.
You are training yourself to pronounce words like a native speaker. Reading aloud is an effective way of improving your pronunciation.
7 - Don’t be afraid of making mistakes
This is a really important thing to remember at all times, especially when you are a beginner in learning English. It goes hand-in-hand with asking lots of questions.
YOU are learning for YOU, and you need to do whatever it takes to reach your goal. You can’t progress in anything without making mistakes along the way. That is how we learn. Make mistakes!
The next time you try after that mistake, you will remember what you did wrong and you won’t do it again.
8 - Ask lots of questions
This seems like an obvious tip; but really, the more questions you ask, the more answers you will get! It’s that simple! There is no such thing as a “stupid question”. If you are unsure about something, then ask for clarity.
Suppose you want to find out more about something, then ask for more details. If you want some examples to help you understand, they will be given!
You may feel shy or silly to ask questions, but always remember, your teacher is here to help you, and they will appreciate your interest in learning more!
Asking questions will help you to learn English effectively!
9 - Don’t translate everything
This tip is especially important for people who want to become fluent more quickly. If you spend lots of time translating every single word, then you are really just wasting a lot of time. It will be very boring and you really won’t gain much from it.
As well as this, many phrases will have a different meaning when all the words are put together than when they are all separate. For example; “Susan will hit the hay”; Susan is angry? She will hurt the hay? No!
To ‘hit the hay’ means to go to bed. So, Susan will go to bed. See the difference between single word meanings and phrase meanings?
10 - Keep a journal to build your Vocabulary
It is a great idea to have a journal on-hand when you are studying so that you can write down any new words or expressions that you come across.
Writing these down helps you to remember them for future use and you can always refer back to them if needed. It is a proven way to learn English effectively.
It is also a good idea to write down a sentence or two using that word or expression so that you know how to use it in the correct context.
11 - Watch English TV programs and movies
This is a fun and effective way of picking up new expressions and training your ears to listen to English.
Many movies nowadays are available in different languages, so find your favourite movie and see if you can watch it in English!
If you love to laugh and comedies are your favourite, then find a movie that you can relax and watch; all while learning!
You can also find movies with subtitles that will help you with your reading skills. Beware though, the subtitles may change very quickly!
12 - Use online translators to help with pronunciation
Maybe you have a dictionary to help you find out the meaning of new words.
But an even more effective tool is the online translator. With this tool, you can find the word, find out it’s meaning, be given some example sentences using that word, and very importantly, an online translator says the word aloud, so that you can repeat the word and perfect your pronunciation.
13 - Subscribe to podcasts or YouTube channels
This is a fantastic way of improving your aural skills, and it is easy to make part of your day.
It seems like very little can be achieved by simply listening to a podcast, but you would be surprised at the words and phrases you can pick up when simply-listening!
You can listen to a podcast in the car on your way to work in the morning, or even in the evening as you are preparing dinner.
YouTube is also a fantastic tool for learning English. There is such a huge variety of videos to choose from, you are sure to find some that suit your needs and abilities.
14 - Don’t give up!
Learning English can sometimes feel overwhelming! But remember, it is a whole language that you are learning, so; A) it’s not going to be easy, and B) It is not something that can be done quickly.
So if you feel like you are having a bad day or a bad few days of learning; take a break! Grab a coffee, go for a walk, catch a movie with your friend, and don’t be too hard on yourself.
Give yourself a break and then come back and tackle it again, refreshed and ready to learn; a sure way to learn English effectively!
15 - Go abroad!
Who doesn’t want to go abroad?
As well as spending time in a different country with different people, a new culture and strange food; a huge benefit of going abroad to an English speaking country is that you will be surrounded by English!
It will be on the road signs, the advertisements, the food menus, the TV and radio, and of course, not to forget everyone around you will be speaking English!
This is one of the best ways to pick up native English phrases, and, you will learn the correct pronunciation as well. You will sound like a native in no time!
How many of these tips will you follow?
These are some of the best ways to learn English effectively.
As we have mentioned, learning English is a slow process that takes lots of time, dedication and patience; but with the right strategies and tools, you will almost certainly be on the right track to learning English in the most effective way.
Try these tips out; and see if they can improve your learning methods. You can do it!
More Useful Tips To Help You Improve Your English
Do you like reading books? Then follow these great English Reading Tips to help you read effectively.
Why should I learn English? Take a look at some of these great reasons to start learning English.
Do you know many English Proverbs such as “practice makes perfect”? Check out our 20 Common English Proverbs!