Are you moving or have moved to an English speaking country? Here are some tips to help you achieve your language goals faster!
When I moved to England, I did not speak English very well at all. I knew some grammar from school, and a few words from Listening to American and English music bands. At university I noticed that my English skills were progressing much faster than my friends and fellow student’s. There were a few reasons for that:
In this article I will share with you some personal tips that improved my speech quicker than others, so that you can get ahead too.
1/ Move in an English speaking house!
This may be the most important tip. The most common mistake I see my students make is moving in with people who speak the same language as them. I get it.
Moving is scary. You feel alone, you don’t want to make the effort to think when you come home tired, but don’t give up!
Think about how much more practice you will get when you HAVE to speak English at home. You will also learn much more informal language and familiar expressions this way, and that will make you integrate quicker into society.
You will hear people’s stories in English and learn more about the culture. So ditch your friends, and take on the adventure!
You moved out of your own country, and now you’re here so you might as well jump in with both feet!
2/ Go out with English speaking people!
Sure, you don’t have to do it that way, but let’s say you worked or studied all day. You just want a quiet evening or weekend, maybe stay at home, order pizza, watch netflix. DON’T! GO OUT!
Always accept invitations to go out and force yourself to get involved in conversations. This is also time to practise.
One glass of wine can help your tongue move more freely, so you can enjoy the local booze scene (in moderation) 😉 and get a boost in confidence while improving your knowledge and practising time.
3/ Watch Netflix!
Okay, I just told you to go out and not watch TV. But if you are going to do that anyway, DO IT IN ENGLISH!
In fact, any media you consume, radio, podcasts, audiobooks, TV, netflix, News, Youtube, etc… watch it and listen to it in English. And depending on your level, turn the subtitles off!
If you are a complete beginner, 2 months of subtitles is enough. After that, turn them off.
By hearing words you don’t know, you will learn their meaning by understanding the context in which they are used. If you use subtitles, you will just read them and not listen to the words, thereby wasting your precious time.
4/ Get a job
If you are a student, getting a job can be a great way to force yourself to speak.
You will have to speak with clients, bosses, and learn specific vocabulary related to the sector you work in.
If you don’t need the money, do it for the skill! It is also a good way to socialize and meet local people you can speak and practise your English with.
5/ Don’t be embarrassed
I meet many students who are very shy and embarrassed to speak. Don’t be worried.
Most people love giving advice about their own language. It makes them feel smart, and helping you makes them feel good.
Ask question about everything. Don’t pretend to understand, just ask what they mean. You will feel like you are doing that a lot at the beginning. But the more you do this, the quicker you will improve.
Also, ask people to correct you. In Britain for example, people are very polite, so they may not correct you if they understand what you mean, even if your grammar or vocabulary is completely wrong. Say: “Please correct me if I make a mistake” and they will gladly help.
So you get the gist. Speak, speak, speak, speak…. go out, socialise, and keep interactions with the people who speak the same language as you to a minimum.
You will massively improve your skills in no time. If you have friends who are from where you are from, try to speak English with them.
Otherwise hang out with locals. Discover how they speak, how they think, and learn all you can! That after all is what travelling is all about. Language is power! Become powerful!
See you in the next post!