Learning a language requires everyday practice and revision. Learning little and often is more effective than studying for hours at a time once every few weeks. But how do you find time to practice the language you’re learning every day? Here are five ways that can help you with advancing your skills.
1. Listen up
Listening to the radio or podcasts in English is a great way to fit in extra practice as you can do this while you’re eating your breakfast, doing the ironing, or on your way to work. You can either use podcasts designed for language learners, for example, ones that teach new vocabulary or are slower than standard podcasts so they are easier to understand. More advanced learners can choose from a wide range of podcasts, and there really is something to suit every interest. The advantage of podcasts is that you can listen again if you’re having trouble understanding.
This is a simple but effective way to learn vocabulary. If you’re trying to learn the names of items around the home you could label them. Don’t forget to note plural forms too! You could also turn a particular space in your home into a vocabulary-learning space. For example, stick words you’re learning on your bathroom mirror so you see them every morning and every evening. That way, you will revise them regularly without using the extra time.
3. Change your settings
Set your language on your phone, laptop, and social media accounts to English. This will help you learn vocabulary and immerse yourself in English. Why not try writing your shopping list or notes to yourself in English too?
4. Online newspapers
Instead of reading the news in your native language, try keeping up to date in English. You can do this over breakfast or on the bus or train so it does not take extra time out of your day, and a newspaper article is a more manageable length than a whole book. Reading the news regularly will also help you improve your knowledge of countries where your target language is spoken.
5. Get speaking
The best way to practice a language is to actively use it. If you have a friend, family member, or colleague who also speaks English, why not try talking to this person in English. You could agree to only speak English on certain days so that you get regular practice. It may feel odd at first, but this is a great way to keep up your speaking skills without taking up extra time in your day.