Learning English as a second language can be a challenging task. But once you get the hang of it, every effort and time you spend studying the language will be worth it. By being fluent in English, travelling will be more fun. Also, you don’t have to wait for the latest best-selling book or Hollywood movie to be translated in your native language to enjoy them. To help you in this endeavour, here are some practical tips on how to learn English effectively.

1. Study phrases not words

When you study English, or any language for that matter, you shouldn’t learn individual words because memorising them makes no sense without context. Instead, you should study whole phrases. Memorising the meaning of words is much easier if you know what they mean and how they are used in a sentence.

2. Learn by listening

While reading textbooks can help you learn the English language, you mustn’t rely solely on them. Textbooks are great for teaching you about grammar and vocabulary, but they may not be too much of a help when it comes to carrying out a conversation. If you want to learn how to speak English, learn by listening and not by reading. By listening more, you’ll be able to learn useful vocabulary and grammar without even realising or memorising them.

3. Get a placement test

Finding out your current English proficiency level is crucial before you embark on any learning plan as it will determine the type of program you should follow.

For e.g. A comprehensive English program if your level is around Intermediate level or lower and a customised learning plan for Upper-Intermediate level and above.

You can easily find out your level with us, click here for a free placement test

4. Prioritise quality over quantity

When it comes to learning any language, it’s all about quality over quantity. Instead of learning dozens of new words in a short time, you should focus on learning one word and repeating it dozens of time. This prevents you from suffering from information overload. In addition, this strategy allows you to place the meaning of words and phrases deeper into your brain. As a result, you won’t forget them easily.

5. Learn grammar with “point of view” stories

One of the best ways to learn grammar is to listen to short stories told in various tenses. This will help you improve your English grammar automatically and more naturally. For example, if a story starts with “I don’t like banana but I want to eat one,” the other story should be “I didn’t like bananas but I wanted to eat one.”

6. Listen and answer, not listen and repeat

If you want to improve your English, don’t use the strategy used by English textbooks, which is to “repeat after the speaker.” Instead of mindlessly parroting the words or phrases spoken by the speaker, you should answer questions asked. For example, if you’re listening to a podcast or video, pause it every 20 to 30 seconds and create a brief summary of what has been said.

7. Take an online lesson

There are many online courses available on the internet. A quick search in google will show you a list of training providers. However, it can get quite costly  if you are fully dependent on the 1:1 Skype lessons to improve.

One way to cut cost is to supplement your lessons with an online self learning English program. Overall you enjoy cost savings of more than 50% using the online program to supplement your ongoing classes.

At English Express and other Crystal Learning language schools, we see language, first of all, as a tool.

Every small improvement makes a difference immediately. You may never be perfect, and that’s ok. Even native speakers make mistakes. But as you become more confident in your ability to communicate in English, you’ll see the benefits.

We strongly believe that confidence is built through doing. That’s why our teachers will always encourage you to take the next step. Speak out, and try to speak out faster.

Practice and application are more important. To improve your conversational skills in English, you need to “do more” and “understand less”. That’s why we focus on practical topics that you can apply at the office the next day.

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Find out your level and we will let you know the most suitable English course for you.