English is an enjoyable language to learn (here are nine reasons why). While it is considered an accessible and relatively easy language to learn, with 750,000 words and a spelling system that can confuse even the most skilled learner, learning English quickly can seem impossible. However, I am here to inform you that it is not – as long as you have the proper strategy.
Here are our top tips for quickly learning English:
- Read everything in English that you can get your hands on classic literature, paperbacks, newspapers, websites, emails, your social media feed, and cereal boxes. Why? To be sure, this content will include plenty of juicy new vocabulary, as well as a good deal of material you already know. This aids in rapid improvement, as re-exposure to previously learned language provides contemporary examples in context, thus reinforcing those words in your mind. On the other hand, learning new words and expressions is critical for expanding your vocabulary, even more so in a language as verbose as English! However, do not simply read and move on – you must know now.
- Take note of new vocabulary on an active basis. This is a timeless tip for a reason: it works! When we learn, we frequently become so enamored with a new word or phrase that forgetting it seems impossible. However, trust us when we say that not everything sticks the first time. To combat this, develop the habit of carrying a quirky notebook or utilizing a tool such as Evernote. Whenever you hear or read a new word or expression, jot it down in context: in a sentence with its definition included. This saves you time because you won’t have to look up the meaning of that word/expression again.
- Interact with actual human beings. What is the purpose of a language if not to communicate? True, we humans have mastered the art of communicating without speaking – thanks, Whatsapp! However, when it comes down to it, speaking a language helps it stick in your head far more than reading or writing it. Consider how frequently you’ve heard someone state that they “understand but cannot communicate in English.” Many would-be English speakers have transformed speaking into a massive insurmountable barrier that serves only to psyche them out. Avoid being like that. Pursue an informal language exchange with native speakers, enroll in a course, or take online classes.
- Become a subscriber to podcasts and YouTube channels (in English). Are you a fan of humor? Politics? Blogging? Cooking? With topics spanning every imaginable interest, there is an English-language podcast or YouTube channel for you. Subscribe to a few and listen or watch while driving to school or work. At first, you may struggle with the native accents, but persevere, and you will quickly begin to understand what you hear (along with picking up a lot of new vocabulary from a native speaker!)
- Travel abroad. If there is a more effective way to learn English than living and studying in an English-speaking country, we would love to hear about it! It’s no secret that English is the world’s most widely spoken language, and with a long list of countries to choose from, you can tailor your learning environment to your preferred hemisphere, climate, or city. Consider Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada, and South Africa, to name a few!
- Make use of your acquaintances. Do you have online friends who communicate in English? Don’t let them pass you by in your newsfeed: scan the items they share and make a point of exploring one or two each day. They could be news or magazine articles, videos, talks, blog posts, or anything else: as long as it is written in English and the subject interests you, it will be beneficial!
- Inquire frequently. While curiosity may have killed the cat, it also accelerated the language learner’s progress toward fluency! As you study English, you will quickly accumulate a mountain of questions. Don’t let your doubts fester – be curious about them and work to resolve them! If you’re enrolled in a course, consult your instructor (after all, that is their job). However, if you’re studying alone, have no fear: you can find answers in blogs or language websites, by contacting other students, or by reading through forums. You will be glad you did!
- Follow the stars’ lead. By selecting an actor or singer who is a native English speaker, you can add variety to your learning. Now, go online and find a collection of their interviews – and watch them! Once for the gist, then again, taking notes on any exciting expressions or words you hear. The slang, stories, humor, and anecdotes that emerge from these interviews will undoubtedly provide you with plenty of material to work with!
- Begin with what you genuinely require. Your English studies are likely to progress much more quickly if you are constantly reminded of your motivations for learning. Are you participating in a study exchange program? Then, concentrate on vocabulary that is relevant to your studies. Are you attending a conference in another country? Refresh your memory of effective conversation starters to use with other participants. Are you taking a gap year? It appears as though travel and tourism terminology will serve as your guide. If you dive headfirst into English learning in the hope of magically absorbing everything at once, you’re likely to end up confused and burned out, which leads us to.
- Avoid kicking yourself in the shins while you’re down. When you begin to feel as though you are falling behind – which happens to all learners at some point – refrain from saying, “I don’t speak English” or “I’ll never understand this.” Indeed, eliminate those expressions from your vocabulary! They obfuscate your perception of your progress and convince you that your dreams of speaking English fluently are impossible. Rather than that, say “I’m learning English and improving every day,” “It’s not always easy, but it’s worth it,” “I’m so much better than I was six months ago,” and similar phrases to keep the big picture in mind.