English is the world’s most spoken language. It is also the official language in more than 50 countries, with about 350 million people studying it as a second or foreign language. That’s why mastering English is so important.
We all want to be able to communicate effectively in this increasingly globalized world, but it can feel daunting at first. Luckily, learning English doesn’t have to be difficult or overwhelming! Here are 10 tips that will help you master English and equip you for an exciting future of communicating with others who share your love of the language!
Language is a complex thing. It can be difficult to master, and needs to be used correctly in order to make sense. But it’s not impossible! The following ten tips will help you improve your grammar and vocabulary in no time.
1. Read aloud to learn words quickly and easily
When you read something by yourself, you memorize those words without understanding them. To understand what you’re reading, try to talk out loud while you read. When you say “this” and “that”, you’ll find it easier to remember the words.
2. Start practicing sentences
To build strength in your vocabulary, start with short sentences. By trying to construct simple sentences, you will begin to see connections between words and recognize patterns. As you build on these skills, you will be better prepared to tackle longer pieces of writing.
3. Write down new vocabulary each day
Writing things down helps you remember them better because they become part of your brain’s memory system. Plus, if you jot something down, you will not forget it later. Keep a notebook next to your bed, or use one in your car, pocketbook, or schoolbag. You will come across lots of great new words when you do this every day.
4. Use flashcards
Flashcards are a fun way to test yourself on words you need to learn. Simply cut out pictures from magazines such as Time or Scientific American. Then place the images face down on a sheet of paper. After you have learned the word, turn over the card and see how many times you were right. Over time, you will notice that you will no longer need to rely on flashcards; you can simply look up words in a dictionary instead.
5. Use a list of words
Another good tactic to practice your English vocabulary is to keep a list of common words. A study done on 1,200 students found that just adding ten common words per week improved their scores on English tests. Try adding ten words to watch your performance improve even more.
6. Learn idiomatic expressions
Idioms – informal phrases that express ideas in different ways than normal language – add meaning to everyday speech. For example, “it’s raining cats and dogs” means there is lots of rain. Idioms can be very helpful in communicating complex information in simple terms.
7. Listen to music
Music has been shown to improve your listening comprehension and boost your concentration levels. Listening to English songs is particularly effective because they contain lots of phrasal verbs like “to go into” or “to let fly.”
8. Watch movies
Watching English movies gives you a chance to hear native speakers speaking in real life situations. If you prefer watching television shows, make sure you watch programs with subtitles. Subtitles will help you develop your listening and pronunciation skills. Also, check out online videos. There are plenty of websites where you can listen to English films or TV shows for free.
9. Practice conversation
Conversations require lots of listening skills. In order to really get to know another person, you must be able to ask questions and show interest and compassion. To practice these skills, visit a mall, train station or park and strike up conversations with random strangers. Remember not to sound nervous or fake! Don’t be afraid to say hi. At first it might feel awkward to talk to someone who isn’t known to you, but after a while you’ll get used to it and you will discover some interesting details about the other person. And who knows? Maybe they will become friends too!
10. Speak in public
Speaking in front of groups may seem intimidating at first, but once you’re comfortable, you will gain confidence. Before you give a speech, rehearse your introduction and conclusion so that everything flows smoothly. When addressing a crowd, try talking slowly and enunciating clearly. Make eye contact with audience members and smile often. Finally, take deep breaths before starting. This will calm you down and put you in a relaxed mood. By mastering the basics of delivering speeches, you open up opportunities to speak in front of large crowds. Your success rate will increase dramatically, allowing you to share your unique perspective on key topics like business, politics and health.
How to learn pronunciation of English words?
If learning how to pronounce English words correctly sounds stressful, don’t worry! There are many resources available online that provide audio pronunciations. You can find them easily using search engines like Google. They include websites like PronunciationTools.com and IPA-Academy.org which both offer numerous recordings with detailed explanations of each word. The British Council offers additional audio files on its website. While the audio file may not help you understand what every individual syllable represents, practicing pronunciation will allow you to build a strong vocabulary from the ground up. Eventually, you will begin feeling confident when listening and pronouncing new words.
How to develop the slang?
If learning how words are made up sounds hard, there are several types of dictionaries you can use. You should definitely invest in a good dictionary since they teach grammar rules, explain etymology (the history of words) and tell you exactly how to spell individual letters and syllables. A physical dictionary is your best choice because it can answer any question that comes up. Online dictionaries are convenient, especially if you need a flashcard, and they are always accessible via mobile devices. Keep practicing pronunciation until you can read a text without referring back to the dictionary. Nowadays smartphones come equipped with voice recognition systems that allow you to dictate words instead of typing them. Of course, if you are having trouble reading or understanding a given passage, you can always consult your teacher or tutor.
In the real world, you are going to hear accents and slang phrases. If you do not recognize the accent, it could mean one thing; it was used by someone outside your country. Even though you are not likely to meet it now, learning about different dialects can make you better prepared to deal with them down the road. For example, “What are your thoughts/opinions about the state of the economy?” is one way of asking what type of answers you would expect to receive. Another way to practice is to listen to a variety of news broadcasts from various regions around the world. When you watch television or a film, pay attention to how actors deliver lines and act out scenes. You can apply those observations later when speaking. Since English is a highly diverse language, even slight differences among dialects can affect proper pronunciation. Understanding these elements makes it easier to adapt.