There are lots of ways you can learn English as a foreign language. Here are 8 tips to learn new vocabulary and expressions:
1. Write it Down!
When you come across a new word note it down in a vocabulary book along with a translation and an example sentence. Make a habit of referring to this book and try to use the vocabulary in your spoken and written English.
2. Listen to music in English
The last sixty years have been full of popular music in English. And now you don’t have to go out spending loads on records, tapes and CDs – it’s free! Just go on Youtube and select “with lyrics”, enjoy the music and learn the words. Of course, not forgetting to write down the new words in your book!
3. Watching Films and TV
Hmm this is a tricky one! It depends on the kind of programme you’re watching. Obviously there’s a different kind of English presented in a documentary than a movie about fighting punks! Always add the subtitles in English. But generally I believe the brain is distracted by the images. So even if you’re able to understand even half of the rapid, garbled slang full of colloquial expressions, your concentration is disturbed by the pictures. These programmes are not made for ESL students! But there are hundreds of superb programmes on YouTube which are especially for English learners listening practice – now that’s a different thing completely!
4. Label things in your home and office
Buy a pack of labels and stick them up everywhere! Have the correct spelling at the top and underneath use the phonetics of your own language so you will get the pronunciation right.
5. Read Aloud
To get your mouth used to English sounds and pronunciation practise reading out loud as often as possible. Read different things and make it fun!
6. Free writing
Writing in English is probably the area of English learning that is done the least. Ten minutes free writing when you wake up is a great way to start the day and to use those new words and expressions. Just write about anything, let it flow! Remember to read it through when you’ve finished and if possible ask a native speaker to check it for you.
7. Make English a central part of your life
Read the news in English. Enjoy your hobbies in English. Phone up or write to English friends. There are so many ways that you can make the English language a central part of your life. Find an English speaking partner!
8. It takes time!
Remember it takes time, but tell yourself every day you are getting better.
Learning English as a Foreign Language
If you want to start learning English as a Foreign Language or as a second language (ESL), you better start taking these 8 tips more seriously and for sure you will get there more easily.