Ways to Study English Outside of School
When it comes to learning a language, you can only do so much in class. You will need to put your abilities to the test and improve those skills. Luckily there are many options for the motivated learner.
- Do what you love in English.
If it’s something you are passionate about, you will enjoy it more, meet other people and make English-speaking friends who share your interests.
- Do what you already know in English.
If you have an interest in a field, try reading about that topic in English. It will be much more enjoyable and relaxing!
- Agree with friends to speak only English at specific times
Such as on the subway, or on a specific day of the week
- Watch TV series and films in English
Watch English language movies with subtitles in English or without any subtitles.
- Read books in English.
These can be books you have already read in your home language, or those that have been made into films which you have already seen.
- Practice specific communication situations on your own
This can be at home in front of the mirror. Imagine that you are disagreeing, giving an interview, or asking for information. You can also find a partner and role-play.
- Practice your pronunciation by reading out loud.
It’s a good idea to do this with someone who knows English and can correct you. Also, you can record yourself and notice the way you speak. Set yourself specific goals. Write down the words you often mispronounce.
- Write down new words you learn in a special notebook.
Remember to review them on a regular basis.
- Listen to other people speaking in English.
You might not understand everything, but you might learn some new phrases and get real listening practice.
- Play games in English
These can be online or traditional games.
These strategies will give you more opportunities to practice your English in authentic situations. Using English in your everyday life can help you make greater progress.
There are many internet sites where you can study and practice English, with quizzes and games. Whether you want to increase your vocabulary or improve your grammar, there’s certain to be a game out there for you.
Free ESL Websites for Secondary Students to Learn English
The British Council
Activities for ESL Students.
Originally from the UK, Andrew has lived in Asia for two-thirds of his life, a third in the UK, a third in Korea and a third in China. He is now teaching the intensive EAL to Year7-9 students. Before coming to Chongqing he taught IB MYP English B in Nanjing and before that, primary EAL in Suzhou. He has been teaching English as a Second Language for most of his working life.
By Andrew Messom, YCIS Scondary EAL Teacher