Learning English isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. (Learning the difference between “sprint” and “marathon” can be your task of the day!) Studying English is difficult and fluency does not happen overnight. You must work hard at learning English, or any other language, in order to improve and reach your goals. The most important thing you can do is follow a plan, set yourself targets, and reward yourself when you meet these targets. You should have patience and be prepared for some setbacks along the way. Here are a few more tips for success with the English language.
1. Be Realistic
Learning a language is a slow and gradual process. You shouldn’t expect to be fluent overnight. Be prepared to spend some time studying the language and you won’t be disappointed if you have to spend lots of time on one topic or another.
2. Have a Plan
Work out your objectives and reasons for learning the language and set yourself targets concerning what you want to learn and why you want to learn it. For example, if you want to learn English for travel then you should focus on conversational English and leave workplace English for a later date.
3. Establish a Learning Habit
Try to practice English or learn something every day. When you study every day you are more likely to keep the English in your head. Make it a habit to practice English – try setting the same time each day for English study. You don’t have to study for hours – 10 minutes every day is better than two hours once a week.
4. Keep the Process Interesting
Vary your studies so you spend one day concentrating on grammar, then another on listening, etc. This will help you find links between the different areas and it also stops you from getting bored.
5. Benefit from Intensive Learning
All the books in the world won’t be as effective as speaking English intensively with native speakers, or actually studying the language in England.
6. Find Friends
Whether you are attending a summer school or spending the summer at home, find friends you can chat to in English. Make a rule that you are only able to speak in English during the times you get together. Use a penalty system for every person that breaks this rule.
7. Study What Interests You
Find materials on the Internet or the TV that interest you so you are more likely to pay attention and enjoy studying. For example, watch a TV series in English or read articles about travel in English online.
8. Practice, Practice, Practice
Possibly the best advice for learning English is never to “switch off” your English – keep practicing as often as you can. Read, write, and speak English. Write emails in English to friends. Practice saying phrases out loud in English – every little helps.