Sophie is from Germany and has been studying English for many years. She has recently achieved an 8.5 in her academic IELTS exam! Below you will find her top 10 tips on how to improve your English – they have worked for her so hopefully they will work for you too.
1: Switch to English for everything.
Switch all the movies you watch to English, switch your phone and PC to English, read books and newspapers in English. It’s the easiest way to passively learn the language.
2: Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
Everyone must start somewhere and not speaking is always worse than making mistakes. Be brave, no one is going to laugh at you for not being perfect at speaking a second language.
3: Find your common mistakes.
Ask a native English speaker if there are any mistakes you regularly make. You can also search online for the most common mistakes people from your native language make in English and see which of them you are guilty of. Then improve and use the correct form.
4: If you learn a new word, write it down.
Carry a vocabulary notebook with you and if you hear or read a new word, write it down with the translation. Look back at the new words you have learnt often and try to use them afterwards to extend your vocabulary.
5: Try to think in English.
Rather than translating from your first language into English, try to think in English and construct your sentences from there. It’s going to sound much more natural than translating.
6: Try to talk to native speakers.
If you already live in an English-speaking country, it’s quite easy to find native speakers to talk to. If you are overseas, try to look for places where tourists go, as you might be able to strike up a conversation there. You can also search online to find a language exchange partner, maybe a native English speaker wants to learn your first language and this way both of you can take advantage of talking to each other. Who knows, it might even turn into a friendship.
7: Be consistent.
Keep in mind that there are different kinds of English (British, American, Australian, etc.) and none of them are correct or wrong. But try to choose which one you want to use and stick to it.
8: Learn idioms and slang.
Try to learn synonyms, slang and idioms to make your English more colourful and varied and to understand native speakers easier.
9: Write something in English at least once a day.
We lose a language so quickly if we do not keep on practising. You can write about how your day was or about something you read or saw that day. Try to write it by hand as we tend to get lazy with all the auto correction on electronic devices.
10: Book a UKG Tutoring service.
We have many qualified and experienced English language teachers all around the UK who can teach face-to-face or online. Whether you would like to improve your general or academic English, writing skills, conversational English or technical language for a particular subject, we have the perfect teacher for you. Get in touch for more information.