Learning a new language is never easy and takes dedication and hard work. There are no shortcuts to this process but there are definitely some things you can do to help you learn as quickly and effectively as you can.
If you want to learn English quickly, there is no better way than to put yourself into an environment where you are surrounded by the language 24/7. Of course, the best way to do this is to travel to a country where English is the mother tongue. You’ll be forced to learn fast if you want to open a bank account in London or order a coffee in Edinburgh! But you can also immerse yourself for periods in your own country. Why not find an English speaker to have a coffee with once a week, or spend an hour each day watching English-language TV shows?
It’s important to have a strategy when learning a language, as well as making sure you keep good notes of what you have already studied. Set yourself short and long term goals. For example, you might decide to learn 5 new words every day or have the objective of being able to write a short essay about a particular topic. It’s up to you to decide what is the best strategy, but it really helps having something to aim for and it does wonders for your motivation and confidence when you achieve your goals.
Make use of technology
It’s never been easier to study English as there are so many websites, apps, podcasts and YouTube channels which can help you. Some of our favourites include the Chegg Flashcard app, which is great for storing new vocabulary; Ted Talks to provide interesting topics to practice your listening and expand your mind; and, of course, BSA’s very own One Minute of English – perfect if you are short of time but want to learn something about English!
Read, read, read!
A lot of students say they don’t like reading, but maybe this is because they have memories of reading boring old novels at school! However, you can practice your English by reading anything – comics, gossip websites, recipes and even Twitter can be fun ways to improve your reading skills and boost your vocabulary. Find something you are interested in and try and read a little every day and you’ll be amazed how quickly you pick up new expressions!
Join a class
This might seem like an obvious tip, but it really does work! Not only do you have a teacher to guide you and help you understand difficult concepts but you’ll met a lot of interesting people to inspire you to keep studying. The classroom is also a safe place where you can experiment with English without having to be scared of making mistakes!
Create situations to use English
It’s sometimes difficult to find people to practice English with, even if you are living in a country where English is the main language. So maybe you need to be a little creative! For example, if you want to practice asking for and understanding directions, why not get yourself a little lost in the city and ask someone! Alternatively, you could try starting a conversation with your taxi driver to see how much you can understand. There are many ways you can be proactive in creating the opportunity to practice and, who knows, you may even make a friend!
Learning English can feel like hard work if you try to make yourself do something you really don’t like. Yes, grammar is important, but don’t stress yourself out studying tenses 8 hours a day. It’s fine to relax with a Netflix series sometimes, or listen to English-language music. Studying a language becomes easier if you are not stress or bored so find something you love that you can do in English and let that be a part of your study plan.