Practice Makes Perfect
The key to learning anything, not just language, is the amount of practice you put in. The theory is quite simple, the more you practice the quicker you will learn. But in a real world situation, this theory isn’t always practical. Try to set yourself a target that you can stick to. Don’t say to yourself, “OK, I need to practice English, so I will study it for 8 hours a day!" because the chances are that you won’t. Most people are too busy with their normal daily lives to practice this much, but you will benefit from practicing every day, even if it is just for a short time every day.
If you only practice for 10 minutes a day, you will notice an improvement in just a short time. Regular practice, even if just a short time is much better than irregular practice. This is because English will always stay fresh in your mind and you’ll be able to remember things much easier. Below are some ideas on how to practice.
Surround Yourself with the Language
Immerse yourself in the English language. This way, you’ll be studying English without even knowing and you’ll be practicing all the time.
Practice your listening skills by watching English speaking TV or listening to English speaking radio shows. Most countries broadcast at least one English speaking TV channel, so watch the news, or watch a movie or even listen to music in English. Download a favorite English podcast and listen to it while on the go. If you do this for only 10 minutes a day every day you’ll soon notice your listening skills improve very quickly.
You can practice you speaking skills too! If your friends are learning English then make an effort to speak to them in English. When you meet, set a rule that you must speak English as much as possible. If you don’t have any friends that learn English, then speak it to yourself to practice your pronunciation or get online and meet people and chat with them on the internet. Again, just a few minutes a day will really help improve your speaking skills.
You can easily practice your reading skills. Go on the internet and search for things you are interested in. It’s always more fun to read something that you like to read. Alternatively, try buying an English language newspaper and read the news in English instead of your mother tongue!
Finally, you can practice your writing skills by keeping a journal or diary. Write about things that you did that day, your thoughts and your plans for the next day. You don’t need to write a lot; just spend a few minutes writing in your journal and make sure that you do it every day.
As you can see, the more you practice the quicker you will learn the language. You don’t have to be doing your homework, or reading your course book to practice, there are many ways that you do this. Be creative and try to surround yourself in English language as much as possible and you’ll be learning English quicker than ever before!
About the Author: William Lake is an ESL Teacher and Lecturer of TEFL. He has many years’ experience of teaching English and this is the advice that he passes on to his students when asked how to learn English more quickly. William publishes a blog about ESL.