Spring is coming, that wonderful time of year when flowers begin to bloom everywhere.
But not only are flowers reborn, so are many of our dreams, including that of speaking English fluently.
It’s no secret that English is the main language in the world. Many want to learn it, but for many different reasons, some get stuck somewhere in the middle. Maybe they don’t have the time, the discipline, or sometimes, the resources needed to take a language course.
Despite the difficulties, now is the best time to learn English.
Thanks to the unlimited amount of resources available just a click away, any internet user who wants to learn English can do so at home.
If you know someone who has told you, “I learned English on my own,” you’ve probably wondered how they did it. In reality, it’s not something that’s beyond your reach.
Today, we’re going to share 7 tips with you that will show you that learning English from the comfort of your own home isn’t that far out of reach. If you set your mind to it and put your heart into it, you’ll definitely achieve your goal.
Have study partners
Travelling, going to the cinema, eating in a restaurant, or visiting a museum are activities that you enjoy more when you do it together with others. This is even more true when it comes to learning English.
A study partner helps you correct your mistakes and is also an excellent conversation partner to practice with. And when you feel a bit discouraged, they give you a nudge so you don’t stop studying altogether.
Nowadays, technology also allows you to connect with people from all over the world. You can interact with them and practice your skills online. Don’t worry if you make mistakes or if you don’t understand 100% of what the other person is saying.
Learning a new language is a process. Each day represents a step that will bring you closer to your goal.
Use authentic materials
Not too long ago, English courses were limited to books, cassettes (have you ever used them?), CDs, and whatever the teacher would share during the class.
You could also rent videos from a store or, if you had access to cable TV, you could watch content in English.
The times have changed, haven’t they? Today, books and online courses offer you a wide variety of articles, videos, and audio files to sharpen your language skills.
Thanks to the internet, you have access to online videos, websites, and social networks where you can supplement your conventional learning.
What resources can you use?
Here are some ideas:
- Visit the English-language news websites (CNN, BBC, ESPN, etc.) and browse the articles, videos, interviews, infographics, and forums. Remember that on the ABA English app, you can find diverse content that you can use to learn English.
- Search for and follow English-speaking YouTubers. Not only those with a sense of humour, but also those that deal with different topics such as cooking, photography, tourism, and pets so that you can learn about different subjects. You can also visit the ABA English channel on YouTube where you will find many interesting lessons.
- Download English apps to help you expand your vocabulary and pronunciation.
- Play multiplayer games where you can interact with English-speaking players.
- Watch films in English and learn with subtitles. Listen to a lot of music, sing, and do karaoke. ABA English also offers you ABA Films, which are short films with native-speaking actors that will allow you to improve your listening skills and adapt yourself to the different accents in English.
As you can see, you have a lot of resources at your disposal. What are you waiting for?
Learn about culture
What English-speaking city would you like to visit? New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, London, Manchester, Sydney, Glasgow, Liverpool… There are so many places to visit!
How nice would it be if you could get to know something about the culture of these places before visiting? You could learn about the history, the famous places, the important historical figures, the gastronomy, or the architecture.
In fact, there is a world of things to discover, which you can access without any major problems. Walk the streets of New York City on Google Maps, check out pictures of the latest London hamburger joint on Instagram, and listen to the latest interview with your favourite Hollywood actor or actress on YouTube.
All of this without leaving the comfort of your home and, of course, while learning more and more English.
Read books in English
Learning English is a fun and exciting adventure that could become a real passion. How about reading a book?
Through the internet, you can download books (many of which are free) that will help you learn vocabulary, expressions, verbs, grammatical structures, culture, and much more.
If you’re just starting out, don’t jump into James Joyce’s Ulysses right away. Try novels like Animal Farm by George Orwell or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl.
You can also search for comics and graphic novels, which thanks to their illustrations, will help you to understand the vocabulary more easily.
This all sounds like a lot of fun and we haven’t even finished yet!
Talk to the mirror
No. This isn’t about saying to the mirror, “Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the most beautiful person in the universe?” (or in the forest).
You know that in English, there are many vocal sounds that don’t exist in other languages. To be able to produce them well, you have to practice a lot. If you don’t have someone to guide you, you can practice English at home in front of the mirror while watching the movements of your mouth, tongue, and lips.
Sometimes you might think that you’ve made the correct sound, but when you look in the mirror you might notice that you didn’t open your mouth wide enough or that you had your tongue in the wrong place.
On the internet, you can consult different tutorials with videos and images that will give you a clear idea of how to articulate each sound. Don’t worry if you find it funny, strange, or just something you aren’t familiar with. Just jump in and practice with confidence.
Set realistic goals
Patience… patience… patience. Learning a language takes a lot of time, dedication, and effort. Some people throw in the towel after a couple of months just because they haven’t seen immediate or significant progress.
There’s no need to rush. You must crawl before you walk. And even before that, there is someone that has to lift you up in their arms. Can you imagine a baby running around the house when it’s three months old? It would be like… a phenomenon. This is simply a process that you can’t force. It’s a process. The important thing is that you enjoy yourself and that you draw up short-, medium-, and long-term strategies to reach your goal.
The same thing happens in gyms. You won’t lose your belly in a week, not even if you do 1,000 crunches a day and drink nothing but carrot juice every day. Besides, it would be a real nightmare.
You must set realistic goals. Examples of realistic goals for learning English at home might be:
- Learn 15 new words per week.
- Use at least 3 new verbs when talking to others.
- Write an email with less than 3 spelling errors.
- Learn the rules for conjugating the past simple.
- Memorise 2 irregular verbs per week.
Little by little, you will see progress. If you find things along the way that you don’t understand yet, don’t get frustrated. On the contrary, there will always be something new to learn. Look at every new challenge and obstacle as a hurdle to overcome, not as an excuse to throw in the towel.
Finally, the idea is to have fun. You should enjoy yourself so that the experience of learning English isn’t something traumatic in your life.
We recommend that you look for films, books, or radio stations that you like.
Make friends online to practice with.
Learn interesting things about the culture of English-speaking countries (you can even plan your next trip).
You no longer have an excuse not to learn English. We hope that these tips have motivated you a little more so that you can more easily realise your dream of learning English.
Keep visiting our blog to put these tips into practice. You can also download the app, where you’ll find daily lessons that will help you become an expert English speaker.