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How to improve English skills

Improving one’s English skills is vital in today’s world. English is an important language to learn while living in a diverse country like India. With every state having its local language, English connects the whole country. Below are a few tips that one can follow to improve their English skills.

Common Tips to improve English skills

  • Join an English learning course where one learns English from a certified teacher. Naturally, this is the easiest way for a beginner to start learning the language.
  • Spread the word to your family and friends! If they are well-versed with the language, they might be able to help with your studies. Study with a partner. Holding each other accountable for reaching goals and having friendly competition helps to learn faster.
  • Create a comfortable and peaceful atmosphere that will motivate you to learn more.
  • Take English exams and study for them. However, don’t focus on the result, this is only to improve your confidence. It is helpful to review your lessons right before the exam.
  • Make sure you think about how English will help you in your daily life. That will push you to improve more in a shorter time.
  • It is completely okay to make mistakes. But make sure you don’t repeat the same mistakes and learn from them.
  • Creating short-term and long-term goals will further increase your will to master the language. It is also a good idea to reward yourself when you complete certain goals.
  • Practicing every day is essential. Make a study plan and follow it diligently. Then, focus on the four main aspects of English: Listening, Speaking, Reading, Writing.
  • Don’t get disheartened if you are learning at a slow pace. Staying determined and positive is the way to go. Remember to take as much time as you need on a certain level. Don’t jump levels to learn more.
  • You know yourself the best. Observe your easiest and most effective methods of learning. Do you learn better while reading out loud or talking to other people? Is it easier for you to learn in a crowded environment or a silent one?
  • Don’t overwork yourself. Take breaks periodically and do other things before going back to studying.
  • Look back on the basics to know how much you’ve progressed! This is a booster to work harder and do better. 
  • Use post-its, flashcards/cue cards to make learning more fun! These methods tend to make studying more interesting.
  • It is vital to know where to use formal language and where to use informal language. While learning English for work, it is important to know the difference between casual and formal talk.
  • It is essential to know the different meanings a word might have. For example, the word ‘right’ has more than one meaning in English. The meaning of the word depends on the context it is being used in.

Listening Tips

  • Watching the same movies and listening to the same songs over and over helps grasp words better. As your English level increases, it’ll become easier to understand something after listening to it for the first time.
  • Having something to constantly listen to helps your brain process words and phrases that are commonly used. 
  • Listening to native speakers helps understand pronunciation better than reading them.
  • Contextual listening is required for words that have the same pronunciation but different meanings. For example, ‘night’ and ‘knight’ have the same pronunciations but different meanings.
  • Written English is different from spoken English. Learning from a textbook may not be the best idea for spoken English. Similarly, English written in books is different from English spoken in movies and shows. You must observe the difference between both.
  • Practicing speaking in front of the mirror helps you to become more confident and improve your speech.

Speaking Tips to improve English skills

  • Using English in your daily conversations boosts your confidence. Additionally, having conversations with yourself in English prepares you for actual conversations with other people. For example, while introducing yourself to others, it is a good idea to go through the conversation in your head than come up with something to say at the last minute.
  • Surrounding yourself in an English-speaking environment ensures you learn faster. Learning English in a native English country helps to get a feel of communicating with native speakers.
  • Start thinking in English, instead of in your native language. This will help in forming better sentences than translating them from your native language.
  • Record yourself speaking and singing in English. This will help find your weak points and help in improving pronunciation.
  • Grammar is important. Incorrect grammar often results in miscommunication and misunderstandings.
  • Having the perfect accent is not necessary. Speaking naturally with a neutral accent is the way to go. This helps break all barriers while talking to other people.
  • It is okay to take time to gather your thoughts. Nobody expects you to speak English fluently when it’s not your native language. Take a deep breath and be confident in whatever you say.
  • Don’t hesitate to start conversations in English. Confidence is an attractive trait to possess. Also, debating in English on different topics helps increase your vocabulary. 

Reading Tips

  • Mastering reading English is a slow process. Reading words in certain contexts gives different meanings to those words.
  • Start slow. It is impossible to read a full novel without making any mistakes. It is best to start with short stories and work your way to the top. Reading children’s books can also improve your vocabulary and teach you new words.
  • Similarly, reading newspapers opens up a whole new section of words that you might not know otherwise. Words related to different news articles can help strengthen vocabulary.
  • It is not essential to understand everything in one go. Make sure you understand the meaning of the sentence and the message being conveyed. However, tt might take reading three or four times to understand certain words. So, it’s okay to go slow.
  • Read along to audiobooks to improve your pronunciation. For more effective learning, watch movies with subtitles and try to read as fast as you can.
  • Read dictionaries on a daily basis to improve your vocabulary. This helps you to converse with other English speakers confidently.

Writing Tips to improve English skills

  • One of the most effective ways of learning English is to write down your lessons. Writing will help improve your spelling and also help to figure out the difference between pronunciation and spelling for certain words. For example, rendezvous has a pronunciation that is not phonetically correct to its spelling.
  • Writing down ideas and thoughts and later focussing on structuring them in the right way is a faster way of writing essays and articles. Writing in a diary or journal is good practice.
  • Blogs, chatrooms, and online forums are good ways to interact with other people. They also help increase your confidence while talking to strangers.
  • Proofreading is a must! Another way of making sure you don’t make mistakes is to read your writing out loud.
  • Using the right punctuation often helps mirror the emotion in a certain sentence. In other words, the right punctuation can bring out the right feel in a novel or storybook.

In short, practicing and staying motivated is the most effective way to learn and improve English.

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