Is English killing your career opportunities?
Here are a few tips to improve English quickly.
Learning or improving English language does not only mean sitting in classrooms, rote learning grammar rules and translating text of one language into English. There’s more to learning English language quickly. There have been various approaches adopted by teachers and learners to teach or learn English language. Some of the methods that have been in vogue in last 100 years include the conventional Grammar-Translation Method, Direct Method, Bilingual Method, Audio-Lingual method, Communicative Language Teaching and so on. Though all these methods did make a difference but were not very fruitful in English language teaching. If one wants to improve English (or any other second language for that matter), the following handy tips may be tried:
There is an old saying that “Books are the Best Friends” and the saying holds true even today. The best way to improve English is by reading English books, magazines, and newspapers. Reading is a great way to practise language in one’s own time. Literary books, especially, expose one to the best and most beautiful words in the language. Reading is a receptive skill i.e. it helps one acquire information and that’s why making reading a habit will help one not only in improving language but also in knowing a lot of new things. Reading magazines and newspapers will keep one up to date with the latest developments in different fields.
2. Put it on paper:
Writing is a wonderful way to use new vocabulary and to practise thinking in ‘English’. Writing provides one space to put on the paper what he/she has learnt or acquired through reading and listening. One must make it a habit to write every day even if it’s a few sentences or a few pages. It is also a good way to keep track of the improvement. At the same time, one must find somebody who could look over the writing and suggest improvement.
3. Learn to Listen:
Listening is the key to learning. Listening, like reading, is a receptive skill that helps one acquire knowledge. It is no coincidence that somebody who is deaf is dumb also. One can’t be a good speaker unless he is a good listener. Paying attention while listening to somebody speaking in English will help in acquiring grammatical structures and vocabulary of English that, in turn, will help improve English language. Television can be a good friend in language learning. Watching channels like BBC, CNN, Discovery, National Geographic etc. can help learn English by bounds. Listening to the native speakers’ speech and conversation, and then practising will be of immense help. It’ll help in improving pronunciation too.
4. Say it out loud:
Spoken English can be improved only by speaking. Listening to lectures or speeches for hours about how to improve English won’t help in acquiring speaking skills much unless the leaner practises speaking. Reading newspapers or magazines loud; taping one’s voice and then playing it; and talking to friends and family in English will help improve spoken English. If nothing’s available, one may talk to the favourite person i.e. oneself. Speaking the thoughts out loud boosts confidence and improves language as well.
5. Vocabulary Building:
Developing vocabulary is not important only for writers but for everybody who is trying to improve language. Words are the very basic ingredients of a language and unless one has words, he/she can’t express clearly, no matter how great the ideas are. The purpose of knowing good vocabulary is not to use fancy, complicated or arcane words to impress people but to use words according to the context and to make language clear and precise. Make it a point to learn at least 10 words daily and then, use those words in your language. Simply knowing meanings won’t help. By the way, keep a dictionary handy.
About the Author
PROF. YUSUF MEHDI
Prof. Yusuf Mehdi is a Cambridge University certified English Language Teacher.