Listening and reading are receptive: input, i.e. the
exposure you have to authentic language in use. Speaking and writing
are productive: output, i.e. the action of producing language as part of the
process of second language learning.
To achieve these four basic language skills, you need to surround
yourself with English: make English part of your life
at home, at work, during your free time.
Read on to find tips that will help you overcome the difficulties
you might be experiencing to improve your English skills.
Expose yourself to the language as much as possible:
practice makes perfect, which means that if you want to improve a
certain skill you have to practice it. As a beginner learner you will need to
achieve all 4 language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing.
It plays a very important part in learning any language. Effective
listening ensures understanding and it helps improve accuracy when speaking ,
among other things. How can you improve your listening skills? By listening
actively, i.e. paying attention not only on what is said, but also how it is
said. So, listen:
1. To music –old
or modern; the type you prefer, but pay attention to the lyrics. (sometimes
reading the lyrics may help you understand the song)
2. To movies, TV shows, news, entertainments, the radio – try the classics. If you can watch DVD’s
you can watch the movie several times. Watching with subtitles and then, when
you feel more comfortable, without them. You can have English radio at home or
on your mobile phone. Even if are not actually listening to it, your ears will
be getting used to the sounds of the language.
3. Attend plays, exhibitions, talks, etc. in English organized by English speaking schools or
It is often the
hardest of the four language skills, but as soon as you can speak a little
English there are lots of ways to improve quickly and have tons of fun.
4. Join voiced chats. Technology has advanced a lot in terms of
social networks so, wherever you live, you’ll find a chat-room to join.
5. Talk and record yourself. This may sound funny,
but it will help you realize how you can improve by repeating the recording
several times till you feel happy with the results.
6. Talk to your classmates in English when you are not in class. You
can even make a group to play games, have a meal or just chat together.
It is a process of the brain and it takes time to develop: your
mind has to attach meaning to the words, phrases and expressions represented by
symbols, plus get to understand the grammar and structure of the language used
in the passage to read. If you develop strong reading skills, it’ll be very
helpful to your future. You can read:
7. Books in English and
articles on the web. Maybe, books you
have already read in your mother tongue or which have been turned into movies.
Try to start with easy books, even children’s books and comics: The images will
help you understand even if you don’t know all the words
8. Switch the operating system of your mobile phone, your PC or
tablet into English. Associating a function with a certain
word, will improve your vocabulary.
Even though it may be intimidating to a lot of people, anyone can
get used to writing with a little discipline and a willingness to learn.
9. Write down words or
expressions you think useful
with their meaning and examples. If you see them in sentences you will remember
them better. You can use them if you keep a diary.
10. Write comments in English blogs. At present
blogs are websites that resemble journals. Lots of people use them to expose
their ideas on a certain topic or to explain things – from how to knit a scarf,
to very complicated ones where technical or philosophical topics are dealt
with. One common feature of all these blogs is that they are interactive: the
readers can make comments or debate the ideas stated in the blog. Even if you
are not a blog fan, you may find some that really encourage you to take part.
So, just do it. You don’t need to be an expert to write a few sentences about
what you think or feel about the content of the blog.
All the above mentioned tips can be reduced to just one: PRACTICE,
PRACTICE, PRACTICE!! Whatever learning style you have, whatever your native
language is, the key to acquire and master a foreign language is PRACTICE it as
much and as often as possible.
According to WALL STREET ENGLISH