English is the most popular language in the world. Once you speak English, you have the key to the door to the big world. Spending time to improve English means you are having a good prepare for your bright future. Here are some ways to help you get better in English.
1. Have clear purposes
Why do you want to improve English?
“WHY” is important question you should ask yourself when you want to do something. You should have some reasons that are strong enough to make you learn with joys and passion. Most people learn English for study abroad or for their jobs. In Vietnam, people have immigrated to the US a lot in the last 10 years. There is a consulate of the USA near my university. I remember I always saw a lot of people in front of consulate for applying a visa or interview to get visa. They don’t care about anything and have big patience with the hot weather in Vietnam. Almost Vietnamese people want to make their “American dream” come true. Anyway, it’s also a clear purpose to improve English.
I wrote a bucket list after I saw The Bucket List film about 3 years ago, just wrote them down and waited for appearance of a supper man who can help me do everything I want (just kidding), then I put them somewhere and didn’t read often until I got first thing done, then second thing and third thing. I changed my mind forever, I realized that I can do anything that I really want . They are like small wins and keep me continuing to do all the things that I have written there.
My big dreams with English are have a TED talk in 5 years, write a book in English before turning 30 years old. Yah, I don’t know how I make them come true but they motivate me everyday that I have to improve my English, think in English, write in English and become an English speaker.
2. Improve Listening skill
Just listen a lot! For me the easy way to be interested in listening is listen to what you love or inspire you. I found out that English has strong power to encourage and influence people what couldn’t be found in other language. There are so much motivated videos on YouTube that I can easily find when my mood goes down or I feel lost and they are usually in English. I tried to look for such motivated video in Vietnamese, Russian and even Finnish, but I didn’t find a good one or if yes, this kind of these videos in other languages can’t touch the bottom of my heart. Here are my some beloved channels on YouTube, if you have time, take a look!
I’m a huge fan of her. She is great woman and so funny MC that I have never seen. I listen to her videos almost everyday on my way to school and they keep my mood up all day.
I just found that she has something like the old me, when I was 20 and had a lot of energy for a long life ahead. She is doing what I want to do but I still don’t take any actions to make them come true. She inspired me a lot, that make me think “She did it, so do I”. I felt like I found myself after her some first video.
I believe that Ted speakers are heros. I love the ideas they bring to the world, what they teach us, inspire us and give us great knowledge. I love the way they stand on stage and confidently tell the world their life adventures. Some videos even stole my tears.
Podcasts are also help me to improve my English. Sometimes if I have time, I copy all what I listen, so that I can take note new words and learn them. My favorite channel is Marketing School of Neil Patel and Eric Sue.
Sometimes I can’t find an e-book so I listen to the audio book, but usually I don’t understand all the ideas.
Listening is more interesting when I can understand more, through it I learn grammar in effective way. I listen many times so it just comes to my mind automatically.
3. Improve Reading skill
Reading book in mother tongue is easier, but knowledge is limited, because people in my country have translated a lot of books from other languages into Vietnamese. There are many books that I want to read, but I can’t found in bookstores in Vietnam. Translated books sometimes can’t express all the ideas of the original books. When I moved to Finland, I didn’t have chance to buy Vietnamese book, so I decided to stop reading in my mother language. I found the app called Scribd. There are tons of books there and I’ve fallen in love with it. Actually, I struggled with reading in English at the first time. I gave up many times and then continued and then quitted and then came back and then continued. It took me almost year to have the habit of English reading.
So as I said, I read e-books on Scribd about what I am interested in. I also read blog posts, magazines about travel, language learning, marketing, personal development, business. I always take my notebook with me, just like a habit, then write new words or awesome phrases that could be used later. I have some favorites blogs, such as Marie Forleo, Michael Hyatt, Neil Patel,…
4. Improve Writing skill
As you see I’m writing blog posts to improve my writing skill. My writing probably is not good in someone’s opinion and I’m also not confident about my writing in English. I have many thoughts like these
Will people laugh at me?
Will they give me some comments that hurt me?
But then I told myself that if I didn’t write, I couldn’t improve it at all. I have learned a lot when I write blog posts, I have to check grammar, how to use right word.
I have been inspired by video of Marie Forleo called ““Who Am I To Write This?” How To Shake Your Newbie Writer’s Nerves “.
“Think of writing as talking and write how you talk.” – Marie Forleo
Her tips are good for anyone who loves writing and cares a lot about what people think about.
For me, writing is the way to practice what I have learned and train my brain to think in English. One thing about writing that I want to improve most is speed. I spend a lot of time writing a blog post, so that I write diary everyday to get faster at writing.
5. Improve Speaking skill
It’s easier to find a friend to practice English with than other languages. You can
- travel to make friend with people and practice English with them.
- be a host in CouchSurfing to bring people to your home, talk to them, introduce your culture, country and listen to their adventures. That would be great!
- download some apps to help to find a native speaker to exchange languages. He also can be your friend in the future.
- go to town, where you can find many tourists and be a free guide to help them become familiar with new country.
Talking to people is of course the best way to train your to respond faster. But if you did all the things above and you still can’t find a friend. So you want to train yourself, follow my steps
- Find some dialogue on the internet.
- Record your voice of one person in dialogue by telephone.
- Turn on your record and react to the question, imagine that you are talking to that person.
- Practice many times until you react naturally like a second person in dialogue.
So these are my tips to improve English how about yours?