Learning a foreign language is a difficult task for most of us but, with patience, and lots of practice you can achieve your goal. Like any other goal, learning (or improving) English requires a plan. I put up together 11 methods for improving English that are very useful for any learner of English.
Learn vocabulary every day - Make a list of words you want to learn. Three words a day is just enough as long as you review the list several times a day. Try to make at least 5 sentences using each word from your list. Three words a day, multiply with 365 days a year; That’s over 1000 words a year. Pretty good, isn’t it?
Label things in your house - This is an effective way of learning new words. Every single item in your house has to be label. Stick a post-it on every single thing in your house and write the English translation for it. I do the same in Vietnamese language and it works!
Listen and read English at the same time - There are many beautiful English songs that you listen probably every day. Find the lyrics online then read the lyrics and listen the song at the same time. Translate every word you don’t understand and try to memorize it. Should be easy as long as it is your favorite song. You can do the same watching an English movie with English subtitles. YouTube is a great place to find different kinds of English language video with English subtitles.
Listen or watch the same movie (song) over and over again - I suppose that everybody has at least one favorite movie. My favorite is “Rush Hour” (there are three parts). I have watched these three movies hundreds of times and I still like it. At the very beginning was quite difficult to understand everything people are talking in the movie, but every time I watched it I could understand better. A great way to improve your English! Combine the way number 4 with the way number 3 and the results will be amazing.
Sing karaoke - Karaoke is a very popular way of entertainment in Vietnam. All of my neighbors have a karaoke machine. Why not try to sing English songs? Karaoke could be a very effective way to improve your English.
Say in English everything you are doing - This has to be a habit. Definitely, this habit requires a dictionary at any moment. Saying everything you are doing is another great way to improve your English. It requires a dictionary at the beginning but few weeks later you can say everything you are doing without consulting the dictionary.
Chat online in English - Chatting online was the way I learned English. In my opinion chatting online is the best way to improve your English. If the person you are chatting with is an English native speaker then you are a lucky person. Anyway, you can use English language for chat with your friends, which is still effective.
Join an English Speaking Club - There are many English Speaking Clubs where people get together to speak English and learn from each other. It can be fun; you can make a lot of good friends there and can build great relationships while improving your English. English Speaking Clubs are usually free or very cheap. Quite often you can find native English speakers joining English Speaking Clubs.
Record your own voice - Being a big “white” man in Vietnam, I was invited to be Santa Claus for some children and have a short speech in English. Somebody recorded everything with a video camera and the next day I had opportunity to watch it. I had a terrible voice, terrible accent and awful public speaking skills. It made me to change the way I learn English. It was long time ago, now everything is much better. A month ago I was invited to record the announcement speech for Manulife 5 star cruiser. I still don’t know for sure if they use my recording or another one.
Take an English course - Taking an English course can be expensive but being in an English environment can just help you to improve your English skills. You can also take advantage of having an English teacher in the class. He/She is there to help you, so don’t hesitate to ask questions. A more effective way is to have a tutor. For sure, having a private tutor is a very expensive way to improve your English but you have the teacher only for you.
Develop a website in English language - Currently I am developing a website (blog) in Vietnamese language. I find it a great way to learn a foreign language or just improve it. You can write whatever you want as long as you use English. Writing for a blog is definitely a difficult task but it is very effective. Writing for a blog is also testing your grammar abilities. Writing good grammar can build your confidence and soon you will see results in your speaking accuracy.
Try to apply these methods in your learning process (not necessary in the same order I present them here) and certainly you English will be much improved in very short time.