40 Ways to Learn English!
These are the 40 top things that you can do to improve your English
1. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Nobody is perfect and actually mistakes are the best
way to learn something new. Be confident, even if you make mistakes.
2. Surround yourself with English. Put yourself in all English speaking environments and
listen close! Watch TV in English, listen to English music, and talk as much as you can in
3. Practice, practice, practice. Make a study plan. Decide how much time per week you
want to study English, and force yourself to do it. The more routine your English practice
becomes, the more likely you are to practice frequently.
4. Practice all four core skills: Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening. All of these are
necessary to improving your English.
5. Keep a notebook with you and write down any new words you learn. Try using them
when talking to people in English.
6. It will be easier to learn vocabulary if you remember a sentence with the word rather
than only the definition.
7. Don’t only study for tests, study for daily life! Give yourself goals outside of school.
8. Create an atmosphere in which you want to learn, not just because you have to. Remind
yourself why you want to learn English.
9. Get help! If you don’t understand something, do NOT be afraid to ask someone.
Teachers, classmates, and friends are all there to help! They will want to support you in
learning English. If you never ask, you will never know!
10. Don’t be in a hurry to move up levels at school. Concentrate on fully understanding
everything in your current level. Moving up is not the goal, learning English is!
11. Watch TV and DVDs. You may have grown up hearing that too much TV was bad, but
when it comes to English, TV is great practice for listening skills and understanding
difficult slang or idioms that are common in conversation.
12. Read graded readers, or Penguin books of various levels. These books are entire novels
modified to fit various English levels.
13. Read for general meaning first. Don’t worry about understanding every word, you will
miss the point of the reading! Once you understand the main points, then go back and
look up new words.
14. Before pulling out your dictionary to look up a new word, first think about it in context.
Read or pay attention to the words around it and try to understand the word first before
double checking with a dictionary.
15. English, unlike some other languages like Japanese or French, uses word stress. For
new words, try to count the syllables and find out where the stress (or emphasis) is in
16. Learn prefixes (dis-, un-, re-) and suffixes (-ly, -ment, -ful), as these will help you figure
out meanings of words and also help you build your vocabulary.
17. Use English at ALL times. It’s as easy as that!
18. You can’t learn English from ONLY reading a book, just like riding a bike- you don’t know
how until you just do it!
19. On that note, the best way to learn natural grammar is through talking.
20. Keep a journal in English about your experiences in the US. This will help you with
writing while also being able to see the improvements in your writing throughout your
time studying in the US.
21. Sing your heart out! Learn English songs and sing along with them! This will help you
improve fluency and intonation… ready for Karaoke?
22. Dictation. While listening to music or TV, try to write down what you hear.
23. Nobody likes to hear their own voice, but recording yourself speaking English will be
extremely helpful in accent reduction.
24. Don’t become too reliant on your dictionary. Your dictionary should be an aid, but not
your teacher. Try to guess the meaning of the word before checking on your dictionary.
25. Don’t give up! Learning English can be frustrating! Keep working hard, keep trying, and
you’ll keep improving!
26. Have fun!! You’ll learn MUCH quicker if you are having fun doing it. 🙂
27. You are never too young or too old to start learning English. Don’t make excuses!!
28. There are many types of English: British, American, South African, and so on. None of
these are wrong, nor is one better or worse than the rest. English is English! It will be
helpful, however, to practice listening to every kind of English accent.
29. Phrasal verbs (two word verbs) are VERY common in English. There are hundreds of
them! The more you focus on their meaning, the more you’ll be able to guess the
meaning of new ones and recognize the patterns.
30. Don’t worry about a bad test score. Passing or failing an English test does not correlate
with one’s ability to communicate in English. Just keep working hard!!
31. Get used to the ‘schwa’ sound, or an unstressed and toneless neutral vowel sound that
sounds a little bit like ‘euh.’ It is the most common vowel sound in English! Think the ‘a’
sound in about, or the ‘u’ in supply.
32. Learn the differences between formal and informal language. It’s better to use slang and
casual conversation skills with friends and in most situations, but not in a business
meeting or interview.
33. Textbook English is normally a lot different than how people actually speak. Watching
TV and listening close to surrounding conversations will help you to grasp a better
understanding of “casual conversation.”
34. Make use of the internet! There are tons of English websites and English games. Try
BBC Learning English or watch TedTalks videos!
35. When talking, we usually link words together so that two words sound like one word. For
example, any word followed by a word starting with a vowel sound will be connected
36. Learn from your mistakes! If you keep making the same mistake, practice, practice,
practice!!! Keep practicing the mistake until it is no longer a habit.
37. While it can be comfortable to hang out with only people from the same country as you,
try to make friends from other countries! This will force you to speak English and also to
enjoy a more culturally rich experience while studying abroad.
38. While taking your courses, be prepared for class! Do your homework, practice outside of
class, your teachers assigned it for a reason!
39. Find a comfortable, peaceful place to study quietly. Distractions will keep you from
remembering the things you have studied.
40. And finally…… Study English at Hollywood College!!!