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

the word.

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

when speaking.

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!!!