English teachers worldwide might have heard this same question a lot of times throughout their teaching career: “How can I improve my English skills?”
English may look easy to master for some, but from those places that do not have the same phonetics with English, it is indeed hard to understand and let alone, master.
The following are some tips that you can use to improve your English skills, but the best advice we can give is to continuously practice the language. Do not practice English within the class only; apply what you learn outside the class as well.
With a little bit of patience, practice, and perseverance, you will be surprised at how well-versed you can become in speaking the language. Let’s jog down the 10-point list and it would be better if you try reading this aloud, too!
- Be aware of your mistakes.
Listen well to your teacher as you discuss the rules of English. Once you refresh your memory about these rules, you will notice the various mistakes that you make. Afterward, take note of your mistakes and confirm these with other people, preferably people who can speak English well, or consult with native English speakers instead. At CCEL, they make sure to integrate their lessons in and out the classroom’s walls. You will definitely learn easier and faster with that kind of setup.
- Monitor how often you commit mistakes.
Don’t let your mistakes bring you down. Take these mistakes and build yourself with these mistakes. As you continue to realize how you make these mistakes, you will avoid it, and then be better at it. Remember, most mistakes are part of a pattern that you have the tendency to commit again and again.
Mastering the English language cannot be done in just one sitting. You should continue to improve your skills through reviewing notes. You will realize where you often commit mistakes, so reviewing the principles or your notes will make it easier for you to be mindful of your errors.
- Practicing is the best practice.
Practice whenever, wherever. You have to practice your English on a routine. This may sound funny, but we find it effective to practice in front of a mirror. Practice enunciating at home, out loud. Read poems out loud. Read short stories with emotions, and out loud. You will figure out that as you practice, more of your flaws will be evident; a perfect exercise that will help you iron out the creases.
- Catch yourself in the act.
Because you frequently practice speaking in English, you will eventually develop the habit of correcting yourself. This is in fact, a positive outcome of your constant practice and knowledge on the different rules in the English language.
- Have questions? Ask someone!
Asking questions about the English language shouldn’t be a shameful thing to do. If you have any questions, jot them down and next time, approach your teacher to seek for the answers.
- Increase your vocabulary.
Pronunciation, proper diction and enunciation are just the tip of the iceberg. There are various ways to tell someone she is beautiful. There are different words in the dictionary to describe how awesome your last night was. Take it up a notch and increase your scope in vocabulary.
- Use English in thinking how to formulate your sentences.
Using the direct translation will help you understand and properly mention a response. If you keep on using your native language, it will be more difficult to get used to English. The English language has its own set of rules, word order, syntax, etc. Again, constant practicing is the key!
- Talk to yourself at home, out loud.
Build up your self-confidence by talking to yourself while at home. Your home is your safe ground; no one’s around to criticize your wrong pronunciation. Play with words and practice how you can modulate your voice while speaking in English, without croaking.
- Ear training.
It’s easier for a person to learn the English language if he practices it often. If you hear English often, there’s a finite chance of easily adapting to the language, as well. There are many free podcasts, audiobooks, and even videos and sound clips online. You will get to hear how consistent their accent is, how they properly enunciate words, and how various intonations and blending can be applied to conversations.
Don’t be disheartened if you think you can never learn the language. Even the Americans themselves commit mistakes. Mastering the language does not require you to conquer every dimension of the language. Being a proficient speaker is what you should aim for. Aim to speak with confidence that people can understand you when you communicate in English.