You can’t always be talking to a conversation tutor (as much as I’d love to, even I can’t work 24 hours a day!) One thing I’m recommending to my students that are not already immersed in an English speaking country is doing something in English for at least 30 minutes EVERY day. So here are some suggestions of things you can try.
With a world of written material at your fingertips, you have many options here. Online news articles, blogs, books, newspapers, magazines. Read a couple of paragraphs at a time and go back making notes of new vocabulary, looking words up and if you’re unsure of pronunciation, bring these up with your tutor next class. He or she will be delighted!
Listen to Audiobooks.
Grab an audiobook or for even more immersion, find the book and read along at the same time to really improve your English. Audible is a great way to get the latest audiobooks and you can get a free trial giving you a free downloadable book here…
Watch a British TV comedy.
If you like humour, you can’t beat classic British comedy. They usually come in bite sized 25 minute episodes and can be found all over YouTube. Some recommendations – Fawlty Towers, Blackadder, Only Fools and Horses and Keeping Up Appearances are all good family-friendly comedy shows.
Listen to a Podcast
Podcasts are huge right now, just like a radio chat show but recorded by everyday people and downloadable to your phone, computer or other audio device. You can get podcasts for all kinds of interests and you can hear real English speakers. There are some especially good Podcasts for English learners and particularly I recommend Real Life English
One useful exercise is to grab your phone, hit record and talk for two minutes about a subject then play it back to yourself and listen to the rhythm of your speech and pronunciation. This can be tough the first couple of times if you’re not used to hearing your own voice but it can be invaluable practice.
Sometimes remembering to do something in English every day can be hard so why not subscribe to an English newsletter or two to act as a reminder. While I can’t promise to post every day, sign up to mine for hints and tips to help with your English.
What do you do to help you practice outside of regular lessons? Leave a comment below and let me know.
If you’re interested in taking one to one lessons over Skype, get in touch