Top 10 Ways to Improve English Skills Without Spending Much
The Increasing Number of English Learners
number of people learning or trying to learn English continues to rise over the
last couple of decades. With English being used in the economic, political and
cultural aspects of the world, there is no doubt being fluent in the language
can bring lots of advantages. With the opportunities it brings, many are willing
to spend money to acquire language skills. Some even invest time studying
abroad, trying to immerse in the culture where English is spoken. Perhaps, it is
because language acquisition is known to be socially influenced or linked.
With the benefits speaking the English language can bring, the number of
English as a second language learners has doubled and is now bigger than the
number of native speakers. Developing language skills takes time and effort. For
many beginners, it is quite a struggle. But with job markets seeking people
proficient in English, people from all walks of life have been inclined to
learn. Though there are long lists of language schools people can attend, there
are people who may not have the time to go, or have no money to spend. This is
where the Internet and other resources have become very helpful. If you want to
learn English but are financially challenged, remember that there are lots of
ways to learn English without spending much.
Pocket-friendly Ways to Improve English Skills
Though there is an influx in the number of ESL students in many English-speaking
countries, it is still possible to improve language skills without leaving your
hometown. Here are the top ten ways to do that without spending money.
1) Listen to English
the advent of technology, listening to voice clips in English is just a click
away. With countless websites dedicated to teaching the language to just about
anyone, there is no way you canít find materials that are just right for you.
There are sites where downloading audio clips in English is made available.
These clips can range from the length of five minutes up to full length
audiobooks. Listening to audio clips is effective in learning as you may study
without exerting too much effort to understand what was written in books or
paper. Doing so can also be possible while you are relaxing after a dayís work.
Around 60% of learning coming from listening; there is no doubt one can take
advantage of what is readily available to improve language skills. When the
purpose is to pass English exams, there are a lot of file sharing sites where
you can find listening clips for IELTS, TOEFL or TOEIC. Whether you are employed
or a student, having clips on your phone or mp3 player can be a good way to
spend breaks or travel time from home to work or school.
2) Learn through
The rhythm and the relaxation one can get from listening to music are what make
songs a good springboard for learning English. People get hooked to music
because it soothes the soul and frees the mind from any worries by providing
entertainment. With the popularity of music in the English language, getting a
file of a new pop song is easy. If you are not into pop, music websites provide
a wide collection of songs from different genres. As you listen, you not only
catch the rhythm but also the way English words are spoken. As you listen to the
same songs many times, you get familiar with the words in the lines and they
become part of your vocabulary quite unconsciously. Learning to listen from this
source also enhances your ability to recognize varying pronunciation patterns.
To help you with the lines that may be unclear, find the lyrics and read through
the lines while playing the song. When you enjoy the music and its lyrics, words
become memorable. For words that are difficult, make use of the dictionary to
find the exact meaning. Doing this will not only enhance your understanding of
the songís message but your language skills as well.
3) Search the
Internet in English.
world is interconnected and the only place where the Internet is unavailable is
in the hinterlands. With majority of the educated population in the world able
to use the Internet, make your daily surfing habit a language learning activity.
Instead of searching for information in your language as your browser
automatically adjusts, reset your search engine language setting to English.
Doing so will not only challenge you to think and make use of what you know but
will also help you discover a wide variety of information people write about
your culture in a foreign language. The best way to learn English is to think in
that language directly. With more than 80% of the information available online
written in English, searching for information in the language can bring
countless results relevant to your queries. Remember that the internet is a rich
source of new vocabulary and expressions. As the result page pops up, you will
get to encounter words which may be totally new to you. Writing them down and
finding their meanings will make you even more equipped in English.
4) Read a translated
Regardless of language, reading opens new opportunities to understanding the
world. There are many books in foreign languages that are adapted in English,
maybe there are some that are written by people from your country or in the
language you speak. It is best to find if the work of your favorite author is
one of them. As you are familiar with the content of the book in your language,
it will be easier to grasp the meanings in English. This will help you widen
your skills in vocabulary. Additionally, most books that are translated into
English used simplified English words for foreign word equivalents making it
less complicated than those that are originally designed for native speakers. As
you are familiar with the topic, context, and the culture where the story
revolves, you are more likely to be motivated to find out how they are expressed
in English. Alternately, you can find movies in your language that have English
5) Play and study at
the same time.
Many games and game consoles available worldwide have been designed and
manufactured from foreign countries and thus have language settings available
for international clients. There are many resources for games that will help
enhance language skills. Instead of playing random games, use playtime for
educational purposes. Find word puzzles, word search and other English language
related games. If itís not very interesting for you, consider resetting your
game consoleís language settings to English instead. Although they may not
provide most available words, they are likely to expose you to lexis in English.
As you become familiar with the words, you will recognize it when seen elsewhere
or use it automatically when the need to communicate arises.
6) Watch movies with
you like films? If you are a fan of movies make use of this interest to learn
English. Check if your favorite stars have movies intended to be shown abroad.
If there are particular local movies intended to be featured outside of your
country, there is a possibility that it has a version with subtitles. Subtitles
can be quite annoying, though, as it attracts the attention away from the actual
scenario to what is written on the lower part of the screen. It is best that you
are familiar with the movie before watching it with subtitles. Whatís good about
using a local movie with an English subtitle is the fact that you only need to
focus on what the subtitles say as you are fluent in the language used in
dialogues. To enjoy the movie and the language learning experience, watch the
movie in your native language first and do it again and again with English
subtitles. Through this, it is easier to take down notes and focus only on the
English language equivalents of expressions in your native tongue.
7) Enjoy TV programs
Donít take it personal or feel embarrassed having to start from that level. When
we learn a language, it is best that we know where we stand, so recognizing your
level of proficiency and fluency is essential. We can never be fluent in just a
matter of months, so we need patience here. If we have difficulty understanding
even the most basic dialogue we might see on English TV, perhaps we are not yet
ready. This is where children's shows come in handy. The use of simple sentences
and the introduction of common things popular in the English language make these
programs helpful for beginners. Additionally, because the words and the
sentences are repeated several times, it is easy to memorize. If TV shows do not
interest you, make use of childrenís story books. Both offer the same language
practice through a different medium with rich visual presentations.
8) Keep an English
you like keeping a diary? Turn this routine into something more fruitful. With
all the exposure you get from songs, movies or books, you can make use of the
language skills you acquire to help you put your thoughts on paper. Since there
may be nobody to practice your skills with, jotting down what you want to say in
a diary can be helpful. Because you have to write about your real experiences,
you want to make use of exact words to convey what you mean. This is where
you get to cash in on your dictionary. Perhaps, while watching a subtitled
movie, you have listed words that can relate to your experience. If diaries
arenít your thing, write your schedules or time tables in English. Since it is
necessary for you to check on the progress of your work or activities, you will
get to glance at your planner several times in a day and see English words.
Thatís accomplishing two things at once.
9) Keep a vocabulary
Learning a new language doesnít happen overnight. Because there are so many
aspects of the language to learn, be sure to keep track of the important words
youíve encountered while reading, listening to music, surfing the internet or
watching movies. As you try to find the meaning of a specific expression or
phrase, find out how they are used in context. You can even make listing handy
by keeping one on your tablet or mobile phone. This way, it is easily
accessible. It is, however, important to remember that writing things down and
just keeping it wonít help you improve. To take advantage of your collection of
phrases, use them in your conversations. You donít need to pour them all out in
one occasion. Instead, analyze whether the expression is fitted for the context
you are in. If there is nobody to talk with, try using them when writing. Make
use of one or two things on your list the entire day or week to ensure they are
easily remembered. If you are lucky enough to find someone to talk with, make
use of the phrases and ask whether they are applicable or not.
10) Find language
exchange partners online.
one of the best ways to practice and improve your English skills for free is to
find people willing to exchange language lessons with you. Take advantage of
technology to look for friends who wish to speak your language. When you find
people who are eager to learn your mother tongue in exchange for teaching you
English, you will get to benefit from their motivation and will be forced to
communicate in English. Language partners are also known to respond quickly and
talk informally, so you get to learn how language is used in daily life. As you
teach your own language to another person, you not only improve your English
skills but develop deeper understanding of your own culture. Additionally, when
either you or your language partner is ready to book flights to each otherís
location, it is easier to find people you know and can talk with.
People learn English for many different reasons. Some may want to learn in order
to communicate effectively with people in the countries they want to travel to
or for presenting business proposals abroad. Often times, however, this means
spending a lot of money and devoting longer periods studying abroad. This is a
big disadvantage to those who do not have the finances to invest or the time to
study in foreign countries. What they fail to understand is that they can
actually study and improve their English skills without having to spend money or
travel abroad. In fact, numerous websites offer free resources to help language
learners. That is in addition to ways people never realized would be helpful for
their language study.
There is no doubt that English is dominating the communication medium in the
world. Though there are other languages which are widely used in the world,
nothing beats English in terms of its economic and political value. Thatís the
very reason many chose to study English from a pool of languages to learn.
English is crucial in this interlinked world. The ability to communicate in this
language opens opportunities for people to improve their careers and interests.
Because technology made language learning easily available wherever one may be,
one can learn English at the comfort of their homes. You donít need to spend so
much. All you need is the initiative to explore what is actually available.
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The Benefits of Language Exchange Partnerships
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How to Teach ESL Students Writing
How Can a Non-Native Teacher Instruct in English
Top Five Reasons Students Commit the Same Grammar Mistakes
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The Benefits of Learning English Free on the Internet