With over one quarter of the world speaking English, you don’t have to search very far to find scores of resources and opportunities to practice the language if you’re wanting to learn. With some 750,000 English words and strange ways of spelling that can baffle even those whose primary language is English, the language can definitely be one of the more challenging to master—especially if you’re hoping to do so quickly.
Thanks to technology and the accessibility of language-learning tools, there’s no better time to start learning English. Soon enough, you’ll come to see that English is related to plenty of other languages—including Germanic and Romantic ones—making it easier to grasp.
Though it’s perfectly acceptable to learn at your own pace, these tips and resources can help you learn English quickly and effectively.
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Use language-learning technology
Language-learning software programs like Rosetta Stone have been helping people learn English for years. Other technologies have also been made available that are designed to help users increase their knowledge or maintain their English proficiency. There are many different types of technology that you can choose based on how you learn best. For example, Fluenz is a popular software that teaches through instructor-led videos, while Duolingo is an app you can use on your smartphone for daily, on-the-go practice.
Grammarly Premium can also be a valuable tool to help you write in English with fluency—it includes suggestions specifically around grammar rules and idioms that are difficult to grasp. What’s more, users whose primary language is Spanish, Hindi, Mandarin, French, or German can find suggestions tailored to those languages.
Enroll in an online course
Taking an online course is a great way to study the basics of English. Having this type of foundational knowledge will be fundamental to your comprehension and practice. Plus, you can choose the course based on your goals and current skill level. If you are hoping to learn conversational English for an upcoming trip, you can find a course that’s tailored to this specific goal. There are also courses in English for international business, for writing, for reading, among many others. Depending on your end goal, enrolling in a course that aligns with your objectives can set you on the path to success.
Find a conversation partner
Getting as much speaking practice as possible is essential to quicker learning. If you’re just swiping through a few levels on a language-learning app at night, you’ll be shocked when you finally come face-to-face with an English speaker. Without conversing in English, you won’t be able to identify your weak spots. Finding a conversation partner, or even a study partner, who can augment your learning with real, live, face-to-face practice will allow you to put your fledgling skills to the test. Many people say that speaking English regularly helps it stick in your head far better than reading or writing. After all, what’s the point of learning a new language if not to use it to communicate?
Subscribe to podcasts
The act of hearing a language can help strengthen your comprehension. While it might take a few months of learning before you can understand podcasts with native English speakers, there are plenty of podcasts available just for language learners. Some examples include All Ears English, Better at English, The English We Speak, Luke’s English Podcast, and ESL Podcast. You can also use podcasts by speakers whose primary language is English simply for practice. Listen as white noise first, then play the episode a second time and see what new words you recognize. You can also read the episode’s transcript as you listen if there’s one available, repeating sentences and words out loud. This can help you pick up new vocabulary and grammar more quickly, and you can set it to play at a slower speed.
Immerse yourself in the language
It’s undeniable that there’s no better way to learn English than to spend time or live in an English-speaking country. If traveling to a country like Australia, the UK, Canada, or the US isn’t in the cards at the moment, you can still immerse yourself in the language by absorbing all that you can in English. One way to do this is by following the “two ways every day” method. How can you practice English two different ways each day? Find TV shows, songs, books, films, videos, audiobooks, podcasts, recipes, apps—really, anything that is in English will do. Vary up the ways you practice English to truly immerse yourself in the language without traveling abroad. When you eventually visit an English-speaking country, you’ll be amazed at how much background knowledge you have about not just the language, but the culture too!