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How to Improve Your English

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There are many reasons why people from all over the world might need to improve their English: for business, for pleasure or because they have gone to live in an English speaking country. Whatever the reason, here are some tips for improving your English

  • Watch English language television and films. Thanks to satellite TV, British, American and Australian television programmes and films are widely available all over the world. Try watching with subtitles at first and them without them as you gain confidence.
  • Listen to the radio. The BBC World Service is just one excellent source of spoken English and even broadcasts programmes for learners.
  • Read English language newspapers. Some newspapers use more complex language than others, so choose the right one for you. Remember that you can start with the headlines and then progress to reading the articles as you gain confidence.
  • Use the internet. You can listen to the radio online, watch TV clips and read articles. You can even chat to people. There are also many pages on the web dedicated to teaching English as a foreign language.
  • Practise speaking English wherever you can. If you live in an English speaking country then this is easier, but if not then you can talk to visitors. Don't be shy, and don't worry about making mistakes - just have a go!
  • Keep a vocabulary book of useful words and phrases and add to it regularly.
  • Read children's magazines. They are attractive, they tend to have many short articles, and they come in many subjects (science, literature, self-improvement). But more importantly, they are well-illustrated. The pictures will allow you to understand many words without having to use a dictionary.
  • Choose a book series made for children and read them for practice. After you get to know the characters and the vocabulary used in the series, your reading gets easier and you will begin to be able to read more quickly, while still picking up expressions and vocabulary from one volume to the next. Try Nancy Drew, Animorphs, Sweet Valley Twins or any of a number of other easy series books which are widely available in libraries.

Tips

  • Buy a good bilingual dictionary.
  • Learn English idioms. English uses a lot of these strange and puzzling phrases and most English people don't know where they come from! Just learn what they mean.
  • When you are trying to learn new phrases, try this: Look, say, cover, write, check. Look at the phrase, cover it up, say the phrase, write it down and then check it.