1. Start your own English language blog. Even for people who don’t have to write in English, writing can be a great way of properly learning the kind of vocabulary you need to describe your own life and interests, and of thinking about how to stop making grammar mistakes. The problem most people have is that they don’t know what to write about. One traditional way to make sure you write every day in English is to write an English diary (journal), and a more up to date way of doing this is to write a blog. Popular topics include your language learning experience, your experience studying abroad, your local area, your language, or translations of your local news into English.
2. Write a news diary. Another daily writing task that can work for people who would be bored by writing about their own routines in a diary is to write about the news that you read and listen to everyday. If you include your predictions for how you think the story will develop (e. g. “I think
Hillary will become president”), this can give you a good reason to read old entries another time, at which time you can also correct and mistakes you have made and generally improve what you have written.
3. Sign up for a regular English tip. Some websites offer a weekly or even daily short English lesson sent to your email account. If your mobile phone has an e-mail address, it is also possible to have the tips sent to your phone to read on the way to work or school. Please note, however, that such services are not usually graded very well to the levels of different students, and they should be used as a little added extra or revision in your English studies rather than as a replacement for something you or your teacher have chosen more carefully as what you need to learn.
4. Listen to MP3s. Although buying music on the internet is becoming more popular in many countries, not so many people know that you can download speech radio such as audio books (an actor reading out a novel) and speech radio. Not only is this better practice for your English than listening to English music, from sources like Scientific American, BBC and Australia’s ABC Radio it is also free.
5. Listen to English music. Even listening to music while doing something else can help a little for things like getting used to the natural rhythm and tone of English speech, although the more time and attention you give to a song the more you will learn from listening to it again in the future.
6. Read the lyrics to a song. Although just listening to a song in English can be a good way of really learning the words of the chorus in an easily memorable way, if you want to really get something out of listening to English music you will need to take some time to read the lyrics of the song with a dictionary. If the lyrics are not given in the CD booklet, you may be able to find them on the internet, but please note that some lyrics sites deliberately put a few errors into their lyrics for copyright reasons. Once you have read and understood the lyrics, if you then listen and read at the same time, this can be a good way of understanding how sounds change in fast, natural, informal speech.
7. Sing karaoke in English. The next stage after understanding and memorising a song is obviously to sing it. Although some words have their pronunciation changed completely to fit in with a song, most of the words have the same sounds and stressed syllables as in normal speech. Remembering which words rhyme at the end of each line can also be a good way of starting to learn English pronunciation.