Taking Control of the English Language
* How can I speak English better?
* How can I communicate better in English?
* How can I express myself better in English?
* How can I listen to and understand English better?
* How can I improve?
What does taking control of the English language mean?
You speak English at an advanced level. You speak it fluently and you use it every day, yet you aren’t satisfied with your ability. You feel like you can’t express yourself the way you want to. When you can’t say what you want to say or need to say in the manner that you would like to, it might not leave you with the best feeling you could possibly have. There is only one thing to do about it. You must take control of the English language. What does taking control of the English language mean? It does not mean taking control of the entire language. It means taking control of the English language that is yours; the English language that you have. It means using the English that you already have to get more. It means taking responsibility for your own learning.
You might tell yourself that you want to have private instruction with an English language tutor. Great idea! However, there is something you should know and be well aware of. What happens during the time that you meet with an English language tutor is very important, but what happens during the time between your meetings with an English language tutor is even more important. The proactive steps that you take in order to improve have a direct effect on what it is you get out of the time and money that you spend with an English language tutor. In order to receive the maximum benefit possible for the money you spend on a tutor, you must dedicate a sufficient amount of time to studying between each lesson. Of course, the amount of time that anyone is able to dedicate to studying will vary, but nevertheless, it must be done. Furthermore, there are a number of
things you should do leading up to the time that you decide to pick up the phone and make that call. So you ask, what is it that I need to do? What can I do on my own?
Read to Increase your Vocabulary
You need to increase your vocabulary. You need to build your lexicon. You need to learn more idiomatic expressions. Does this mean studying vocabulary lists? No. Does that mean buying books that list idiomatic expressions in English and their meanings? That may or may not be helpful. Does it mean going to the Internet and studying idiomatic expressions that are listed at websites? Perhaps, but that wouldn’t be all. Does it mean learning the word of the day that is given by online dictionaries? No! You need to build a personal lexicon. You need to maintain a lexical notebook. You need to learn words and expressions that are interesting to you and will be useful to you. You need to learn words and expressions that are part of your environment. Where can you find these words and expressions? You can find them by listening to the radio, by listening to those that you speak with on a daily basis, and by even listening to those that you don’t speak with. You don’t have to converse with someone in order to listen to someone. Of course, you can find new words and expressions by choosing challenging reading material that is interesting to you: newspaper and magazine articles, books, short stories. In order to start building your new lexicon, I suggest starting by finding something to read.
Now that you have chosen something interesting to read, here is what you need to do.