10 easy ways to improve your English

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  1. Watch TV shows and films in English

    Watch TV shows and films to get used to the sounds of English words. Learn the meaning better by watching facial expressions, actions and events. Turn on the English subtitles and follow the dialogue. See how the words are spelled, hear how they are pronounced and read along.

  2. Read aloud

    Read newspaper or magazine articles out loud. Find out how hard words are pronounced by using an online dictionary like Merriam-Webster. Click on the audio symbol (right). You can also use howjsay.com.

    Another benefit to reading the news is learning about current events. You can use the information when making small talk with your neighbors or friends.

  3. Read English materials

    Read newspapers, magazines, and books every day. Learn new words and expressions. Learn about the community around you!

  4. Sing English songs

    Listen to English songs and sing along. It is a fun way to learn English without even trying. Don’t worry about your voice! Just choose a song you like and look for the lyrics online. Sing along to the song or use karaoke songs on YouTube. Use a microphone if you’re brave. Make sure that you don’t disturb your neighbours!

  5. Learn a new word everyday

    Write down a new word every day in a notebook. Write down the definition and use it in a sentence. Practice using these words in your conversations or in your writing.

  6. Carry a dictionary

    Carry a dictionary all the time. Download an application on your mobile or tablet. There are many free apps available. Try Merriam-Webster, The Free Dictionary or Dictionary.com.

  7. Keep a journal

    Use new words you learned when writing in your journal. Write about your daily life or your thoughts and feelings. Write a few sentences at the start. Write longer paragraphs as you become more confident. Later on, compare your new compositions to the old ones. See how you improved.

  8. Surround yourself with English-speaking people

    This will push you to practise your English. Listen to the way they pronounce words. Note how they use idioms and phrases. Use the words and phrases you’ve learned when speaking. The more you do this, the more confident you will get and the better you will become.

  9. Ask

    Ask politely if you did not understand what someone said. Don’t pretend to understand. People are helpful. They will repeat what they said and explain what they meant to help you out.

  10. Never stop learning

    Find ways to actively learn English after your ESL course is done. Join a club, volunteer, enroll in Live & Learn or take another ESL class. Continue improving your listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. Learning a language is a lifelong endeavor.

Article updated January 5, 2022.

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Community Resources

ESL Notes.com’s The English Learner Movie Guides has everything you need to start learning English while watching movies.

Go to your nearest library for the latest books (or search online at eLibraries Manitoba). You can also ask the librarian for ideas on which books and (audio books) are suitable for ESL learners.

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