5 proven ways to learn English quickly

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For newcomers to Manitoba, being able to communicate in English is key to accessing essential services, finding job opportunities, and participating in the local community

English is the most widely spoken language in the province, and having strong English skills can help you settle in and thrive.

In your first few months, learning basic English to converse with others may be your goal. Here are a few tips that will help you start communicating in English faster:

  1. Be confident

    It’s normal to feel scared when you’re learning a new language. But, language experts say that you need to have the courage to speak if you want to make progress. Don’t worry if you make mistakes. People will understand and help you out when they see that you’re trying.

    One way to start speaking is to use phrasebooks. Look for common phrases that you can use in conversations. Memorize some lines that you may need. You can also learn some Canadian idioms. These phrases are often used by native speakers. This way, you’ll be able to understand them better.

    There are plenty of phrasebooks online. You can even download an app so you can have a handy tool wherever you go.

    Here are examples of common phrases for talking about the weekend:

    Real English Conversation: How to talk about the weekend, EngVid

  2. Immerse, immerse, immerse

    Surround yourself with English as much as you can. Listen, read, speak and write English. This is how you naturally learn a language. Here are some ideas:

    • Listen to music with English lyrics. Sing along if you can!
    • Watch movies and TV shows in English.
    • Speak English at home.
    • Switch your phone language to English.
    • Read books. It doesn’t have to be a novel. You can read children’s books, magazines or comic books as long as they are in English.
    • Go to parties, meet-ups or classes where you’ll need to speak English.
  3. Dedicate time for focused study

    There is still no better way to learn than to have dedicated study time. Find out how you learn best. Are you a visual learner? Do you learn better by listening? Focus on those techniques. You can also get help from an instructor. They can give you materials to help you learn and stay motivated.(See Community Resources below to know English Online’s options for one-on-one English instruction).

  4. Think in English

    As you continually immerse yourself in the language (and culture), you’ll notice that you also gain a better understanding of grammar, vocabulary and idioms. In time and with consistent practice, words will come to you instinctively. You won’t need to translate from your native language.

  5. Infographic about the 5 ways to learn English fast

  6. Practice

    Use the language every day. Practice speaking and writing regularly. Keep reading and listening to increase your vocabulary. Soon you’ll notice that communicating in English will be second nature to you. Celebrate your achievements and always remember to be kind to yourself! Learning a language is not easy. You should be proud of yourself for learning a new skill.

 
Sources: Best way to learn a language – 8 expert tips, Linguatics; Polyglot Olly Richards on how to learn a language fast, preply; and Secrets of learning a language – quickly, BBC. Accessed February 3, 2023.

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Community Resources

Learn English with a dedicated instructor. Sign-up for LINC Home Study or get paired with a volunteer EAL/ESL e-Tutor. These programs are offered on a first come, first served basis. They are free for eligible English Online clients.

Practice your English skills in our online classes. These are one-hour sessions that hone your conversational skills, grammar, reading and listening comprehension. Most classes are based on settlement themes, so you learn about living in Manitoba while developing your English. To know the schedule of our online classes, check our Events Calendar.

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