English is one of the most widely spoken and studied languages in the world, which means there are abundant resources available for learning, such as textbooks, online courses, language exchange programs, and language learning apps.
This widespread use of English means that learners have ample opportunities to practice and use English in real-life situations, which can aid in the learning process.
If you want to maximize your English learning experience you need to make the most out of every single opportunity to use the language outside the classroom, where you are forced to practice what you know and what you are learning in the class.
Practicing English outside of class is essential for developing language fluency, expanding vocabulary, gaining cultural understanding, improving real-life communication skills, fostering self-directed learning, and preparing for exams. It complements classroom instruction and helps you become a more confident and proficient English speaker.
But, how exactly can you do this?
There are many fun and interesting ways to learn and improve your English language skills outside the classroom.
Here are some of them:
- Watch English TV shows and movies: This can help you improve your listening skills, as well as your vocabulary and comprehension. You can also try using English subtitles to help you understand better.
- Social Media: Join English-speaking social media groups or communities, where you can interact with native English speakers and practice your language skills. You can also follow English language pages, accounts, or blogs to expose yourself to authentic English content.
- Language Games and Activities: Play English language games, such as word games, crossword puzzles, or Scrabble, to practice your vocabulary and language skills in a fun and interactive way.
- Read, watch, listen and write about the topics that you find interesting: Learning is fun when our interests get mixed with the idea of what is being taught to us. Reading blogs about something that interests you, watching movies or videos about the same topic, listening to podcasts or interviews, and writing a little bit about what you’ve learnt will keep you interested and will simultaneously improve your language skills a lot.
- Maintain a vocabulary journal: Learning words and their usage is a big part of effective language learning. We may come across new words every now and then, which is why it is important to maintain a journal or take notes in your phone about any new words that come your way. This will help you explain your ideas better and you can always go through your notes to improve your vocabulary.
- Speak it out: Work on improving your pronunciation by observing native English speakers, listening to English audio recordings, or using pronunciation apps. Good pronunciation is essential for effective communication in English.
You can also strike up conversations with native English speakers whenever you get a chance. This could be with colleagues, classmates, neighbors, or even strangers you meet in social settings. Practice speaking and listening skills by engaging in real-life conversations.
- Listen to English music: This is another fun way to practice your listening skills and to learn new vocabulary and phrases. You can even try singing along to the lyrics.
- Watch TED talks: TED talks are a great source of knowledge and cover a wide range of topics be it technology, business, self-development, finance or more. This will help you concentrate better, improve your English listening skills and vocabulary. At the same time, you’ll gain knowledge about the specific topic. Double win!
- Real-life Practice: Look for opportunities to use English in real-life situations, such as ordering food at a restaurant, asking for directions, or making small talk with native English speakers. Practicing English in real-life situations can help you build confidence and improve your communication skills. You can also practice English in a supportive and social environment with other learners and native speakers.
- Use Language Learning Apps: There are many language learning apps available that provide interactive exercises, games, and activities to practice English skills. Duolingo, Babbel, and Rosetta Stone, Memrise, HelloTalk are some popular examples.
- English and Shopping: You can learn English on-the-go by reading descriptions, labels, brochures and everything else. English language learning through shopping can be a fun and practical way to improve your language skills. Shopping provides an opportunity to practice various language aspects such as vocabulary, speaking, listening, and reading. Browse English-language websites or online marketplaces and practice reading product descriptions, reviews, and other information. Learn new vocabulary related to online shopping, such as “add to cart,” “checkout,” and “shipping address.” You can also practice writing skills by writing reviews or comments in English.
Remember that consistent practice is key to improving your English language skills. Incorporate a variety of activities into your routine and set specific goals for yourself to track your progress. Keep a positive attitude, be patient with yourself, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. You can check out more interesting posts about the English language and other topics here.