Learning English is fun and gives you the opportunity to communicate with people in countries all over the world. However, there’s an awful lot of vocabulary to master. With English’s often strange spelling patterns and confusing pronunciations, it can be difficult. To help you out, Gledus’ team of native English teachers have suggested 10 ways that you can commit words to memory without stress.
- Watch movies and listen to music
How many hours do you spend streaming the latest films and songs? Think about how much vocab you could pick up if you spent just half of that time watching and listening in English! To practice reading, you could watch a film in your own language with English subtitles. To practice listening, why not watch a film in English with subtitles in your own language? Once you’re a little bit more experienced, you can turn the subtitles off and watch like a native! Hearing words in the context of your favourite stories will help you remember them.
- Chat in English online
Years ago, international pen pals who would write letters to learners in their own language. In today’s age of the internet, there are online forums full of English speakers willing to connect with students abroad. For a small fee, you’ll even find professional tutors offering to chat on video call in English. Always check that sites are reputable before signing up though, and do not give away personal details.
- Use apps
Nowadays, there are so many apps to download to help you get better at a new language. From translators to flashcards to memory games, you can do a little every day to gradually build up your vocabulary. How about spending a few minutes during your journey to school on a language app? Often, you can see your progress over time which can be a great confidence boost.
- Stick notes around the house
Take a pack of sticky notes and write down some vocabulary that you’ve recently discovered. Stick them on the fridge, above your computer screen and next to your bed. The repetition of seeing these words as you go about your day will commit them to your long-term memory. This is a perfect technique in the run up to exams since they won’t disappear from your mind when you’re under pressure!
- Play games
Don’t think that having fun with your new English vocab means you aren’t learning! Classic games such as hangman, scrabble and charades are great ways to familiarise yourself with spellings. If you’re trying to remember meanings, write words in English and then in your own language on separate cards before spreading them out upside down. Pick up two and if they match you win a pair! Play with a friend before a test for a great way of revising.
- Go abroad
The more reasons you have to speak English, the quicker you’ll become fluent with your vocabulary. Go to a tourist destination in a foreign country where your mother tongue is not known. You’ll almost certainly have to speak English to make yourself understood. Using simple phrases such as “how much is this?” and “where is the train station?” will build up your confidence before you try more difficult words. If you go to an English-speaking country, you’ll have the added bonus of hearing the language around you all the time. You’ll soon recognise words when people are talking and start to use them yourself.
- Make international friends
While talking online to English speakers might be fun, having real international friends is even better! Look out for people from other countries that you can safely get to know when you’re travelling or befriend visitors to your own country. Not sharing the same mother tongue will motivate you to use English much more than in class. If they’re a native English speaker, you’ll probably pick up all the latest sayings and slang without even trying!
- Take English lessons
The good old-fashioned option! Though it might seem obvious, nothing quite beats having proper tuition. A good teacher will give you just the right amount of vocabulary in your lesson to improve your level of English without overloading you. Making sure they are a native speaker of English will guarantee that your pronunciation and understanding of the word’s meaning is correct from the start so you don’t get into bad habits.
|Gledus’ English lessons are taught just above students’ current level, as is currently recommended by linguistic research. This stretches them without stressing them. Find out more here.|
- Sign up for a summer camp
If you are looking for an adventure and have the budget, summer camps can combine points 6, 7 & 8 in one! Choosing a residential programme that recruits students from across the globe will give you plenty of motivation to use English as your mutual language. If you can find one hosted in an English-speaking country like the UK, then you’ll also be immersed in the culture to really deepen your understanding of how the language is used. Also, summer camps often organise exciting activities where you’ll learn vocab relevant to your hobbies and interests.
- Keep practicing
Finally, don’t give up. An extensive English vocabulary certainly doesn’t come over night. You’ll have to keep working on your words as often as you can. If possible, practice every day. However, choosing activities and putting yourself in places that are fun will stop it from becoming boring. Switching between various techniques will keep your learning interesting and enjoyable.
Did you find this post helpful? Read more English tips and advice from our native English teachers on our blog.
Gledus host residential education programmes in Lancashire, UK. All of our summer camps and homestays include a minimum of ten hours certified native English teaching per week. They also offer the opportunity to practice the language with new friends on exciting excursions and through football and performing arts activities. To find out more about our English programmes, clic
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