Do you ever feel like your English still needs improvement? You can always find ways to improve your English learning habits. Here are 10 ways to keep yourself motivated to keep learning English...
1) Watch YouTube videos in English
Did you know that you can switch not only the language but also the location when browsing YouTube? By switching the location to an English-speaking country, you can find authentic content by native speakers of English. YouTube has an enormous amount of content to keep you busy for hours! You can effectively search for content that interests you by searching for keywords related to what interests you.
Not sure what to look for? Sometimes it's difficult to find what you're looking for in the target language. It's even more true for those who are still beginners in the language. Which is why I recommend having a dictionary nearby. No dictionary? No problem! You can explore popular channels in English and sift through what interests you and go from there. I do it all the time with the languages I'm learning.
Some Suggested Youtube clips:
The Science Of Lying (Science)
How To Win at 5 Classic Board Games (Fun fact)
The Last Of Us Walkthrough (Gameplay commentary. I chose this particular one because the dialogue is displayed on the screen.)
Instagram DESSERT chocolate mousse cake (Cooking)
Top 10 Best Films Of 2013 (Entertainment)
2) Watch TV shows and movies in English with subtitles to follow along
No, I don't mean read subtitles in your native language but, in English. While it won't match the dialogue exactly, it will help you build your listening and reading comprehension while enjoying a movie or TV program. It may seem like a major undertaking, but it's definitely worth it in the long run.
Find English TV Shows and Movies:
Amazon.com (Buy and stream movies)
3) Write blog posts in English
This is a great motivator to express yourself in English and be able to look at how much you've improved. Write about whatever comes to mind and share it with the world. Who knows? Maybe you'll have some commenters correct your entries as well! You will improve your writing skills by putting what you've learnt into practice! I would highly recommend using italki's notebook section to boost your written skills to the next level. Not only will your entries be corrected by native speakers but it will also provide into how English is structured.
Popular English Blogging Platforms:
Wordpress.org (requires hosting)
4) Record yourself speaking English.
Whether it's creating YouTube videos or simply using software such as Audacity, recording your voice and comparing it to a native speaker's will provide insight on how you can improve your English pronunciation. It's also great to see how much you've progressed as time goes on.
5) Listen to English podcasts that interest YOU
Are you someone who's constantly on the go and wants to increase your exposure to English? Try listening to podcasts about topics you enjoy. Not only will your listening comprehension improve, but you will also learn English relevant to your individual lifestyle. Or, at least it will be enough enough to keep you entertained and motivated to keep persisting with the language. Don't worry about not being able to understand everything because over time, it will gradually become more clearer to you as you make progress.
I used to listen to a Japanese comedy podcast for years and struggled to understand just what was being said, let alone was supposed to be hilarious. However, as time passed, I was able to pick up on puns, jokes, and even learned some useful phrases in the process too!
My Picks for English Podcasts:
This American Life (US Culture)
On The Media (News, Politics, History)
Missed in History (History)
Slate's Culture Gabfest (Pop Culture)
The Dan Patrick Show on PodcastOne (Sports)
6) Reading (e)-books, websites, magazines and newspapers in English
Reading content that's relevant to you will improve your understanding of the written language. With so many mediums to choose from the possibilities of learning English are limitless. Being literate in English is incredibly beneficial in the modern world. Whether it's understanding the duties of a potential career, reading the news or simply catching up on the latest gossip, immersing yourself in English is completely worth it.
Suggested Sources for English Reading Material:
OnlineNewspapers.com (This website has many
international newspapers. A lot of them in English.)
Librivox.org (These audiobooks are public domain)
7) Participate in discussions on forums.
Do you have a specific hobby you enjoy? Why not talk about it with like-minded people in a forum related to your particular niche? You will be able to have engaging conversations while writing more naturally in the language. Who knows? Maybe you can even find some members who are not only willing to correct you, but also make you a part of the community.
Suggested Websites and Forums:
Trendland.com (Design, fashion, art, and photography)
Comediansincarsgettingcoffee.com (Comedy/Web series)
Wonderhowto.com ("How To" based website)
8) Meet with a native/fluent speaking tutor on Skype.
One of the greatest things about italki is being able to schedule sessions with a tutor to reinforce your speaking skills. Having a regular tutor can motivate your to constantly improve your abilities in English. You can also decide if you want a professional teacher or just informal conversation with a tutor (which is what I do!). Speaking with a native/fluent speaker can be a little daunting at first, but as you do it on a regular basis, you will see excellent results.
9) Play games!
It could be a game involving opportunities to improve your conversational skills about a specific topics. Apples to Apples is a great game for boosting your vocabulary and discovering new patterns in English. Do you like video games? How about playing the English version (assuming it's available) instead! You can learn and entertain yourself at the same time. It's a great way to truly immerse yourself in the language without it being too overwhelming.
10) Create your own flashcards.
Reinforcing your vocabulary by making flashcards catered specifically to what you need to learn. Don't buy those pre-made flashcards! They might not have what you need to learn in English. Since technology has improved tremendously, you don't have to buy index cards and write them by hand anymore. Have an SRS (Spaced Repetition System) like Anki, Supermemo or Mnemosyne store what you need to learn into customizable decks. Organizing your decks based on relevance will provide you with a way to reinforce what you've already learnt. The SRS will then sort the vocabulary based on how well you are familiar with the vocabulary provided.
Learning English can be a tedious task, but if you persevere it will be worth the fluency in the end!