Is improving your English your biggest goal in 2020? Here at Greenwich College, we know a few things about learning English, and here are our top five tips to get ahead and reach your learning goals.
1. Revise. Lots of people are always looking for ‘next, next, next’, when they haven’t really got control over the things they’ve already learned. You need to review your notes, re-sit exam practice papers, go over your materials from classes, re-read your favourite book, consolidate your grammar. If the foundation is not strong, you cannot build tall!
2. Join a library and start reading. It’s important that you read more than just text messages! Choose a book on a topic you really enjoy. You need to train yourself to read for longer periods of time, and train yourself to enjoy it. If you can only read for 5 minutes at a time, do it! Then try for 6 minutes, then 8 minutes, then 10 minutes, then 20. There is no doubt that being a regular reader will change your English.
3. Work smart, not hard. There is no point saying, ‘I study 3 hours a day’ if you are only concentrating for one of those hours. You need to know when your brain works best (morning, afternoon, evening, night?) and use that time for study. You need to ask your teachers and your friends about different methods of studying and try to do things in new ways.
4. Put your phone in your bag and TALK! Our phones are convenient, sure – but they also distract us from the present moment and make it hard for us to communicate in real situations. Why not leave your phone at home the next time you go to the pub, and have more conversations instead?
5. Join a group. There are plenty of groups and organisations in the Sydney and Melbourne areas. You can use websites like Meetup to find a group you can join to socialise and enjoy yourself or apps like Facebook and Whatsapp to create English chat groups with your friends.
Bushwalking? Running? Football? Knitting? Volunteering at a nursing home or soup kitchen? For you to really improve your language skills, you have to LIVE in English, not just study it.
Are you prepared to work hard? Nothing changes until you change, so start thinking about new and interesting ways for you to learn and improve your English. We hope you have a fantastic 2020!