5 Ways to Improve Your English Whilst Studying in the UK

January 27, 2016

1) Surround yourself with English speakers
If you are studying in the UK and find yourself asking the question of how to improve my English, it’s not just the surroundings that can help – the people can too! Surround yourself with English speakers and engage in conversation whenever you can. If you have made friends who are great at speaking English or know native English speakers you can practice your English with them in social situations as well as an educational environment.

If you befriend native speakers, you will also pick up more informal language that won’t be taught in the classroom. This will help you get a more rounded experience of the English language and help you to understand a larger variety of words.

2) Use English in your day-to-day routine
If you are studying in the UK it is easy to immerse yourself in the language by using it in your daily routine. Watching television is a great form of entertainment which can also help you get to grips with how English can be used in different situations. Using English subtitles whilst you watch television helps you to make connections with words and their pronunciation – this improves your oral, written and listening skills whilst you enjoy your favourite programme! You can also watch programmes and films from your own country and use English subtitles to help you with translation.

Putting the radio on as you carry out chores or as you are getting ready for school or work is another way to improve your English. Radio stations in the UK usually have a balance of music and discussion – all in English – which will help you get to grasp with all aspects of the English language. Many people often find learning and memorising new words and phrases much easier when combined with a melody. There are a larger number of radio stations and music channels to listen to and most songs usually have their lyrics posted online too.

Labelling all the products in your home is another way to pick up the language by relating the words to products which you use every day. All you need to do is purchase a pack of labels write down the name of the product in English and stick it on. Every time you come to use the product you will see the word and you will be able to remember it.

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3) Create opportunities for conversation
Living and studying in the UK leaves you with many opportunities to practice and improve your English language skills. However you can create even more opportunities to speak the language by thinking outside the box and being creative.
Perhaps you could call up a customer information service and ask for information on a product you may or may not have. Ask them about the product, its benefits and the next option if you were to purchase it and have an English conversation for free.
You could make your home a conversational hub by hosting a dinner party and inviting all your new English speaking friends. You could make authentic dishes from home in exchange for English conversation.

4) Study English away from the classroom
Everyone has a learning style which suits them best. Some people are visual learners whilst others like to hear English being spoken or like to see the words written down. Whatever your preference, you can use your favourite way to learn and do some extra work at home. Get yourself a good bilingual dictionary and make an effort to go to the library to go over and study your notes from the classroom.

Try to stay away from the online translation sites as these are usually very poor and using them to translate large pieces of your work doesn’t work very well for you or your way of learning.
Find out what time of the day you find easiest to learn and make the most of it. If you an early riser you may want to get up and study before you go into school or perhaps you’re a night owl and like to catch up on your studies in the evening. Whatever your preference, thinking about when you function best and taking advantage of that time is a great way of learning the language to your best potential.

5) Don’t be afraid to make mistakes!
Making mistakes is all part of the learning process so be prepared to make lots of and learn from your mistakes. Next time you are corrected by a teacher, make a note of your mistake and come back to it when you’re at home. Making a mistake helps you determine what is right and wrong and getting it wrong in a difficult situation – perhaps in a conversation with a stranger – will help you remember the right way a lot easier.

Choosing to use English language outside of your comfort zone is one of the best ways to learn as you focus much harder on every aspect of the language and this helps you get used to situations that may arise unexpectedly whilst you’re living in the UK. Getting something wrong is the best way to understand why a word or phrase is used in specific situations.