Keeping up your English language skills

 

It is usually taken for granted that with the time you spend in the UK, your English would have improved drastically purely because of the frequency you would have had to use the language, be it during your lectures or just conversing with your friends. Once you go home however, you may find that without practice, your English will start to degrade. Don’t let the progress you have made in the English language go to waste, try to keep it sharp. Here are a few ways that will enable you to do that: 

  • Try watching English television, read English books and literature. Search any words or terminology that you do not understand and keep on learning. Additionally you can also listen to many English radio stations online. You do not have to be in the UK to be able to listen to British radio.

  • If you watch TV or movies in your own language, see if there are options for English subtitles. Even if you are not listening to the entertainment in English, you are at least reading in English.

  • You could try doing another English language course in your own country or alternatively enrol in an online course.

  • Change the default language for all your media devices to English. Leaving things like your laptop or mobile phone running in English can also help you use the language on a more daily basis.

  • Keep conducting your internet searches in English. This way you know you will at least be reading and using your English at least a few times a week.

  • If your friends or family that have a little grasp on the English language, see if they are willing to use it more often at home. Not only will this help you practice, but it will give you the opportunity to teach others in the process.

  • Keeping in contact with your English speaking friends can also keep your language skills sharp. You can do this through social media or the university alumni services should they offer it.

  • If you can afford it, you can go back to the UK for a holiday. Not only will you be enjoying a vacation, but you can brush up on the language while you are having a good time.

  • Use free online sources and websites to help you keep your English sharp. Websites such as LearnEnglish offers free English language help regardless of your age or proficiency in the language. The website also provides exercises to help you practice such as reading, grammar and short educational films in English as well as mini games and apps that help make practicing fun.

Finally, do not worry too much if your language skills have lost its edge. Think of it like riding a bike, even if you forget a little bit now, once you spend a little time brushing up you will find that it comes back to you very quickly. Just be spending a couple hours once a week doing an activity in English such as reading a book or watching a movie will be sufficient.

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