“What is the best course of study to improve my English?” A lot of people ask me that so I thought I would write about that today. I think the most effective way to improve your English is to work on the four skills – speaking, listening, reading, and writing every day. Here is a sample study plan you can use.
Let’s start with reading. Reading helps you remember a lot of what you have learned, but maybe don’t use all the time, like vocabulary and idioms. Reading also helps you review grammar. It is important to read something in English every day. I would like to suggest the newspaper, AM New York. This is a great tool for learning English because the articles are short, and the language used is not very difficult.
Next, is writing. This is another key part of improving tour English. I always suggest keeping a journal to my students. Every day you should try to write something. It doesn’t matter how much you write, as long as you write something every day. And for this, please pick up a notebook and use that for your journal, instead of the computer. You can write about anything – what you ate, saw on TV, talked about with a friend, etc.
Listening is next. There is a wide variety of listening materials out there online, with something for every taste and level. Best of all, most of this is free. If you like news and current events, all of the local news stations broadcast online. WCBSNEWSRADIO, 1010WINS, and NPR can be listened to live, and NPR has a number of podcasts as well. If you are adventurous, you can download one of the podcasts and then try to transcribe it. Challenging? Yes, but a good exercise for sure. Aside from news, there are many podcasts available for free on iTunes. I am sure you can find something you are interested in.
Speaking is the one area I don’t have much advice for except to say that the more you practice speaking English, the more comfortable and confident you will be. So, make the effort to speak to someone in English every day.
If you can spend at least 10-15 minutes every day reading something, writing something, listening to something and speaking English, you will realize that in less than an hour each day you have taken another step towards improving your English. Easy, right? Good luck!