English is an important language for international communication. Whether you are studying, traveling, or working, the ability to speak and understand English can bring new opportunities and experiences. However, learning a new language can be challenging, especially if you are already an adult with little time to study. In this article, we’ll explore some of the best ways to enjoy improving your English by watching, listening and reading.
Improve Your English by Listening
To the Radio
Listening to the Radio is an excellent way to immerse yourself in the English language. One of our favourite radio stations is BBC Radio 4. Radio 4 offers a wide range of programs, including news, current affairs, comedy, and drama. This exposure to native English can help you pick up new vocabulary, practice your listening skills, and get used to the rhythms and sounds of the language. By listening regularly, you’ll gradually get better at understanding the language, even when spoken quickly.
Vaughan Radio is a 24 hour conversational radio station made specially for English learners. Richard Vaughan is an English teacher who has built an enormously successful English-teaching empire that offers classes, a whole town of English speakers that you can visit to practise speaking and, amongst other things, an English-language radio station that covers a variety of topics. This radio station is specially made for Spanish speakers who are learning English, as the presenters translate a lot of the difficult vocabulary and expressions into Spanish to make the shows really accessible.
A more modern alternative to listening to the radio is listening to podcasts. Whatever your interests, there is a podcast out there for you. Listening to podcasts has the same benefits as listening to the radio. It will help you accustom yourself to the sounds of a variety of accents, will consolidate your understanding of grammar and help you to expand your vocabulary by learning new words in context! You could chose a podcast about learning English, or just a podcast about any topic that interests you. One of the best places to listen to podcasts is Spotify. Spotify offers paid accounts (with no adverts) and free accounts (punctuated with adverts). Whether you use the free version or pay for a subscription, this is an excellent way to keep on learning!
Another great resource from the BBC is the “6 minute English” podcast. This is great for learners who don’t have much time! Each podcast covers a specific grammar point or expression and, as expected from the BBC, the information and production values are both of a really high standard. If you only have a few minutes each day to listen, this is the podcast for you! This podcast even has it’s own 6 minute English Android application to make it even easier to access.
Improve Your English by Watching
Most of us love watching series and films. Streaming services like Netflix or Amazon Prime have made it easier and more convenient than ever to find something to watch whenever we want. Watching films and series in English is a great way to improve your grammar, comprehension and extend your vocabulary. However, watching series or films in a foreign language can be difficult and much less enjoyable than in your own language.
To make series and films in English as accessible as possible, there is now a streaming service especially for language learners! LingoPie is a subscription service where you can watch movies and series that have special features. If you’re watching a film and don’t understand a word, you can click in the subtitles. This opens a box with for a detailed translation and explanation with examples. LingoPie then adds this word or phrase to a pack of flashcards that you can use to revise new material. This is an excellent way to learn and remember new vocabulary and grammar while practising reading and listening comprehension. The LingoPie system was developed with a language-learning expert from Cambridge university, so is based on solid scientific principles to help you progress quickly. A LingoPie subscription is comparable with other platforms like Netflix. The difference is that it will help take your english to the next level much faster!
Onlearn.es is proud to be a LingoPie affiliate. We strongly recommend lingoPie and, as affiliates, we earn compensation when learners use our links.
Improve Your English by Speaking
talking with native English speakers is one of the most effective ways to improve your language skills. This can help you practice your speaking, listening, and comprehension skills in a real-life setting. To find conversation partners, you can use language exchange websites like Tandem or Meetup, where you can connect with English speakers from around the world. If you’re not comfortable speaking with strangers, you can also practice with friends or family members who speak English. The more you practice, the more confident you’ll become, and the easier it will be to understand and use the language.
Improve Your English by Reading
Similarly to watching films and series, reading books is a great way to improve your understanding, vocabulary and fluency. However, books have the same disadvantages for learners. Sometimes a book can be difficult for a learner to understand. Checking the dictionary every couple of minutes stops readers from being able to really immerse themselves in a story.
The solution? Graded Reader! A Graded Reader is a book that has been adapted to a specific level of English. For example, A B2 Graded Reader is adapted so that a student with A B2 level according to the CEFR can understand it. These books give students the opportunity to see grammar and vocabulry that they are learning in context to consolidate their learning and help them to improve faster!
In conclusion, these are some of the best ways to improve your English. By combining listening to the radio, watching films and series, having conversations, and reading graded reader books, you’ll have a well-rounded learning experience that will help you make progress in the language. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes – learning a new language is a journey, and everyone makes mistakes along the way. Just keep practicing, and you’ll get there in the end.
Improve Your English by Studying
Although you can make fantastic progress by watching, listening and reading, this doesn’t mean that studying doesn’t help. Studying grammar will help you to understand the expressions and language that you see and hear in media. Check out all of our free grammar courses!
If you’re a Spanish resident you can come and join me in one of my intensive courses with Foment Formacio, they are 100% paid for by the state, so you don’t have to pay anything!
Alternatively, if you’re outside of Spain, you should check out the British Council.
Onlearn.es is proud to be a British Council affiliate. We strongly recommend The British Council and, as affiliates, earn compensation when learners use our links.
If you want to understand spoken English and English texts, the best way is to listen to spoken English and to read English texts. Obviously, this isn’t always easy, so make your time more fun and more productive by using some of the platforms mentioned above.
Keep on learning!