1. English words with friends
Scrabble is a classic board game in which players use random lettered tiles to create words in a crossword fashion. It’s a fantastic way to strengthen your English vocabulary, and there’s also a Scrabble Junior version for beginners. Playing Scrabble challenges you to really think in English as you try to come up with different words using your set of letters.
If you’re taking an English class, buy the board game and invite your classmates to play with you. You can also play Scrabble online through websites like Facebook, where it is called Words With Friends.
2. Add some music
Not only will your favourite song wake up your mind and put you in a positive mood to learn English, but the lyrics can help you expand your skills. Research demonstrates how music can help second language learners acquire grammar and vocabulary and improve spelling.
Songs almost always contain a lot of useful vocabulary, phrases and expressions. And since the intended audience is native speakers, the latest tunes include up-to-date language and colloquialisms. The language used in songs is casual and usable, if you pick the right music. Music also has an uncanny ability to stick in our heads, so this can help you to remember your new English words.
3. Try, try and try again
To commit new English words to memory, it’s important to keep using them. Keep a notebook of new words you learn, and try to use them in three different sentences. Write your sentences down and say them out loud. The repetition will help you to remember the word, and working out different uses of the word will help expand your bank of vocabulary. Remember, taking small steps like these will still help you to reach your goal.
4. Join online English forums
The key here is to join forums for subjects that you are interested in – that way, your motivation will rub off on your English learning and you’ll be more inclined to participate. So, whether it’s photography, movies, travelling or cooking, discuss your passion with other like-minded people in English.
If you feel nervous about people identifying you, make an anonymous profile. Then read through the forum to see what people are discussing. Once you feel confident, start to actively take part in the forum by answering questions posed by other people – or post your own questions and have a conversation with the other members who answer you.
5. Get with the language
One of the most effective and easy ways to learn English is to fully immerse yourself in the language. Find an English-speaking radio station to listen to, watch an English-speaking movie or TV show or surround yourself with people having conversations in English. Listen carefully to conversations in restaurants, on the bus or in shops and try to pick up the everyday use of the language. Not only will this help your listening skills, but you can also try to pronounce the words yourself in context to improve your speaking skills. With modern technology and apps, this can be done practically anywhere.
6. Read to learn English
You could really give your reading skills a boost here – but your speaking skills can benefit, too. The more you read English text to yourself or aloud, the more confidence you will have. If you feel nervous, start by practising at home then move on to reading in front of an audience and asking for their feedback. Of course, it’s also enjoyable to read some wonderful stories.
E-readers and tablets make learning English even easier because if you don’t know a word, you can simply click on it to read its definition. On the Kindle you can add new words you’ve learnt to its Vocabulary Builder feature, which is stored on the device. Others recommend listening to and reading text at the same time as an excellent way to enhance the learning process. Kindle’s Whispersync for Voice is designed for just this purpose and includes audio with selected books, so you can listen and follow the text as you read.