One thing everybody likes is quick tips for learning English faster. But everybody has different ideas, as we discovered when we asked English schools in the UK for their suggestions.
English UK has almost 480 member centres. We know they are all excellent at teaching English, because every one of them has to pass strict accreditation inspections to become a member of the organisation.
We’ve have chosen some of the tips we like best, from different centres, to give students some good ideas. If you want to read more of their suggestions, they're regularly published at www.englishuk.com.
1. Carry a small notebook with you, and make a note every time there’s a word or a phrase you don’t know. Then go home, look it up, and add it to your vocabulary bank. Your confidence will grow quickly! (Central College, Nottingham)
2. Read an English language newspaper every day (in paper format or on the web) - it's much more fun than a coursebook! (Academy SJW, London). English UK publishes its own weekly summary of what people in the UK are talking about in their student news. www.englishuk.com/en/students/english-in-the-uk/student-news
3. Record yourself! This is great for pronunciation. The secret is to never delete your first recording, then you can always compare your first with your latest and see how much you have improved. It's great for motivation. Try listening to straplines on Youtube and repeat the phrases and recording them on your phone. Keep doing it until you notice those tricky sounds moving closer and closer to the original. (Tti School of English, London)
4. It’s all about the singing. It has never been easier to access the lyrics of any song you like, and singing along fixes all sorts of good things in the memory – vocabulary, grammar patterns, intonation and pronunciation (Bedford School Study Centre, Bedford)
5. Write one short paragraph each day. It could be about your day, something you’ve read/ listened to or seen. Give it to your teacher to check. If possible, use the grammar you’ve studied. (Wimbledon School of English, London)
6. When you study in the UK, make lots of Facebook friends from all over the world and then comment in English on their status updates etc (LTC Eastbourne)
7. Practise tenses by writing three sentences: what you are doing now, what you did yesterday and what you will do tomorrow (Anglo-Continental, Bournemouth)
8. Listen to quality English on the radio (not TV where there is a visual stimulus), especially BBC World Service or Radio 4; It is hard work but really works as students first pick up individual words, then phrases and sentences and when they are more advanced, connotations and linguistic nuances – speaking from experience (London International Study Centre)
9. You need to be truly interested in the language and culture it represents - history, politics, literature, music, etc (St Clare’s Oxford)
10. Go to a city where not many people speak your language (IH Belfast)
And, of course, one great way to learn English is to live and study in the home of the English language – the UK.
Find out more detail about English UK's quality schools here: http://www.englishuk.com/es/students/ingles-en-el-reino-unido/razones-para-estudiar-ingles-en-el-reino-unido
By Susan Young, English UK communications consultant