5 ways to make English part of your daily life and learn faster.
Here are five ways to live in an English world. Do them all!
Think about how you live in your native language and then do it all for English. You should not 'study', you should use English like you use your native language.
Change everything you can in your life to English. Listen to English music and radio all the time, or leave the TV on an English channel. Put on DVDs in English. You want to listen to as much native-speed English as possible to really push your listening and get used to the way English speakers speak. You do not have to understand it all. Even if you understand ZERO at first, keep going. Switch your internet homepage to English, or change your cell phone or i-Pod language to English if you can. Make everything in your life English, like as if you were living in an English-speaking country.
It doesn't matter what you read, or if you understand what you are reading. Just read, read, read. You will find you recognise more words. You learn them, and then later find out what they mean. The more you read, the more you will remember. Don't worry about understanding it all. That is not the point. The reason is to get comfortable with English—to help you remember as much as you can and to expose yourself to English all the time. [Japanese readers: learn about Kanae Yumeji's experiences reading here.]
You don't need an English speaker around to practice speaking. You don't need someone to listen when you talk. Take every chance you have to speak out loud. If you are reading, then read out loud. If you are watching TV, or listening to the radio, then copy it as best you can. When you are in the shower or walking to the bus stop or cooking or whatever, speak out loud. Talk about what you can see, what you are thinking, what you feel—anything. Just talk, talk, talk.
Just one sentence! Come on! Writing will allow you to practice your English in a different way. Many people make lots of mistakes with their English. These mistakes will pass in speaking, since usually in a speaking situation communication is the key. People don't care about small errors, if they can understand you. If your goal is to be fluent, and to speak and write and understand very well, then you MUST write. Even more importantly, you must have someone check your writing. Of course, use Poligo as much as you can.
React in English. Make your brain work in English and get your native language out of the way. Think simple things first—colours, numbers, names of things. Then later develop more complete and difficult ideas, in English, in your thoughts. Train yourself to think in English, and you will not translate when you speak or listen, and you will dream in English sometimes. Start by counting or by looking at things and naming them. There are many thought exercises you can do to train yourself to think in English.
These five things will help you if you can MAKE THEM HABITS. That means you must remember to do them every day: even if only for a few minutes. So:
Most important of all: keep it interesting, stay curious and have fun.
Lots of study materials are boring! I hate listening to my language tapes. Textbooks always bore me to death. However, if you start to use English daily, you can improve day by day. It should be interesting and fun. Learn some new words or sit down for 30 minutes. Even better, read about something that interests and excites you. Start now and do it every day. You will improve bit by bit. But make sure it is interesting!