Keep communicating while you are studying English at home
Studying English at home doesn’t mean that you have to sit with a grammar book and do boring exercises every day. When you learn a language it’s important to include a balance of skills; speaking, writing, listening, reading, vocabulary and situational English are just as important as grammar.
Don’t spend too much time focusing on one thing; you will learn more effectively if you mix a little bit of everything. This will keep your motivation and energy levels up and reinforce your learning. For example, after you have studied a grammar point, find a short text to read and see if you can find any examples of that grammar point. It’s also a good idea to take regular breaks, and try to balance intensive study with more relaxing activities like watching a film, in English, of course!
Don’t forget that language is about communication, and that means speaking and writing. You might be wondering how you can practise these skills if you’re stuck at home, so here are some examples of things you can do to make your learning fun and rewarding.
If you have English-speaking friends, why not arrange to chat with them on the phone every day? Everybody needs social interaction these days, so I’m sure they would be happy to help. Even if you don’t have friends who are native English speakers, you can still practise speaking English; just agree with your friends from your own country that you will have an English only chat once a day. You could choose a topic to talk about, for example holidays or cooking tips. You can also help each other with your homework! You’ll be surprised by how this helps you to improve. And if you want someone to correct your errors or help you with your pronunciation, why not book a video lesson with one of our native English-speaking teachers?
Writing is a great way to study because it makes you focus on good grammar and vocabulary. To get the best results, you should plan what you are going to write first. Use a dictionary to check your vocabulary and spelling at this stage, and think carefully about how you are going to arrange your ideas into paragraphs. Then you can start writing. Perhaps the most important part is after you have finished writing. You should now check your writing to see if there are any mistakes; use the spell check and grammar check functions on your computer, and also think about typical errors you have made in the past. For example, if you are always making mistakes with irregular verbs, pay special attention to irregular verbs when you check your writing.
There are so many opportunities to practise your writing if you are at home. Writing a diary is a good way to make sure you practise every day, and if not much is happening in your life right now, why not write a dream diary? Psychologists say this can be very beneficial. But let’s not forget that writing is really about communication, and using writing to connect with other people can be very motivating. You can practise with your friends by writing your emails and text messages in English, or you could reach a wider audience by writing review on Google, Facebook or Tripadvisor. You will be able to see how many people have read what you have written, and if people have read your writing, it means that you have communicated! Another great social media platform to try is Quora, where you can post questions about anything from literature to food, from science to politics, and people from around the world will give you answers. You can also answer other people’s questions, so you get a real sense of communication.
Of course, if you are really proud of what you have written, or if you are preparing for a writing exam such as IELTS or OET, you probably want to make sure that it’s perfect. This is where we can help. Why not book an online lesson with one of our teachers, who can correct your errors and give you detailed feedback on how you can improve your writing?
So, you can keep communicating even if you are stuck in the house. There are plenty of ways to stay in contact with other people using English, and if you try out these ideas your English will continue to improve. And if you have any other ideas, why not share them with us on Facebook?