HOW TO LEARN ENGLISH AT HOME

Share this Post

KNOW YOUR LEVEL

There are many free online English tests which you can use.  My favourite is the online Cambridge Test.

BE YOUR OWN TEACHER – USE A STUDY GUIDE

Teachers of English follow a syllabus or curriculum.  They do this to ensure that students learn the grammar and vocabulary which is suitable for their level of English.  Languages are complicated things and neither grammar nor vocabulary can be learned alone.  It would be crazy to try and learn the English dictionary because at the end of the day, you still would not have the skills to create a correct sentence.  The English vocabulary that you learn is connected to grammar and both are in turn connected to the phonetics or sound of the language.

USE THE RIGHT MATERIALS

Once you know your level in English, try to use resources that are suitable for your level.  For example, when learning new vocabulary, the Cambridge Online Learner’s Dictionary (or app?) is an invaluable tool.  Next to each word, you will find A1/A2/B1/B2/C1/C2 which refers to the European Framework for languages.  Similarly, the BBC English ? also uses the same framework to guide students.  The BBC site is simply a must for students who want to learn English alone. ……..

LISTEN

Listening to English is extremely important.  Unlike other languages such as Italian or Spanish, when spoken, the English language changes and there are significant differences between the way the words look on paper and the way they sound when someone is speaking.  Listening to English will help to improve your understanding of the language as well as your pronunciation as the two skills are very connected.

READ

Reading is something which is easy to do by yourself.  Reading really helps to learn English vocabulary on your own and will also help you to absorb English sentence structures and form.  I always suggest that students try to read and listen to audio-books as this will help you to improve your listening, reading and vocabulary.  All-in-all, it’s fantastic way to learn English alone.

WATCH

Like listening to English, watching English videos is the next best thing to speaking.  Sit-coms, series, serials and reality tv shows all have a lot of conversation and dialogue.  They are therefore the perfect way to improve your everyday and colloquial English alone.

SPEAK, SPEAK, SPEAK

Strangely, although this is the most important skill of all, it is often the one that is practiced least.  If and whenever possible, try to chat with a native, English speaker.  Find a friend and have some English conversation sessions with them.  Social Media sites such as Facebook and Twitter are also great places to practice your English alone.  There are plenty of groups on Facebook for students of English in which you can chat to other students and teachers or ask questions.  It’s also a good idea to use Facebook Groups to connect to other groups where you can find a majority of native English speakers.  Find a group that interests you.  If you like running, join a Running Group.  If you like cooking, join a Cooking Group.   In this way, you will be involved in online conversations with native speakers of English with whom you share a common interest.  Needless to say, if the topic or subject interests you, you are more likely to remember the English.   If you happen to live in a tourist zone, try to engage and start conversations with tourists.  I’ve had students in the past who have offered to show visitors around their city for free in return for the opportunity to practice speaking in English.  It’s an exchange that works very well for both the tourist and student of English trying to learn English alone.