When it comes to learning English, there’s no substitute for time spent with a qualified teacher. However, there are plenty of free ways to speed up your progress by practicing your new language skills outside the classroom. Here are just a few ideas…

1. Listen to songs in English and pay attention to the lyrics (it’s also a good idea to look them up online too!)

2. Read books in English. Start with children’s books and progress to books you have already read in your native language. This will make it easier to understand the plot and context while you pick up lots of new vocabulary along the way.

3. Find an online blog written in English and read it regularly. Choose something that interests you so you keep coming back.

4. Watch films or TV shows in English with or without subtitles. You could watch a local soap or look into which popular TV shows everyone is talking about in English-speaking countries. The exciting plot lines will make you want to keep watching to find out what happens. Alternatively, you could watch something you have already seen dubbed into your target language.

5. Change the operating language of your mobile phone to English. This will help you to get into the habit of using the language in your day-to-day life.

6. Borrow books, films and CDs from inlingua. If you’re studying with us, you can borrow all kinds of material from our library.

7. Listen to UK Radio. Popular radio stations in Edinburgh include BBC Radio 1 and 2, Capital FM and Forth One.  You can listen to them all here!

8. Watch English-language news. It’s a great way to keep up to date on current affairs and you’ll be able to pick up a lot of relevant vocabulary too.

9. Have fun and socialise. On our social programme you can chat with your peers and have the opportunity to speak English with friendly local people.

10. Volunteer or take a work placement. This will help you use your English in context and you’ll gain valuable experience along the way.

We hope you find some of these tips useful. Be sure to let us know which ones you tried, we’d love to know which worked best for you!