If you come to study English in Edinburgh, there are many of opportunities to improve your English outside the classroom and enhance your overall learning experience here. So, whether you are preparing for the IELTS or other language exam or you simply want to get ahead in English, here are just a few tips to help you improve.
1. Speak – a lot!
Forget your fears and talk as much as possible to as many English speaking people as you can! People in Edinburgh are friendly and happy to take the time to speak to new people. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes – it’s the best way to find out which areas you need to improve on. Plus, the more you practice your spoken English, the more confident you will become!
2. Listen to English
Listen to English radio, music and podcasts. It’s a great way to improve your comprehension skills and you can pick up new words and expressions along the way! If you don’t have a radio, you can easily access local radio stations through smartphone apps and websites like TuneIn (http://bit.ly/TuneInEdinburgh).
3. Read in English
Start to read English-language newspapers or learn more about your interests through English-language blogs, websites and magazines. This way you can work on your English grammar and vocabulary whilst reading something you enjoy!
4. Learn a new word every day
Choose a new word each day and practice using it in different sentences until it sticks. Using a word regularly in various contexts will ensure it stays in your long-term memory.
5. Watch your favourite films in English
Watching films in English will help to improve your vocabulary and comprehension with ease by doing something that doesn’t feel like work. Plus, you will be able to re-watch classic Hollywood movies in their original language.
Meet up with native speakers or other learners so you can practice your English conversation skills whilst making friends at the same time. Our social programme will allow you to meet new native-speakers and international students from a range of backgrounds who want to speak English. Check our Facebook page to find out about the latest events (bit.ly/InlinguaFB).
7. Pursue your hobbies in English
Join a local club or society such as a local book or sports club and practice your English while having fun! In Edinburgh you can find many of these through websites like meetup.com or local community centres.
8. Think in English
Start to speak to yourself in English and try to think in English about everyday things such as travel arrangements and what to have for lunch. Once you are able to do this automatically, it will be a lot easier to speak without constantly translating from your native language in your head.
9. Record yourself
Recording yourself can help you to track your progress and identify areas in which you need to improve. Although it can feel a little strange at first, you’ll be able to pick up on certain things you hadn’t noticed before.
10. Note words down in your smartphone
This way, you can collect words you come across during the day and look them up later. Then, you can focus on learning them and look back on the list to track your progress. Alternatively, you can carry a good old-fashioned notebook!
Try some of these tips for yourself and get creative by thinking of new ways to practice in real life what you’ve learnt in class!