Practice every day to improve your English communication skills
Today I’m going to talk to you about five things that you can practice every single day to improve your English. Learning a language is like learning to play a musical instrument, you can’t just pick up a violin and know how to play it, or at least I didn’t when I learned the violin.
Practice a little every single day, and over time you will improve and become fluent. You can’t just practice loads the day before an exam and expect to be perfect at playing that violin; it’s exactly the same for languages. The best way to learn a language is to practice a little every single day. And in this lesson, I’m going to give you five different ways that you can incorporate English, or any other language, into your daily life. I think that quite a few of these you wouldn’t have heard before. So let’s get straight into it.
My first piece of advice is to follow an audio soap-opera.
What is a soap-opera I hear you ask, well I shall tell you? A soap-opera is a daily serial, or series, dealing with the daily lives and events of the same group of characters, normally in the same location. Most commonly they are on television.
We have lots in the UK like Eastenders, Coronation Street, Emmerdale, but I’m recommending you listen to an audio one. And there’s one, in particular, I would like to recommend.
I really, really recommend a radio soap-opera by BBC Radio four, called The Archers.
The Archers: It’s special for so many reasons, not least because it is the longest-running drama in history. It was started in 1950, first aired in 1951, and also because I think it is absolutely perfect for English learners. It follows the daily lives and dramas of a group of fictional characters in the fictional countryside village of Ambridge. Each episode is around 12 to 14 minutes long, I’m not sure exactly how long, but it’s definitely under 15 minutes. It’s spoken in relatively clear English, in a variety of British accents, and sometimes not British accents as well, other accents. But it’s fantastic because the plot summaries are posted on the BBC website.
I will link all of this below in the description box. And the great thing about this is that it deals with daily happenings which is great for your life too, including current events, routine things, and you can repeat all the parts you missed. It’s on every single day apart from Saturday, they have a rest, and once a week they condense all the week’s episodes into one and that’s called an omnibus, and that’s around 75 minutes long.
I love listening to The Archers when I go running I listen to it every single day and if I miss one I always catch up. There is no beginning and there is no finish to the series,
there aren’t any seasons.
So it might take you a couple of episodes to get used to the storylines and to work out who is who and recognize the different voices. Give it five or six episodes and you’ll feel really included. It’s wonderful because it’s free to listen to, it’s beautifully produced, and there is a huge community of Archers fans. A lot of them are older, but a lot of them are younger too. And if you search hashtag The Archers on Twitter, big tip here, you’ll see lots of people talking and discussing the topics of the episode and maybe you can interact with them. So I’m going to leave the links for The Archers episodes and also the plot summaries in the description box, and I really hope some of you take up this opportunity to listen to a daily English audio soap-opera.
10 to 15 minutes every day is definitely gonna help your listening, it’s going to help your pronunciation. It’s just gonna help your general enjoyment as well ’cause it’s a great program.
Right, before I get too passionate, let’s move on to a piece of advice number two.
So number two is to talk daily with natives.
Now I bet so many of you are thinking uh I wish, I would love to talk to natives every day, but I don’t know how and no one seems to want to talk to me. Well, I have a couple of suggestions. One is paid for and one is free, and the best thing, in my opinion, would be a combination of the two.
Now on to tip number three.
Set yourself a daily word goal.
Learn x amount of words every single day. This tip is really important because it also links to tip number four. I have mentioned this strategy in a previous article, but I actually have a really important extra layer to this strategy that I would like to discuss with you. In order to build your vocabulary quickly, you need to learn at least one new word per day, but hopefully more than that. I’ve spoken to you before about keeping a word diary or just a notebook or a list on your phone, keep it with you all the time and always be aware wherever you are, do I know that word in English?
Do I know how to say that in English?
You might see a tree, do I know how to say that specific variety of trees in English?
If you don’t write it down in your own language in this book, in this list, and then at the end of the day, before you go to sleep, research all of these words and translate them into English. It will help you train your brain to always be hungry for English.
After a few weeks, you will always be looking for new words that you can learn,
words that you didn’t even realize you didn’t know. Now there is something else that you can do with these words, and this brings me on to point number four. Write a daily journal with a difference. Depending on your level, I would buy a paper journal or diary. I get so tired in the evening I can’t spend loads and loads of time writing,
so I personally would buy a workweek planner or a homework planner or a study planner where you’ve got all seven days across two pages. In each of those days, I would write three or four sentences about my day trying to incorporate those words that I learned in my daily word list, the words I mentioned in point three. That way, not only are you learning the new words and learning what they mean,
You’re making sure they’re fully integrated into your brain. And also doing this before you go to sleep will mean they stick in there even more. Then you can wake up in the morning, read what you wrote the night before, and you’ve got those words fresh in your head, ready for the day ahead.
It’s honestly such a fabulous technique because it builds your vocabulary, it improves your writing skills; it improves your reading skills if you search the pronunciation of the word it will improve your pronunciation and your listening skills and if you book in sessions with language teachers, you can have them correct your writing. So every week you can bring them two fresh pages of writing for them to correct. Honestly, if you do this every day it will help you so much.
Right, time for the last point.
Point number four, the tip is to perform daily translations of subjects you are interested in.
Now I know a lot of you want to stop translating and think in English,
However, I think translation forms a very important part of language learning, especially when it’s around something that you are interested in. It’s really superb to compare how things are said in different languages and translation helps you with that. In my opinion, the best way to practice your translation is absolutely free, which is fantastic, and it’s right here on YouTube. Pick the YouTubers that you really, really like, the YouTubers that talk about subjects that you’re interested in.
Maybe it’s photography, maybe it’s technology, maybe it’s pets, maybe it’s makeup.
You can actually contribute to subtitle translations. You may have seen that underneath all of my videos I have a link where I give the opportunity to contribute subtitle translations. So I write the subtitles in English and then you can write them in your own language. It’s amazing because it helps my videos reach and help a wider audience. They also get their name displayed under the video, which is really, really cool. And it helps their translating skills. You can translate videos from your native language into English, that would be a fantastic way to practice. But even translating English subtitles into your own native language is really good reading and translation exercise. I will post a link with more information on community subtitle translations in the description box. Right, I have discussed all five points.
I really hope you learned something. I really hope you try out one of my five recommendations.