Everyday habits to improve your English


Hello I’m Emma from mmmEnglish! In this video, we’re going to talk about four things that you can do every day to improve your English. I think we can all agree that learning English or learning any language takes time and effort and dedication. But the most successful language learners, they find a way for their language to become a part of their daily life. It just becomes a habit like brushing your teeth. If you want to improve, your English practice should become a daily habit. To help you with this I’m going to share four things that you can and you should be doing every day to improve your English and yes, I am suggesting that you do all four things every day but they’re not huge tasks and we’re going to talk about how you can make them a bit of fun too so come check it out! Before I share these four things that you should be doing every day, I want to thank our friends Lingoda who’ve partnered with us to bring you today’s lesson. In particular, I want to share how the Lingoda Language Sprint offers you daily English lessons plus up to a hundred percent refund on your lesson fees. Lingoda is an online language school. You take classes with qualified native speaking teachers, class sizes are small and all of the learning materials are provided. Plus Lingoda are now Cambridge certified so you’ll get free access to the Cambridge online language test as well. And in exciting news, the next Language Sprints are starting soon. The Super Sprint is the biggest challenge, thirty classes a month for three months. When I decide to do something, I like to go hard and that is exactly what the Super Sprint demands of you. English classes every day for ninety days but here’s the thing, if you complete every one of those classes, Lingoda will give you your money back, a hundred percent of your class fees refunded or you can use the credits for even more English classes. Now if that feels impossible for you, then you can choose to do the Regular Sprint, fifteen classes a month for three months. If you complete all of those classes, you’ll get a fifty percent refund. So are you up to the challenge? You can register for the Sprint promotion right now but registrations close on the 24th of March. The link is in the description below and if you use this code JOIN1, you’ll get ten euros off your deposit. So the very first thing on my list is pronunciation. Yes you should be practising your pronunciation every day. And it’s not to try and get rid of your accent but to make it clear enough that others can comfortably understand you when you speak. I can’t tell you the number of advanced English students I’ve had who’ve had amazing grammar and vocabulary skills but so much trouble communicating because their accent makes it quite challenging for others to understand them. So of course, all of this affects smooth, positive, comfortable conversation. And depending on where you learned English, your teacher may not have focused on pronunciation. It may not have been the priority at the time. You see, if you learned English at school, your teacher’s main aim was probably to get you high marks in your exam. Pronunciation was probably not their focus at that time but in the real world when you’re using English to speak with other people, your pronunciation, your fluency when you speak, it’s so incredibly important. Get into the habit of learning and using the correct pronunciation today because it’s going to save you lots of headaches and confusion down the track. Plus, practising your pronunciation every day consistently, it’s gonna help you to make noticeable improvements in a short space of time. So how can you start doing this? I recommend that you learn the IPA, the international phonetic alphabet. If you’ve never heard of it before or you don’t know a lot about it, then watch this lesson up here. But learning the IPA will allow you to correctly pronounce every single English word using the correct English sounds. Another great way to practise your pronunciation is with my imitation lessons so in these lessons, I help you to copy me and shadow me as I speak. They’re really awesome, quick ten minute videos that you can practise with regularly so add them to a playlist and keep coming back to them and practise with them often. After you’ve practised a lesson for a few times make a recording of yourself and compare it to my voice. Try to identify some of the mistakes that you’re making with your pronunciation. I’ve added a link to my imitation lessons in the description and I’ll add one at the end of this video as well that you can check out. You can also simply read out loud to improve your pronunciation. Doing this every day will help your mouth muscles to get working and creating English sounds and get more comfortable doing it. It’s as simple as that and it doesn’t need to take you long just five or ten minutes a day is plenty. Just make sure you’re doing it consistently. You could even do it by singing English songs. Create one opportunity to absorb English every day. To absorb is to take in information so you’re like a sponge soaking things up, taking in new ideas, new words, new ways of expressing yourself and you can do this in lots of different ways, so many ways. Listening to a podcast or an audiobook, you could watch an English movie or any video on Youtube. Read a book or a blog post, In fact, you probably want to mix this up during the week, right? To keep things interesting. A podcast on Monday. Read a book on Tuesday. Whatever floats your boat. Now again, this doesn’t have to be a huge time-consuming task but it’s worth spending some time searching for the right type of content. It must be stuff that is interesting for you. If you’re into football or you love makeup tutorials or romance novels or soap operas. If you love the idea of sailing around the world, I’ve been watching a YouTube channel called Sailing La Vagabonde and they vlog about their life sailing around the world on a yacht. In fact, if you’re interested, I’ve added the link in the description below. But the point is, find something that interests you and excites you because you need to look forward to doing it every single day. It shouldn’t feel like you’re doing English practice. So I have two little recommendations here. Firstly, you need to find the time that you’re going to do it and declare it. That is your daily time to absorb English so it could be on the bus on your way to work or while you’re eating breakfast. I’ve always found that attaching an activity to the task helps you to make it part of your routine. And while you’re doing it, just keep a notebook handy so that you can write down expressions or new words which you can look up and check later on. Simple as that! Writing every day has some amazing benefits. But before I talk about that I want to make it clear, I’m not talking about writing an essay, okay? I’m just talking about writing a few thoughts or a few ideas down. It only has to take a few minutes and nobody ever has to see it. It’s just for you. So there’s a few reasons why writing every day is an excellent habit to get into. It helps your vocabulary to stick. Writing is one of the best ways to recall new words and expressions that you’ve come across. When so many of my students have asked me “What is the best way to remember vocabulary?” this is my recommendation. As you’re reading or watching TV shows or books, you come across new ideas and words and you write them down but then you start to use them yourself. You think of sentences and your own ideas about how to use these words. That way you’re producing your own sentences rather than just listening to other people’s and it helps it just stick in your mind. And then you can improve it. Once you’ve written something, you can do so much with it. You can copy/paste it into a grammar checker like Grammarly to help you to identify some of the errors that you’re making. So Grammarly is free to use, I’ve included a link in the description below because it’s awesome. It helps you to see the mistakes that you’re making like maybe you’re using the wrong preposition or you don’t need to use an article when you’ve written one. So I really recommend that you take a look to help you see and realise the mistakes that you’re making and you can also review your own work. Once you’ve finished writing, leave it for a few days or a few weeks, come back to it. See if you can make any improvements or if you can use a thesaurus to look up synonyms and replace some of the words with more advanced ones. These are just a few ideas but getting into a daily writing practice creates so many opportunities for you to apply what you’ve learned or what you’ve seen or what you’ve experienced in English and then review it and improve it. Lastly, join an English discussion about stuff that interests you. Now this sounds serious and may be complicated but it’s not, I promise. I’m just talking about joining an active group or online community where there are people interacting. They’re sharing their ideas, they’re giving opinions and you’re able to respond. So you can comment and actually be part of the discussion as it happens. Now this could be in person but it can easily be as part of an online community. Plus that makes it, you know, even easier to create a daily habit around it because it’s simply about checking in and seeing what everyone else has been talking about and giving your two cents worth. So how do you find these places? It takes a little work. You can’t just Google ‘cooking’ and join the first group that you find. Join a few different ones, see which one is the most active, which one has really interesting discussions happening in it. Sometimes nothing gets posted in these groups for days and that’s not really helpful for you, right? So I would start by writing down your top five hobbies or interests. Don’t start with English language. What else are you into? Are you into politics or yoga or marketing, photography, sports. I mean you probably already follow people or a part of groups that are like this. So all you need to do is commit to checking in once a day and write a comment. It’s not more complicated than that. If someone shared something and they’re asking for opinions, don’t keep scrolling. It’s an opportunity for you to share so stop, think of a way that you can contribute. Now I’m gonna add some great, really active and interesting groups in the description below just to give you a few ideas of what I’m talking about but I want to know if you’re already part of some lively Facebook groups or other online communities. What kinds of things do you discuss and do you ever contribute? So if you can bring those four things into your daily routine in some way, you will absolutely, without a doubt improve your English. Remember that it takes a little bit of time to create good habits. It’s not as simple as deciding you’re gonna do it. So I’ve got a couple of extra tips to help you get started. Do your research first. Find a blog or a TV series that will keep you interested so you don’t have to look for something to do okay? Give yourself a week or so to find the right type of community to join and be part of the discussions with. Then create a regular schedule to help you get started and really I just mean decide when you’re going to do these four things so for example, pronunciation practice might be in the bathroom for five to ten minutes every morning as you’re getting ready for work. Then listening to your favourite podcast on your way to work and you’re writing down your words on the bus. On your lunch break, might be the time to check a Facebook group and write a group comment. Then spend ten minutes at the end of your day writing about what you did or what you learnt before dinner and simply put that on repeat. Very quickly you’ll realise that English has become a regular daily part of your routine. Thank you so much for joining me today. You can connect with me on Instagram and my Facebook here. I hope that you found all of these ideas and these suggestions useful. Let me know if you’re doing some of these things already or if you’re planning to put any of them into practice, let me know how it goes. And as promised, here is one of my imitation lessons to help you work on your pronunciation. I’ll see you in there!

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