The rapid development of communication technology greatly simplifies language learning. In the vast majority of cases almost any gadget, any device with settings to adjust, provides at least an operational menu in English.
Tip 1: Use a Device’s Menu to Learn
Comparison of different options, commands, and descriptions in settings menus adds basic sets of widely used English words and phrases to active vocabulary. The better you master the device, the easier it will be to switch to English language mode and by using it as previously learn through doing the same functions with new English wordings.
The most popular devices nowadays are mobile phones, tablets, and personal computers, but other household electronics like TVs, DVD players, and speakers may also have English settings menus. And then there are all your online media services like YouTube, Netflix, and HBO Go. Most international services have at least an English version.
Tip 2: Watch International TV Shows and Movies
You can follow these four steps to improve your English with your favourite TV shows and movies.
- Watch a show or movie dubbed in your native language with English subtitles.
- Watch the show or movie in English with your native language’s subtitles.
- Watch the same content in English with English subtitles.
- Finally, watch in English without any subtitles.
Following these four steps will greatly develop not only your active vocabulary but also listening and comprehension skills. In some cases, it is possible to switch on both English and native language subtitles simultaneously, which could act as another stage in between ones mentioned previously. The height of this challenge is to move up to live broadcasts, especially the news, as these programs are very dense with new language.
Tip 3: Play Language Games
Playing language games, based on knowledge of English, will help you to expand the volume of actively used words and phrases. There are numerous sites and pieces of free online and offline software for the learners of different stages, starting from the beginners and up to the experienced native speaker levels.
Playing Scrabble (in some versions – Literati), probably, is the most popular way to improve own English literacy. The game fosters player’s development through deep emotional engagement in the outcome. It’s also a fun, social way to connect with different people also interested in learning English and playing the game both offline and online.
One can find numerous ways to use the latest technologies throughout the learning process. And, as new technologies develop, the language itself is developing, too. But that is the subject of another post.
About the Author
Alex Shtern is a language learner and freelance writer who speaks and works in several languages.