Classes and books are certainly important, but we can’t be actively learning that way all the time. There are lots of little things you can do right away to improve your language skills. Let’s jump right in and learn some handy language-learning trick to get the most out of every day of your life.

Tip #1 – Change Your Device Settings to English

Find the language settings on your phone, laptop, and tablet, whatever! Change the settings from your native language to English. Doing this will teach you some new words and put you in the mindset of thinking in English.

Tip #2 – Start Thinking in Your Target Language

Now that you have the right mindset to think in English, actually do it! Consciously say your thoughts in your head. Even if you don’t have enough vocabulary or grammar to think exactly what you want, you will start finding different ways of thinking how to “say” what you mean.

Tip #3 – Think Out Loud

The next step then is to speak out loud. All those thoughts you were thinking need to be voiced! Start with a short period of time, for example 5-10 minutes, and talk out loud. It could be saying what you are doing in that moment, or any thoughts that you have. It may feel strange at first, but in the end it’s worth it.

Tip #4 – Label Things Around Your House

A great way to pick up new vocabulary is to get some post-its and label items around your house. Label everything. You’re bound to pick up some new words, and you can use them in your thoughts and when you speak out loud as suggested in the earlier tips.

Tip #5 – Download Some Songs

One of the more exciting things you can do to improve is to find some songs in English, download them, look up the lyrics, and start singing! Many pop songs are so popular that you may already know them. If that’s the case, still look at the lyrics and really try to understand the meaning. You’ll improve your singing skills as a bonus!

About the Author

Yvette Smith is an EFL teacher and freelance writer. She lives in Vietnam.

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