Once you get to an advanced level it can be tempting to just skate along. After all, at this level, your English is probably very good and you understand grammar in a way that most native speakers can’t match. But even at this stage, there is still a lot to learn.
1. Focus on the deeper meaning.
In written and spoken English, there are always underlying meanings, things that aren’t said but are generally understood by native speakers. Understanding this deeper layer is key to developing your advanced skills. Ask yourself why constantly to start to infer the deeper meanings in everything.
2. Work on your academic skills
If you have advanced skills, chances are that you want to study or work in English. This means working on your academic skills such as notetaking and listening to lectures. This will help you develop the skills you need for school or university in English. It will also help you pass your English exams too.
3. Listen to different accents.
English isn’t just one accent. English is spoken in a range of countries and with an incredibly wide range of accents. Some of these accents can be hard for native speakers to understand, so if you want to really expand your learning, try using resources from different parts of the English speaking world.
4. Speak English in different contexts.
If you’ve learned English in classes, you’ll probably get a shock when you go out into the world and try to use your skills in different contexts. Native speakers will speak more quickly and they won’t make as many allowances if you struggle to communicate. This may be a shock at first, and you’ll feel like a beginner, but the more you practice in a range of contexts the quicker you’ll pick up the different language rules and start to use them naturally.
5. Learn humour and sarcasm.
If you want to build friendships with native speakers, these aspects of language are key. You need to be able to understand and tell jokes and recognise and decode sarcasm if you really want to interact with people on a native level.
For more learning tips, visit our Learning Tips blog.
About the Author
I’m an ESL teacher and a dedicated traveller. I’ve taught in Fuzhou, China and Hanoi and much prefer smaller cities to the larger options. When I’m not on the road, I live in Perth, Australia. I write about education, ESL teaching specifically, and you can view more examples of my work at www.gayleaggiss.com
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