Autumn Aston

Profesora de inglés nativa en Madrid

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How to Improve Your English Skills Outside of Class

Self-Study Tips to Practice your English 

The most frequent question my students ask me besides phrasal verbs is how they can improve their English level outside of class hours. One hour per week class isn’t enough, most students need to do some self-study or self-preparation for themselves. So, here are some tips that I came up, these are not the only to self-study but they can help you get on the right track.


Learning another language is not easy but remember these helpful tips.

1.    Resist the urge to try and translate everything into your native language.

2.   Be patience! In the beginning, it can be difficult to understand everything but in time with more exposure, things will start to make sense.

3.    Be Aware! There might be new vocabulary words or phrases that you haven’t heard before.

4.    Don’t Force It! Sometimes that best thing to do is just to sit back, relax and listen.


Helpful Tips

1.    Read: Take some time out of your day like 30 mins and read a book or an article on your commute to work or wherever. Reading is another way to improve vocabulary. Keep a journal and write down all the words that you don’t know. 

2.    Watch: Watch your favorite shows in English with English subtitles. I recommend watching shows that are about 30 minutes and then work your way towards 1hr shows. I highly recommend the  Simpson or Netflix.

3.    Listen: Go on Spotify or YouTube and listen to some songs in English on your commute. Watch the lyric videos so you can sing along to what they say.Lyrics Training is one website that is highly recommended. Podcasts

4.    Language Exchange: Go online to Duolingo (search for meetups), Lingobongo, Meetup or even Facebook which all have information about language exchanges. At these exchanges you meet people from all over who are trying to improve their English. In Madrid, you can find a language exchange almost every day.

5.    Change the language of all your social media accounts to English.

6.    Change the language of your cell phone to English

7.    Play your favorite hobbies in English. There are plenty of hobbies in English in Madrid so why don’t you try one.

8.    If you have friends who are learning English why not make one day that you all speak in English for 24 hours.

9. Read: Look for your favorite author/book and find the English translation and start to read. You already know the story but it’s a great way to build vocabulary and become more comfortable.


Remember these are just some of the tips that I came up with and there could be many more. If you would like to discuss more ways on how to improve your English make sure to sign up and take your Free English Class with me!!!!

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