Many times, my students ask me how they can practice their English in addition to our classes. So, I have compiled a list of resources that will help with continuing English learning outside of class.
There are a few things to remember when using these resources as an English learner:
1. Listen/Watch/Read for the gist. Try to understand the idea or summary. Don't expect to understand everything.
2. Listen/Watch/Read for repetition.
3. Try to find a resource that you like and are comfortable with. Pick resources that you’ll find interesting. Choose a resource and subject that you’re familiar with.
4. Try not to translate. Try to think in English.
5. Don’t give up! Remember the more you practice, the easier it becomes!
Here are some recommendations for books, TV Shows, Podcasts, Music and more practice!
I would recommend starting with books you already have read. If you are beginner, try reading books with pictures (it helps!) For intermediate levels, books that you love are the obvious choice. If you can’t think of one, Kaplan International recommends seven books to get you started.
No time to read? Try an audiobook.
If you are looking for grammar books for more practice, I suggest these free grammar books from Santos Idiomas.
TV shows are a great way to practice your listening skills in a fun way. If you are a beginner, start with cartoons. The vocabulary is simple and easy to understand. For intermediate or advanced learners, TV shows can give students examples of how to use everyday English in daily situations and interactions. Busy Teacher has a list of the top tv shows to watch for English learners.
Just like TV shows, movies are also a useful and fun way to practicing your listening skills. There are some useful websites that can help with the translation or explanations of expressions used in movies. For example, English @ the Movies website dedicated to short videos explaining a term heard in a current movie.
Podcasts are a great way to practice your listening skills. Take a look at my previous blog post about podcast recommendations.
Music is an amazing resource for English learners. You can listen to a song over and over to understand the lyrics. I recommend listening with headphones, trying to sing along, watch the music videos with lyrics. FluentU.com has a pretty comprehensive list of songs to start with.
Sometimes it is difficult to find opportunities to practice writing when taking conversational classes. If you are looking for writing practice, FluentU.com recommends one of these apps.
For the more ambitious students, you can try creative writing for English learners.
Hope these suggestions help! As always, if you are looking to practice your English, contact me for a free class today! www.jlabate.com