How To: Learn English

You'll find plenty of resources online about learning English but something that is often missing is teaching tips on HOW to learn English. On this page you can find some top tips on how to learn English from experts in the field. 

Take a look below and see how we can help you.


3 ways we teach vocabulary

Something that we try and do when teaching vocabulary is to use any opportunity to teach great language that you are likely to hear in English, and therefore use.

Here is an insight into how we can do this for you and, for teachers, how you can implement this into your own material.

1️⃣ This starts with the name of the topic itself, we use it as a way to develop conversation and introduce new terms - for example:

👗 𝐅𝐚𝐬𝐭-𝐅𝐚𝐬𝐡𝐢𝐨𝐧 - for our topic about the fashion industry (𝘶𝘴𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘥𝘦𝘴𝘤𝘳𝘪𝘣𝘦 𝘤𝘭𝘰𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘥𝘦𝘴𝘪𝘨𝘯𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘮𝘰𝘷𝘦 𝘲𝘶𝘪𝘤𝘬𝘭𝘺 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘢𝘵𝘸𝘢𝘭𝘬 𝘵𝘰 𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘦𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘮𝘦𝘦𝘵 𝘯𝘦𝘸 𝘵𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘥𝘴)

🏡 𝐇𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐬 𝐔𝐧𝐝𝐞𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐞 H𝐚𝐦𝐦𝐞𝐫 - for our topic about houses in Italy being sold for €1 (𝘪𝘧 𝘢 𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘶𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘩𝘢𝘮𝘮𝘦𝘳 𝘪𝘵 𝘪𝘴 𝘴𝘰𝘭𝘥 𝘣𝘺 𝘢𝘶𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯, 𝘣𝘶𝘵 𝘪𝘴 𝘢𝘭𝘴𝘰 𝘢 𝘱𝘭𝘢𝘺 𝘰𝘯 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘥𝘴 = 𝘵𝘰 𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘰𝘷𝘢𝘵𝘦)

2️⃣As a part of our Daily Course tasks.
When asking students to offer opinions, we encourage them to move away from common phrases such as:
"I think/In my opinion/As for me” - we offer alternative such as:

“𝘐 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘢 𝘵𝘦𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘺 𝘵𝘰 do something."

“𝘉𝘺 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘭𝘢𝘳𝘨𝘦.....something something.

This is used as a way of suggesting new ways to start talk about something.

This continues through not one, but two vocabulary in context tasks, where students look for and activate the chunks of language which are frequently used - these are then put into practice and used to help with a listening and watching task, and a reading task.

3️⃣During our speaking class, I join conversations to listen to our students discussing the week’s topic with their partner.
I listen out for great vocab that they use and also language I think would work benefit the group in this context. I note down any super vocab and share it with them - and, importantly, offer them the chance to activate it to receive feedback.

𝗪𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐰𝐚𝐲𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐥𝐢𝐤𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐧/𝐭𝐞𝐚𝐜𝐡 𝐯𝐨𝐜𝐚𝐛𝐮𝐥𝐚𝐫𝐲❓
⠀⁣⁣⁣
Alex & Dan⁣⁣⁣

How to: Learn English in Context

This is something that I am going to talk about a lot. Learning #EnglishInContext.

Why?

Simply, because this is a natural way to learn a language and begin to understand how we use different language terms. It is exactly how we learn our own native tongue, and despite popular belief, this is how you can learn English too.
You watched and listened - in context.
And you learned how to use language - in context.

It is a natural way of learning.

There is NO magic formula. Learning a language is a journey. There is no 30-day fix. I repeat. There is NO 30 day potion to becoming fluent.
It requires consistency and hardwork.

Learning English in Context can help you make logical connections between other things. It also helps you to attach emotion to what you're learning and UNDERSTAND more effectively.
Do you ever shock yourself by remembering lyrics from a song that you haven't heard for ten years? This is because of the emotions that music gives us. We learn those lyrics, they give us emotions and we REMEMBER!

As @JimKwik always tells me: Information + Emotion = Long-term memory retention

The same can happen for language learning. Attach emotion to what you are learning and it'll stick.
This week I taught a great collocation - INCITE - that can be linked with adverbs, nouns and adjectives.
I linked this term - INCITE - to the events that are happening with Donald Trump and the attacks on the Capitol in Washington.
It was in the news, all over the world. You couldn't miss it. If you attach that emotion from the event to what you are learning, you will keep this bit of language in your long-term memory.

Learning English in Context can help you make logical connections, attach emotion to what you're learning and UNDERSTAND
more effectively.
It can also help you learn English in a more natural way.

Which means you don't need to translate.
A crucial step towards fluency.

Learn and activate new vocab, daily

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How To: Remember More Vocabulary Faster

HOW TO: Remember more vocabulary, faster.

We all know that expanding vocabulary is an important part of learning English.
Here I will give you a couple of tools you need to help you with this struggle.
To improve your English, you need to learn a lot of words, their meanings, and how and when to use them….

the trouble is…

...some terms have multiple meanings - some of which are so subtle it can take a while to get a 'feel' for when to use them.

However, ...when you do finally understand the meaning - you have to remember them.
🤦‍♂️

So, how can we help?

First, think about how often you should review vocabulary.
Should you be revisiting how to say ‘Hello’ and how to introduce yourself, even when you’ve been learning for a long time?

The short answer is NO!

We don’t want to revisit concepts that are clear to you again and again, this is a waste of your precious studying time!
On the other hand, we don’t want to leave a piece of vocabulary behind, only to realise later we’re missing really important concepts.

🚀 In comes something called ‘Spaced Repition’.

In this post we have recommended you two great apps to try:

Anki Apps
and
Mochi Cards

Both are great - the former is better :)
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🖊 In this week’s English newsletter, we will share all the details about Spaced Repetition.
Make sure you sign up to our emails to receive it, alongside a post with 37 Phrasal Verbs, idioms and collocations.
Link is in the story highlights ‘Blog Off’.
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Daily English & Speaking Club

If you like learning English in Context, you may be interested in our Daily English & Speaking Club