There are many reasons why you would want to learn English fast; you are going abroad to study or for a holiday, you are going to an international conference, or studying for an exam or visa application. Learning to speak fluently will be impossible in such a short time, you may think; is that really true?According to the BBC, 360 hours of study is a rough estimate to be able to communicate effectively; but this varies very much depending on your motivation and tools at hand. Here we will share some tips with you that will help you on your way from beginner to advanced level - and fast, too
Interestingly, Transnational American Studies recently reported that today’s immigrants to the USA are learning English much more quickly than immigrants did around a century ago - who would be more likely to remain in groups from their home and not mix with other nationalities. There is definitely a lesson here: Talk to people, from everywhere, whenever you can.
According to the British Council, one top tip is to keep a vocabulary notebook, where you write down new words as phrases as you go along. You can organise it by topic, keeping it clearer for yourself. Write down all the new words you encounter, as well as their meaning.
Talk to everyone, all the time. If you are abroad, don’t spend all your time with people from your home country but actively try to communicate with people from other nationalities. You not only practise the language but learn important cultural lessons too.
Keep it relevant and interesting. What are your interests? What do you like reading, talking about, watching? Start there and read your favourite books in English with a dictionary, or your favourite film or series with English subtitles and then in English with subtitles in your language. Really listen to the lyrics of your favourite English singer. If your language learning is relevant to you and you enjoy it, you will learn much faster.
Make learning English your priority. Throughout your day, actively communicate with at least one person in English. This could be a friend, a stranger, a colleague. Practising speaking in different situations greatly improves your vocabulary, fluency and confidence.
Find a teacher or English language school. All these tips are well and good but nothing can compare to a structured learning environment led by an attentive tutor and surrounded by a motivated and supportive group of peers that you can practise with - and that are at the same level as you. The teacher can help you improve very rapidly and keep you on track, showing you the way to practise also outside of lessons. English lessons can be so enjoyable you forget you’re even in class, and in just one week or two you may go from absolute beginner to intermediate level.
Work towards a set goal. Staying motivated can be a struggle unless you keep reminding yourself of what you are working towards. Your goal can be anything from taking a test of English proficiency to wanting to read your favourite book in English.
Be a sponge and a parrot. In a conversation, really listen to what people are saying, and try to absorb how they say it. This can work wonders for your pronunciation. Parroting or repetition of vocabulary and phrases is a great way to learn, and can be done while listening to music or watching films at home, for example.