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Tips for studying English at home - 5 areas of focus

Learning a new language takes practice and lots of it, putting a routine into place for what to practice and when will help you to keep track of what you are doing. Try mixing up what you are learning each day to keep you engaged but keep to one subject to keep it focussed and less confusing. Where possible choose a subject that you enjoy and will make studying more fun for you.

Areas of focus

  1. Listening - Podcasts are a great way of improving your listening skills. There are a huge amount of podcasts out there, the BBC has specific ones for learning English here as do the British Council here. Another recommendation is Lukes English Podcasts which covers a wide range of topics. Some things to look for are: does the topic of the podcast interest you? can you understand around 80% or more of what is being said? Don't get annoyed when you don't understand everything, note down those words, and look them up afterwards.

  2. Reading - find a book that interests you, making sure it is at the right level for you. Some book recommendations are The Old Man and the Sea by Earnest Hemmingway, 1984 by George Orwell, About a Boy by Nick Hornby, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Harry Potter by JK Rowling.

  3. Grammar - The British Council has exercises which you can use to help with your grammar and they can be found here. The BBC also has 6-minute grammar sessions with activities you can download.

  4. Speaking - It is important to practice your speaking, even if you only speak to yourself out loud. You could summarise what you listened to on your podcast or read earlier in the day.

  5. Vocabulary - Write down the new words you discovered during your reading and listening exercises. Pop them on post-it notes on the wall and focus on them throughout the week.





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