My Ways To Improve English

Greetings to all. During my time in university and previous workplace, people asked me how I can speak and write English well.

I am happy for the acknowledgement. I believe my English is average, not too bad and not too good but I take that as a compliment.

To improve English, you need to practice. There is no other way. Rome was not built in a day you know. English is a continuous process of learning and practicing. Even if you are proficient in English 10 years back, that doesn't mean you can still retain the proficiency today if you don't practice it.

What's the output? I managed to obtain Band 5 for MUET. At least I know my English proficiency is proved and recorded on the certificate.

So, how do I improve my English language? My methods may be common and uncommon. Anyway, let's go!

01. Gaming

Yeah, one of my ways in improving my English is through gaming. How does gaming improve your English? There are many ways such as through sentences, words, description, dialogue, subtitles and voice narration.

Based on my experience, I learned English from The Sims and SimCity games. Other games that contribute to my English skills is Call of Duty games.

You can enhance your reading skills through video games by reading the in-text description, words and sentences. Believe me, you will learn new words. By learning new words, you can search the meaning of the words and use it in your writing and speaking whenever necessary.

One of my earliest game I ever played. I played SimCity 3000 when I was 4-5 years old.

I played SimCity 4 during my primary school times.

Like The Sims game, it is a life simulation game about people. It is basically like our world, but virtually. There are many things that you can associate with your daily life. Therefore, it is easier for you to use the sentences and words. 

As an example, go to the toilet is the same as go to the loo. Synonym for taking a short nap is forty winks. If you are very happy, the synonym is elated, feeling cloud nine. There are many more words that you can discover in video games that can be applied in your conversation and write-up.

Let’s say you want to be a soldier or enroll in armed forces one fine day, you can actually learn a lot of words and terms regarding military. You can also learn the name of the weapon, short form for certain terms such as sitrep (situation report), stat (status), AWOL (absent without official leave), MIA (missing in action) and much more.

I played The Sims since I was 5-6 years old.

It is interesting to learn English through video games because it can be considered as fun learning.

Does this method effective? To me, yes! It works for me. Since I played games a lot during my childhood times, so it became repetitive. I read the subtitles, descriptions many times and I listen to the conversation many times too until it plays in my mind.

You can also enhance your speaking and listening skills while playing multiplayer mode. If you are playing with foreigners, this is the best chance for you to practice your English. It may be hard at first but don’t worry about that because it is a learning process. Don’t worry about your broken English language.

02. Watching Movies or Dramas With English Subtitles

There are many movies and dramas that offers English subtitles. There are good ones and there are bad ones. One of the best English subtitles that you can get is from Korean drama or K-Drama. Usually their English subtitles are pristine perfect. Netflix also offers good English subtitles.

If you want to learn English, I recommend you to avoid learning it from pirate copy DVD and low quality torrent download. Usually their English subtitles are directly translated from Google.

03. Watching Documentary

Yes, you can learn from good quality English documentary.

Some movies or dramas may use heavy slangs that make you don't understand. I would recommend you to learn English from documentary. Documentary style usually brings relaxing approach. The narrators will usually say word by word.

One of the best documentary channel is no-other-than National Geographic channel. Other channels: History Channel, Discovery Channel.

04. English Songs

You can also improve English through English songs. But how?

You can read through the lyrics and sing the song. To learn good English, it is suggested to explore songs that are not full with cursed and mean words.

These are some guidelines if you want to choose English songs:

  • not too long (1–3 verses)
  • not too fast (easy to sing along)
  • in everyday English (not too many new or difficult words)
  • clear (you can easily hear all the words).

According to British Study, 10 of the best songs for learning English are as follows:

  • Wake Me Up - Avicci
  • Thinking Out Loud - Ed Sheeran
  • Budapest - George Ezra
  • Hello - Adele
  • Someone You Loved - Lewis Capaldi
  • All of Me - John Legend
  • Shallow - Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper
  • New Rules - Dua Lipa
  • Love Yourself - Justin Bieber
  • Just The Way You Are - Bruno Mars

05. Reading

Reading is the common and most traditional way to learn English. But that doesn't mean you need to read through encyclopedia or thick books.

My first trick in learning English is by read proverbs and idioms book. During my high school times, I bought primary school level proverbs and idioms book. But why primary school book? Because it is easier to understand. Don't be shy as there is no need to shy. We are trying to strengthen the basic English.

Secondly, I used to read English newspaper. You can get The Sun newspaper for free at 7-Eleven. If you have the budget, you can invest on buying New Straits Time or The Star newspaper. Nowadays, you can even read it for free on their website portal.

Have you ever heard of Reader's Digest? That is also a good magazine for you to learn English. My lecturer, Dr Wan Zumusni Wan Mustapha is the Reader's Digest Asia (Malaysia) Spokesperson since 2016. Do contact her if you would like complimentary copies, to know more about how to use Reader's Digest magazines with your students (if related). You can also get discounts and free worksheets on the current issue of the magazine.

06. Speaking in Front of the Mirror

Speaking in front of the mirror is one of the ways to increase confidence in speaking. It may be awkward at first but hey, no one's going to judge you. You're building yourself up!

07. Speak English to People - Even Though it is Rusty

Speaking English doesn't meant you forget your ethnicity root. Speaking in front of mirror may be helpful but mirror doesn't respond to you back. By talking to the people, you can practice your English by responding to their conversation.

Some people may think that you are boasting yourself by speaking English. Just ignore them. Find a companion, friend that can support and boost your confidence.

08. Listening to Radio, Podcast

Last but not least, you can improve your listening skills through radio. You can try to hear and understand what the DJ is saying.

Good podcast also can improve your English. There are many podcast available on Spotify. Try and search!

That's how I improve my English skills. You need to practice and practice and practice as there is no other way. Hope that this sharing can help you all!

Self trust is the secret key to success. Never give up half way!

Thank you.


Catat Ulasan

0 Ulasan