There are a lot of reasons to learn English at home. In other words, you need to know how to teach yourself English. First of all, you will never forget something that is mostly self-taught. You will put part of your personality into your learning, and it will be a more memorable and enjoyable experience.
Secondly and most importantly, no class and textbook will teach you everything you need to know in English. The time you spend in the classroom is limited, and dedicating additional time at home to study and learn is highly recommended. You need to know that learning is a cumulative process. A personal effort and a personal preference are always needed to perfect your learning and take it to the next level.
This article will give you some proven, helpful, and practical tips to help you learn English at home.
- The Importance of Setting SMART Goals
- Some Helpful Study Tips To Foster Your Learning
- 10 Ways to Learn English at Home
- 1. Enroll in ESL Online Classes
- 2. Engage into Reading
- 3. Listen to English Podcasts
- 4. Watch English Youtube Channels
- 5. Make Use of English Language Apps
- 6. Watch English Movies
- 7. Write a Journal
- 8. Practice Speaking
- 9. Connect with English Speakers
- 10. Incorporate the English Language in Your Daily Life
The Importance of Setting SMART Goals
The first thing you need to start with is having clear and SMART objectives.
SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
Let’s explain this briefly.
If you want to learn how to describe people’s personalities, for instance, you need to have SMART objectives as follows:-
- Specific: learn “adjectives” to describe people’s personalities.
- Measurable: improve your ability to use words appropriately in your writing and when you speak.
- Achievable: learn 10 new words and their opposite meanings.
- Relevant: focus on “adjectives” to describe personality NOT appearance.
- Time-bound: the next 2 weeks.
Of course, you can set SMART objectives for something bigger such as improving your writing skills or speaking better English. After selecting your goals, divide them into smaller and more manageable chunks.
For example, if you want to speak better English, think about the smaller chunks to enable you to achieve your goals, such as gaining more vocabulary, learning more grammar, improving your English pronunciation, and so forth.
Some Helpful Study Tips To Foster Your Learning
When you put your study plan, try to balance reading, writing, speaking, and listening. The following tips give you a hand to study more efficiently to maximize your results.
- Write down your goals: Start with writing down your goals in a notebook, a journal, or a diary. Writing helps you accomplish your goals. You can go back and read your goals frequently and modify them if necessary. It will be your reference.
- Write while you learn: When you write, you will be more descriptive, more explicit, and your mind will be clearer. Don’t rely solely on your computer or your smartphone. Using pen and paper is recommended!
- Stay motivated: Always remind yourself of the great benefits you’d have when you become more fluent in English.
- Remind yourself: You can use mobile or email reminders to keep you on track.
- Be flexible: Flexibility is very important when it comes to self-study and learning in general. You might be busy for any reason and delay your study plans. The most important thing is to be consistent even if you study for 15 minutes every day. Keep going!
- Commit to a schedule: Try to dedicate specific time and place to study to stay committed.
- Rest and rejuvenate: Don’t forget to take joyful breaks. Learning a language requires a lot of mental effort. So give yourself a break.
When you start learning English, try to rely on various resources to enrich your learning experience. You will find many reliable resources and innovative ideas for better learning below.
10 Ways to Learn English at Home
1. Enroll in ESL Online Classes
We all experienced lockdown at a certain point during the COVID-19 pandemic. We were not able to go to schools, universities, and learning centers. Social distancing made online learning a necessity.
Or if you’re too busy at work, at study, or your daily life activities and don’t have enough time to go to another place to learn English physically. Online learning becomes the ultimate solution to save your time and your energy. You can learn English at the convenience of your home.
Not only that. You can pick the time slot that fits your schedule best. You can take your lesson while sitting on your desk or even leaning on your bed.
There are several popular online platforms to learn English, such as Verbling or Preply. However, you can still search for a reliable online learning institution in your country to best suit your timezone and your local currency.
If you are more comfortable with a localized teacher or ESL course, you can always use Google. A quick Google search for “ESL Online Classes in Barcelona” yielded numerous results.
2. Engage into Reading
Reading is an excellent resource to learn English for many reasons. Firstly, reading authentic materials helps you to learn vocabulary in context. You will not learn new words in isolation. Instead, you will learn through examples, and you will observe how words are used.
“ It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.” George Orwell, 1984.
Can you guess the meaning of the word “striking“ in this context?
Joe Gargery was more than twenty years older than I, and had established a great reputation with herself and the neighbors because she had brought me up “by hand.” Charles Dickens, Great Expectations.
Can you notice the collocation in the italicized words? The noun “reputation” takes the verb to “establish”.
Even reading for pleasure stimulates your imagination and helps you come across English idioms, phrasal verbs, and expressions. You will observe how English sentences are constructed.
But what exactly should I read?
This is the most important question so far! There are tons of resources to read from. Choose what attracts your interest.
For instance, if you like cooking, read recipe books or read about healthy food. It would be a great option for you! It will be a great learning source to learn food verbs in English, adjectives to describe food, etc. The new vocabulary about food will stick to your mind every time you enter the kitchen!
When you customize your learning goals according to your preferences, the learning process becomes more entertaining, more effective, and less time-consuming.
Since we’re talking about learning from home or teaching yourself English, there are several self-study books.
The above books are excellent and essential for all English learners to learn vocabulary and grammar.
All these series of books are divided into beginners, intermediate and advanced levels. They have multiple questions, quizzes, tests, and answers. They are well-designed for self-study, and you will find detailed and straightforward explanations in every unit. It will be easy for you to go through the books and select the number of units you need. For instance,
You can also read:
- Simplified English stories.
- Non-fiction books.
- Self-help books.
- Websites such as national geographic or Británica if you look for academic vocabulary.
- Anything interests you and matches your learning goals.
Reading should be linked to your learning objectives—these websites offer a variety of reading texts. You can use filters to quickly find the materials matching your level, find the vocab items, or the grammar points you want to focus on.
3. Listen to English Podcasts
Listening is a significant skill to learn and acquire new vocabulary. Listening to the authentic sounds of the language helps you pronounce English correctly and appropriately.
Very simple, you can choose the podcast of your interest even if it is not English-learning related. Just keep listening!
There are numerous podcasts out there, so it can sometimes be challenging to choose. To help, we’ve compiled a list of 50+ podcasts to learn English. You’ll find additional information on each podcast and what you can expect to learn from each of them.
Earlier, we recommended reading something appropriate for your English proficiency level. It’s true when it comes to listening. Choose something suitable for your level. In other words, listen to comprehensive input or something you can understand.
4. Watch English Youtube Channels
Do you like watching videos? If your answer is yes, YouTube is rich with educational channels to learn pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, functional language, or even learn the four language skills of reading, writing, listening, and speaking.
Videos are entertaining to watch. There are numerous videos with a variety of lengths to watch and learn. We did the hard work of searching for The Best YouTube Channels for learning English for you.
We have already spent a lot of time browsing. Be mindful of your time on YouTube and make the best use of the educational content there.
5. Make Use of English Language Apps
Make the best use of technology. Mobile applications revolutionized almost everything, and education or learning English is not an exception!
Apps are beneficial for learning English on the go or focusing on something very specific. On top of that, apps are entertaining, visually appealing, and creative. As a result, they can assist you in improving your learning. We created a list of the Best Apps to Learn English for you to choose from. Check out the list, and then select the ones that are suited to your learning situation.
6. Watch English Movies
Watching movies is a great way to learn. We encourage you to watch movies without subtitles or translation. Hiding subtitles enables you to focus on the plot. You will understand what happens in the film without understanding every single word. Eventually, you will improve your listening skills.
Remember that a good listener eventually becomes a good speaker.
Again, when you read and when you listen, you will not learn vocabulary in isolation. You will learn in context, and you will make observable progress.
Here are some recommendations:
- The Pursuit of Happiness
- A Beautiful Mind
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
- Forrest Gump
- Harry Potter Series
- Shrek Series
7. Write a Journal
Using your notebooks to write the meanings and definitions of the new words you learn works like magic! You can also put the newly discovered words in sentences or use personalized examples in your notebooks.
- Always personalize your learning. For instance, After learning new vocabulary about describing people, write a short paragraph to describe your best friends or your favorite celebrity.
- Keep a notebook specialized for the new vocab you learn.
- Put the vocab or the grammar rules you learn in sentences.
- Jot down your thoughts and your reflections in your diary.
- Take notes while listening or reading something.
- Use a listening journal to integrate listening and writing together.
- Keep your journal and create your learning portfolio for one year and trace what you’ve learned throughout. You will be amazed!
8. Practice Speaking
Remember at the beginning of the article; it’s emphasized that when you put your study plan, try to balance the four language skills ( reading, writing, listening, and speaking). Since you will study English at home, you need to include speaking practice on your own.
Read Out loud
Reading aloud is a crucial exercise. It helps you to work on all aspects of pronunciation, and it improves your intonation too. In addition, it gives you the confidence to speak.
This exercise will be more effective if you listen to the script, a text, a speech, or anything and observe English intonation and where the speaker pauses. Then, you can practice speaking out loud to imitate and learn to apply.
You can listen and speak aloud simultaneously, imitate the speaker, and develop the habit of following English intonation, word stress, syllable stress, and all pronunciation subs-skills.
Start A Vlog
Utilize technology to support your learning. If you’re not comfortable sharing your videos with others, you can keep them private. When you see yourself speaking in English, you’d have the ability to self-criticize yourself. You’d say I was very good at this part. No, I need to repeat this word.
In the end, you can trace your progress, and you will be proud of what you have achieved so far!
It’s also fun and creative. You can start with a short video introducing yourself, cooking your favorite recipe, and describing the weather or your room. The ideas are countless!
Try Tongue Twisters.
Can you read this out loud?
“Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers”
Do NOT be frustrated if you couldn’t say it the first time. The vowel sounds are very close to each other.
- /e,(e)/ == Peter
- /i,(I)/ == piper
But practice makes perfect, and this is the primary purpose of tongue twisters.
When you speak English, some sounds might be new or confusing for you. Tongue twisters are hard and challenging to pronounce. However, they boost your fluency by pronouncing two sounds very close to each other.
There are tons of tongue twisters. Accept the challenge and practice saying them out loud!
"How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?"
"Betty Botter bought some butter."
"But she said the butter’s bitter."
"Give papa a cup of proper coffee in a copper coffee cup."
"She sells seashells at the seashore."
"Which witch switched the Swiss wristwatches?"
"I scream you scream, we all scream for ice cream"
"I thought I thought of thinking of thanking you".
"Lesser leather never weathered wetter weather better".
And now, I have got a date at a quarter to eight; I’ll see you at the gate, so don’t be late!
9. Connect with English Speakers
Of course, speaking to native English speakers would enable you to speak in English only because you will not be able to use your native language to express yourself. Therefore, it will be an excellent chance for you to look for alternative words to anything you don’t know its meaning. Ultimately, you will be more fluent when it comes to expressing yourself.
Interacting with English speakers lets you experience how slang, idioms, and phrasal verbs are used authentically and naturally. Eventually, you will observe how spoken language is different from written one.
You can look for cultural exchange programs or check the cultural events English speaking embassies do in your local country so that you can connect to native speakers.
Here, we just tried a simple Google Search for language exchange programs in Seoul, and we got tons of results.
You can also look at meetup.com for both live and virtual language exchange events in your city.
10. Incorporate the English Language in Your Daily Life
When learning becomes a personalized experience, it will be unforgettable. The more cognitive effort you put, the more it will pay off.
- Look around at the surroundings in your room and think about their meaning in English.
- Think about your job description and the tasks or duties you do. How can you express that in English?
- Summarize what happened in your day.
- Reflect on what you listen to or what you read or what happens to you generally in your diary.
- Find a friend who shares the same learning goals as you and start speaking in English.
- Dedicate 10 or 15 minutes per day for learning.
English is the most widely spoken language in the world. That’s why there are several reliable resources to learn English. Take advantage of having accessible free resources to foster the love of English and move up to the next level. When you rely on multiple resources to study, it cultivates your learning and solidifies your experience.
For instance, if you want to learn cooking verbs, then watch a video about them. Play on an app about cooking verbs; then use your journal or portfolio to write your favorite recipe. You will master this vocab lesson!
The secret is utilizing various skills and resources to make this new vocabulary part of your long-term memory.
We have already provided you with several hands-on tips and educational resources. Please share with us your most favorite ones. Let us know in the comments below.