This post was submitted by the team at TLG Manchester.

 

Starting to learn a new language can be a daunting task. Especially English, with its tricky pronunciation, irregular verb conjugations, and myriad of colourful accents. Here are a few tips for new English learners to help sharpen your skills fast.

 

Pronunciation is a physical game, not a mental one

 

When you are practising a new word, you need to engage your speech organs physically to help you remember it. Much like you wouldn’t learn a new trick in football just by watching it on TV, you can’t learn a tricky word with mental power alone.

 

When learning a new language, practise in front of a mirror. Exaggerate your mouth movements to get it right, say it slowly, say it fast, and repeat it until your muscles have remembered the shape. This is a fun and effective way to master those tricky sounds.

 

Use authentic materials

 

Text books are great. They contain all the right exercises, grammar, and sources you need to learn English effectively. However sometimes the listening exercises can seem a little staged. The speakers speak extremely slowly and clearly so you can understand, but in the real world, does this happen?

 

Get around this problem by trying to listen to the speakers of English around you. Interviews in the local news, films set in the area, a talk at a local museum or gallery. All of these are great ways to hear ‘authentic’ English in its natural setting.

 

Engage with local media

 

As an English learner these days, there are thousands of news outlets where you can catch up on world events in English.

 

This is a great way to not only keep on top of the news, but also learn new language. The BBC News app is a great option- you can customise your newsfeed to include topics that interest you. 

 

Come to SMART Learning at The Language Gallery

 

If you do join us at The Language Gallery, make sure you come to SMART Learning. This free afternoon lesson will engage you with the culture of your local city, the country you are studying in, and the world around you.

 

Not only that, but as it is open to everyone in the school you will learn and interact with people who may not be in your regular class. This is a fabulous way to make friends, learn about other cultures, and improve your speaking skills.