Studying English in Manchester offers you a great opportunity to learn the language in a native setting. A lot of evidence suggests that independent learning plays an important role in language acquisition. This means that, whilst attending classes and completing homework are both important, you can learn language faster and more accurately by exploring outside of the classroom too.
Studying on your own means that you can choose topics that interest you, and explore them as much as you want. It also teaches you self-discipline, time management and, above all, improves your confidence in a way a classroom never could. Do you remember the first time you bought a cup of coffee or paid for a bus ticket in English? That sense of personal achievement? Everywhere you go, everyone you speak with can provide an opportunity to practise your English and improve your confidence.
Here are our top tips for independent study in Manchester:
Get involved in our TLG Social Programme
TLG regularly organises excursions to famous or interesting places around the city. If you are nervous about getting out into the city by yourself, then this is a good place to start, because you will be with your TLG friends and teachers. While you are out, take note of other places that spark your interest, and then set yourself the challenge of going there in your own time.
The idea behind the app and website Meetup is to get like-minded people together, make friends, and explore the local area. You can search for anything, from gaming to crafts to horse riding. There are lots of groups available for those who want to study English (and they’re free, too!). In Manchester, for example, there are currently groups called ESOL for beginners (a conversation club for all ages and levels); a debate club which regularly features guest speakers; and the Young Philosophers, for people who like to consider difficult ideas.
You are not alone – there are an estimated 12,500 people living in Manchester who do not speak English as their second language. This means that there are lots of activities and clubs available for people who want to practise their English. Gumtree has hundreds of listings for people who are offering language exchanges. You can teach someone your language and practise your English at the same time.
The idea of going to a cinema to watch an English language film may seem quite daunting. Many cinemas around Manchester offer special screenings with extra subtitles, which can really help your listening, comprehension and reading skills.
Live theatre is an amazing way to get inspired about the English language. The Royal Exchange Theatre in St. Ann’s Square run special performances with captions (large screens which show subtitles).
There are many charities which rely on people giving their time to help run their shops. As a student, you cannot work in the UK, but you can gain valuable experience, make a real difference to a worthy cause, and improve your speaking as well. Oxfam is a good place to start, as there are many Oxfam shops around Manchester.
The best way to learn English is when you are relaxed and having fun, so get out into the city and find things that you are interested in, whether that be sports, arts, music, or dog walking. Manchester is your oyster!
Contact our Manchester English school to begin your language journey today.