Why practise English at home?
There are many ways to learn English and combining a variety of these methods will allow you to pick up the language more efficiently. One of the best places to begin your English-learning journey is with a few high-quality textbooks.
How can I practise English at home?
Reading books in English allows you to familiarise yourself with the intricacies of the language that you might not notice in everyday conversation. There are benefits of working with English language textbooks, but you can also use classic English fiction novels to become more acquainted with different styles of writing and vocabularies.
If you are a beginner, you may want to start by using books that are not too challenging. Some advanced novels, for example, will be difficult to read even for native English speakers! However, there are lots of books available that can help you get to grips with the language before you progress to more challenging books.
We suggest beginning with a classic English language workbook and combining your reading with watching some films in English, before progressing to more difficult workbooks and fiction books.
5 tips to practise English at home
As mentioned previously, it's important to keep your learning varied if you want to ensure your studies are as effective as possible. Some ways to accelerate your learning when outside of the classroom are:
- Find study partners
- Listen to fluent English
- Make conversations in English
- Reading books and blogs in English
- Learn new words and keep a ‘vocab diary’
Benefits of practising English using workbooks
Many students find it easier to learn material using a workbook because they can work at their own pace, keep referring back to the lesson and they also get the chance to complete homework tasks to help memorise vocabulary and rules. Other benefits of learning via textbooks include:
- You can work independently as well as with others
- Workbooks are likely to be more accurate than some information on the internet
- Workbooks often provide practice tasks to complete
- You don’t need to plan the lesson yourself and can follow a structured programme
- Your writing and reading skills will improve
Top 5 workbooks to learn English from
English for Everyone Course Book Level 1 Beginner: A Complete Self-Study Programme by DK
This 2016 edition workbook provides a structured learning programme for adults looking to learn English as an additional language. The workbook uses visual teaching methods and students can complete a range of exercises in the workbook and learn to talk about their hobbies, home, city and expand their vocabulary.
English Collocations in Use Intermediate (Cambridge) by Michael McCarthy and Felicity O’Dell
This book is a great self-study option for those who already have a grip on the English language. It will help you improve your fluency and make you sound more like a native speaker.
Collocations are combinations of words which frequently appear together and the textbook contains explanations of English collocations for intermediate-level (B1 to B2) English language learners.
Short Stories in English for Intermediate Learners by Olly Richards
If you have a basic to intermediate understanding of English, this is a fun way to improve your language skills and grow your vocabulary. The 8 short stories vary across genre and feature realistic spoken dialogue that will help you learn conversational expressions
Learn English with Cartoons: A Fun Vocabulary Builder Workbook by Lingo Mastery
If you are looking for something a bit different than a traditional language learning textbook, why not try learning using cartoons? Perfect for students of all ages, this book supports your English language learning through the use of comics and illustrations and will provide a break from your usual studying routine.
English Grammar in Use Book with Answers by Ramond Murphy
English Grammar in Use is best suited for intermediate (B1-B2) learners who want to focus on improving their grammar. Students benefit from clear and informative explanations and practice exercises that will help them familiarise themselves with English grammar styles and rules.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is it possible to practise English at home?
Yes! There are many benefits to practising English at home and on your own schedule and self-study is a vital aspect of learning a new language. However, it is of course important to vary your learning and work with a range of mediums to help your new knowledge remain in your long-term memory.
- How can I start practising English at home?
As we have suggested, the best place to start learning English at home is using a reliable textbook. This means you know the content has been verified before publication. The learning is also likely to follow a structured format and provide different exercises to help with memorisation.
- Does reading workbooks help to improve English?
Reading workbooks helps to advance your English and allows you to build your vocabulary, improve your grammar and sharpen your writing skills. If you read aloud, you can also improve your speaking skills even if you are learning alone without a study partner.
- Which book is best to practise English at home?
The best book for you will depend on your current level of English language skills and the area of your learning you would like to focus on. It can be extremely helpful to use a textbook with ‘homework’ tasks to make sure you have understood what you’ve been reading, but if you’re further along in your learning you may prefer to work with a novel sometimes.
As previously mentioned, the best way to learn English as an additional language is through a combination of methods, including textbooks, watching films and enrolling in a class. To find out more about the language classes The Language Gallery offers, click here.