Let’s face it…not all of us are able to just get up and move to an English-speaking country in order to fully immerse ourselves and improve our language skills. Luckily, that’s not necessary. There are several simple steps you can take in order to use English on a regular basis without even leaving your home or city where you currently live. It can be as simple as implementing English into your daily reading, Netflix series, or technological device. Here are few tips to help you get started with your English immersion process.
1. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOUR COMMUTE TIME
Many of us work outside of our homes and get to work by either walking, taking the bus or subway, riding our bikes or driving to work. Whether you have a ten minute or an hour commute, this is a great opportunity to listen to music, the news or a podcast in English. Please note that it’s important to make sure that you’re focusing the majority of your attention on what you’re listening to, rather than passively listening, in order to truly benefit from this language learning time. For more information about the fundamentals of training your ear to understand English please read our previous blog: https://www.dynamicenglish.cl/blog-feed/regla-para-entrenar-el-oido
2. Adjust your technological devices
Do you have an app you use all the time? Do you use your computer for work on a daily basis? Are you always on social media? Changing the language setting on your phone, television, or tablet that you use a daily basis provides you with the repetition you need to “immerse” yourself in the language.
3. CHANGE THE LANGUAGE OF THE NETFLIX SERIES, MOVIE, OR TV SHOW YOU”RE WATCHING
This will not only help your listening comprehension, but it’ll allow you to learn more common phrases in context that you’ll hear people say on the street or during regular day-to-day events. Make sure to choose something that interests you and that is at your language learning level. If you are having a hard time understanding a series or movie, start out with short, simple YouTube videos, cartoons or animations. For more information about watching Netflix to improve your English, check out our previous post: https://www.dynamicenglish.cl/blog-feed/ver-netflix-y-mejorar-tu-ingles
4. FIND SOMEONE TO TALK TO ON A REGULAR BASIS
(at least once every 2 weeks)
Your Dynamic English teacher is a great option, but this person doesn’t necessarily need to be a teacher, just a native English speaker. A conversation partner can help improve both your listening comprehension and speaking skills. You can start by networking and asking friends or family members if they happen to have a friend whose native language is English. Alternatively, you can use social media by looking on Facebook or Instagram. You can post something about looking for a language partner on the web or in person on a bulletin board at a coffee shop or library in your area. There are also online language exchanges like italki, Speaky, Fluent Future, WeSpeke, etc.
5. COOK OR EAT OUT IN ENGLISH
Food plays a key role in all cultures, so take advantage of this commonality in your own kitchen or at a local restaurant. If you’re a natural chef then start looking up recipes in English that you can use to make dinner. This can be especially helpful for learning more vocabulary and phrases about food or dishes. You could also look for a cooking class in English in your community. If cooking isn’t your thing, then go to restaurants that have menus in English, as well as employees and/or English speaking guests. You can practice your pronunciation when you order and start chatting with the wait staff or owner(s).
6. WRITE IN ENGLISH IN YOUR DAILY JOURNAL
You’ll improve your language skills by writing in English every day. You can start out by writing five sentences about what you did and five sentences about what you’re going to (past and future tense practice). Another option is to write a short story or you daily activities. The sky is the limit with what you can write about; the most important part is that you’re consistently writing about something in English.
7. GET ORGANIZED…IN ENGLISH
Put labels on items in your house and/or at your job. This can include, but isn’t limited to, your silverware, desk, T.V., pen, window, etc. All you need is a writing utensil, paper and tape (or if you want to get fancy, you can always use a label maker or some online vocabulary printouts). The repetition of seeing the words at least once a day or more reinforces them in your mind.
8. BE A BOOK WORM
If you love reading, then this can be a simple change for you. Depending on how much time you have, there’s the option to read something longer, like a book, or something shorter, like an article. In order to get the most out of your reading time, the most important things are that you’re reading something that interests you and that you’re reading something at the correct language level. In order to find a text at your language level, you should understand at least 95% to 98% of the words on each page.
Written by: Monica Jones