Learning the English language can sometimes be hard. With all the things we need to learn, such as grammar, vocabulary, listening, reading, and such, practicing English can also be a time-consuming activity. However, you don’t always have to attend school just to write, speak, read, and listen in English. Like most languages, not only can you learn English under a formal educational environment, but you could also do it in your day-to-day lives.
Applying English in our daily lives can be kind of tricky in the beginning. Learning English in classes tends to be more theoretical and passive, whereas applying it in our day-to-day lives requires us to be more proactive and lots experience. It takes a while of getting used to, but with passion, dedication, and tons of practice, you’ll get to high level of English fluency in no time!
Want to improve your English daily? Check out these 5 simple tips below!
Tip #01: Comment on Instagram
Who doesn’t use Instagram nowadays? With high-tech smartphones on the rise, many people turn to Instagram for their daily dose of online content and entertainment. Instagram is oftentimes used to share our memories through photos, upload a few updates about our lives on Instagram story, or simply just to try out its entertaining filters. But did you know you could learn English through Instagram as well?
All you have to do is to comment on other peoples’ posts on Instagram. The application is filled with a lot of content that covers various lifestyle topics, which indirectly gives people lots of things to talk about. What better way to talk about it than by interacting with other Instagram users on the comment section?
A common problem language learners usually face is that they understand the meaning of a foreign sentence, but they don’t know how to reply to it. By commenting on Instagram posts, you’re trained to structure the thoughts in your head and form it into complete sentences.
Another reason why Instagram can be a great tool to help improve your English is because many of its users come from all over the world. Unlike an American-based forum where English is the main language, on Instagram, a majority of these users are people who also speak English as their second language. They’re also learning how to interact in English, just like you!
It sounds silly at first, but give it a few tries and you’ll be amazed at the results.
Tip #02: Use Google Calendar
As we are currently living in such a fast-paced society, Google Calendar is a must have tool. Unlike traditional physical planners where you have to bring it everywhere, Gmail can simply be accessed from your smartphones anytime, anywhere. Other people can invite you to their plans as well, which will then be automatically synced to your phone. You won’t have to worry about forgetting your plans again!
But did you know that you can use Google Calendar to improve on your writing skills? We have so many errands that needed to be carried out almost everyday. From birthdays, to meetings, to Friday night social events, all these needs to be jotted down.
By utilizing Google Calendar, users are able to plan their days ahead and write down their endless lists of errands in English. You won’t realize it, but by planning your life in English, you’re also indirectly implementing the English language in your day-today lives as well. You are basically using the writing skills you’ve learnt into these minuscule tasks.
Everything from the plans you make, the decisions you will take, the people who will sync their plans onto your Google Calendar, even the time counter that will remind you of your plans, all will be done in English. If you haven’t used Google Calendar yet, all you need is a Gmail account and the Google Calendar app. With that, you’re all set to go!
Can’t wait to see what your plans are on Google Calendar!
Tip #03: Talk to Yourself
Learning English is incomplete without learning how to talk in English. In doing so, we usually turn to interacting with the people around us. By talking with other people, we are given the opportunity to learn how to comprehend their replies quickly and to instinctively form our replies as well. However, did you know that you can also train your English speaking skills by talking to your self?
Talking to yourself sounds like a crazy thing to do, but in reality, it is a very common thing a lot of language learners do in order to practice their speaking skills. While talking to other people can be super helpful, talking to yourself helps you better understand the progress of your English speaking skills without the pressure of having to reply to conversations quickly.
All you have to do is sit down on your bed or in front of a mirror, recount of all of the events of your day, and talk about what you had done during the past 24 hours. For example: “Today, I woke up at 6am, I got breakfast at McDonalds and head straight to work. I was done with work at 3pm, so I went to my favorite coffee shop to get an iced latte. When I was done, I went back home and treated myself to a good Netflix show.”
This only takes 3-5 minutes of your times. Another hack you can use is try to record yourself as you speak. Once you are done talking to yourself, you can listen to the recording and try to check what you can improve on in terms of English speaking skills.
Are you ready to talk to yourself now?
Tip #04: Reading Song Lyrics
Who doesn’t love listening to music? Whether its pop, R&B, rock, or hip-hop, one thing’s for certain – most of the top Billboard charts songs are mainly in English. Some songs have simple, catchy, repeatable lyrics that stick in your minds for a long time. Other songs, however, have super long lyrical paragraphs that can sometimes be quite hard catch when you listen to it.
If you have some time, and when you’re in the mood to read, trying reading the lyrics of all your favorite songs. This tip helps you to sharpen your listening skills. Don’t be discouraged if you couldn’t catch the lyrics the first time. Believe it or not, even native English speakers have a hard time catching onto lyrics. Keep on listening to your favorite songs while reading the lyrics.
Another reason why this tip is so helpful is because it is another innovative tool to enrich your vocabulary. Song lyrics are usually filled with colorful words and metaphors. If there is anything that you don’t understand, you can underline those words and check them out in a dictionary afterwards.
In addition, most English-based songs have a lot of pop culture references in it, which may appear to be super foreign to a lot of us. You can try to go to websites such as www.genius.com to truly understand the meanings of the songs. Not only will you learn the lyrics, but you also get to learn the story behind the lyrics.
Time to rock and jam to your favorite songs!
Tip #05: Grocery Shopping List
Everyone goes to the market or the grocery store once in a while to do their monthly shopping. Sometimes, it may just be a quick purchase for the dinner you’re cooking tonight. Whatever the reason, you’re always going to need a grocery shopping list. Making grocery shopping lists helps you to track down of your purchases and not forget those one or two items that you need to buy.
But did you know that writing down grocery shopping lists helps you with your English as well? Even though we have a clear idea of the things we’ll be purchasing, sometimes they can get lost in translation. For example, not everyone will understand what a “ground beef” is. People who are currently learning English might think that “ground beef” is some type of beef that grows from the ground.
Making grocery shopping lists helps you to familiarize yourself with the everyday things that you see around you. Usually we’ll learn these things in English textbooks, like the types of vegetables in English, or the types of poultry in English. However, usually we’ll just forget the stuff we memorized and have to re-learn it again.
Doing this will not only help you gain a sense of familiarity with your surroundings in English, but it will also allow you to learn certain culture differences that you might not have realized until now. Different cultures have different English names for certain things. Making grocery lists in English is going to make it all clearer for you.
Time to go shopping. Don’t forget your grocery list!
It may not be easy in the start, and that’s okay. Everything is always a bit rust in the beginning. But with patience and practice, you’ll be speaking English fluently in no time. Remember, it’s not about the result, but it’s about the progress. Happy practicing, everyone!