March article

Miércoles, 26 de Febrero de 2020

8 tips for the best English Summer

Every year, many thousands of children, teenagers and adults go to the UK to improve their English.  Most go on organised study holidays which combine language classes with activities with other students from all over the world.  Some live with British families and other stay in residential accommodation with other international students.  Whatever programme you (or your child) is thinking about taking, there are things to consider and tips to get the most out of your (or your children’s) time.

1) Learn about where you’re going
Just like with a normal holiday, you can enrich the experience by reading about the places you’re going to visit before you leave.  You’ll know more about the history, geography and culture of your destination and when you see famous sights they will mean more to you.

2) Immerse yourself
The idea of studying in the UK is that you learn by immersing yourself in the language.  How successfully you do this will depend on you.  For example, if you’re in class with other speakers of Spanish or Catalan, you should communicate with their in English both inside and outside of class.  If possible, try to spend your time with people who don’t speak your mother tongue in order to avoid temptation.  You should also resist the temptation to resist is your mobile phone or tablet.  Instead of chatting with friends and family on WhatsApp or reading the news on the La Vanguardia app you should be using your English.

3) Be social
Even if you’re not normally a social butterfly, you should take advantage of all the opportunities you get to practise your listening and speaking skills.  Say ‘yes’ to any social invitations and try to make friends (not Spanish or Catalan speakers!) who you can hang out with.  If you’re staying with a family, spend time with them, don’t hide in your bedroom.

4) Study hard
If you’re doing classes, you should make the most of them by being as participative as possible.  You should take clear notes and go through them when you have a quiet moment.  If you have questions, don’t be afraid to ask.  The more you put in, the more you get out!

5) Make a list of all the vocabulary you've learned
One of the most important parts of learning a new language is recording and revising what you have learned. Whether it’s in a paper notebook or digital app, keep a list of all the new words or phrases that you want to learn. Try to include a definition or an example of how to use it, and every day before bed, go over your list and practice using them in a sentence. This way, not only will you be exposed to words, phrases and grammar, you’ll also be studying them, forcing your brain to think in English. You can also write down anything that you hear and don't understand and ask a teacher or friend what it means.

6) Label things in English
A simple way of improving your English and widening your vocabulary is labelling things in your home, be it at home or in your UK accommodation. Simply putting a sticky note on items such as "bedside table," "kettle," or "doorknob" will help you to associate the words with the item, and will eventually help you to embed it into your memory.

7) Watch, listen and read
While you’re in the UK, try watching English television and films.  As well as boosting your English, it will provide you with a window into British culture and society.  You’ll learn about the kind of shows that are popular in the UK – soap operas like Coronation Street (it’s been running for 60 years!) and reality series like the scandalous Love Island.  Subtitles in English will help you but even if you don’t understand a lot, it’s a great way to learn new words and phrases and get used to the rhythm of the language.

In addition to watching English TV programs and films, you should also listen to English radio stations and English music. Simply listen to the songs, and write down any song lyrics or words that you don't understand. Before you know it, you’ll have a wider vocabulary and a deeper understanding of how words are pronounced.

Finally, if you have any time left, try to read in English.  Maybe pick up a magazine from a newsagent or search the internet for more information about an interesting place you visit or TV show that you watch.

8) Stay in touch
Once you’re back home, make an effort to stay in touch with the people you met via WhatsApp and social media.  It’s always good to stay in touch with new friends but in this case it has a secondary benefit – every time you interact with them, you’re practicing your English!  Why not invite them to come and visit you?  That will give you a great opportunity to cement your friendship as well as practice your English skills. 

No matter what happens or how long it takes, don't lose faith.  Becoming proficient in a language takes time and patience, so go easy on yourself and take it day by day. Set yourself objectives, practice every day, and soon enough you’ll find yourself engaging in conversation and getting better marks in your exams.


Profesores nativos titulados Exámenes oficiales Prestigioso método educativo


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