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Tips to improve your English Proficiency

I think we all agree that being stuck at home is not something we wish for, but it can be turned into a great opportunity. This can be a perfect time to do things you have always wished to do. For example, you can make some major progress in your English proficiency skills.

In this article, I’ll suggest ways to use your time wisely to be an efficient language learner.

English has four main skills- reading, writing, speaking & listening- and three sub-skills- grammar, vocabulary & pronunciation. If you dedicate one hour a day to these shills you can witness a huge improvement in your English. The secret is good time management, proper learning materials and commitment. Also, having a good teacher never hurts.

Specify an hour of your “Me-Time” to your English studying plan; fix that time and stick to it. Don’t change it by prioritizing other tasks. Stay committed because the key ingredient here is regular input which means daily practice.

Know your proficiency level. Find out about your weaknesses and strengths in the different language skills. Turn your strong points into steps to facilitate improving your weak points. Choose materials which are a bit challenging. Stephen Krashen, who is an expert in the field of linguistics has a theory in Second Language Acquisition which I like. He refers to the difficulty level of appropriate materials using “i+1” formula. “i” stands for “input” and by this formula Krashen means the input should be just a little beyond the learner’s linguistic competence (i.e. +1). The material you choose should neither be very difficult to disappoint you, nor too easy to leave you unchallenged.

Although I have always thought language learning can be a self-study program, I strongly believe that attending classes always simplifies the learning process. Classes help with self-discipline, they provide carefully chosen materials and on top of it all, they provide you with a teacher to steer and encourage your learning.

If you want to feel progress and set yourself up for success, immerse yourself in the language through sources which attract you the most. Read stories and news, watch movies, listen to songs and then retell what you read, discuss the movie you watched and share interesting phrases that you learned with your peers. Analyze, discuss, use reasoning and develop your critical thinking skills.  Keep yourself up-to-date by reading articles or listening to the news. It gives you the opportunity to always have something to talk about when there is a chance. Listen and try to memorize the lyrics of a song you like. It helps you improve your pronunciation and fluency. Besides, it always feels good to shadow your favorite song while doing your daily chores. Just give it a shot!

I came to the end of this article. Now it is the time for you to open your daily planner and schedule time for your studies.  Perhaps this quotation from Mary Lexi will inspire you: “Consistency and commitment is the key to success”.

Wish you success! Good Luck!

Dr. Mehrnaz Gheitanchian