Here are some speaking, vocabulary, writing, grammar and reading tips for you to improve your English anytime.

Vocabulary Tips

  • Use a notebook to organise your vocabulary. Decide how you want to sort out the words:
    - parts of speech (put all the adjectives together)
    - topic area (food, crime)
    - function of the language (making suggestions, complaining)
  • Include vocabulary that interests or amuses you. Write down phrases you hear on television or read and note the context they were in.
  • Prepare cards with new vocabulary and then use the cards to test yourself. Write the English word on one side and the translation in your language, or a definition in English, on the other. Look at the English word and try to remember the translation or definition. Revise the cards you find harder to remember more often!
  • Looking for paperless ways to revise and remember new language? Add new words with images, definitions or other information to a digital flashcard app if you use a smartphone so you can review whenever you have a moment. You might also want to label or tag images or posts in English if you use social media.

Grammar Tips

  • Reading and listening to natural English will expose you to a lot of new grammar in a natural context.
  • Find magazines that interest you, watch films in English and read simplified readers with audio, or do the crossword in the newspaper.
  • Try and work out rules for yourself before checking in a reference book. If you try to work things out for yourself first, this will help you remember them better. It is also good practice as you won’t have a reference book with you all the time, so you’ll often have to guess the meaning of unknown words.
  • Don’t just learn the translation. Practise using the grammar and vocabulary you learn in the right context in written and spoken sentences.
  • There are many words in English that go together. Try to learn words together with their partners and not words on their own, e.g. phrases 'brush up your English', adjectives or verbs with prepositions 'interested in', 'listen to', and verb and noun collocations such as do your homework'.