Three ways to start boosting your English skills today
Tip #1 | Actively use the language
Make sure to get opportunities to actively use the language, preferably to speak or chat; Modes of communication that force you to process information quickly and respond immediately will help you to improve more rapidly.
Communicating in real-time will also allow you to notice whether or not you are comfortable using the language. It will thus help you shed light on what areas of language use you may want to improve, like expanding your mental lexicon (dictionary) or making more conscious choices in terms of grammar; examples of aspects of language use to become aware of are the structure of your utterances (spoken English) or sentences (written English), the verb tenses you use, and so on.
You may also want to gauge whether or not you are getting expected responses or somewhat surprising ones as this will indicate topics like #cultural awareness and #your achievement in terms of communication.
The upside of taking an English language and communication training course is that you will be practising this sort of thing in a safe learning environment, rather than in a performance-based one #workplace.
Tip #2 | Start noticing how language is used by others
One way to boost your awareness is to start noticing how others are using the language. This can be done anytime you are listening. Try to remember the words or utterances, look them up in a good dictionary, find out how they are used in context, how to pronounce them and start using them the first chance you get to start solidifying that learning process.
So, this sort of thing can, of course, be done in a professional setting, in an educational one, in a social setting and even in a private one. For example, carefully watch how others are interacting in your favourite TV Series, Soap opera, movie and so on. What is the intended meaning of the director or scriptwriter? How can you tell? What gave that away? Let it inspire you to make better, more conscious and effective language choices.
Tip #3 | Switch on English captions or subtitles.
To get other linguistic input besides observing intonation and natural turn-taking between interlocutors, it would be a good idea to switch on English captions and English subtitles, in case other languages besides English are spoken of which you are not a native speaker or natural language user. [The politically correct term of a native speaker is natural language user now.]
Captions: Literal account of what was said
Subtitles: Translations from Spanish to English or another foreign language to English
You may think ‘Say WHAT now?!’ “Shouldn’t I be able to do all this without any?” Well, the thing is that if you would like to analyze language use, you will have to take it one like a linguist. This means ensuring that you can actually read and verify what is or has been said exactly to be able to analyze how language is used.
Using captions or subtitles will help you focus on the language that is used and all the features of language use, like pronunciation, form (spelling), word choice and grammar.
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