Learning English can be fun and also hard work, so we hope the 5 pieces of advice we give to you will help:

1 – Pick a TV show or news in English channel you like – Be consistent

student sel-study by Wes HicksDo you like to improve your general or business English? It may seem strange to ask this but you are busy and do not have a lot of time to dedicate to learning English in the evenings with everything else going on in your life.

So if your goal is to improve your general English, why not choose a series you like but watch it in English instead of French, German or another language? It could be on any topic including Downton Abbey, Gardener`s World, Breaking Bad or even the not so good recent series of Top Gear!

Those who want to improve their business English also have an unlimited resource to follow an interest area, it could be general business news as reported by CNBC, the Guardian newspaper in the UK or online by Reuters. Students need more and we know you will not stay committed to reading an article twice a week which is why we recommend Ted Talks for business, a huge variety of resource from leadership, start-ups to CEO interviews, there is something for everyone.

This is why we say be consistent, you have fun, enjoy learning and do not feel it is a chore to take time to listen, or watch something in English.

2 – You will need to speak a little and it is okay to make mistakes in class

Let us be honest, no one in school answered every question we were asked as children in class. Some of us sat in a lesson classroom in places we knew we could avoid some questions. As an adult, why should we be different? As an adult, we can be even more fearful because we worry more about what other people think.

So time for a deep breath, to “give it a go”, and be prepared to make a mistake.  Who really cares? The good thing is you are seen by the other students as a person who tries. There is bound to be someone trying to dominate the class and they are the teacher`s problem, not yours. Often shy students have other strengths that others do not always get to witness – like their written work and test results.

If that sounds like you, it is all the more reason to pluck up your courage to try out all the things you’ve been studying.  Once you overcome your fear to speak in class the first time, you can do it again and again.  Because when you face your fears, no matter what the result, you should feel proud to know you’ve completed the hardest step.  When seen this way, you’ll feel a great confidence boost  – the kind which can help you not only in English class but with other goals you set for yourself.

3 – Socialize in English – even if it is just with a friend who speaks better English than you

We are lucky in many of the towns and cities that we live in that there are all sorts of ways to meet others who speak English. Having a simple conversation with someone who speaks English as a mother tongue or at a high proficiency level can help. Do you know about Meetup? Did you know The Boston School arranges meetups called Hangout in English? You benefit because you get to hear “real English” -the everyday use of language which may not be found in a text book, which at exam time could boost your marks if you use a key phrase or expression.

4 – Reading in English and buy or borrow a book, it could be an easy reader or something else

Students rarely ask to borrow books from The Boston School, yet we have resources we are happy to lend out to students to help them to self-study.

Amazon, ricardo.ch and some suggestions by the teacher before you buy could really help you to de-stress from work, fill in that business trip travel time on the airplane and learn at the same time.

The important decision you make is which book topic or fiction story will you like the most and will you promise to use leo.org or your dictionary to check vocabulary before you ask your teacher in class!

5 – Have FUN

Schools suggest you try a wordsearch book in English. Well there could be other ways to have some fun and we know students who game online but never speak in English as they play Call of Duty. It is not difficult but not as funny as trying to speak to Amazon`s Alexa or Microsoft`s Cortana in English with an accent. You must prepare for some interesting results, especially if you add a twist to this game.  Voice recognition is still in development and accents confuse the technology, so try and listen to before copying 1 of the 283 listed accents and dialects on The British Library`s  website to really confuse the software. In time you may become perfect and that would definitely confuse all of your English-speaking friends!

5 Tips for English Learning

Please ask us for any information or support you think you may need to help you self-study, simply send us an email if you would like to speak privately with a member of the teaching staff.

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