7 tips on speaking English like a local

Learning English outside of your lessons is a great way to develop your language skills. 

Rebecca, from the University of Exeter, has been teaching English to international students since 1981! 

She shares her 7 exclusive tips on the best way to speak like a local.

1. Don’t be afraid to engage in conversation with local people

This is a great way to get used to the rhythm and accent of their speech.

Learning English: make conversation

Conversation can be as simple as asking how their day has been to what their hobbies and interests are.

You may even pick up new words or phrases you haven’t heard before.

2. Read books and magazines

Reading doesn’t just have to be limited to your textbooks. Reading books and magazines in English is a great way to pick up different styles of the English language.

Learning English: read books and magazines

Top tip: Pick a topic you’re interested in to give yourself extra motivation!

3. Keep a diary to rehearse your English

Make a note of what you did during the day and what thoughts occurred to you.

Learning English: keep a diary

Try writing down something different every day.

4. Watch movies

Another fun way to boost your language skills is to watch movies and television series in English.

Watching sections of a film again will help you remember what was said previously.

Learning English: watch movies

Movies tend to use English slang words, which will impress your friends!

Top tip: Start with subtitles first and once you’re ready, take the plunge and try without them.

5. Get social and make friends 

Joining a social program at your university is not only a great way to make new friends, but you can also practice your English in a fun environment.

Learning English: get social and make friends

Making friends with students from different nationalities will allow you to practice your English with them.

6. Learn song lyrics

We all know singing is contagious, so pick a song you like in English and learn the lyrics.

Learning English: learn the lyrics of songs

Sing along to your favorite tracks whenever you hear them play, or grab some friends for a karaoke session.

7. Play games

Games such as Words with Friends allow you to test your knowledge with people all over the world.

Learning English: play games

The British Council Learn English site also has plenty more games to choose from, which are available as apps on your phone or tablet.

Do you have more tips to share? Tell us in the comments below. 

For more advice check out our easy insider hacks for speaking London slang; or discover the 7 ways to live like an Exeter local.

Keep up to date with student life in Exeter via our Facebook, X, YouTube and Instagram channels. 

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1 Response

  1. Alex says:

    Thanks for the post! Some really good points here that I’ll be sure to pass on to my students. I recently wrote a post for my teaching blog with 50 tips for improving fluency in English. Hope this is of use to you too – https://onlineteachersuk.com/en/speak-english-fluently/

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