5 ways to easily boost your English skills

You’ve taken the first big step to study abroad, but to make the most of your time you need to practice your English skills outside of lessons as much as possible.

Here are our top tips to improve your English skills in a fun and relaxed way:

1. Watch films and TV in English with subtitles

Being able to hear and see the words at the same time will help you with pronunciation and context.

Borrow DVDs from the university library, and bring up the English subtitles to YouTube videos.

Subscribe to the INTO Study YouTube channel to practice your English!

One of the big mistakes students make is they keep watching the same TV and movies they watched in their native language at home.

Try something new and watch all films and programmes in English.

2. Eat out more in cafés and restaurants

While cooking in your halls can be cheaper, it’s also good to make a point of going out to cafes and restaurants and ordering for yourself in English.

Anime cartoon - reading a menu

Sitting in the restaurant with other English speakers and having to talk to staff can be scary at first, but it will help build your confidence.

3. Read books of films to practice your English skills

If you’ve seen the ‘The Hunger Games’, ‘Twilight’, and ‘Harry Potter’ films in your local language, now try reading the books in English.

As you know the story already it will stop you from getting too confused when reading it.

Getting a book off the shelf - English skills

Reading a story you’re interested in will be more enjoyable than a textbook, and will also help with your English.

4. Record yourself speaking English

Twin Peaks recording voice

Now this one might be slightly embarrassing if your friends overhear and aren’t sure what you’re doing, but it will really help.

If you are watching a YouTube video of a celebrity interview or programme, record/film yourself on your phone saying the same thing.

Listen back to how you pronounce the words, compared to how they are said in fluent English. Doing this regularly will help you improve.

5. Sing along with songs

Another slightly embarrassing one if you have a shared bathroom, but play music when you’re in the shower or your bedroom, and sing along to the song.

Arrested Development singing

Look at the lyrics online the first few times to make sure you are getting the words right, and practice.

If you’re feeling really brave you can arrange a regular karaoke night with your friends!

Bonus: Join a club or society at the university and attend their regular meetings.

English skills

While this might be scary the first few times, it will help you meet more English people and perfect the language faster.

Do you have any other tips to share in the comments?

For more advice on perfecting your English skills, read up on British Idioms and American Idioms.

Find out more about studying in the UK, US or China on our website. 

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1 Response

  1. April 28, 2016

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    I’ve been through this!

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