When you’re a non-native English speaker looking to improve yourEnglish, there are many different things you can do and resources you can use to strengthen your reading, writing, and speaking skills. Yes, you might have to “fake it” a little till you can make it, but with practice comes progress! Here are seven tips from the grammar experts on how to improve your English when you’re a non-native speaker.
1. Swim in a sea of speech (i.e., immerse yourself in English).
Read books (aloud), and watch TV shows and movies in English. Anything you would do or watch in your native language, do it in English. Being exposed to English, especially colloquial English, and seeing and hearing it used in conversation will help you improve your English. Try to immerse yourself in the language daily, as the more you see and hear it, the more ingrained it will become.
2. Take notes.
While reading books and watching shows in English, take notes! For even more active learning, write down every idiomatic word and phrase—be it slang, jargon, or dialect—you come across. This will make it easier to remember such expressions and help you learn how the language is used day to day. In addition to referring to your do-it-yourself dictionary, use an actual dictionary (such as a Merriam-Webster pocket dictionary) to learn the meanings of words you don’t know.
3. Practice makes perfect.
While you’re becoming comfortable with reading and writing in English, it’s also important to practice speaking. Whether with a friend, tutor, or teacher, it’s imperative that you practice speaking the language and become comfortable with having conversations in English.
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