“The English language is nobody’s property. It is the property of the imagination: it is the property of the language itself.”
– Derek Walcott
English is truly nobody’s property, the beauty of this language flows untouched by any boundary and illuminates all that it touches. Yet, there are so many who still struggle with it, and make every possible effort to improve their command of the English language.
With the weight shifting in the favour of the English language and the era of MNCs taking over, all the official work is now carried out in this crafty tongue.
As such, attempts to improve English stands really high and one that needs an in-depth attention.
The process of improving English vocabulary goes through the verbal and non-verbal canals. In this article, we will focus on both and see how you can improve your written as well as spoken English.
How To Improve Written English?
There are many ways in which you can improve your written English. However, we have picked the top and most effective ways to get you there.
Read, read and read some more
If you have been asking yourself and the internet “how to improve English fast” then reading is the way to go about it.
Reading, and reading extensively can help you build a formidable vocabulary. It will also give you some idea of how to talk and write in the language. The way you construct your sentences will help you improve English immensely if you spend at least one hour every day reading something.
Some great ideas on what you can read are – the English newspaper, novels or English textbooks.
The English newspaper is a great source of not just knowledge and information but it can help you really work on your written and even spoken English skills.
With novels, however, try and read lighter novels in the beginning before you move to the heavier classics.
A solid recommendation would be Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone, to start with. If you like the fantasy genre, then it will make for a great light read. You can then move to something more complex after you are confident of yourself.
Practice grammar puzzles
Grammar puzzles are fun and a great time pass, and a perfect way to improve English. There are some grammar puzzles available in the newspaper. Other than that, you can look up for such puzzles online and solve them to see how you are doing.
Of course, if you are only starting with the basics to improve English, you will have some difficulty at first but that is no reason to give up. Keep trying!
Go for puzzles like fill in the blanks with the right adverbs/prepositions/adjectives.
Memorize words in the context of sentences
A great way to improve your English vocabulary is to learn a minimum of three words every day. However, if you only learn the meaning of the words and not how to use them, then it won’t be much use to you, would it?
So, instead of memorizing the word and its meaning individually, try to understand its meaning in a sentence. This will give you some context, make it easier for you to remember and recall the word and most importantly, teach you how to use that word in a sentence.
Write to learn
If you want to improve your writing skills, then you need to write and a lot at that. Write articles, blogs, short stories or anything that you can think of. If you are one of the news enthusiasts, then write the news item in your own words.
Ask someone, with a good command over the English language, to read it and point out your mistakes. Be open and accepting towards constructive criticism. It is a stage for you to learn and you will make mistakes, and that is okay.
Make it a habit to keep practising
If you really want to improve English, then that will require you to sit down religiously every day and, read and write, solve puzzles, and overall work on your skills. It is not a one day or one week job and you need to be consistent.
Make a timetable if you need to and stick to it. Keep repeating the whole process, even after you are confident of your own English skills.
How To Improve Spoken English?
Your effort to improve English is incomplete without focusing on the verbal aspect of it.
Verbal communication is as much, if not more, important as the written communication. However, with verbal communication, you still get some leeway.
The focus is not as much on grammar as it is on fluency. But that, by no means, suggest that you can take verbal communication lightly.
Start by thinking in English
This made you start thinking already; isn’t it!? “What sort of a step is that?”
But, stop for a second and contemplate, which language do you think in? Most likely your native language! However, you need to make a conscious change now and start thinking in English.
When you frame ideas inside your head, or when you have that argument with your alter-ego in the bathroom, converse and think in English. You might find yourself slipping back to your native language at first but keep to it.
Talk to yourself in English. Stand in front of the mirror and practice speech. Give yourself two or three minutes to speak on any topic and judge your performance.
Talk to someone with a good command over the English language
A great way to accelerate your efforts to improve English is through communicating frequently with a native English speaker; or someone who has a great command over spoken English.
Listen to them talk and try to pick the words and sentence formations they are using. How they pronounce certain words, the verbs they use, how they use similes and metaphors. Learn the intricate disciplines of grammar from them.
And, be open to constructive criticism.
Tell them you want to improve English yourself and be accepting when they correct you. You cannot be pompous and learn, you need to humble yourself down for that.
Listen to learn
Use that internet to look up for good English movies and songs. Watching movies and listening to songs in English can help you improve your vocabulary and pronunciation.
Watch English movies with subtitles can help you a great deal. Once you think you are able to understand the accent, then you can switch to watching the movies without any subtitles to help you on.
Don’t focus on the speed, give yourself time to think
People often assume that spoken English is all about how fast or quick you are with your responses and the speed with which you can fire one word after another. Even if you are a fast speaker in general, giving yourself some time before you respond won’t do you any harm.
If someone asks you any question, say during a job interview, then take a moment, pause, think your answer through, and then response. It is better to be correct than quick, right?
Try not to fumble
And, when you get going, try not to bother yourself too much about grammar and the better nuances of it, instead, speak on.
However, in the hindsight, keep making a mental note of where you are going wrong so that you can work on it later and in private. The key here is to work on your speaking skills and confidence while working on your English grammar. So, keep to it!
So, there you have it – 10 quick and easy tips for you to improve English without even having to turn a single page of the dictionary.
I have covered all the points that can take you through and give you a decent start and a great command of the language if you stick to it.
Oh, and on the same note – AMCAT helps freshers looking to improve English through a strategically designed online tool, MyEnglish. You can register for MyEnglish to check how much you have improved using these tricks.
For more ideas on how to improve your English, keep reading our blog.
If you have any doubts or queries regarding the English language, you can drop a comment below.
Till then; keep learning and keep growing!