Useful Tips to Maintain Your English Level After Your English Course

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English courses in the UK can help you learn or improve your language skills. Once you complete the course, you’ve worked hard for the past few months and might have made great progress in your English. Now as your English classes in London are finished and you might be worried about forgetting what you’ve learned. Don’t worry, that doesn’t have to be the case. Here are our top tips for maintaining and improving your level after you finish your course:

Idea #1: Find native speakers in your city

Finding native speakers in your city is a great way to continue using your English and also meet new people at the same time. Facebook and other social media sites are a good place to start, you could also join language clubs or groups, or even find someone to practise with through online platforms like Skype. Speaking with native English speakers will not only improve your skills and help you retain what you’ve learned in speaking class, you’ll also pick up common idioms and expressions that native speakers use and gain a richer understanding of English-speaking cultures. Whichever route you choose, make sure to find a group that fits your schedule and interests to maximise your learning experience.

Idea #2: Listen to podcasts

There’s no doubt that listening to podcasts can help improve your English skills. One of the biggest benefits of podcasts is that you can listen to them anywhere and at any time like while you’re doing chores around the house, while you’re driving or even while relaxing at home on the sofa.

They allow you to learn at your own pace, when it’s convenient for you. They are also usually quite short, so they fit nicely into your day without taking up too much of your time.

A few good options are:

  • Espresso English 

This podcast is ideal if you are short on time and want to improve your grammar and communication. Each podcast is around 5 minutes long and focuses on practical phrase that are used in everyday situations and other common collocations and phrasal verbs which will improve your fluency

  • Voice of America Learning English 

This one is ideal for anyone that is planning to live, work or study in the USA or Canada. There are a variety of topics on offer from American history and culture to news programmes and science documentaries. 

  • The English We Speak

This series from the BBC gets you speaking more like a native by teaching you everyday expressions and slang that native speakers use. With each episode being about 3-4 minutes, it is an ideal way to fit English practice into a busy schedule.

Idea #3: Watch TV in English

Watching TV in English can improve your English skills without it even feeling like studying. It’s a great way to expose yourself to new vocabulary and phrases and improve your comprehension skills. Films and TV shows often have a lot of sound effects or background noise, so they’re a great way to finetune your listening ability and see how words and phrases connect and the importance of stress and intonation.

Some good examples include:

  • The Big Bang Theory

This is an American comedy about a group of nerdy friends that work together at a university. It’s a great show to learn more about American culture and jokes that involve a lot of sarcasm. The episodes are unrelated to each other, so you can watch them in any order you like.

  • Friends

Friends is a comedy about the day to day lives of 6 friends living in the same apartment in New York. The speed of the dialogue is quite slow compared to other sitcoms, so the humour is easy to pick up and it’s a good starting point if you find other shows hard to follow.

  • Stranger Things

This series follows a group of children living in 1980s Indiana, that are trying to solve mysteries about government secrets and supernatural events. It’s an addictive show with great storytelling, though the dialogue can be a bit challenging so it’s probably not the best option for lower-level learners.

If you struggle to understand these shows at first, don’t be disheartened, turning on the subtitles can help you follow along and eventually your listening will improve to the point that the subtitles won’t be necessary.

Idea #4: Use English learning apps

Apps have revolutionised language learning. Not only do they make learning more fun by turning language learning into games, they also provide you with a wide range of resources that will help you improve your vocabulary, grammar, and even English speaking skills.

To help you decide which app is best for you, you should consider your needs. Do you want to practice grammar? Improve your listening? Or would you rather focus on vocabulary and idioms? You should try to find an app that fits your learning style and interests.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Duolingo 

This app is very interactive, feels more like a game and is a great way to pick up new vocabulary and compete against other players

  • The British Council

This one’s good for practising your grammar and has lessons and games on a variety of topics.

  • Hello Talk

This is great to practise speaking. It connects you with 15 million users and you exchange your language in return for English.

These are just a few suggestions for how to practise your English after your course finishes. With a bit of creativity and discipline, you can maintain and even improve your level in ways that fit into your lifestyle and available free time.

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