ESL - 3 things to do right now to improve your English

March 4, 2015

 English camp at Disney

Did you know the #1 reason why adults stop learning a new language is lack of time? 

Learning English as a second language is no easy task. Any language poses challenges. The good news is there are always ways to break through these challenges. And languages can - if you are willing to let yourself go - be one of the most exciting challenges to break.

What follows is a short list of things you can do right now that will not take you away from work or family but still help you with your language goals.

1. Radio

On your daily commute make an effort to tune into radio stations (music, news) spoken in your target language. If you have satellite radio this is very easy to do. Granted it might be challenging for some languages but nowadays you can listen to radio in pretty much any language. This was one my favorite activities when I was studying ESL.

Why it will help you: For one it is something you can do every morning, no excuses. Since you would tune into subjects of interest to you it is highly likely you are making an extra effort to listen to it. Even if you are not 100% focused on it your mind picks up on words and conversations regardless. Finally, it will train your mind to hearing that language and you will build vocabulary - guaranteed.

2. Podcasts

Podcasts are all over the place today. You can find them in any language and about any subject. Similar to the point above this is something you should be taking full advantage of. The kicker here is that there are also podcasts that teach you the language.

Why it will help you: Because they are an on-demand item unlike radio you can re-play them at any given moment - a.k.a.: No "lack of time excuse". Listen to them on your device of choice during the day, at the gym or during your morning run. Soon you'll notice you have better retention and more vocabulary

3. Apps

It used to be that you had to absolutely buy a text book or listen to a language learning CD to get your learning time in. Not anymore. Thanks to the advancements in technology and the spread of free applications we can now learn/practice a language 24/7 without even speaking to anyone.

Why it will help you: You can use apps whenever you want for as long as you want. It is another free option to practice and learn new verbs, vocabulary and expressions. There are plenty of language apps out there. This article from the Huffington Post highlights a few of them - 7 Outstanding Language-learning apps and websites.

So there you have it. If you truly are committed to learning or improving that target language you have been working on there are no excuses. Above are three activities you can start doing right now that do not take away any time from your day to day grind and will without a doubt help you reach your language goals.

If I missed a few things you could do please share below. What tools do you use day to day that do not "break" your day?

Until next time!