Wondering How to Improve Your English?

You've worked hard and learned the basics of English. Do you still wonder how to improve your English enough to reach your goals?

How to Improve Your English

Photo of a young lady with headphones studying on her computer.

Do you want to go to a university in an English-speaking country?

Do you need to use English professionally, in business meetings or to talk with colleagues in other countries?

It can be frustrating to figure out what to work on first once you've mastered basic English grammar and vocabulary. 

Standard language-learning advice still matters:

  • think in English whenever you can 
  • try to read or listen to a little English every day 
  • talk to anyone you can in English (and don’t worry if you make a few mistakes, as long as they can understand you!)

I have some resources and suggestions that could help you reach that goal that seems just out of reach right now. 

See the first section below for general suggestions for Intermediate English up, and the section "For Busy Professionals" if your English is advanced and you need advice specifically about improving your English use at work (or have very limited time to work on your English.) 

How to Improve Your English Using EnglishHints

There are several other simple things you can do right now to improve your English.

  • Check you reading or listening comprehension (and get suggestions for sites with good English reading or listening materials) with Comprehension Exercises.
  • If you're getting ready for the TOEFL, IELTS, or another big test, check out the tips and practice ideas on English Language Test Prep.
  • See if you know the basic academic and professional vocabulary on the Top 100 word list-- and if you're not sure of some of it, follow the links to pages that explain & practice those words.
  • If you want to consider all your options, see the appropriate section of Study English Online. (It's arranged by English level and by specific goals.)
  • If you need a break from  studying, play a quick "Concentration" (memory) game. You can review irregular verbs, vocabulary, or common phrasal verbs.  

For Busy Professionals Already Using English at Work

Check out the suggestions on my Advanced Skills in English page. It links to EnglishHints pages to help you with business and professional skills including interview prep, advanced vocabulary on various subjects, pages explaining and providing practice on English idioms, phrasal verbs, and useful meeting phrases, English for medical professionals, and more.

If you don't feel confident when speaking, see the recommendations on Develop your English Speaking Skills. I offer paid lessons to practice  speaking, but the page also has a lot of free tips. If you don't have anyone to practice with, see a list of 12 sites to find a speaking partner (about half are free). 

You don't need to practice English for an hour a day to improve. Try reading or listening to the news (in English!) or one short article or podcast or TED talk for a few minutes a day whenever you can.

Reading and listening increase your vocabulary and help you recognize the right grammar structures and internalize them.

For short articles on business topics-- good for other professionals as well as business people, check out Fast Company's newsletters. (I get their Compass newsletter and find a lot of their articles-- most taking five minutes or less to read-- useful for me and for many of my students.) NPR also has many interesting newsletters (and podcasts) on a variety of subjects, some quite short.

Listening is also valuable because it helps you get used to the usual rhythms and patterns of English. As time passes they will feel more natural to use. As you listen, notice the stress on different words. (Word stress is an important way to keep messages clear, especially in difficult, noisy conditions.) 

Try listening to podcasts or TED talks in subjects you're interested in.  You might also be interested in Business English Pod. They have a large number of short podcasts on different subjects like holding a meeting, handling disagreements, etc. You can also repeat each short section after them to practice pronunciation.

For more reading and listening practice, as well as comprehension checks, see English Listening & Reading Comprehension Exercises (also mentioned in the section above, as it has sections for both lower level and advanced English materials).

For More Personalized Help

A young man staring at his computer, thinking
test: Still wondering how to improve your English?

If none of the suggestions above seem relevant, maybe I can help. If you’ve reached a roadblock that is slowing your progress, or you’re just not sure how to get to the next level—to communicate as you need to, I’d be glad to listen and make more personal recommendations.

if you would be interested in a quick, non-sales Zoom call with me, leave your name, email, and country/time zone on the form below. Do mention you would like a quick call. I'll email you to arrange a time to talk. (You can also connect with me on LinkedIn and discuss it there.)

I have (or know about) a lot of other resources, depending on what you need to work on. (I also offer one-on-one and group lessons and courses, but I won’t discuss them unless you want to ask something about them.)

Questions or comments? Let me know!

Please note that all fields followed by an asterisk must be filled in.
 

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