In the boxes below you can find the building blocks to learning English. You need to use all of these frequently to learn and improve your English. See also strategies below.
I recommend the following dictionaries.
|Learn all basic English grammar.||Learn new words.||Read texts, short stories, novels, newspapers, online material.||Write about what you have read.||Listen to texts, radio, music, audio books etcetera.||Talk about what you have read or what you have experienced.|
|Learn most of the grammar by heart.||Translate the words into your mother tongue.||Look up words you do not know and translate them.||Use the new words you have learnt.||Listening comprehensions – listen and answer questions.||Talk to your friends, peers or teachers. Use the language in real life.|
|Do grammar exercises – spoken & written.||Look up the explanation of the words (Cambridge dictionary).||Watch movies with subtitles in your mother tongue or in English.||Write the new words in sentences.||Watch TV, such as CNN and BBC.||Chat to friends online.|
|Look up synonyms of the words.||Write short texts or essays.||Join forums in English about your hobby to participate in discussions.|
|STUY and||STUDY and||STUDY and||STUDY and||STUDY and|
STRATEGIES FOR LEARNING NEW WORDS
- Write down words you do not know when you encounter them
- Acquire (=skaffa) a good dictionary and use it!
- Acquire a good thesaurus (available in word) and use it, especially when writing.
- Make new sentences with new words you learn (see How to write 10 sentences)
- Create mental images of words – try to remember the words by associating it with a picture
- Learn whole phrases – how the words are put together
STRATEGIES FOR READING
- Get used to reading a wide variety of texts, such as newspapers, novels, content on-line (blogs etcetera)
- Read for different purposes
- Read out off your comfort zone – texts which you would not normally read
- Learn skim-reading – to get an overview of what a text is actually about before reading it in detail
- Before reading a text – check what you already know about the topic, this can help you understand the text better
- Do not look up every single word you do not understand – try and understand the whole context first
- Create a dialogue with the text as you read it. Respond to what you are reading. Ask questions about the text.
- Make connections with your mother tongue. How would you say this in your language?
- Summarise after reading – to yourself or to others
- Discuss texts with others
- Try to increase your reading speed every time you read
- Return to texts on a regular basis to repeat what you have learned
See also strategic reading.
STRATEGIES FOR SPEAKING
- Prepare what you are going to say
- Push yourself to speak even if you feel that it is embarrassing
- Ask others for feedback
- Practice by repeating words and phrases aloud
- Create sentences using new words
- Listen to people speaking English (listening exercises, TV, radio, films etcetera)
- Check that others have understood what you are saying
- Participate in different types of exercises, such as group work, pair work, discussions, debates, brainstorming etcetera.
- If you have the opportunity, try to use English as much as possible even outside the classroom
STRATEGIES FOR LISTENING
- Find out if you already have knowledge about the topic which you are about to listen to
- Can you can make any predictions about the text?
- Skip words which you do not understand
- Decide what is important to listen for – is it the overall message or is it details?
- Listen more than once if you have the chance
- Make short notes
- ‘Listen between the lines’ – is there an underlying message that you can notice which is not being said?
- Practice listening to radio programmes or to people talking
- Practice listening to different types of accents and at different speeds
See also strategic listening.
STRATEGIES FOR WRITING
- Organise your thoughts
- Practice writing by doing different types of writing, such as formal, informal, letters, e-mails, essays, summaries etcetera.
- Study other styles of writing – READ!
- Use a dictionary
- Use a thesaurus
- Ask for feedback so you know how to improve
- Communicate in writing to native speakers
- Experiment with different types of writing
- Review and re-write
- Give yourself time when writing
REMEMBER THAT: writing is a process. Part of writing is writing and re-writing. Sometimes more than once or twice, or even three times.
See also essay writing.
Skoglund, S and Cutler T (2011). Context. Gleerups Förlag, Malmö. (p.268-270).