We’ve all heard a thousand times that the only way to really learn English is to be totally immersed in the language, completely surrounded by it everywhere you go. But we wanted to go deeper than that and find quick and easy ways to start getting immersed. So our research team put together 10 steps that you can follow, in this order, to make learning English faster and a whole lot more fun.
1: Find some English radio stations and podcasts in iTunes
There are tons of podcasts about all topics imaginable these days: entertainment, politics, news. A good way to find one is to look for a podcast from a TV channel you usually watch in your cable TV. Look for one that interests you and listen to it in your car while driving. You’ll train your ear that way!
2: Check out the Top Videos on YouTube and watch for at least a few minutes
Most of them are hilarious! It will be so worth it. Try looking at the comments to pick up some words and sentences you aren’t familiar with, but be careful there is all kinds of bizarre stuff in YouTube comments.
3: Talk and sing to yourself in English
When you are alone at home, or of course in the shower, start talking! Sing a song in English the way it sounds to you, talk about the weather or any other topic. Do this frequently and your pronunciation will drastically improve – guaranteed!
4: Do you have an English-speaking idol? Go to YouTube and watch all of his/her interviews in English
You can spend hours doing that listening to interviews and it sure won’t feel like studying. But it is! It helps you a great deal.
5: Sit near people who are speaking English on the bus or in the park. Listen in…
Okay now don’t be a creepy eavesdropper! But, see what words you can pick up and listen to the flow of the conversation. How much did you understand? What general topic were they talking about? Did you hear an interesting word you might want to look up after?
6: Pay attention to billboards, signs, advertisements, magazine stands and establishment names
Look and think about what these ads mean. How many words do you recognize? Did you see that same word elsewhere? Make up sentences about what you’re seeing.
7: Love music? Try figuring out the words/lyrics of your favorite songs
Watch video clips with lyrics on YouTube and sing along. Read the translation and build up your vocabulary. Listen to “clean” versions of songs and try to figure out what dirty words were taken out. It’s fun!
8: Watch TV clips, episodes or soap operas in English
It doesn’t matter if you don’t understand what they’re saying, watch anyway! Try to understand why something is funny or sad . If the joke is related to the word itself, then maybe that is why the joke does not make sense in your native language. What would be the best translation into your language then?
9: Engage in a conversation on Facebook with friends who post in English
When you have English speakers in your timeline, you see their posts daily and get inside information about news and viral videos in English. Your friends can be your teachers! Their timeline basically sort out the best material for you to study.
10: Produce, produce, produce. No matter how shy you are or how much you don’t “get” English, force yourself to speak
Help out a tourist who looks lost. They won’t mind you struggling with the language while you’re doing them a favor! After class, talk to your teacher about how things are going and what you need help with in English. When traveling, ask around for directions in English, even if you don’t need them! Try purchasing things online and by phone, or using customer support in English.
It does not matter if you talk slowly, you are learning, that’s only natural!
BONUS TIP: When seeing a new movie look up the original title
The translation sometimes does not correspond directly to the original. Find out what the original title really means. Ask yourself how the translation makes sense. What is the relation to the movie? You will never forget a new word that once it’s associated with an unforgettable movie. Works every time!