More tips for improving your English skills on your own
Early January, I shared with you my top tips for improving your language skills at home. This post is focusing on how to work on and memorise vocabulary better and master your English grammar. Finally, at the end of the article, you will find your “English prescription” to help fix your English followed by my top most essential secret ingredients for improving your English dramatically. So, are you ready?
Tips for improving your English skills on your own
Are you studying English now or have studied English before and wish to carry on practising at home and keep up with your English on your own for free? If yes, then these tips are for you!
Whether you are currently studying English in an English-speaking country, busy doing your degree in varsity or working in your country, you will need to set aside some time to practise English every day. The good news is: you don’t necessarily have to spend 5 hours a day. Only 30 minutes suffice as long as you keep it up EVERY DAY.
So, here are my tips and favourite websites and apps to help you improve the four language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing.
How to sound more polite in English
There always comes a time when you need to make sure that your English is as polite as possible. You could be asking for information or trying to make a suggestion and you don’t want to come off as too direct or rude. In this video we share 3 important tips on how to sound more polite.
Past Perfect: Simple or Continuous
We use the Past Perfect tense to connect past events.
Past Perfect Simple: use this to describe an action which happened before another past action.
Past Perfect Continuous: use this to describe an action which took place over a period of time before another past action.
Pronunciation of Consonant Sounds
When it comes to pronouncing consonants in English we can divide them into two main categories: Voiced and Unvoiced.
Watch this video to learn about the differences between “voiced” and “unvoiced” sounds, and improve your understanding as we explain how to make consonant sounds in English.
OK: and how to use it
Even if you have just started learning English, I’m pretty sure there is one word you already know – in fact, it’s the most recognised word in the world: “Ok”.
Going back to 1839 we see “Ok” being used for the first time as a playful abbreviation for “all correct”. Since then “Ok” has spread across the globe and found its way into all of our lives. Today “Ok” has become one of the most common expressions in the English language. Here is how you use it.
English One showcases one of its most useful (and intensive!) courses: the Cambridge Exam Preparation courses. Learn more about these courses and how they can help you achieve the results you need from your Cambridge Exam.
Our Cambridge Exam Preparation courses offer you the skills and techniques that you’ll need when taking your exam. Our small classes, Cambridge exam experienced teachers and focused courses ensure that when the exam day arrives you are well prepared and confident. Taking our preparation courses will help you develop the skills to enable you to get the most from living, studying and working in English-speaking countries. Give yourself the best chance for success by joining one of our Cambridge Exam Preparation courses. With our expert guidance and knowledgeable experience, we can help you get the result that you need.
Perfect Essay Planning
Writing an essay takes a fair amount of effort – even for native speakers! When I write anything significant, it takes me the better part of a week to write and then I check it 2 or 3 times. Consider this when you are trying to put an essay together in an hour. Not even hardcore academics can do that, so please don’t. Essays are an important part of learning any language and if you do the due diligence, you will succeed.
11 Extra Ways to Use Like
As I mentioned before, like is one of the most versatile words in the English language. So far, we have reviewed the 5 most commonly taught and traditional ways of using it. Now, we will explore all the fantastically diverse ways to incorporate like into your conversation.
icon-exclamation-triangle CAUTION: Using like in the following ways will make you sound like a native speaker!
The Unlikely Power of Like
Like. We use the word like in nearly every conversation. More recently, since the advent of Facebook, it has even become a physical action. As we scroll through our friends’ timelines and posts, we make sure to click on that familiar icon just to show our friends that we have acknowledged their photo, their current status or even their tasty looking lunch. And, though we may hate to admit it, our self-esteem may even depend on how many of those likes we can gather on our own status updates and photos. Beyond our own egos, businesses large and small, are incredibly dependent on how many likes they can manage.
But, are all likes equal? Or has the simple, four letter, single syllabled word taken on a power of its own?
The Great IELTS Writing Guide
The Writing section of the IELTS test doesn’t have to be scary! With the information that we’re sharing with you here you can be confident of succeeding in this section of the test. We’re going to give you some expert advice as well as strategies on how to prepare and answer the different question types in the Writing test.
The Big 5: Expanding the Basic Sentence Structure
In the BIG 5 Part 1, we learned how to construct the 5 basic sentence structures. In this post, we will learn how to expand those basic structures by adding other parts of speech (nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs). This helps to add certain details or information to our sentences.
The Big 5: Sentence Structure in English
Real accuracy in English is easy once you know how to order the words in a sentence. Without the proper word order you may confuse the person you are speaking to, or at the least make it harder for them to understand you. Once you know the basic rules of word order you will find it much easier to speak and write in English with confidence.
In this first part we look at the basic elements of sentence structure. Please check out Part 2 for more information.
English One showcases one of its popular specialized English Courses: Academic English. Learn more about this course and how it can help you in your studies or professional life.
The Academic English course is here to assist students who are studying, or want to study, at an English university. There is a strong focus on academic reading and writing as well as improving student’s listening skills. The course is also designed to prepare students for various English exams such as the Cambridge PET, FCE, CAE or CPE exams, as well as the important IELTS test. This part of the course works on developing your exam skills as well as improving your use of English.
English One showcases one of its popular Professional English Courses: IT English. Learn more about this course and how it can help you in your career as an IT professional.
The Information Technology course is designed to offer you a comprehensive and up-to-date English course which will provide you with the necessary language and skills that you will need to understand and work in the world of computers and technology. The course is built upon a strong foundation of terminology which is combined with vocabulary and grammar practice so that you will have the tools to use English in all areas of the Information Communications Technology field.
Understanding the Perfect Aspect in English Grammar
They say that nobody’s perfect and that is true, especially when it comes to using English (even English teachers make mistakes!). However, there is an aspect of English grammar that is perfect, the Perfect Aspect. Though it may be perfect, it most definitely is not easy to understand.
40 Useful Words and Phrases for everyday English Speaking and Writing
You can improve the quality of your English by making use of certain phrases and words. Here is a list of words and phrases that we think will help you in everyday English – and which can be very helpful if you have to write an academic piece of English. This list is also a valuable tool if you are preparing for an English exam like IELTS for example.
What’s it like living in Cape Town?
Choosing where to study English is a complicated decision to make. You may be filled with many doubts, like what is the country and culture like? Is the city friendly? How much does it cost to live there? What will your experience be like? What can you do? These are just some of the questions you may be asking yourself when trying to decide where to go.
We were lucky enough to have a very special student spend a few months with us earlier this year. Vanessa is a Brazilian journalist who decided to study English in Cape Town, and she made a video talking about her experiences while living in Cape Town.