What can you do to speed up English Language mastery ?
English has become the de facto worldwide language of communication. The Internet has made knowing this language almost essential if nations wanted to be globally significant. ESL or “English as a Second Language” learning which targets non-native speakers of English is continually gaining popularity but the overall pace is somewhat slow. For the benefits of global communication, there are several things that ESL learners can do to speed up their mastery.
1) Pick up the habit of reading if you have not already done that
As often as you have heard this, it’s still the single most important thing you can do for yourself.
2) Be in the company of English-speaking people as part of your circle of friends
They do not need to be native English speakers though that will surely help you more. Speaking in the English language in a practical, natural setting enhances the grasp of the language.
3) Use English for professional interaction at your workplace
As an example, sometimes in third-world Asian multilingual nations, there is a tendency for racial polarisation where workers predominantly mingle with their own racial counterparts and invariably use little other than their own mother tongue. In these circumstances, using English creates a much better professional atmosphere for the sharing of information while improving your ESL mastery.
4) Use the dictionary and thesaurus, both online and offline
While a dictionary provides the meaning of words, a thesaurus gives related words. These are largely under-estimated tools. If you randomly(or selectively) take 10 words a day from a good dictionary and wrote down their meanings in a notebook and repeated the same over 30 days, that will introduce to you about 300 words a month by your own effort. This is not asking for you to memorize those words.
Noting a word, looking it up and writing down the meaning creates familiarity that will enable you to recall the meaning or something close in a different setting when you need it most. Your vocabulary will multiply significantly faster with a disciplined approach as mentioned.
5) If you are in school or college, you can take part in activities that emphasize the use of refined language
These include talks, debates, public oratory, discussions, linguistic clubs, contests and so on.
6) Take online tests to rate yourself
There are several websites that provide free, standardized English tests that check your ESL usage against international standards. You can type “free online English test” in your Google search for example, to get a whole list of sites that will help you. If you can afford more, there are online courses that you can take in your own time. These will be more comprehensive.
7) Subscribe to an online writing platform or blog and put your skills to work regularly
Over a period of time you will be able to develop your English language skills to a level that you can put to more serious use like monetization or maybe just for charitable purposes for fulfilment.
8) Listening is an important skill as much as talking or writing is
You can’t run away from daily news so listen to world news in English on radio, television or online. You can even watch your favourite Hollywood movies without looking at the subtitles. Then practice telling the news or story to someone else and see if they can make sense of what you just said.
9) Take advantage of your handphone
If you regularly send text messages, use English( try to make a habit of using proper English, not the local colloquial forms of it and avoid excessive abbreviation) at least for official business if not private purposes. It will nudge you a little in the right direction.
Alright, we have covered “Read, Write, Listen and Talk” and that seems to be all in learning a language. There is one more thing you can do which is a little drastic or maybe very drastic indeed but many people have done it in the past, often for indirect reasons, like securing their job. You see, you can always MOVE to an English-speaking country. That way, you will have to use it or lose it.