Students often ask me what they can do to improve their English. I usually answer that making a point of reading a newspaper article a day and / or watch telly or films in English is a good starting point. However, I know that sometimes you are not always up for it and you would rather do something more fun or that interests you more. So today’s tip on how to broaden your vocabulary and improve your listening skills is …take up a hobby or sport in English and stick to it!
For example, I’m into knitting and sewing and I often watch YouTube videos to learn new techniques. Watching clips about your favourite hobby is an excellent way to increase the number of words you know in English. Yesterday I wanted to do some yoga and I just look up a yoga channel on YouTube and while doing my routine exercises I thought: “There is a lot of interesting vocabulary here that my students might enjoy learning” (e.g. spine, lower back, to twist, to hold a position, to bend, etc).
Sign up to a course
You could go even further and sign up to a course. Of course this works only if you live in an English-speaking country. You might meet some nice people and at least you already have something in common with them. By trying to understand what the coach or teacher is telling you to do, you’ll be working on your listening skills and you’ll keep fit!
If you don’t live an in an English-speaking country then you could start following a blog about one of your hobbies. As you’re reading something that interests you, you should find this less boring than reading a newspaper article.
Join an online-community
This is a great way to practise your English while chatting about something you are passionate about! And remember: the best way to remember new words is to use them!
Start your own blog
Why not blog about your favourite pastime once you feel a bit more confident about your English? This could be a perfect way to improve your writing. Who knows, you might become a popular blogger!
So are you already doing any of this or will you in the near future?