Tips to help you feel motivated and improve your English today!

If you want to improve your English speaking, writing, listening or reading there are many quick activities you can do today (and everyday!) that will help you improve your fluency and build your confidence.

Here are some ideas to help you get started:

  • Listen to some talks that interest you from TED and once you’ve finished, try to write a few sentences about what you’ve heard. This is a great way to learn new vocabulary and experience different English accents.
  • Watch a TV show or documentary (without subtitles) on Netflix and afterwards, write a short summary to explain what the show or documentary was about. This is a good way to practice using new vocabulary and improve your grammatical accuracy.
  • Read an article from your favourite newspaper, website or magazine. Then, write a sentence or two to explain what you’ve read and give your opinion on the article.
  • Take a few minutes to think about how you would introduce yourself to a new friend or colleague at work. Try to write a few sentences about yourself, your background, interests and experience and remember to add as much description as possible. Then practice reading what you’ve written out loud. Finally, practice saying it without looking at any notes.

To help you plan your study time, here are some suggestions:

15-20 minute activities
Listening
– Spend 10 mins listening to the radio/podcast/TV
– Write 50-75 words about what you heard and include your opinion on the topic
– Check your writing for grammar/spelling mistakes

Reading
– Spend 10 mins reading any book/magazine/website of your choice
– Write a short summary about what you read and include your opinion

Writing
– Spend 5 mins writing about what you did yesterday
– Spend 10 mins writing about what you plan to do in the next week

– Spend 5 mins writing about something you’ve done that you feel proud of
– Spend 10 mins writing about what you would do if you won a large amount of money

– Spend 5 mins writing about a place that you’ve visited and enjoyed
– Spend 10 mins writing about a place you plan to go to and what you want to do there

Speaking
– Take 1 minute to think (and write brief notes) about each question below and then, spend 2 mins saying your answer out loud. Record yourself on your phone answering these questions and see if you can hear any mistakes.
Q1 – Describe your favourite meal

Q2 – Describe your favourite TV show or movie

Q3 – Describe a difficult experience you’ve had

Q4 – Describe a time in your life when you felt happy

30 – 40 minute activities

If you have more time, it could be a good idea to try some of the following:

Listening – Watch a TV show or listen to a podcast and then write a 150-word summary explaining what it was about. You can then watch or listen to it again and note down any new vocabulary. Find out the meanings of all the new words/phrases and then try writing sentences using each of these.

Reading – Read a magazine, book or blog/article online and then write a 150-word summary explaining what it was about. You can then read it again and note down any new vocabulary. Find out the meanings of all the new words/phrases and then try writing sentences using each of these.

Writing – Write 150-250 words on the following topics:

  • Saving money is a waste of time. It’s better to spend money if you have it. Do you agree or disagree?
  • Learning about science and technology is more important than learning about history. Discuss
  • Online shopping can be dangerous. Why is this the case? What can be done to reduce the problems?
  • Many students are choosing not to study science at university. Why is this happening and what are the impacts on the community?