This post was most recently updated on February 2nd, 2022
[A collaboration post with Day Translations – all thoughts are my own.]
I can’t remember exactly when I started learning English. But I got interested when I was in elementary school. My late aunt gave me a Logico Piccolo – a learning game where I practice English in a fun way.
From then, I start to take English courses, pay more attention to English class, watch movies with English subtitles, buy more English books, etc. However, when we learn something, oftentimes, we would just forget what we obtained the second we get distracted. Learning English is something challenging to do, but practicing it is even more challenging.
That is why today I want to share with you several ways on how to practice your English skills anywhere you go.
Read the subtitles of the movie that you watch
Watching western movies or tv series is a fun activity for you (even me) to try. I never skipped a day without watching a movie because I almost enjoy all genres: action, thriller, science fiction, crime, fantasy, etc.
You could read the subtitles of every movie that you watch. Most movies have unique expressions and idioms that could enhance your English vocabulary and knowledge too. Even I learned most slang words from movies. This is really a fun way to practice English anywhere you go.
Imitate the script
When I was in college, I was taught that imitating the actors or actresses performing will allow you to learn about the intonation. It teaches us how to differentiate intonation between American English and British English as well. This could benefit you if you work in the translation field or become a phone interpreter.
This English practice also gives you the chance to learn about how to pronounce certain words better, especially when words that are not common to be found in your day-to-day conversation.
Start to write in English
Even since I decide to learn English seriously, I start writing (almost) everything in English. Whether it is a note on my planner, write down any ideas to come to my mind (braindumps), errands from my parents, etc. Writing in English will help you to get your brain working in English.
This is one of the best ways to practice English on daily basis. No matter what you heard, see, or remember, you need to write them in English. This allows you to get used to thinking about everything in English, including structuring sentences to use in conversation. As a result, you will be able to respond instantly when chatting with others.
Put labels all around your house
My parents don’t understand English so they asked me what words I stick in our fridge. This is a creative tactic that you could use to get yourself used to English vocabulary even when people around you don’t know the meaning. You could stick those labels anywhere you want around the house, but make sure that you come to the location frequently so that you would read them on a regular basis.
I write down my work or blog reminders on the wall in front of my working space so I could read them every time. You could write and stick your meal plan, cleaning plan, organization plan, or grocery plan on your fridge, on the walls of your room, on the wall of your bathroom, and many more.
Talk or chat with foreigners
In Bali, I could find and meet foreigners whenever I visit tourists spots such as Kuta, Legian, Seminyak, Canggu, or Ubud. Tourism areas would be flooded with foreigners who come from various countries and cultures, so that could be a great place to start.
If you’re a straightforward person, you can just go out to public places and look for foreigners with whom you could have a conversation. But I don’t do this because, for me, it would be inappropriate.
A lot of digital nomads around the world who I met on Tinder live in Bali. When I match with someone, we usually decide to meet in public places around Seminyak or Legian, have a chat, and get cozy with a cup of coffee. I usually meet someone who has the same interest or hobby so we could have a long, mutual, open-minded conversation.
Those were the activities that you could consider when you want to practice your English. The more you drill yourself with English vocabularies and expressions, the more likely they would last in your memory for much longer. Hopefully, you could find these tips helpful. Happy practicing!