Building English Skills at Home

Posted 04 March 2021

If you’ve been working to improve your English language skills, taking classes (in person or online) is a great way to start. But you probably already know that you also need to practice outside of class as much as possible. Just remember, it isn’t just about what you practice; it’s also about how you practice. Here are five strategies for creatively building your English language skills at home:

1. Focus on your favorites

You might already enjoy watching American television and movies as a way to pick up new vocabulary and practice listening. But this strategy works best when you already know the movie or show very well. So choose your favorite shows and movies, the ones you know best, and make sure that both the English audio and subtitles are turned on while you watch. Since you already know what’s happening, it will be easier to understand and remember the English that you see and hear!

2. Sing along

We all know that K-Pop is awesome, but did you know that some of the songs are also available in English? Experiencing language in many different ways helps you learn and remember. So find some English-language songs you love and listen to them while learning the words and their meanings. Then sing along with them! This will help you hear, see, and speak the language, all while learning in a fun and interactive way.

3. Play a game

If you enjoy video games, you can of course play many of them in English. But lately, tabletop role-playing games (RPGs) have also become very popular. Getting involved with a role-playing group in English is a wonderful way to improve your skills while having fun with friends. And you can play in-person or virtually! Your motivation in the game will also help you build your English skills.

4. Share your story

A great way to use your English while connecting with others is to create a blog, podcast, or video about your English-learning experiences (or another topic you know well). You can use English to share your best tips and information, which will help you and will also help and motivate others to strengthen their English. Don’t be afraid to share what you know!

5. Start or join a chat group

Now is the perfect time to get together with friends on Zoom to talk about topics you enjoy. So if you want to improve your English, find some friends who also need to practice and schedule time each week to get together for English chat. You can choose specific topics to talk about, like favorite tv shows and movies, games you’re playing, things you like to do for fun, your goals for the future, or whatever topics your group will enjoy. You can get to know your friends better, improve your English, and have fun and interesting conversation all at the same time.

All of these tips are ways to help you improve your English skills daily. We’re here to help, too! Consider enrolling at the James Madison University International Study Center to grow confident in your English skills and start your university experience today! Click here for more information.


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