The past couple weeks we have been posting blogs written by students in our advanced English class at BridgeEnglish, Denver. The students were asked, “What are the best ways to learn English outside of the classroom?” and the responses were so good that we decided to post them to our readers. This week is the final installment from this class, written by Michelle, Nasar, and Peter.
There are many good ways to learn English outside of the classroom, such as interacting with native English speakers, playing sports and doing activities with the locals and the members of your community, reading (magazines, the news paper and books), and also watching TV programs and movies in English. You can also listen to the radio and music during your free time.
An essential way to improve your English and to interact with native speakers, is by watching movies and TV programs, doing social activities and active sports. It is important to emphasize that there are many ways to learn English outside of the classroom.
A good strategy to interact with more native speakers is through your host family. They can be a good source of conversation and also a way to learn a lot of new vocabulary and idiomatic expressions. The more time you spend with the members of your host family, the more English you are going to learn. You can spend time by going on trips, walking around the city and visiting some popular places in the city. If you host family is native of the city, you also can learn about the area while you learn the language. If you are a fanatic of food, you can relax in coffee shops and restaurants. These social places are great for interacting with native speakers and to make new friends that will add to your experiences and also help you to improve your English in an amazing way.
Additionally, if you practice sports in your native country, you don’t have to quit these hobbies when you get to this new country. Sports and other activities are good opportunities to interact with new people and learn new vocabulary about specific subjects. They are also helpful in breaking down any language barriers, which is one of the biggest problems when learning a new language. Some of the popular sports or activities that students practice while they live here are skating and other winter sports, running marathons, or even small football games between people that live in the same neighborhood. Sometimes in summer time, the cities have live music events in the parks that can also help you with your listening skills.
In addition, if you have a lot of free time after your classes, I recommend that you watch popular TV programs and movies from the U.S. These TV shows and movies have a lot of slang and new vocabulary that can help you communicate outside of the classroom. If you are looking for more academic vocabulary or more variety of subjects, you should watch the local news which covers a lot of interesting topics that you may like. Even if you don’t posses a lot of free time, a better option could be to listen to different radio programs while you are driving to school or to your home. These programs are also very interesting and would help you a lot with your listening skills.
To sum up, the best ways to improve and learn English are to listen to the radio, watch TV programs, and interact as much as you can with native speakers, including your host family.