Here are our suggestions to keep a positive attitude and make the most of time at home.
Sometimes you have a Bad English Day, with feelings of frustration that you aren’t getting a new concept and a sudden inability to make a full sentence. (Interestingly, this spells bed which is precisely where you want to spend the day). It’s useful to accept that learning a language has its highs and lows. It is a process. Find out what works for you.
Compile your CV and write a cover letter.
Think about how learning English can get you closer to what you really want. Whether that’s getting into university, running your own business, or traveling the world. Put a picture on the fridge to inspire you to pursue your dream.
Exercise is energising and clears the mind. Go for a walk, work out with online videos, go for a run. One young man ran an entire marathon under lockdown in his apartment!
Keep connected with old and new friends. Make a call, send a message.They might be lonely too.
Don’t write off this time as a holiday. There is no time like the present to focus on your goals. Divide your grand plan into achievable steps which gives you a sense of satisfaction. Reward yourself with a cappuccino or chocolate bar.
Hit the books
Reading develops spelling, vocabulary and writing. Choose a topic that interests you, whether it’s soccer, management or hot-air ballooning over the Andes mountains. A great way to start is with “graded readers”, which are simplified for second language speakers. Choose a book that fits your level (from A1 to C1). “Language learners who read improve more quickly than those who don’t,” says Pearson English. For more information check out Graded Readers .
Take time to do what makes you happy.
Write a journal every day. This makes you more observant of the world around you, and is also a way to get to know your self.
Cartoons are great because the English is simple and the characters make you laugh. You can technically call this ‘studying’, because its in a foreign language!
Listen to English songs and sing along. Look up the lyrics online to make sure you’re singing them correctly. Songs follow a beat which makes the words easier to remember. Here are some songs to get you started Eye of the Tiger, Rise Again(Liquideep), Man in the Mirror (Michael Jackson), Giant(Calvin Harris). Podcasts are another amazing resource. Explore whats on offer and tune in to conversations with the world’s greatest minds.
We all need motivation to deal with this crazy thing called life. Read or watch biographies about incredible people.
Select films, documentaries and series suited to your taste.
Learning online is a new experience, exciting on the one hand, but daunting(difficult and scary) on the other. Look for new courses in your field, presented in English.
Question everything .
Resilience (n.) The ability to recover quickly from difficulties. Be resilient (adj.).
Social media is allowed, even if you are social distancing. Create a chat group with online friends and communicate in English. Post your experiences. Comment on your friend’s pictures. Open a Twitter account and tweet away.
Listen to motivational TED talks. There is a useful subtitle function, which allows you to listen and read at the same time.
Be kind to yourself. Learning a new language takes time.
Harvest new words and phrases. Write them down, use them often.
Winnie the Pooh
Winnie the Pooh is a character in a famous children’s book. His friend Tigger says “life is not about how fast you run or how high you climb, but how well you bounce.” I love this because “to bounce back” means to have resilience. (Check out the philosophical book, the Tao of Pooh).
Xena the warrior princess
Watching movies is great for learning English. Xena is the courageous heroine in Star Wars. You get so immersed in the story, you forget that its in another language!
Another amazing resource of video content. Learn new recipes or home decor or anything under the sun. Comment on the videos and read what others have to say. For general knowledge, I love the channel, It’s okay to be smart.
Join live Zoom seminars to widen your network. Check out tips for zoom etiquette so you make a strong impression, definitely a useful 21st century skill.
These are the ABC’s of learning a new language at home. Start right now and leave your comments below!
By Leigh-Anne Hunter