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I want to study English; how can I start?

This week we will give you some tips related to how to start studying English.

Study English in an efficient way

While living in an English-speaking country, study English is one of the best things you can do. However, this is not always easy because it requires some effort and time.

The best way to start study English is to immerse yourself in all aspects of British culture, including the language. If you are already in England, make sure you surround yourself with people who speak English so that you can learn it with less amount of effort. Once you have done this, it is time to start putting some effort into active studying. You could attend an English course during which your language skills will improve tremendously. Before you attend an English course, you need to take a placement test to find out your level of English, which may be from A1 (Elementary) to C2 (Proficiency). More information about the various levels of English as a second language can be found in the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).

In order to improve your vocabulary, grammar and the overall understanding of English language, 30 minutes of reading every day is a great start. Ask someone (e.g. a qualified English teacher, a librarian) who can find some graded reading material for you. In addition, there are some useful Cambridge English grammar and speaking videos on Youtube. You can create a study plan then try to stick to it.

Do not be afraid of making mistakes because this is a good way to improve faster.  You can ask your English teacher or the people around you to correct you when you make mistakes.  It is clear that the more you speak, the more mistakes you will make but the positive aspect of this is that you will learn English more efficiently. To improve your speaking skills it is very important to be an active member of the class and interact both with your English teacher and your classmates as much as possible.

Having an objective such as needing English for an exam or a job is another way to ensure that you persist with your studies in English. A test like Cambridge First Certificate (General English) or IELTS (General and Academic English) can serve as an excellent goal. These exams can help you improve your English if you want to study at a higher educational level.

Finding a suitable English Language course

To ensure that you find the most suitable English course for your level, try to look for an English course at a school accredited by the British Council because the quality of teaching is higher. Study English as a Second Language can have huge benefits for students. As English is a global language, it is used in various fields such as business, medicine, law, finance, entertainment, and aviation. Many universities and employers require their students/workers to have at least B1 level (Intermediate).

The English courses will help you improve your reading, writing, listening and speaking skills. Besides these, a focus will be placed on vocabulary and grammar. A lot of material in English can be found on many different websites. For example, the British Council website, Cambridge English website, English UK, English or BBC Learning English are excellent online resources.

If you feel that you need more practice, you can buy a grammar book such as ‘English Grammar in Use’, Fourth Edition by Raymond Murphy. In this way, you can study at home by yourself, do some exercises and if you do not understand something, you can ask your English teacher. If you want to be prepared for an exam, you can buy books that have practice tests in them, and do the tests at home. In addition, try to use English in different contexts and as much as you can.

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