Variety Makes Learning English Enjoyable

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by Mike Ugilini

You can get very creative when it comes to learning the English language. Nowadays you don’t have to limit yourself to reading dry outdated textbooks to improve your reading, writing, and speaking skills. While a good, up-to-date English grammar book is important, it’s more as a support mechanism to help you as you actively learn English through a variety of other means.

There are many unique ways you can familiarize yourself with the words and phrases that make up the English language. These ways go beyond traditional academic textbook lessons to build your vocabulary. They will not replace solid foundational teachings, after all, it is important to know the basics that underlie this complex language, however, they will complement and build upon what you already know.

Learning any language should be a fun and enjoyable experience, and to this end, you should employ many different methods to learn it. In so doing, you are less likely to get bored with the process. Limiting yourself to one way of learning is a sure way to let monotony creep in. When it does, you tend to lose interest and may even give up entirely. That’s the worst thing that can happen as then all your previous efforts go to waste.

With that in mind, we’re presenting an overview of five different ways to improve your English skills. They involve different mediums and are ways you can build your English vocabulary through entertainment and active participation.

Digital Delights

A small electronic device such as Kindle housing your favorite novels, or your laptop-on-the-go stored with books, are all ways to go digital when it comes to reading. While it’s great to have a library of paperbacks or hardcover books, it’s not practical to have these when travelling. With a quality laptop or an electronic book reader you can still read to your heart’s content wherever you go.

This means you have no excuse not to finish that novel you promised yourself faithfully you would finish. It also means you can always find time to brush up on your English language skills no matter where you are, or when you are there. What’s great about a laptop or the newer versions of electronic book readers is that they’re getting less expensive. In addition, greater storage capabilities means they can hold more books, which means you have your own library to go.

Foreign Films

What better way to combine words with visuals and reap the benefits of both. Renting or buying a foreign film with English subtitles is a great way to learn English while exposing you to films from other cultures. There’s a plethora of quality foreign films on the market. These deal with a host of subjects in the comedic and dramatic genres.

What’s great about learning English this way is that you can match the words on the screen with the underlying visuals. These visuals or moving pictures support the text that accompanies them. This means you get a better understanding of the words imprinted on the screen. A difficult passage of dialogue presented through subtitles can become much clearer when you have performers acting out those words right before your eyes. You will gain a deeper understanding of any new words from the actions on the screen.

Games Galore

Why not try playing board games such as Trivial Pursuit and other similar games, to build your vocabulary?  How about challenging someone to a game of Scrabble, where you can work at building words and your personal vocabulary together. These games provide hours of entertainment and instruction at the same time. They cause you to participate and take the initiative in learning new words.

Games are a unique way to learn the English language. You engage in the nuances of the game and forget that you’re building your English reading, speaking, and listening skills at the same time. A serious study of other games, such as chess, can also help you learn English.

Chess is a fantastic game of strategy that has a myriad of books and articles that describe how to improve chess playing skills. Beyond playing, if you enjoy chess, why not read a good book that verbalizes chess strategy. You gain insight into this game and build your English language skills simultaneously.

Brief Quotations

Another enjoyable way to learn English is to get a good book of humorous or not-so-humorous quotations. Short, quick snippets of thought are great for amusing, entertaining, inspiring, and educating yourself. Small books of this type are easily portable and can fit in a purse, glove compartment, or top drawer of a desk at work. They’re also handy to have on your night table for some quick reading at the close of day.

Sometimes you just don’t have a lot of time to read. You don’t want to get into a long novel only to have to put it down in five minutes. A handy book of quotations can give you a quick reading fix in succinct doses. Each quotation is a self-contained story that doesn’t demand a huge time investment, and what you read may be something that inspires you for the rest of the day.

Go to Where the Readers Are

Another enjoyable way to build your English vocabulary is to go where people are reading the books that you enjoy, sometimes even the writer of the book. Reading series where authors read from their novels, short story collections, or poetry works are a good way to match the verbal with the written.

You may have a favourite author who is giving a reading somewhere. You can take your copy of their work to the reading and follow along as they bring their words to life. The tone, inflection, volume, and speed of delivery of their words can help you understand the intent of these words better. All the while, you’re listening to and reading them at the same time and you may have the opportunity to discuss the book too. On top of all that, you may even secure an autograph from the author as a bonus.

Consider the many unique ways available to you to build your English language skills. Take the time to come up with other ways to help yourself build a storehouse of English words and phrases. Rotate your learning methods so you do not become bored with one due to overuse. When you make learning English enjoyable through a variety of means, you will have a lifelong appreciation for this rich language.




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