• Writing
  • Reading
  • Speaking
  • Listening
  • Motivation and study habits
  1. Watch YouTube video lessons

    There are a lot of great teachers on YouTube who can help you improve your English. Here’s a link to my YouTube channel where I do just that.

  2. Practice every day, even if it’s only for 15 minutes

    Practicing daily is the key to making big improvements in your English fluency. Even if it’s for only 15 minutes a day, make sure to set aside some time each day to get some practice in.

  3. Speak to others in English

    You can practice at home in front of the mirror as much as you want, but the best way improve your English is by actually speaking with others.

  4. Use rhyming to help you learn

    Rhyming is the core method I use to help my students get better at speaking English. Here’s a video showing you how to use rhyming to improve your English:

  5. Set a goal each month of what you want to learn

    Goal setting is the key to achieving what you want in life. Learning English is no different. Set new goals for yourself each month and you’ll notice that you improve a lot more quickly. Some good goal examples would be practicing for a certain amount of hours each day/week, or learning 10 new words each week.

  6. Hire a teacher

    There’s nothing wrong with getting some help from someone who’s more experienced than you, no matter what level you are at.

  7. Read children’s books, then work your way up

    Children’s books are great if you are at a beginner-intermediate level of English because they use very simple words and sentences. Once you’ve mastered children’s books, you can work your way up to higher reading levels.

  8. Read magazines

    Magazines are great because they will expose you to a more natural way of speaking as compared to a textbook.

  9. Learn root words

    Root words like mal (which means “bad” or “evil”) and ben (which means “good” or “well”) are used in a lot of words in the English language, so the more of these root words you know, the better you will become at interpreting the meanings of words you’re not familiar with.

  10. Practice writing in English by keeping a daily journal, writing to-do lists in English, and writing grocery lists

    These are simple daily and weekly practices that add up over time to help you become a better and quicker writer.

  11. Join an online chat room where others are learning too

    There are tons of online forums where you can practice your English with others. Here are a couple active forums:

  12. Listen to songs in English

    Listening to music in English is a natural way to learn. Without even thinking about it, you listen to songs you like over and over again. Then you learn new vocabulary and improve your grammar without it even feeling like work or concentrated learning.

  13. Watch TV shows in English

    Similar to listening to songs in English, watching a show you enjoy in English is a fun and non-stressful way to improve your English. When you’re entertained, you learn without even trying!

  14. Download the Dictionary app on your phone

    If you have an iPhone or Android phone, look for “Dictionary” in your app store and download the one with the best reviews. Merriam-Webster even has a learner’s dictionary app for the iPhone.

  15. Speak slowly

    There’s no need to rush. Relax, slow down, and let the words flow.

  16. Join a free English course

    Lots of websites have free English courses, including my site that you’re on right now. You can access my free English course here –

  17. Listen to podcasts in English

    Podcasts are a great way to listen to people speak English while you’re on the bus, working out, or on a flight.

  18. Find a penpal

    Sites like Pen Pal World and InterPals Penpals make it super easy to connect and find penpals so you can practice writing in English.

  19. Set a weekly Skype or FaceTime call with a friend who speaks English

    If you have a friend who is pretty good at speaking English, ask them if they would be willing to get on a Skype or FaceTime call with you for 30 minutes each week to practice speaking.

  20. Call the customer service of an international company and pretend that you want to learn more about their product

    Nearly all international companies have a customer service team who speaks English. Call them up and pretend that you want to learn more about their product. If you want to really have fun, pretend like you already bought their product and you’re experiencing problems with it.

  21. Stop by a large hotel and speak with the reception

    Large, international hotels will usually hire receptionists who speak English (if they get a lot of international guests). Just like the Customer Service idea above, inquire about the rooms available at their hotel.

  22. Translate the local newspaper into English (to the best of your ability)

    Translating is a phenomenal way of practicing your English writing. See how well you can translate the front page this weekend.

  23. Go to the park and write down everything you see

    Describe the scenery, the time of day, what people are wearing, and the color of their clothes.

  24. Watch a video on YouTube, pause it every 10 seconds, and repeat back what was said

    Repetition, repetition, repetition!

  25. Be confident and go with your intuition if you get stuck when speaking

    It’s ok to make mistakes. That all part of learning! Just speak what you think is right and then correct yourself if needed as you go along.

  26. Understand grammar, don’t just memorize words

    It’s easy to get hung up on learning new words all the time, but make sure to spend enough time practicing your grammar. Grammar is often the biggest problem for non-Native speakers.

  27. Learn with a friend

    It’s a lot easier to practice and stick with something when you have someone to hold you accountable. See if one of your friends is interested in improving their English and setup times to learn with each other.

  28. Practice speaking both formally and casually

    Different situations require different uses of the language. Practice for something like a business meeting and speaking casually with friends. Know that textbook English is a lot different from how people speak casually to one another.

  29. Learn common idioms

    Here’s a great list of the 50 most common idioms and what each one means –

  30. Pay attention to your strengths and weaknesses

    See where you struggle the most and work on improving those areas instead of focusing all your attention on your strengths.

  31. Browse through the menu at a restaurant and translate the ingredients in each dish

    Ingredients can be one of the most useful things to learn in English!

  32. Choose to only speak English with others

    If you’re with friends, family or colleagues who speak your native language and English, take the initiative to only speak in English with them

  33. Plan your next vacation to go to another country where the primary language is English

    Taking a vacation to an English speaking country is a really fun way to get out of your comfort zone. There’s nothing like completely immersing yourself in a country that only speaks the language you want to learn.

  34. Make flashcards and take them with you throughout the day

    Practice them on the bus or train, or when you have breaks throughout the day.

  35. Learn 3 new words a day

    You can learn over 1000 new words in a year at that pace.

  36. Keep a small pad and pen on you to write down words you see/hear throughout the day, but don’t know the meaning to

    Look them up when you get home and then add them to your flashcard stack until you learn those new words.

  37. As you walk through the supermarket, identify the items you see around the store in English

    You’ll learn new foods this way

  38. Think in English

    The voice that talks to you in your head – make it speak English 🙂

  39. Watch the news in English

    Notice the words they use and how succinct they are with their sentences. Journalists are fantastic communicators and present stories in a very compelling way.

  40. Plan your calendar in English

    Another simple daily routine to practise your writing

  41. Download the lyrics to your favorite song in English and learn it

    Music is fun, so learning the lyrics to your favorite song is an easy way to read

  42. Start a blog and post on it 3-4 times per week

    Start a blog on WordPress and publish posts on it 3-4 times per week. It’s like keeping a journal, but it’s all digital. Keeping a blog is also a cool way to monitor your progress as a you become a better writer.

  43. If someone says something that you don’t understand, don’t be afraid to ask them to repeat it

    It may sound intimidating to ask people to repeat something you don’t understand. But getting over that fear will help you carry a better conversation.

  44. Read out loud

    Reading out loud will give you a chance to work on your pronunciation. Reading in your head won’t give you that same valuable speaking time.

  45. Answer questions on Quora, Yahoo Answers, Reddit and other forums

    People go on these forums to ask the community questions. If you know the answer to a question, submit it to the site. You’ll get to help someone else AND work on your English writing at the same time.

  46. Use Grammarly to get help and suggestions on your grammar as you write online or on your computer

    Grammarly is an online grammar and spelling checker. Just copy and paste your English text into their online text editor and their software will give you recommendations on how to improve the grammar.

  47. Teach others

    The best way to learn something is to teach it to others!

  48. Find a piece of good writing, read it a few times to become familiar with it, and then try to type it out sentence by sentence.

    During this technique, you will usually have to look back at the original sometimes, but it helps to take a guess as to what the next sentence or phrase is. By copying good native English, you’ll feel what it’s like to write and think in English without first mentally translating from your native language.

  49. Write letters to deployed soldiers

    Operation Gratitude sends deployed soldiers care packages. They also allow people to write notes to these soldiers. You can help brighten these hero’s days by writing them a letter!

  50. Give yourself a writing quota to hit every single day

    Start with 100 words, then move to 500, then 1000, then 2000.

  51. Leave reviews of the products you buy online

    Anytime you buy a product from an online store, go back and leave it a review.

  52. Write down 3 things you’re grateful for each day

    Not only is this a great way to improve your English, but it’s also a fantastic daily practice to improve your life!

  53. Find images on and describe what you see in the pictures

    You can write these descriptions in your journal or use a tool like Evernote if you want to practise writing digitally

  54. Use mnemonic devices to remember new words

    If you are able to associate a word with a certain phenomenon or a person, it is more likely that you will remember that word. For example, the word “geriatric” means “relating to old people”. You could imagine an old man named Jerry sitting in a rocking chair and then you’ll more easily remember that word the next time you hear it.

  55. Learn using pictures

    Some people are visual learners. If that’s you, check out these visual flashcards from Flashcard Monkey.

  56. Stop reading and writing in your native language

    It can be hard to break away from your native language, but if you’re serious about improving your English, stop doing it. The more you can read and write in English, the better you will become in both of these areas.

  57. Use simple chat applications

    Use Facebook messenger or WhatsApp to chat with your friends

  58. Don’t just focus on learning new words

    Instead, focus on phrases. People use phrases to communicate, so this will help you to be able to carry conversations better.

  59. Use the vocabulary you’ve learned in phrases to better remember them

    You can learn new words much better by learning some common phrases they’re used in. For example, let’s say you’re trying to remember the word extravagant. Make simple phrases out of it like “that party was extravagant”, “he lives an extravagant lifestyle” and “she gave me an extravagant gift” to help you store this new word in long-term memory.

  60. Write down 3 amazing things that happened to you at the end of each day

    Another awesome daily practise that is good for both learning and your happiness

  61. Use online quizzes to test your knowledge

    Taking quizzes regularly is a good way to see how you’re improving and find out the areas where you need to improve.

  62. Read comics

    Comics can be a good way to learn how to speak in an entertaining and fun way

  63. Pay for someone to edit your writing and give you feedback on your grammar

    Although there are online tools that do this (like Grammarly mentioned above), having a human edit and give you feedback will always be more valuable than coming from software.

  64. Use simpler words instead of longer phrases

    Here are some examples:

    [insert image]


  65. Ask yourself “can I use less words here” when editing your writing

    Part of improving your English writing is to be concise. Ask yourself where you can delete words and make your sentences shorter and to the point.

  66. Just be you – don’t worry if you have an accent

    It’s ok to have in accent. In fact, some people find it sexy 😉

  67. Use a tomato timer to study

    There’s a lot of research showing that people have very short bursts of focus. Using a tool like a Tomato Timer can help you stay on track for 25 minute intervals so you don’t feel tempted to start browsing facebook in the middle of your learning session.

  68. Don’t study just to take a test

    Rather, focus on how improving English can help you achieve the things you want. Remind yourself of how it will affect your quality of life and what it will allow you to do.

  69. Don’t rush your learning and move ahead before you’re ready

    This will only hurt you in the long run. Make sure you’re completely ready and comfortable to move on to the next level. This is especially true if you’re taking online courses or learning on your own where you have the freedom to move on to the next lesson whenever you want.

  70. Learn prefixes

    Here’s a long list of preffixes in English –

  71. Learn suffixes

    (See link above)

  72. Practice stressing the right words when speaking

    Adding stresses to the right words in sentences is an important, but often overlooked, part of speaking English.

  73. Brainstorm your ideas, then edit

    When writing, don’t worry about getting your grammar exactly right on the first try. Write down your ideas and then go back and put everything together.

  74. Record yourself

    Listening to the sound of your own voice can make you cringe, but replaying an audio recording of yourself speaking will help you improve your pronunciation.

  75. Record lessons with your teacher

    Use an audio recorder or record your screen so that you can go back and review lessons with your teacher.

  76. Use a learner’s dictionary

    If you’re not ready for a full dictionary, a learner’s dictionary might be exactly what you need. Learner’s dictionaries use simpler language to help you understand the definition of words, as compared to a standard English dictionary.

  77. Keep a jar with all the new words you learn

    This will help you stay motivated as you see the jar fill up with more and more words that you’ve learned. It’s good to be able to reflect at how far you’ve come!

  78. Remember that you’re progressing

    There will be times when you feel frustrated and want to give up. Don’t do it! Remember that you will always be learning and getting better. Even native English speakers continue to learn throughout their lives. Getting better is what makes it fun!

  79. Know that there are different types of English

    Just like in South America where each country speaks in a slightly different dialect, different phrases, different accents, and at a different pace, English has variation from country to country. American, British, Australian, South African and several others are all slightly different. At the end of the day though, if you learn English, you will be fine speaking in any of these countries.

  80. Different controls spell certain words in English differently

    Similarly to the point above, different countries use different spellings of the same word. For example, the word “favorite” is spelled “favourite” in the UK. Same with the word “color” in America – it’s spelled “colour” in the UK.

  81. Think about what you’re going to say before you start speaking

    It’s ok to get a head start on a conversation with someone by practicing what you want to say in your head. It’ll help you get the conversation started and feeling more confident as you deeper into the conversation.

  82. Verb tense is one of the biggest problem for learners

    Here are a couple of videos on my YouTube channel that can help you improve your verb tenses:

    1. Present Perfect Tense
    2. Past Tense
  83. Learn the different meaning of words that are pronounced similarly

    Example: there, their, and they’re are all pronounced the same, but used to describe different things.

  84. Practise irregular verbs

    Irregular verbs are verbs that don’t take on the regular -d, -ed, or -ied spelling patterns of the past simple or past participle. An example would be fight (infinitive), fought (past simple) and fought (past participle). [see if possible to get permission to use picture of irregular verbs here]

  85. Apply the 80/20 (i.e. Pareto Principle) to help you improve your weaknesses

    The Pareto Principle says that 80% of the results come from 20% of the causes. Using this logic, we can assume that 80% of your grammar mistakes come from the 20% of your overall grammar. So focus in on those areas of grammar where you keep making the same mistakes and commit to improving them.

  86. Get a job or internship in a different country

    Again, immersion is the crash course to learning a language.

  87. If you’re in an English course, do your homework

    Don’t treat your homework as being optional. Homework is where you get to practise what you’re learning!

  88. Learn when your body is the most productive

    For some it’s in the morning. For others, it’s in the evening. Pay attention to your body to learn when you’re most productive and schedule time to improve your English during those hours of the day.

  89. Host English speakers using AirBnB

    Make money hosting people, make some new friends, and get to speak with some native English speakers. Why not?!

  90. See if your local hostel has an open bar or hangout area on weekends

    Hostels host tons of international speakers, so you’re bound to meet travelers who speak English. Not all hostels are open to the public, but some have bars/hangout areas that allow guests on the weekend.

  91. Sign up for weekly or daily English tips

    Search Google to find websites that offer weekly or daily tips for people learning English

  92. Sing karaoke in English

    If you haven’t tried karaoke, I highly recommend it. It’s a lot of fun!

  93. Watch movies in English with subtitles in your native language

    That way you can follow along when there are parts you don’t understand.

  94. Label things in your house and office with post it notes

    If you keep forgetting what that thing on your desk is called in English, put a post-it note on it until you’ve learned it.

  95. Have a drink (or two)

    Sometimes a drink is all you need to relax and let the conversation flow.

  96. Learn spelling rules

    Here’s a great resource to help you with your spelling rules –

  97. Take English language exams

    Tests can help you monitor your progress and assess your level. Don’t get too hung up on your score. The important part is that you’re making progress!

  98. Go to an Irish, English or American bar

    You’re almost always guaranteed to find some English speakers there 🙂

  99. Change the default language on your tech devices (computer, phone, tablet, etc)

  100. Use the question to form your answer

    Listen carefully when someone asks you a question in English and you’ll answer perfectly every time. English questions are like mirrors:

    1.        Does he…..?                    Yes, he does.
    2.        Can she….?                      Yes, she can.
    3.        Is it….?                               Yes, it is.
  101. Use contractions when speaking

    For example, most people use the word “don’t” instead of “do not”, or “I’m” instead of “I am”. Learning contractions will help you improve your fluency.

  102. Speak slowly and deliberately

    You don’t need to speak as quickly as native speakers. Go at your own pace and you will improve your speak as you become more fluent.

  103. Use phrases like “That’s a good question” or “Let me think about that for a second“ when you’re thinking of how to answer a question

    That will give you some extra time as you sort through your thoughts to answer the other person.

  104. Listen to audiobooks and follow along with a hard copy of the book

    Listening is great, but following along in a book while listening over audio is taking your learning to the next level!

  105. For advanced learners, avoid using the word “very” in your writing

    The English language has an endless amount of words that can help you express yourself and evoke strong emotions.


  106. Ask questions on platforms like Quora

    Quora is a giant community of people asking and answering questions. If you have a specific question, try searching Quora to see if someone has already answered it. If not, create a new thread asking your question. There are a lot of smart people there who can help you out with just about anything.

  107. Avoid your comfort zone

    Speak to people who are better at English than you. Travel to countries where people only speak English. Set higher goals.

  108. Try not to pause when speaking

    Even if your grammar goes out the window, you’ll improve your speaking if you keep going instead of pausing to find the perfect way to say something. Even if you end up sounding like Tarzan, the person you’re speaking to will usually get the idea of what you’re trying to say. Over time, you’ll speak with proper grammar and better vocabulary. It’s better to be succinct than too wordy!

How to Improve English: 108 Smart Tips and Best Practices

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