USE IT OR LOSE IT. This applies to all English speakers and those who are learning English. So here are 10 tips to improve your English.

1. Start a blog or a diary and use English as much as possible. This is the equivalent of a daily journal, something all school children in the UK (an English-speaking country) were advised to keep. Basically you develop your thoughts in English. Aim to write at least a paragraph each day on something that you find interesting from the news or your life. Consider yourself to be a news commentator and even make predictions. Do you think people will really be taking holidays on Mars within the next 50 years?

2. Listen to English music and radio as much as possible. Have the radio on in the background when getting dressed in the morning. If you have a radio alarm clock set it to an English speaking radio programme.

3. Watch English films and TV. Watch the good ones again. Also watch children’s TV and films. Fun, cute and also interesting language. Have your dictionary ready and look up some of the words that are repeated often in the film.

4. Vocab (vocabulary) lists. Maintain a vocab list and go through when you can. Perhaps when travelling on a train, for example. Keep the list in English only. Include synonyms, opposites and pronunciation elements such as the number of syllables (the number of beats in a word and also note the word stress).

5. Learn as many words you can in a particular category: For example, all the words connected to food. Learning similar words together can expand your overall vocabulary.

6. Read an English language newspaper. Many cities have a free newspaper. If you are in such a city, grab one of these. Start with headings and then move on to stories that interest you.

7. Learn and use phonemic syllables. This helps with pronunciation but also gets you thinking again about the word and its structure. Learning the rules of pronunciation will also help you to improve your general English. It gives a greater awareness of English.

8. Learn the spelling rules.

9. Throw out your bilingual dictionaries and use only an English-English dictionary.

10. Non-native speakers should consider taking a test such as IELTS (International English Language Testing System) – to check
your level.

For all speakers, practice makes perfect. We talk about English language skills. To maintain a skill, you need to regularly practice. So think about what works for you and do it.

Author's Bio: 

Susan McKenzie is a London-trained lawyer and English teacher. Read articles written by Susan at Susan McKenzie teaches at Linguaphone in Singapore. For enquiries about the courses Tel: 8455 8534, Email: