Learning a foreign language is not easy when you are not based in that country. Situations where one can practise are few and far between. The following tips though, in combination with some regular weekly language training, have been tried and tested and are guaranteed to significantly improve your English.

(As usual, some of the more complicated words have been translated in German which you can see by hovering over the word with your mouse).

Read

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Walking Dead Rick Horse

Scene from The Walking Dead Graphic novel © The Walking Dead

 

Reading is one of the best things you can do to improve your English. Recent studies have shown that becoming [/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_tooltip title=”really interested in something. German: vertieft in” placement=”top” trigger=”hover” class=”” id=””]engrossed[/fusion_tooltip] in a novel enhances connectivity in the brain and improves brain function. This means it is not only good for your health but also for your language learning. But what to read? Many students complain that reading in English is too [/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_tooltip title=”An activity that makes you very tired. German: anstregend” placement=”top” trigger=”hover” class=”” id=””]exhausting[/fusion_tooltip] or time intensive. Here are some tips to help with that.

The solution to this is to buy a Kindle or other electronic e-reader where you can install a bi-lingual dictionary. All of us here at London School use this feature quite a lot when we are reading German books. If there is word we don’t know, we simply press down on the word in our Kindles for a second and a translation will pop up. This is much, much easier than typing the word into an online dictionary.

The second tip we can give you is to find a book that has been translated into English. The problem with many books that are originally written in English, is that the language can often be very poetic and too abstract for an English learner to understand. However, a book, for example, by a German, French or Spanish author that has been translated into English is far more likely to be written in more simple to understand English. Again, this is also true of our experience reading books in German.

Finally choose a book that interests you! You are more likely to make progress if you are genuinely interested in the book’s content. And you don’t have to reach straight away for a lengthy masterpiece like “War and Peace”. Comics, or ‘graphical novels’ as they are also known as these days are also a great way to improve your English and are perfect for those short trips on the [/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_tooltip title=”Also known in Britisch English as Underground. German: U-bahn” placement=”top” trigger=”hover” class=”” id=””]Subway[/fusion_tooltip]. We have had good feedback from some students, for example on the Walking Dead series. (Although we realise apocalyptic Zombie worlds may not be for every one).

Talk

 

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Two young women chatting in the park

Two women chatting in the park

 

As we dicussed earlier, learning English is much easier if you live in an English speaking country. But as this isn’t always possible, we must explore other opportunities. The best thing you can do is to find an English speaking friend in your city or down and tool[/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_tooltip title=”do something often. German: regalmäßig” placement=”top” trigger=”hover” class=”” id=””] regularly [/fusion_tooltip] meet with them. Best case scenerio is to find someone who doesn’t speak any of your language at all (or very little) and then they will be happy to talk to you all day in their language.

If you don’t know anyone English in your town and don’t fancy striking up a conversation with a stranger in your local Irish pub, then you should also consider joing a club. The Munich Stammtisch for example is one such club that has a variety of international members (over two thousand at last count) who reguarly meet up for BBQS on the Isar, mountain walks and football games. The purpose of this group is to make new freinds and learn English or German.

Another possibility is to set up a tandem chat with someone. This works on the basis that you meet once a week and half of the time you speak English to help you, and the rest of the time you speak your language to help them. For more information on setting up a tandem meeting in Germany see Tandem Partners.

Watch TV and films

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Suits suit me HIMYM

“Suits suit me”. Scene from How I met your mother © How I met your mother.

 

This is perhaps not surprisingly a very popular choice from many of our students. If you find a TV series that you like, for example Breaking bad or How I Met Your Mother, watching it in English can really help you. This is because you can quickly learn every day [/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_tooltip title=”a saying, idiom. German: Ausdrucke” placement=”top” trigger=”hover” class=”” id=””][/fusion_tooltip] and words – which are quite often different to what you learnt at school!

Watching it on DVD/Blu ray also gives you the benefit of watching with subtitles. If you really like the series, it doesn’t feel like work and it’s amazing what you can learn from simply watching an episide once or twice a week as these shows often repeat the same vocubulary. It is important though that you don’t get frustrated when you don’t understand everything – try to understand the [/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_tooltip title=”The main message. German: Hauptinhalt” placement=”top” trigger=”hover” class=”” id=””]gist[/fusion_tooltip] and the rest you will eventually get in time. And remember, however little you think you might have learnt, it is still more than what you started with 🙂

Take a holiday

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Vittiriosa Seafront Malta

The Vittiriosa Seafront in Malta – ideal for holidaying and learning English

 

Learning languages abroad has never been so popular and it doesn’t have to cost the earth, either. Countries like Malta, for example, offer affordable ways of learning English alongside sun, sea and sand. The Maltese speak two languages, English and Maltese so you are guaranteed plenty of oppurtunities to speak English outside the school. They also have [/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_tooltip title=”Closely stuck to rules. German: strenge Regulierung” placement=”top” trigger=”hover” class=”” id=””]strict regulations[/fusion_tooltip] regarding teacher’s permits so the standard of teaching should be high.

Be sure to choose your school wisely and make sure the classes are not too big and are appropriate to your level to get the best out of your time.

Practice, practice, practice!

Finally, “Practice makes perfect” as they say. Learning a language is about repetition – “use it or lose it!” The London School of Business Englisch München provides regular online articles, grammar quizzes and common English mistakes. It is free and your email address is never shared. We aim to write about one article a month so it is unlikely your inbox will [/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_tooltip title=”When something gets too much for it’s container. Like water in a bath tub. German: Überlaufen” placement=”top” trigger=”hover” class=”” id=””]overflow[/fusion_tooltip] 🙂

So what are you waiting for? Click on the link below and start improving your English today![/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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