Michael R, who teaches English in Budapest, shares the advice he gives to his students to help them improve their confidence, accent and writing skills.
‘Tips from our teachers’ is a regular series we run on our blog where we ask our teachers to shares tips and advice on improving their language skills.
You need a method that engages you when practising English outside of lessons
Read if you’re a reader, watch movies if you’re a movie fan etc. But whatever you chose, doing it daily is the most important element. You will learn more quickly and much more efficiently if you keep your brain working on a task at a regular and consistent pace.
Improving your accent is a bit like playing the guitar
Even if I know exactly where all of my fingers are supposed to go they still end up all over the place and make an awful noise. Pronunciation, like playing a chord on a guitar, is a very mechanical skill, the more you train your ears to hear and your voice to reproduce the more it will happen ‘correctly’. Having a native teacher to reinforce ‘correct’ forms and notice small deviations is very important.
You need to find a way to expose yourself to the English language every day
Even if it’s just passive listening to English radio on the way to work or school, you’ll keep your brain tuned on to learning. Once you reach a decent level you can try to get morning news or maybe sports results from an English website rather than in your native language so that the subject matter is engaging and it won’t feel like work.
Turning off autocorrect on your phone can help your writing skills
When the red squiggles of doom appear under a word you’re trying to spell, stop and try again yourself before you let Google correct the error for you.