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Top tips to help you improve from our Director of Language Studies.
Language shouldn’t stop you from pursuing your dreams. Sure, a language barrier can make situations—particularly a fast-paced, classroom environment—more challenging. But with hard work and the right support, your language skills can become one of your greatest assets instead of one of your greatest barriers.
At Swiss Education Group, we strive to help every student reach their personal, academic, and professional potential. That’s why, at all our campuses, we offer our English Foundation Program to bring you quality support and guidance throughout the learning experience to help you become an effective communicator in the English language.
Our two-track learning approach helps students without the required language level achieve greater proficiency, as well as helps students with the recognized certificate of language proficiency advance their language skills.
But before you even step foot on campus, there are many things you can do right now to improve your English skills. Here are my top 10 tips to improve your English:
Have a clear purpose.
If you know clearly why you want to learn English, it will help keep you motivated when the process gets tough. You may wish to improve your English in order to study or work internationally, or maybe you want to travel more.
Whatever your reason, it’s important to remember your reason and stay focused on how your English skills will help you reach your goals.
Take learning out of the classroom.
Formal language learning with a skilled teacher will give you a strong foundation and a deeper understanding of the English language. However, it’s putting it to practice outside the classroom where you will make your greatest strides towards English proficiency.
Using your English skills in everyday situations with others will also help you to enjoy communicating and have fun connecting with people. Over time, you will be able to socialize and study in English with greater ease, ultimately preparing you for success in your future career.
Build up your vocabulary.
Start by learning the most commonly used and useful words. Typically, a vocabulary of around 800-1000 basic words you use regularly will mean you have a strong foundational understanding of the English language. Then, your job is to practice them regularly in your everyday conversations, and then think of ways to expand your vocabulary.
A great way to build up your English vocabulary is to read magazines and news articles, watch TV shows, and listen to music. Not only will you learn many new words, but it will also help put them into context for everyday life.
Find a language course that fits your lifestyle.
You might prefer learning English in a classroom with others, or maybe online learning better suits you. Whichever you favor, just make sure you are learning in the style that works best for you. A hybrid course which combines face-to-face teaching with self-paced learning is another effective option for many students.
Find a great teacher.
Especially when you are first starting to learn English, make sure you are building a solid foundation with the help of an experienced teacher. Fortunately, all our English teachers in the English Foundation Program are highly experienced and qualified native speakers who strive to teach in a manner that is highly engaging and supportive, yet challenging.
Practice, practice, practice.
The best way to improve your English quickly is to immerse yourself in English-speaking cultures and environments. Challenge yourself to use your language skills wherever and whenever possible. Find others to practice with, especially native speakers who will help you with pronunciation and introduce you to more colloquial and conversational uses of the language.
Students who complete the English Foundation Program and go on to study hospitality, business, or culinary arts at any of Swiss Education Group’s schools typically finish as highly proficient communicators, thanks in large part to the immersive experience.
Be prepared to make mistakes.
Making mistakes is just part of learning a language. In fact, it’s a sign you are stepping out of your comfort zone. Ultimately, learning English should be fun, so resist letting mistakes stop you from trying out new words or phrases. With this in mind, our teachers do everything possible to help students enjoy the process, create a safe place to learn, and build their confidence.
Of course, there is no substitute for a great teacher, but you can add value to your experience by using technology to practice your language skills. Perhaps you spend 10 minutes a day using a language learning app, or you practice your skills by messaging an English-speaking friend. Whatever you do, there are plenty of options to practice your skills outside a traditional classroom setting.
Know your level and build up your skills.
Wherever you are on your learning journey, it’s helpful to assess your skill level from time to time. A quality English language program will test you first to determine your current level and place you in the correct course. Too low, and you’ll find the process boring and slow. Too challenging, and you may grow confused and frustrated. But when you find yourself in the right level, you’ll be motivated and encouraged along the way.
Most importantly, have fun.
Language learning can feel daunting, but ultimately, it opens up a world of new possibilities. Try to have fun with the process, because the rewards are worth it. With strong English language skills, you can make new friends from all over the world, study and work internationally in a variety of sectors, and travel and see the world with confidence.
The English Foundation Program is designed for students who wish to study at any of Swiss Education Group’s four world-class schools, but need support meeting the entry requirement for English language skills. The program is offered in four, eight, and 12-week intensive programs, and combines both foundational and subject-specific language learning to help students progress with confidence to full-time hospitality, business, or culinary arts studies.