Has the English language been a part of your life even though you are not a native speaker? Are your favorite singers from English-speaking countries, or, do their songs have English lyrics? I bet you’ve already passed the point where you need a dictionary for every English word. You may even have good conversational skills.
Even though your English skills are above average, studying in an English-speaking country requires native-like English skills. The terms used will be very difficult to understand. If your English skills won’t meet the minimum requirement, you will lose lots of valuable information. One misunderstood word can completely change a sentence’s meaning.
Apart from that, using the information you gather from classes, you’ll have to write academic assignments. Taking into consideration the snowball effect, those few words you didn’t understand, will turn into huge gaps in your knowledge base.
One thing is for sure, for you to study in an English-speaking country, you need native-like English skills. So, how can an ESL student study in an English-speaking country? Here are 6 things you ought to do if you want to do this.
1. English Skills 101
Being a foreigner in an English-speaking country is not hard if you master the basics of the language. Even though you might use the wrong verb, singular instead of plural, etc., people will understand what you’re saying. Even though they might not like fact that you don’t speak their language perfectly, they’ll get along.
Being a foreign student in an English-speaking country is something totally different. Not only you need to master the basics but, your English skills need to be pitch-perfect.
You have to focus your attention on the following aspects of the English language:
- ● Basic Vocabulary
- ● Industry-Specific Vocabulary(If you are studying mechanics, you should know that Clutch is not just a website)
- ● Grammar
- ● Structure
Andrew McConnor, Bestessays’ Lead Writer concludes “In order to improve your English skills, you need to read lots of industry-specific articles, books, etc. For you to improve your grammar, there are lots of online courses.”
2. Befriend Native Speakers
Even though there’s a natural reflex of hanging out with other foreigners, try to oppose it. Even though it gives you a sense of security being with people in the same situation as yours, foreigners, in our case, is better to get out of your comfort zone.
Foreigners tend to have lots of grammatical issues and not a very appealing vocabulary. On the other side, a native speaker has a top-notch vocabulary and little to none grammatical issues. This way, your bar will be set very high and you will force yourself to pass it.
Last, but not least, let’s be honest, you don’t go to a foreign country for the sole
purpose of studying, nothing else. You are young, you need some action in your life, you need to have some fun. Who knows the best pubs, clubs, restaurants, and shopping centers in town, is it a native?
3. Get Yourself a Teacher
So, you already started studying, you are one or two months into the first semester but, you are still having trouble understanding, reading, and writing English. You already started this journey, the ship left port, you can’t jump back on shore. You either ride the waves or sink.
The best way to get past this point is to get yourself an English teacher. Whether you choose offline classes or opt for online courses, it’s up to you but, you have to do it, my friend. Apart from learning the important aspects of the English language, you’ll have someone to talk to, someone who would get over your errors and help you out.
4. Befriend Dictionaries and Use Apps
Amen to that! When I was struggling to learn English I had a dictionary tied to my hand. Just kidding, it was tied to my forehead. I was hoping that this way, I’ll be able to memorize all the words.
If dictionaries will be your best friends, the language learning apps will be your second-best friends. Here are a few you should consider.
- ● Busuu This easy to use app gets great results in no time at all. Less than a day spent on this app’s Premium Subscription equals one semester of English classes.
- ● Mosalingua For only $4,99 you get your own English teacher. Their Space Repetition Software will make sure you don’t forget the words you use only once in awhile.
- ● Duolingo I think this app is one of the best-known apps out there. It is adapted to lots of different languages, such as Spanish, Italian, German, Dutch, etc. This makes it easier for you to understand the syntax.
5. Be an Eager Pupil
Whether you improve your English skills or you don’t, it’s up to you. Nobody will come to you and ask “Don’t you want to learn English? I’d like to help you out.”. Always try to improve it, make a habit out of learning English.
At the end of the classes, when teachers have the 5 minute Q&A, try to ask as many (relevant)questions. If you’ve heard some new terms, ask your teacher for more information.
Last, but not least, instead of watching one more episode of your favorite TV Show,
try to create a 30 pages-a-day rule. That’s more than 9000 pages a year. One year from now, you’ll be an English guru.
6. Reproduce the Native Accent
Right, you are now mastering(ish) the English language. Your grammar, vocabulary, and syntax are pitch-perfect but, you still have your native accent. That is quite disturbing for a native speaker.
For you to get past this problem I’d suggest you start “stealing” others’ accent. If you have a friend or a colleague who is a native speaker, try to copy his accent. You don’t have time to take classes for your accent, you need to do it on the go.
Even though it might be difficult at first, once you master the English language you won’t have any trouble studying in an English-speaking country. Use these tips when you decided to learn English like a pro and you won’t have any trouble achieving it.
Brenda Savoie is a content marketer, private English tutor, and desperate dreamer. Writing her first romance novel. Seeking contentment through mindfulness. Check her blog BestWritingClues. Find her on Twitter and Facebook.