I’m no language teacher. However, I’ve always been rather interested in language acquisition and learning. So, I did do some research over the years on the ways to improve language constantly. Here they are:
Tune in to the radio. Listen to a talk show. Load some podcasts into your iPod. Listening is probably the best way to improve your speaking. We tend to use different words when we speak than when we write. Listening allows us to grasp the conversational words that are frequently used when we speak. The words are normally simpler and direct. Thus, to really improve well, we should listen to people who are very verbally proficient in that language who use good grammar, vocabulary, and have excellent accent and pronunciation. Only then can we improve the language properly.
Reading mainly helps in writing. Well, it is rather obvious I’d say. You are reading someone’s piece of writing. If that piece of writing has good grammar and expansive vocabulary, we will develop that manner of writing too. Also, read books that fit our level of language. There’s no point getting a piece of literature that has 100 words unknown to you on a page. That’s not improving. Improving vocabulary is a gradual process, read simple books, then slowly progress over time. With time, you can probably read Chaucer without a dictionary.
3. Write & Speak
Getting all the input and not having the outlet to exercise the language won’t improve your language either. After some time, you just need to use the language yourself. Speak with people. Start writing articles or essays. You need to learn to use the words in different situations and develop the confidence to use the language. When using a language, grammar is probably the hardest element. And understanding grammar is not by consciously knowing the formulaic rules. Sure, you should learn that if you want to be a language teacher.
But really, intuitive grasp of grammar is the way to go. But it will come with time, the more you listen and read. The best part is you don’t need to know the rules of grammar to even use grammar properly. Doesn’t make sense? Sure, it does. That’s how your native language works when you speak and write – grammar is automatic and effortless. Do you consciously know all the grammar rules of your native language? Nope. You have the intuitive feel of rightness and wrongness when it comes to grammar.
That is all for now. Hope you enjoyed the post. As always, do share your thoughts with us.