In the 21st century, English isn't just another language to enjoy on ones holidays - it's the indispensible language of the global community. Businesses and Academic insitutions around the world all communicate to one another through the medium of the english language. For trade, learning, art and pleasure it has no equal today.
That's why, if you're one of the half a million students in the UK who come from abroad to study here, you need to make sure your English is the best it can be. Even if you're just considering your future and perhaps studying in an English speaking country, it still makes sense to take the time to start your road to English mastery earlier.
The English language itself is an obtuse thing. Every rule it comes up with it likes to break over and over again. It's spelling is nonsensical even at the best of times and in every sentence it reveals it's mongrel origins in French, Germanic and the other tongues that evolved into what we recognize today. This, ofcourse, makes it quite a bit harder to learn than it might first appear - something not helped by the huge amount of variation even amongst English speaking countries in regional dialects.
That's why, to get ahead in learning any language, the best way to learn is to immerse yourself in it as much as you can. Ofcourse, in the Internet age this is easier than it has ever been for interested potential students of the language. Here are a couple of easy ways you can immerse yourself in English online to help develop your skills.
Newspapers and Websites
Whatever your interests, there are almost certainly english language websites available to interest you. Reading is an essential fundamental skill for good English, and you'll find plenty to read online, especially from daily papers. Nearly every Newspaper now maintains an online version, including such Internationally regarded papers such as the Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Guardian. Often these are free to browse, although some limit access without a paid subscription.
Of special note, however, is that, due to it's pervasiveness globally, many newspapers based outside the traditional anglo-sphere offer English language international versions to expaned their readership. The Russian Pravda, China Daily, and Times of India all publish English language versions giving the reader the opportunity to see other points of view.
TV, Video and Podcasts
The streaming age of Youtube, and other services such as the BBC's iPlayer and the American Hulu, all offer the English language learner an unsurpassed opportunity to experience English being spoken aloud from a diverse number of accents and dialects. Whatever your fancy, you can find videos and channels online, often watchable entirely for free. Whether you want to watch a dedicated learning programme or just kick back with a movie, you'll still be making connections and getting a bit better at the language.
Playing games is always a fantastic way to learn and used in plenty of more traditional language learning techniques. By engaging in a shared activity with other people, you'll be required to interact and speak with others. Whether you communicate by chat or speak live to other players with a microphone, you'll get invaluable practice in interacting with other speakers of English. Indeed, increasing numbers of young people from Sweden, Norway and the Netherlands credit their English speaking skills to the interaction they have with other internationals online.
As for what game to play? That's up to you - from the old favourite Chess to online graphical adventures like World of Warcraft, you'll meet new people and get invaluable practice for your English.
An Online Course
Ofcourse, playing games and watching movies is a bit different from writing a formal business letter or application to study at a university. When you're ready to take the next step in getting your english up to the standard you need for work and study, it's time to start looking at a course. ADL offers a range of courses helpful to those students looking to get ahead with their English.
For those whom English is their second language, our ESL Fundamentals course is an ideal primer for bringing your english up to the standard it needs to be to thrive in an academic or business environment. For those looking to learn how to write the reports and assignments an academic course requires, ADL's Academic Writing course is essential and included for free with any full short course or higher qualification.
Don't let your English skills hold you back this semester, take a course with ADL today!