Here at VGC we are proud of our diverse student body and we are extremely passionate about helping our students to reach their English language goals. Today we are excited to share one of the mid-term assignments that has been produced during one of our level 7 English classes. The students had to choose something to listen to and rank its effectiveness as a listening tool to improve their English. The results were presented in form of a short written summary as well as a presentation in front of the class.
We hope you enjoy the creative assignment produced by Korean student Jin as much as we did!
Tips On How To Improve Your English Listening – By Jin Lee
I’m writing to give you the tips to improve English listening skills because I heard your pet peeve in English is listening. I also had similar experiences to you and I have tried to overcome it. I’ve outlined my solutions.
The first way is to listen to news or politician’s speeches. The upside that this way has is that you can get information about diverse fields, so it broadens your outlook. However, the downsides are that sometimes it includes a lot of unfamiliar vocabulary and it naturally makes you bored if you’re not interested in the topics.
The second method is to watch movies or TV series without subtitles. The benefit of this method is that you can choose what you like and enjoy it. It can not only interest you but also strengthen your concentration. Moreover, you can find good expressions for conversations. On the other hand, the drawback is that the stories are too long to focus on English.
Finally, my personal preference is to watch YouTube channels such as “Ted Talks” or “School of Life”. Its pros is that they are shorter than movies or series, so you don’t have to concentrate for a long time. Furthermore, you have a choice in subject. If you choose what you’re amused at, you can easily understand what they explain. The cons is that sometimes a topic is not good but you can avoid bad topic, so it’s not a big matter for me.
Even if you understand nothing or a little in these ways, don’t worry and just try again. As well, you can use English subtitles. It sheds light on what they talk about. Without question, the most important thing for listening is repetition. I hope my solutions are helpful to you.
Your secret friend
Many people struggle with writing in English and it can seem like a real challenge to improve. Don’t worry, though. Here are some simple steps that you can take to improve your written English and impress people with your writing skills.
Expand your vocabulary
To express yourself clearly, you need a good active vocabulary. That’s not just being able to recognise lots of words – it means actually being able to use them correctly. Do this by learning new words with example sentences, not just word lists.
Tip: When you learn a new word, try learn all the forms of that word and the prepositions that are usually used with it. (For example, rather than just the word ‘depend’, make a note of: to depend on, to be dependent on, a dependant.)
Master English spelling
You must know how to spell those words correctly. Incorrect spelling changes the meaning of your sentence. For example: ‘bare’ and ‘bear’ sound the same but ‘bare’ means naked and ‘bear’ is a large animal. Additionally, incorrect spelling makes it difficult for the reader to understand what you’ve written.
Tip: Practice your spelling using flash cards and test yourself whenever you have some spare time.
People often say that we learn to write best by reading. Reading in English is useful in many ways. It is a great way to get an idea of the different styles of writing and see how to use words appropriately.
Tip: Choose books or articles with topics that interest you.Learning shouldn’t be boring. Read each text several times to make sure you understand how to use new words and expressions in the text.
Improve your grammar
Grammar is very important because it improves the quality of your writing. Always use the appropriate tense and remember to use punctuation. Punctuation is a great way to make your writing clear and fluent.
Tip: Always proof-read your writing twice. The first time, look for general mistakes and the second time look for mistakes with the particular grammar point your are studying at the moment.
Just do it!
Writing can be daunting. However, the best way to improve is get a pen and paper or sit in front of your computer and actually write. Be prepared to write several versions of each text because even for professional writers, the first draft is never perfect. Remember, practice makes perfect, so now is the best time to sit down and get started with our free English quizzes!