Lyle Ring’s Suggestions for Practicing your English outside of Class
A class that meets on a regular basis is probably the best way to practice and improve your English. (If you live in the Northern Virginia area please see here.) However, sometimes you cannot go to class or you might have time to do additional work outside class. These are some suggestions and resources you might consider as you learn better English.
For a fuller list of places to practice your English please see www.reepworld.org and stay connected with us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/REEPESL). Also please comment below, if you have recommendations to be added to this list.
I want to know more words…
- Quizlet- Feel free to use any of my Quizlet class sets. Students in my current classes can join their class by clicking on the links below.
I want to speak better…
- http://www.fluentu.com/english/blog/how-to-improve-english-pronunciation/?lang=en provides some useful suggestions on working on pronunciation.
- http://rachelsenglish.com/ offers many free videos and advice.
- http://www.fluentu.com/english/blog/how-to-speak-english-well-fluently/?lang=en is some good tips to expand your English conversation skills
- An important non-internet resource is to “just talk”. Meet-up with classmates or take advantage of a free community conversation class offered at a community center or local library. Click here for community conversation classes offered at REEP.
- Accuracy (making less mistakes)
- http://learnenglishteens.britishcouncil.org/exams/speaking-exams/accuracy offers some tips on making less mistakes when you speak English.
- I strongly recommend recording yourself and listening for mistakes in grammar and pronunciation.
I want to read and listen better…
- The main step to better listening and reading is practice. Most research shows that students must spend a lot of time reading and listening to a language to become better speakers and writers. These are some ideas I have for practicing your reading and listening,
- http://resources.marshalladulteducation.org/reading_skills_home.htm– These are mostly lifeskills readings that include audio.
- http://learningenglish.voanews.com/– News, U.S. History, grammar, and other English notes
- http://esl-bits.net/ – Text and audio for classic and contemporary books in English
- https://www.seminolestate.edu/adult-ed/els/pett/– Seminole State College’s Practice English Tutorials and Tests (PETT) Projects offers some tutorials and practice tests for reading and listening skills.
- The University of Victoria English Language Centre Study Zone– This site offers good practice with reading, listening, and grammar.
- If you do not have access to a computer or the internet, a great resource is the library. Arlington Public Library has a selection of books and other materials for English language learners at every branch.
I want to write better…
- Academic Writing
- https://education.depaul.edu/student-resources/academic-success-center/Documents/501writingprompts.pdf provides many pages of writing topics with suggestions about organizing your essays.
- http://highered.mheducation.com/sites/0809222280/student_view0/index.html is a good reource for anyone thinking about improving their writing but it is especially helpful if you want to earn your GED.
- Grammar and Mechanics
- Expand your vocabulary:
- http://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/learner-english/ is a good English learner dictionary that includes audio pronunciation and simplified definitions
- Keep a word journal. A word journal is a notebook where you right down new words you hear or read. Later, you can look up the meaning of these words and practice them in writing and speech.
- Quizlet- Feel free to use any of my Quizlet class sets my clicking here (https://quizlet.com/Lyle_Ring)..
- Share and be social:
- http://lang-8.com/ – This is a social-media site that allows you to get help from an English speaking peer on the internet and help someone trying to learn your native language.
- Find someone else or a small group in your class interested in improving their writing and share responses with them. These should be people who are positive and encourage you. Do not partner with someone who makes you feel bad about your writing and English.
- Finally, Write, Write, Write, AND Revise.
- Use prompts to help you improve your writing skills. I have come up with some of these and I have found some on the internet. (Click here to view and print out my growing list of prompts)
- Use an editing checklist to help you correct and expand your writing. Here is a version I use with my students.
Note: I have made every effort to include sources for the information here but in many cases I have lost track of where I originally found or was given the resource. Please let me know if you should be credited for anything above and thank you.