No matter your actual occupation, whether you’re a waitress in a local pub or a scientist attending science conferences around the world, you’re going to need to learn English. It’s more than just a need, it’s an imperative of the time. Is there any better place to do this than to learn English in UK? Surely not.
Even if you’re an international student with a solid level of English skills, learning the language fluently takes effort.
The good news is that you can’t escape real-life experiences where you must talk in English while you’re in the UK. So the day, when you’ll learn to speak it fluently, is inevitably but the time it will happen is up to your commitment. This article is a detailed guide to show you the best way to learn English in UK.
Most international students that choose to study in the UK instead of deciding for another study destination say the English language is one of the top reasons. You might be one of them. Taking a decision to learn English in UK is the first step and maybe the most important to reach your goal to excel in English, but there is more you must go through. Just because you’re placed in an environment of native speakers it doesn’t mean that learning will be easy. University lectures where most of the time you’re supposed to listen won’t help as much. You have to constantly engage in different challenging activities where you will be speaking English. Furthermore, there are many courses to learn English in UK which you can attend.
Where do I start?
You are convinced that your English level is just enough for you to adapt fast in the UK. There’s a higher possibility you’ll get disappointed. The truth is that being in the middle of native speakers is a bit different to being in a group of people whose English is not their mother language regardless of your English knowledge. Firstly, you may struggle to be in line with their speed of talking and you may miss some of their words. No need to worry, this is normal to even some of the best English speakers when they first land in the UK. A language is not all about expanding vocabulary and learning its grammar; it’s a complex structure developed in the context of cultural norms of a society. Over 50 different accents are identified in UK and Ireland. Where do I start to overcome this obstacle?
Well, don’t exaggerate the situation. You’re not the problem here. It’s normal to all and you make no exemption. Almost everyone will need to make a check to his English when enters the UK. It takes just a little effort to overcome this hurdle until you won’t need to formulate a sentence in your head but speak it straightforward.
You can’t expect to become a fluent English speaker if you spend your whole day in your apartment lying in a bed. Your efforts start with engaging actively in dialogues with native speakers. It’s good to save money but there are still restaurants around where you can eat at a reasonable price. A restaurant is one of the best perfect places you can start practising speaking English. Go out there and make an order on your own. If you take a fluent speaker to make company it will be even better. After that go shopping or in a library. Participate in youth activities and speak often at their discussions. Invite your neighbourhood for a coffee in your apartment. Spend weekends wisely. Instead of staying home go out for a walk in a park or play football with natives. All these will help you to feel more confident, comfortable and relieved. Within a short period of time, you will be speaking English like a native.
English course centers
In the UK there are many English centers established with the purpose to provide foreigners with a good education in English. Depending on what level is your English and at what related field you would like to improve, you can find the one it better responds to your requests.
Currently, there are over 500 courses accredited by the official regulator in the UK. You can find an English course in the UK in this link http://englishagenda.britishcouncil.org/english-uk/finding-school/finding-school
Additionally, university campuses offer many summer language camps where you can learn English, make friends and entertain.
Besides common English courses where you need to appear physically to attend lectures, there are many online courses to learn English in UK. If this way of attending a course suits you do a fast research on the Internet and find one. Just like traditional courses, there are plenty online courses also.
In addition to these courses, British authorities that deliver this service to foreigners placed in the UK, offer free-access websites to help you learn required skills in English. Up to now, the British Council is maintaining three such websites
Watch television and listen to the radio
Well, television can’t give you the sense of a real-life experience, but it can help you to keep a continual attachment to spoken English. In particular, watching comedy shows may be very helpful to learn English in UK since you learn to understand an expression beyond their literal meaning and this is how you basically improve your critical thinking in a foreign language.
Additionally, listening to a radio can be even more helpful because you’ll get used to getting information using only one of your human senses. Normally, our brain builds up the information upon different clues it receives through our senses. But, if you just listen to a podcast will surely be more challenging.
Listening to a local radio has the advantage that it won’t interfere your daily activity: you can listen to it while you’re traveling, staying at home doing other things in parallel etc. Don’t be stressful if it looks hard at first. Learn to be more patient and within a short period of time from an annoying thing to do will turn to a pleasing.
Hire an English tutor
If you feel like you need some additional preparation and closer surveillance, you can hire an English tutor. Whatever your English level is, there are many different tutors that may provide you with the exact knowledge you need. The advantage is that a personal tutor is always there for you and you can even plan the schedule of your lessons on your own. You can choose to have face-to-face meetings with him/her or you can communicate through media like Skype. A good and experienced tutor will probably note your flaws in English and will precisely tell you how to overcome them.
Read a book in English before bed
Start developing this habit. It hasn’t necessarily to be a real book. Pick up a magazine or read an article on the Internet on whatever topics. It’s a good practice to pick up new vocabulary. Reading a book is surely more challenging than going out and have casual dialogues with natives because the language used is of a higher level, but the impact will be large. If you’re a student waiting to enter a British university you must start getting yourself used with books of a higher academic level. If you’re just a random person who’s living and working in the UK you can start with an easier book to read.
Every language, it evolves in the context of social and cultural norms of a society. Slang is a perfect illustration of this fact. When you learn English in UK you’ll encounter a large number of these expressions part of Britons’ daily life. The slang is an informal language that is not used in standard language. Like every other language in the world, the daily English has a lot of slang words, some of which you may find interesting and funny too. It’s really important to know some slang words in the UK before you go there so to avoid situations that would put you in an uncomfortable position. Slang words are often tricky that may sound polite but actually are bad words that somebody you’re talking to may end up getting angry or insulted.
Some of these English slang words circulate around the globe because English is worldwide spoken, the number of them remaining within the British society is countless. We show you some of the most common ones in the list below
Fortnight – A common English slang in the UK referring to the period of two weeks
Numpty – Incompetent person
Rozzer – A policeman
Take the mickey – To mock
Tosh – Without sense
Gutted – Extreme disappointment
Gaffer – The boss or the employer
Go to spare – Get angry
Hard cheese- Bad luck
Toff – Upper-class person
Nutter – Crazy person
Nosh – Food
Easy Peasy – Easy
Shag – Screw
Wanker – Idiot
Dodgy – Suspicious
Pants – Panties
Chap – Male or friend
Dog’s dinner – Dressed perfectly
Chat up – flirt
Uni – University or college
Give you a bell- Call you
Fagged – Interrupted
Helpful resources to learn English: