Learning English from home - 10 top tips!
Welcome to a huge step towards Eurolingua's transformation. The world is changing and Eurolingua plans to change with it. This means bringing our online presence up to a standard that meets today's expectations. You may be familiar already with our new website, or our popular TikTok account, or maybe even with our makeover on Instagram, bringing you daily posts with interesting words, phrases, and facts about the English speaking world. But we're not going to stop there! We have many plans to develop Eurolingua and make it the best environment for our students both in person and online! Some of these plans extend to bringing you a new monthly blog on our website, and this is our first! Coming soon will also be a podcast, that will bring our monthly blogs to life, giving you the opportunity to listen to a British voice, in your own time, while you travel, in the car, or from the comfort of your own home. We hope you like what we have in store for you. It's all looking rather exciting.
Below, Jake (our native speaker) has put out together a list of the best ways to learn English from the comfort of your own home, at times that suit you.
Look out below for our detailed index of the harder English words, translated into Polish!
10 ways to practice your English from the comfort of your own home - by Jake Smart
Youtube is a personal favourite place of mine to start listening to English. When you are tired or maybe lack the motivation to study English, it often feels better to relax watching one of your favourite YouTubers or content creators. Well, Youtube offers content on every subject possible. In every niche category you can think of, there is an English content creator out there who makes videos about it. So whichever kind of YouTube videos you like watching, why not try switching languages and see if you can follow along! As far as English language YouTubers go, I recommend English with Lucy. You may just find your new favourite YouTuber this way!
2. Streaming Platforms (Netflix, HBO, Disney+ etc)
This one isn't exactly for free of course, subscriptions do cost. But once you have the access, (or by stealing it from a friend), then try to find some of your favourite films, where the original language is English, and try watching them without any dubbing. With this method, you already know the characters, plot lines, and all the important details, so you won't be lost with anything while watching in English. It's also a suggestion to watch with English subtitles if anything, rather than Polish. English subtitles are a good addition just in case you don't catch every word. English accents can get kind of strange sometimes! My personal suggestions here would be Harry Potter, Shrek, The Greatest Showman, and The Devil Wears Prada.
3. Online learning platforms
I have two online websites that are worth mentioning here. BBC English, and British Council English. Both websites are designed for English learners of all ages, and of all levels and even of all disciplines. Whether you are studying for a specific English exam, like FCE or IELTS, or maybe you want to brush up on business English like writing CVs or emails. There is material for everyone. BBC and British Council also have lots of materials for children. With lots of content, to read, watch and listen to, you will not be short of any extra English practice from home!
4. Find an English friend!
I really love this one. This is a very fun way to explore real English in a way that only a native speaker would use. Find an English friend somewhere online (or even in person) and write or speak to them. Years ago, they would call this a 'pen pal' where strangers would write letters to each other across the world in each other's languages. Nowadays, with the internet connecting everyone so easily, we can do just the same, but instantly, and with the options of finding many more people who share our interests. For example, you may find someone in an online game chat on your Playstation of PC. You may find people in other online forums who are willing to swap their contact details for regular chats. Whatever interests you may have online, there is probably a world of people waiting to have a conversation with you, and completely for free!
5. Language swap.
This is a very interesting way to learn English for sure! You might consider finding someone with whom you can language swap. This means, if you find an English speaker, who is willing to pick up your own language, you can meet and dedicate half of each meeting to each one's language. Whether you know how to speak Polish, German, Russian, or something further afield, there are sure to be English speakers willing to teach their English in exchange for your knowledge in your language! Who know, you may find a new friend in doing this!
6. Online language learning apps. Where to start?
I have primarily two main recommendations for language learning apps - and they are really good ones I think. The first, and the one that is completely free, is of course Duolingo. This app is perfect for beginners, introducing you to all the basics you will need for your first interactions with English. From greetings, to key phrases while shopping, asking for directions, and eating out, Duolingo teaches all the basics, in a user friendly, simple but repetitive way that will set you on your way to mastering the English basics!
However, if you have passed the basics already, and you are looking for something just as interactive but with a little more theory and in depth use of the English language, then we recommend Babbel. Babbel is not free, but it is not expensive either. For only about $60 a year, you will get access to the app’s entire programme of learning English, with fun, interesting and detailed lessons all logically put together in an order that will bring your English up from the basics to a more advanced level. This app got me past the basics while learning Polish. Not only does it drill in essential words and grammar through repetition, but when you get an answer wrong, it tells you why, and the theory behind it. This is something that Duolingo lacks, and why it is great for people wanting to advance into the next level of learning English.
7. Ted Talks
Perhaps the modern day YouTuber doesn't interest you, and you are looking for something that exercises the brain a little more. Then I have to recommend Ted Talks. There are so many videos to choose from, across an uncountable range of topics and across different difficulties of English, so you will be sure to find something that is for you!
8. Spotify Podcasts
Spotify is not just for music, I often listen to podcasts and it got me thinking, podcasts are a great way to passively practice your English. While you drive, travel to work on the bus, on your daily morning run, or sitting by the fireplace in the evening with a cuppa, a podcast is a really relaxing way to improve your English while learning something new. While on a road trip through Germany, to London from Poland, I put on a German podcast for beginners in the car, and it was really helpful. It got me thinking... There are not many podcasts out there, for teaching English, to a Polish audience. So I got to work, and started planning a podcast for Eurolingua. English for beginners and for intermediate learners! Two separate podcasts a month, two different levels, and I am so excited to produce it and bring it to you very soon! So keep an eye out for that!
9. English speaking music
Of course, while mentioning Spotify, I have to at least quickly recommend listening to English speaking music. Even if it is an obvious one. Spotify has a great function now where you can view the lyrics that the song plays. Next time you listen to your favourite artist, follow along with the song and the lyrics, and see how much you can understand. Do check out our carefully chosen list of British voices on our Spotify playlist! Access it from our website's homepage.
10. It's the little, daily things!
The last way to practice your English, and probably my most favourite way, is to keep an eye on all the daily things that you could switch from using Polish, to English. For example, the next time you want to find a recipe for a nice dish, why not try to find one in English. This way, you will learn how to follow instructions, names of different foods, essential cooking verbs and more! A very easy and non time consuming way to add to your English vocabulary base.
Other daily practice that you might try are...
- Switching your mobile's system language into English.
- Making any notes around the house or at work in English.
- Google! Google all your essential questions in English.
- Read English news on social media or news sites
I can't recommend any single point more than the other; while I was learning French, and even now with Polish, I use several if not all of these ways all the time. Although having said that, even if you make a small daily effort to practice even one of these points, then you will surely be on your way to becoming a pro of the English language!
Thank you for being with us as we change the online face of Eurolingua, and we will see you in the next blog - rumour has it, Eurolingua is coming to London in March!
PS - Look out for our new podcast coming out later this mos from the top of a double decker bus, somewhere in London, with the song and the lyrics, and see how much you can understand.C with the song and the lyrics, and see how much you can understand.Cc with the son with the song and the lyrics, and see how much you can understand.Cccc
English - Polish index -
To extend - rozbudować, poszerzyć
Content - treść, zawartość
Niche - nisza
To follow along - podążać za
To Brush up on - polepszyć
To be short of - mieć mało czegoś, skończyć coś
Instantly - od razu
To pick up - tu: nauczyć się
Willing - chętny
Key phrases - kluczowe wyrażenia
Repetitive - powtarzalny
In-depth - dogłębny, szczegółowy
To drill in - dosł. wwiercać (się), tu: wyuczyć, wpoić
Passively - biernie
A cuppa - British English: a cup of tea - filiżanka herbaty
Obvious - oczywisty
Essential - niezbędny, istotny
Several - kilka
Rumour - plotka