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Six tips to help you learn English quickly

Two hands holding a book with a strong light and floating alphabet letters emanating from the centre
Many people want to learn English quickly. Is that possible?


Is it possible to learn English quickly? How can you make sure you remember what you are learning? We posed these questions to Australian English teacher Virginia Lang, and she shared different strategies you can use to learn English quickly.

The pace at which a student is able to learn depends on their experience, how much time they have and their language goals. Nevertheless, Virginia Lang from Kaplan International in Melbourne has this advice for language learners who want to learn quickly:

Connect language learning with your hobbies

Finding motivation is important for sustaining your language learning:

Virginia suggests that students write out their five favourite hobbies and then consider different ways that they can learn English while engaging in those hobbies.

Chopping board with a knife, avocado, tomatoes, eggs, shallots, salad leaves and chilli
Try to find a way to learn English while doing things that you enjoy.

Unsplash CC: Katie Smith

For example, if you enjoy cooking, are there ways to learn English while cooking?

There are a number of language-related activities around cooking, including reading recipes and watching cooking videos. These are both reading and listening activities where students can practise following instructions — while making something delicious!

Meet people and maintain friendships

Meeting people face-to-face helps language learners in a number of ways:

"It tests your English. [...] You can see how you're going with it — what's being understood, what's your understanding, where your little gaps are and how you can work on them," says Virginia.
Secondly, talking to people means confronting your fears and developing the confidence to speak in public.

Four males sitting on the ground and laughing against the backdrop of a mountainside
Connecting with friends in English is one way to develop fluency quickly.

Unsplash CC: Matheus Ferrero

If you are studying overseas, it's also important to try to make friends with local and international students and work to maintain those friendships.

Develop your contextual skills when speaking

Speaking is daunting for a number of language learners because they feel that they cannot think of the words they want to express themselves.

However, Virginia notes, even native English speakers struggle to think of the right, or exact, word all the time.

"You're not always going to have the right word at the right time. You've got to develop your contextual skills and ability to improvise," says Virginia.

A person, out of focus, is speaking into a microphone to a group of people
Virginia Lang says that developing contextual skills and an ability to improvise will help students' speaking abilities.

Unsplash CC: Marcos Luiz Photograph

Work on your weaknesses

Virginia says that it is important to know and recognise the areas that you need to practise and improve on. This includes spending time on your weaknesses, even though this may make you feel uncomfortable.  

Volunteer your time

Volunteer, or perhaps get a job, where you have to speak English. Where possible, try to combine it with something that you are passionate about as well.

"You're going to improve really quickly," advises Virginia.

Two people putting plants into a wall of pot plants
Is there a way for you to volunteer your time and practise speaking in English?

Unsplash CC: Daniel Funes Fuentes

Interacting with people in English also makes time spent learning English more meaningful.

Keep trying, because it is worth it

Learning a new language as an adult is not easy.

Virginia recognises that learners can't always express their thoughts and opinions in the same way as their native tongue. This can perhaps feel frustrating and strange but "you'll get there eventually," says Virginia.

Learn English Hacks is a Facebook Live series featuring Australian teachers where they discuss challenges learners face and how to overcome them. For more information, visit our Learn English Facebook page.