It is commonly known that English is one of the most difficult languages to learn. However, there are some ways that you can learn the language more easily and increase your comprehension in addition to taking lessons directly.
Learning English can be challenging, but it is definitely doable and can even be easy. From talking to native English speakers to utilizing internet resources and other English-language media, there are 22 tricks that you can utilize to make it easier for yourself.
As an English language certified teacher with almost 20 years of public school experience, I’ve been able to put to practice the best methods and tools for learning the language. Of course this article is in English, but you would be surprised at how many teachers research the topic and how many students use tools to translate articles just like this and learn from the process. So, read on to find out more.
- 1 Talk with English Speakers as Often as Possible to Learn English Easily
- 2 Travel to English Speaking Countries
- 3 To Learn English Easily You Need to Utilize English News Media
- 4 Subscribe to English Podcasts
- 5 Listen to English Songs to Learn English Easily
- 6 Another Trick for Easy English- Watching English TV Shows
- 7 Watch Interviews in English
- 8 Using Language Learning Apps or Software Is Easy
- 9 Find an Online Course to Help You Learn English Easily
- 10 Set Aside Specific Times for Studying
- 11 Set Tangible and Realistic Goals
- 12 Don’t Overwhelm Yourself with Things You Do Not Need
- 13 Keep How You Will Use English in Mind
- 14 When Learning English Do Not Hyper Focus on Grammar Rules
- 15 It’s Easy To Keep Notes on Things You Find Interesting About English
- 16 Create English Flashcards with a Twist
- 17 Never Translate Items Word for Word
- 18 Read in English as Much as Possible
- 19 Ask as Many Questions as Possible
- 20 Change Your Phone to English – It’s Easy
- 21 Do Things You Already Love in English
- 22 The Last Trick- Stop Trying to be Perfect!
- 23 The Final Talking Point to 22 Tricks to Learn English Easily
Talk with English Speakers as Often as Possible to Learn English Easily
One of the best ways to learn a new language is to use it as often as possible in a natural setting. While you can learn grammatically correct English from courses, you will only learn true conversational English by having conversations. If you know someone who speaks English fluently, speak to them as much as possible in the language.
While learning how to read and write English is important, if you cannot speak it fluently in a natural setting, it is pointless. By speaking regularly to English speakers, you can not only practice what you have learned but you will become more comfortable with using the language in your normal day.
Speaking English as often as you can in daily life is the best way to learn the language.
English is one of the top languages chosen to learn as a second language. Read my article here to find out what the others are.
Travel to English Speaking Countries
Once again, one of the best ways to ensure that you are learning conversational English is to visit an area that speaks English. When studying abroad in areas that speak the language, you are going beyond the simple need to learn English but must use it to fully enjoy your stay. This allows you to use the language in a variety of setting such as restaurants, hotels, tours, shops, and more.
Some great countries that you can travel to that speak English primarily are:
- The United States
- New Zealand
- The UK
- South Africa
All of those countries have incredibly different climates, natural wonders, and sights to see, so you’ll never get bored!
To Learn English Easily You Need to Utilize English News Media
There are several ways that you can find English based media online that can help you practice your comprehension of the language. You can find articles, blogs, websites, news pieces, and more online that are all written in English. Searching for online resources that are written in English and doing your best to decipher these can help you with comprehension.
Often, you can translate your favorite news sources, magazines, and more into English by changing the language being used on the website. This is a great way to read the piece in your native language and then again in English to see if you can comprehend what is being written. As your language comprehension improves, you can begin solely reading items in English.
Subscribe to English Podcasts
Going hand in hand with our previous tip, there are countless podcasts that you can listen to that are in English. You can find more educational podcasts that are language learning based or simply find a podcast that meets your interests. When you listen to the podcast it will help you judge your comprehension and allow you to hear more conversational English.
You can also find some English language learning based podcasts that are available online and can help you with the learning process. It is important to be patient with yourself as this can take some time for you to understand the podcast fully and you may have to relisten several times. A basic way to ensure that your utilizing podcasts fully are to follow these steps:
- Begin by just listening to the podcast as background noise. Try to understand as much as you can but more so just listen for words you know.
- Listen a second time and more deeply listen. You can begin trying to piece together words and understand sentences.
- See if the episode transcript is available, read along with the podcast as you listen.
- Use the transcript as you listen to try to practice new phrases. This will help you with learning conversational skills and common phrases.
Listen to English Songs to Learn English Easily
One of the quickest ways to pick up on a new language is learning the music. While you may not understand the full translation, picking up on songs is quick and often much easier. Also, music can make speaking English feel more natural as music is truly universal.
You can find countless free English language music options online. Almost everyone has a singer that they know of or love that sings primarily in English. Many singers also offer both English and native language options, which can be a great starting point.
If you want to benefit more fully from listening to the music, you can print the lyrics or download a lyrics app. This will allow you to see the lyrics for the song you are listening to and pickup on what is being sung more.
A somewhat odd but great way to practice English is to listen to children’s songs, especially those that are reading and grammar based. Children’s music is repetitive, uses basic grammar, simplified vocabulary, and catchy tunes. All of this makes it a good choice for learning English. This 100 Singalong Songs for Kids is a popular option on Amazon.
Another Trick for Easy English- Watching English TV Shows
You can find some absolutely amazing English television shows that allow you to hear English being used in a conversational way. If you subscribe to any streaming services, you can usually find English based television shows. You can even change the language to English on many of your favorite movies or television shows.
Some ways to make English television shows more beneficial are:
- Watch in your native language and use English subtitles. This will allow you to understand the content but see the phrases in English.
- Watch in English and use your native language subtitles. This will allow you to hear the language while also understanding the content by reading the subtitles.
- Find a series that you love and stick with it. The more you watch a series, the more likely you will be to pick up on their mannerisms and common phrases.
- Use Language Learning Extensions from Popular Providers. Both Netflix and Hulu offer language learning supports that you can utilize to help learn.
Watch Interviews in English
Whether you have a favorite actor, actress, sports player, musician, or other celebrity you love, there are almost always interviews with these individuals online. Once you find someone that you love and are fairly familiar with, look for English interviews with this person. This can help you see conversational English in action, and it is often easier to understand because you are familiar with the individual.
Also, interviews often contain slang or common phrases that are harder to pick up on. You can hear these being used in a conversational way.
Using Language Learning Apps or Software Is Easy
One of the best ways to learn English quickly and inexpensively is to utilize the online language learning technology available today. There are several apps and online resources that you can get for relatively low cost and are very beneficial. These tech items are used to help users increase and maintain English proficiency.
Of course, a commonly used software is Rosetta Stone and it has been working for people everywhere for years. However, some other options that you can utilize to learn English are Fluenz, Duolingo, Grammarly Premium, and more. You can download software, or many are available through smartphone apps and can be used easily each day.
Find an Online Course to Help You Learn English Easily
Going hand in hand with the previous tip, you can find courses online that are often less expensive but still very beneficial. While you may have in person courses in your area, which are great, these can be costly and may require you to be enrolled in a school or more long-term program. Instead, online courses can be more tailored to fit your needs and you can often do them at a rate that fits your needs.
You can search online for courses that meet your needs and start at your current skill level. You can also discus your end goal and find an option that works best for you. Whether you want to be fluent in both grammatical and conversational English or simply want to speak the language, there are options out there for practically everyone.
The course I would most recommend for speaking, reading, and listening is definitely the one at these links. Whether you are wanting to help a friend or to learn more for yourself these are an all in one stop for your English learning needs. Click here to begin your free trial in English, or you can click here if you are needing an English course specifically for Spanish Speakers.
Set Aside Specific Times for Studying
If you are not actively studying or doing activities to learn English, you simply will not learn it. While you may be able to maintain what you do know, you will never become fluent without studying. You should set aside a certain amount of time each day to study or do English language learning activities.
While it may not be realistic for you to study hours every day, you can at least do one of our previous mentioned activities each day or every other day to enhance your English language learning. This will not be the same schedule for every individual but a basic pattern you could follow is:
- One day a week spend an hour or two doing an online course or more diligent English studying. This will involve note taking and be more grammar based.
- One or two days a week, watch an English language podcast, YouTube video, movie, television show, etc. This would be great to do while getting ready each morning from your smartphone or even in the evening as you wind down from the day.
- When possible, do a quick study session in the morning. Read an article, do a grammar quiz, do a quick lesson, or listen to English songs. This small bit of English each day will give you a refresher and will not take much time.
- Whenever possible, speak to a native English speaker or friend who knows the language. Practice conversational English whenever you can!
Set Tangible and Realistic Goals
Adding to this, you will want to set goals that make sense for your study needs and can be tangibly managed. Creating and meeting goals will keep you properly motivated and research shows that motivation is key for truly learning (i.e. acquiring) English.
You should take your main goal, which may be becoming fluent in English, and break it into mini-goals, or milestones. These can be as complex or simple as you would like, but it should be something you are actively working towards.
When you fixate on the final result, it can become overwhelming and simply does not fit your overall needs. You will instead want to set smaller milestones that will lead to the final result you are hoping for. These can be daily goals, weekly, monthly, etc. but it can be beneficial to write down your goals and monitor your success.
Some goals you may use are:
- “This week I will do something to study English every single day.” Write down the ways you did this and actively try to find beneficial ways of using the language.
- “I will study commonly used phrases and incorporate these into daily routines within the next three months.” This can be even further broken down into categories, such as sports phrases, weather phrases, daily introductions, and more.
- “In six months, I want to be able to write an English email to my business partners.”
- “In a year, I want to travel to an English-speaking country and speak fluently to those living there.”
- “In a month, I want to be able to understand the English based television show I am watching fully.”
Whichever goal you set, make sure it is SMART. The education world has adopted this acronym first coined in 1981 by George T. Doran, a consultant and former director of corporate planning for Washington Water Power Company.
By Doran’s definition, smart goals are ‘S’pecific, ‘M’easurable, ‘A’chievable, ‘R’elevant, and ‘T’ime-bound. And you want to make sure your language goals are SMART.
All that you will gain by setting unrealistic, un-smart goals is frustration!
Don’t Overwhelm Yourself with Things You Do Not Need
This is a major thing to keep in mind because learning a new language can become very overwhelming. While we have several tips on our list today, you do not have to do every single one of them. Instead of subscribing to every English newsletter, signing up for several courses, or downloading a hundred apps, just use what you need.
You may want to start small, with one television show or podcast, one app, and one online course. Then add to your list of language learning resources as you go or as you need them. Do not overwhelm yourself with too much on your plate at once because this can often cause you to shut down or overspend on learning.
Keep How You Will Use English in Mind
While extending your knowledge levels is always a great thing to do and you can truly never stop learning, you probably have a reason why you want to learn English. You will want to keep why you are learning English in mind when setting goals and getting new resources. A great starting point is to keep in mind the reasons why you are learning English and go from there.
Some common reasons why many learn the language are:
- To Study Abroad – You will probably want to focus on both grammatical and conversational English. These will both be needed to study in English and live comfortable abroad.
- Traveling – This can often allow you to focus more on conversational English and grammar rules will not be as important. When traveling you will do more speaking than reading or writing.
- Business – While conversational English-speaking abilities will be important, grammar rules will be very important for business aspects. You will want to learn English more professionally to ensure you appear professional during meetings, emails, or other business ventures.
I’ve addressed this in another article you may want to read as well.
When Learning English Do Not Hyper Focus on Grammar Rules
While it is important to learn basic English grammar rules, you do not want to overly focus on these rules. English is a very difficult language to learn and a lot of this is due to the grammar rules needed for the language. However, you can learn to speak English without focusing highly on these grammar rules.
When you first begin, you should focus more on learning vocabulary and grammar will become more natural over time. Instead, focus more on picking up new words and conversational phrases. Then later you can focus more highly on grammar.
It’s Easy To Keep Notes on Things You Find Interesting About English
As you are learning new things, it is important to note things that are interesting and any new words that you may pickup along the way. Keeping a list of vocabulary that you know or that stands out to you can be a great thing to refer back to over time. You can even go as far as to write vocabulary into categories to better organize what you know and look back on these words at a later date.
Those who are learning English probably recognize that there are several odd phrases and slang terms that are used, and these can even be location specific. When listening to podcasts or watching television shows, you can take note of these phrases. Having a notebook full of new vocabulary words and phrases you find interesting can be great to refer back to and even challenge yourself to use these.
Tip: The small spiral versions are a favorite for categorizing vocabulary and helpful to those who would like to carry them from home to school to work.
Create English Flashcards with a Twist
Flashcards can be a great learning tool but it is also important that you know the context of the word. You can read an English word time and again, but without knowing what it means, you are doing nothing. However, you can create flashcards that have the word and the definition or even an image of the word.
Another commonly used education tool that can be great for beginners is labeling items around your home that you see daily. For example, placing a label with the word door, clock, refrigerator, television, etc. on the item in your home. This will not only help you remember the names for these items but can help you memorize spelling.
Of course, there are also several websites and apps that offer flashcard type activities that help you learn new vocabulary or phrases.
Some commonly used options are:
- Word Power Lite
Also check online for lists of commonly used words and printable flashcards that are already created for you. This can save you time and offer you great vocabulary options. Sometimes these are free, but of course, free is limited and often not as reliable.
If you would prefer to purchase ready-made cards, that’s always an option and it’s not difficult to find cost-effective yet quality material. Some popular cards on Amazon are Olefun Flash Cards that incorporate sight words with scenes and motion, and Barron’s 1100 Words You Need to Know that focus on high frequency English words and idioms.
In the language learning software that my family uses there is spaced repetition digital flash cards built right into the site. It can be immensely helpful and it integrated right into the language learning program. Start a free trial today in English or English for Spanish speakers.
Never Translate Items Word for Word
While a translator can be a great tool when you are first learning English, it can quickly become a crutch that you too heavily rely on. When it comes to translating, you want to do so only when needed. You also never want to copy an entire article and translate it fully if you are trying to challenge yourself.
When reading a new article, blog, website, etc. you will want to read over the piece on your own first and only translate as needed. If you read a sentence and know a few words, make note of this. Then translate the other words you to do not know, challenging yourself to read as much on your own as possible.
Read in English as Much as Possible
Going along with this, you want to read English as much as possible. Look at what you are already reading daily and challenge yourself to begin doing one or two of these readings in English each day. If you already browse the news each morning, begin changing the settings to English and reading as much as you can in English instead.
While this may seem a bit overwhelming, some common things that are in your daily life that you may not notice offer English learning opportunities are:
- Packaging – food packages, shampoo and conditioner bottles, toys for your children, and more almost always have some form of English on the box. Practice reading instructions in English when opening new items.
- Websites, Social Media, Blogs – we touched on this previously, but there are countless online options for English reading. Media is one of the easiest ways to experience written English.
- Classic Literature – if you have a favorite book that you have read in your native language, try reading this book again in English. This will give you a starting point and some familiarization, but it will also help you experience the language in a new way.
- Newspapers / Magazines – if you can get your hands on a newspaper or magazine written in English, this is an easy way to see English being used in a familiar way.
Ask as Many Questions as Possible
Here is my husband volunteering for an English Language Learning video project asking random people on the street questions in Washington D.C. These are the types of questions that can really boost your language learning. They are easy to ask and will lead to more and more conversations.
If you have someone in your life that speaks English fluently, ask them questions directly about things you want to know. Often correct pronunciation can be confusing, going to someone who speaks English more fluently can help in this area immensely. However, you can also find several online resources for questions you may have.
You can ask questions in learning forums, through online courses, on social media, and more. No question is a dumb question when it comes to learning a new language. Never feel scared to reach out for help from resources in your area.
Change Your Phone to English – It’s Easy
While this may be something you want to wait to do until you are a bit more fluent, changing your phone settings to English is a great way to begin navigating the language. While you probably know which apps, you have and the various features of your phone, changing the language to English can be a great way to see how you much you know.
For an even bigger challenge, change your social media platforms to English as well. You will begin seeing posts in English rather than your native language, which is a great way to practice your reading skills and comprehension skills. You will also see familiar advertisements in English, which gives you a good starting point but allows you to practice the language.
Do Things You Already Love in English
If you already play video games, watch sports, cook, read blogs, etc. daily you can begin doing these things in English. This is a great way to have some base knowledge on the concept, but you can get practice with English in an activity you already love. This can also be much less monotonous than basic studying and makes learning fun.
Some examples of how you can incorporate English into your daily routine and activities are:
- Download English Recipes – this is a great way to practice your English and your comprehension skills will be tested by your final recipe result. If you love to cook, this is a simple way to practice the language daily.
- Play Video Games in English – most video games have settings which allow you to change the language. This will allow you to practice listening to and reading English. If you live play, you can even chat with English language speakers.
- Watch Sport Events in English – if you are already familiar with the sport, listening to commentary in English can help you hear the language and often understand what is being said. This is a great way to practice understanding conversational English.
The Last Trick- Stop Trying to be Perfect!
While it can be hard not to feel down when you are not picking up on the language quickly, do not get down on yourself about this. English is not something you will learn overnight, and it can take years to master the language fully. Instead, focus on little victories and eventually you will reach your own level of perfection.
It is important to remember that even those who speak English their entire life can struggle with grammar rules and proper pronunciation. Never apologize for doing your best and remember that learning never stops, you will get better with time.
One thing to keep in mind is that if you say something and the person you are speaking to understands you, you should feel proud. The goal of learning a new language is communication and any level of communication should be celebrated.
The Final Talking Point to 22 Tricks to Learn English Easily
When it comes to learning English quickly and easily, following the 22 tips and tricks above can help immensely. Allow yourself to experience the language everyday in some way. Remember: when you pair hard work, personal goals, and a variety of experiences, it won’t be so hard for you to become fluent in English!