If you now start learning the language of Shakespeare, you probably don’t know where to start. Indeed, there are many ways to learn English and you may not be able to find it.
In this article, I show you what are the 3 best methods to learn English that you can use right now.
Table of Contents
- Learn English by watching TV serials
- Apps and software to learn English
- Use MOOCs to learn English for free
- Total immersion: Fast progress (but a bit expensive)
- Immerse yourself at home to learn English alone, quickly and without spending a lot of money!
Learn English by watching TV serials
Learning English with series is really effective! You will progress quickly while making you happy. (The TV serials helped me a lot to learn English, I’m still watching one episode a day)
Why learn English with serials?
There are many reasons why you should study English by watching your favorite episodes of The Big Bang Theory:
- First of all, you make yourself happy when you watch serials, it’s the momentary pause.
You will assimilate English naturally without much effort!
- Then, watching serials, you listen to English every day.
You will learn to speak like a true American / English student by learning common expressions and vocabulary.
- Finally, when you watch an episode, you listen to the English language. Your ear will start to distinguish sounds from English and you will make fewer pronunciation errors.
This is very important because the English language is a language that does not speak as it is written!
How to learn English by watching serials?
To learn English with serials… You have to have a serials to watch … I admit it is logical! You should have a good list of serials to watch. For this, you can go to a media library/library, you can rent or buy them (or ask your entourage listening comprehension if they have this or that serials).
Once this is done, you will have to start watching the episodes. Here is how I proceeded:
- The first 2 weeks, I advise you to watch the episodes with sound in English and subtitles in your local language. You will learn a lot of vocabulary and your ear will begin to get used to the sounds of the English language. Concentrate on the voice of the actors to get used to your ear.
- Then, for about 3 weeks, you will watch your favorite series with sound AND subtitles in English. You will make a lot of progress because you will be in a 100% English atmosphere.
You will not understand everything and that’s normal. When you learn a language, it’s impossible to know all the vocabulary at once.
We all have the habit of wanting things to be perfect, but to learn a language it is completely normal to make mistakes (mistakes will help you a lot to evolve).
- Finally, you will no longer use the subtitles. This is a very important phase because you will have to evolve to understand what the actors say and it will be done with the help of … your ears!
You will distinguish the words better and better and learn their pronunciation at the same time.
Before you start watching series, you should still learn some vocabulary. It will help you understand the general meaning of the sentences.
Apps and software to learn English
Normally, you all have a computer, an iPhone or an Android smartphone.
To learn English, you can use these great technological tools that will help you progress quickly in the English language.
I highly recommend buying the Mosalingua app (I love it!).
Thanks to this application I learned more than 3,500 words in English and I’m reviewing them again today.
Mosalingua uses the spaced repetition system to make you review the vocabulary you have already learned at the right time.
With this system, you will memorize words easier and longer.
I also used Duolingo, a free application that will help you make great progress in Shakespeare’s language.
There is a wide variety of exercises that will help you learn vocabulary and grammar, as well as comprehension and speaking exercises.
With Duolingo you can start making good progress as the application covers a lot of the basics you need to have. The progression is fast and quite simple.
Otherwise, you can use other applications such as Babbel or Busuu which are very well known. Some love them, others do not understand how to learn English effectively.
The software is usually quite expensive and some are not worth it. I chose for you the 2 best software (all tested) which, in my opinion, will allow you to evolve quickly and easily.
Rosetta Stone: this software is well known on the US side. I find it a very practical. The two strengths of this software are:
- total immersion (no content in local language)
- the possibility of being able to train one’s pronunciation.
Pimsleur: It is very effective and accurate for English speaking.
Learn English with podcasts and videos
Just like with series and apps, you can also learn English with podcasts and videos. You can find thousands of videos on Youtube and there are also many podcasts available on the internet!
There are two different choices for podcasts and videos:
- the first is to watch content that talks about learning English
- the second choice is to watch English videos of various topics that interest you.
Podcasts, you will find many … For my part, I listen to these:
- English as a Second Language,
- The English We Speak,
- Voice of America and Grammar Girl.
You can also watch TED videos , it’s great content to learn a lot of things and improve your English at the same time .
Now that you know how to learn English by watching shows, using apps and watching videos and podcasts, all you have to do is practice!
How to use podcasts and videos to progress?
To become better in English thanks to podcasts and videos, all you have to do is organize yourself and your good will . I will not dwell on that, but rather give you a concrete example.
- In the morning, in your car or on public transport listen to podcasts rather than the radio .
- During your break, at noon, in the evening, … watch one or two short videos (either a course or videos that interest you).
- When doing an activity such as housework, jogging, etc. plug in your headphones and put a podcast.
The principle is simple: try to be in touch with Shakespeare’s language most of the time. By following these tips, you will begin to speak English very quickly and much more easily than most Francophones.
Use MOOCs to learn English for free
MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Course.
What is the principle ?
The purpose of a MOOC is to offer you a lot of different subjects that you can learn for free.
Very often, these courses are taught by real teachers and are mostly free !
These MOOCs are a great way to learn English like at school.
… except that you do not need to set foot there. Admit it’s great, right?!?!
Millions of people are enrolled in MOOCs today. Here are the most famous:
- Alison – Open since 2007, many consider Alison the first MOOC.
There you will find a special section to learn English . There are a lot of easy English courses that are very interesting, for all levels (beginner, intermediate, advanced).
- MOOEC – This site is designed especially for those who are learning English! You have probably understood, the ‘E’ added in the middle of the word means ‘English’.
The lessons are usually shorter. Instead of lasting several weeks, you will find units that you can accomplish in much less time.
- FutureLearn – Many online exercises can be accomplished alone, but FutureLearn encourages you to talk with other members . Be social!
Do not worry … with over a million and a half users, you’ll find someone to communicate with in English . The courses come from more than 40 countries.
As with most MOOCs, lessons are distributed weekly for a period of time. Do not hesitate to follow them with your class.
- Udemy – On Udemy you can learn everything you want! There are more than 25’000 courses available. Although most courses are paid, you will find some classes for free. Some are at very affordable prices. Most of the English courses are not done by teachers, but they are still of a very good quality !
Total immersion: Fast progress (but a bit expensive)
If your goal is to speak English as quickly as possible, you have only one solution: to go to an English-speaking country (or to do intensive courses, but that’s not cool).
And the best thing would be to leave alone, because if you go with a friend you will always speak French and it is clearly counterproductive.
There are many advantages to going to an English speaking country:
- you will learn English that is used in everyday life,
- in addition to communicating in the language, you will also begin to think in that language,
- you will discover new people, new places and new cultures,
- you will develop your ability to manage in unknown territory,
- you will learn and progress very quickly in English.
However, there are also some disadvantages:
- it’s expensive (or very expensive),
- learning is not necessarily easy, you really have to get involved,
- you will be away from your family and friends for a while,
- for people who have a fixed job, it’s quite complicated to leave for a few months.
Immerse yourself at home to learn English alone, quickly and without spending a lot of money!
Immersion at home will never be as effective as total immersion in a country, it’s a fact.
However, you can still become better in English faster than average.
To immerse yourself in your home, it’s very simple, once again I give you a concrete example:
- In the morning, take 10 minutes to learn new words with Mosalingua or to complete a unit with Duolingo.
- Then, during your trip, listen to one or more podcasts in English.
- Throughout the day, when you have a little time, review words on Mosalingua, make a new unit on Duolingo or listen to a new podcast. Remember that repetition is an essential key in learning English or any other language.
- When you get home and you finally have time, watch one or two videos in English and before you go to sleep watch an episode of your favorite series (in English of course).
- On weekends, instead of watching any video, select a course on a grammar point that interests you and take notes to remember it .
As you can see, by introducing such a routine, you will be able to learn English very easily. The goal is not to fill the skull with complicated or other grammar rules.
In this example, you do a little grammar at the weekend to have the basics to speak and for the rest, you will assimilate naturally as you are immersed in the English language.
After reading all these tips for learning Shakespeare’s language and discovering different software and methods to learn English, you no longer have an excuse not to become better in English!
If you are looking for other trucks & tricks to improve yourself, take a look at the list below.