How can you improve your English and become bilingual?
Here are the ways I became bilingual and I’m sure these will work for you, your friends and children in school as well! If you have any questions, please do email me.
From the first steps of learning key words, to speaking out loud, and testing yourself to meeting up with other learners. Here are your simple steps to success. If you are interested in any of my resources please visit my shop to find out more.
The first step is vocabulary and grammar
- Day 1: Take a notebook and write ten news words on the first page, Chinese on the left and English on the right. Learn these by heart, covering the righthand column and then the left hand column. Continue working on the words until they are perfect, including being able to spell them.
- Day 2: Test yourself on the words from day one and learn ten news ones.
- Days 3 to 6: Repeat and continue throughout the week.
- On Day 7: Learn ten new words. Revise the words from the previous day. Revise the words from the previous week.
Repeat and continue throughout the month.
At the end of the month learn ten new words, revise the words from the previous day, revise the words from the previous week and revise the words from the previous month.
Include short phrases or metaphors in this list, not just single vocabulary words.
Where grammar is an issue work with full sentences but perhaps just do five for that day rather than ten vocabulary words.
Reading is important
Simultaneously read something every day. Reading is essential. Do not read only the same newspaper or online news publication but instead vary your reading sources to include the greatest British and American authors. Nothing will enrich your knowledge of English more than reading great authors.
Why not try learning with movies? Even if you don't understand everything, the subconscious mind will put the pieces together while you watch.
Writing is key to evaluating your skills
If you can, take a private tutor, join a group or a course and study English formally, even if only once a week. Being forced to hand in translations and do written tests is a way to be evaluated and take care of the writing skill.
If there is no budget for a tutor or class here is an idea. Read out and record a passage from a book. Next play back the passage and write it out. Check for spelling errors with the original text. Any words with errors should be included in your daily vocabulary learning notebook. Redo the same passage a week later and see if you make the same errors.
Find a penfriend and exchange news and emails with someone who would like to learn Chinese. They write to you in Chinese and you reply in English. One can find this type of person using language exchange websites. Shyness is not too much of an issue since you never actually meet the person.
Speaking out loud is important
For speaking fluency work on a speech, which you may copy from internet or simply work on reading out passages from your book aloud. Read the same passage out loud as many times as you need to until you can do this fluently, without hesitation, and with expression and meaning. That alone is an excellent fluency activity that may be done by a shy man alone in his room! You could also try singing along to some songs via YouTube.
Why not try our games and actives designed for teens and adults.
Now there comes a time to plunge into real conversations in English. Take a private tutor for conversation. Put an ad in the local shop for a native speaker wanting to learn Chinese and meet once a week or more for half an hour in Chinese and half an hour in English. There are also language exchange sites where one may do this online via Skype.
FINALLY it is much much more effective to do 10 minutes per day than 60 minutes once a week. Little and often is the secret to success for language learning.