Is your English good, but you want to improve even more?
Do you understand what native speakers say, but have a hard time talking or responding to them?
These are very common problems in English, and so I decided to do something different for this blog post.
I asked some of the best English teachers online a simple question, and their answers were amazing!
The question I asked them was:
What is the first step someone should take if they want their English to go from “good” to “great?”
In other words, how can you, as a student and learner of English, take your skills to the next level?
Note: This is a long post, so bookmark it. Also I also made this post as a PDF that you can save and refer back to.
Here are their answers.
Shayna from Espresso English
To make your English great, make English a part of your daily life as much as possible. Make sure to work on ALL the areas of the language – reading, writing, listening, speaking, vocabulary, and grammar. You should actively put everything you learn into practice, such as by writing sentences using new words, or by speaking out loud.
Shayna is the English teacher over at Espresso English. Also, don’t forget to check out her youTube Channel where she posts lots of useful English videos on all kinds of topics like speaking and grammar.
Jennifer from English with Jennifer
A learner must engage in regular, meaningful communication in English. To do that, you have to be willing to take risks and make mistakes – often many mistakes. Don’t fear them. Learn from your mistakes by noting any corrections you receive, trying to apply what you learned in future exchanges, and asking questions when you have doubts about the language. Don’t use the excuse that you’re not in an English-speaking country. Find opportunities. There are many online. Surround yourself with good models. Read, write, listen, and speak as much as possible.
Jack from To Fluency
In order to take your English from good to great, the first step is to evaluate how much progress you’ve made during the previous year. If you’re not happy with this progress, you need to make changes.
Shanthi from English With a Twist
The first step anyone should take is to accept that perfection doesn’t exist. You’re never NOT going to make mistakes in English. But here’s the thing…Mistakes don’t make you any less successful in the eye of the other person. They make you human. Instead, what you need to do is to work at being a better communicator in English. And that doesn’t mean perfect grammar or an extensive vocabulary bank. A better communicator in English is all about using simple but clear language, exploring the language around you and trying it out. It’s about finding different ways of getting your message across even with the simplest of words. It’s about thinking of your reader, your listener and ensuring your thoughts have a good structure that’s easy to understand. It’s also about using non-verbal language to get your message across. A great communicator is someone who listens and responds.
Sam from English for Study
Taking your English from good to great is not an easy task. If your English is ‘good’, you’re already able to hold conversations, and you can write fairly well. Sure you make mistakes, and at times you might feel like your English is too simple, but, generally, your English ability is enough…
So what can you do to take your English from good to great?
Simple… Use English every day. Make English a prominent part of your life. Use it to communicate with people, use it to read movie and product reviews, and use it to read the news and articles. Make English a part of your daily life and challenge yourself by watching and listening to programs created for English speakers. Yes, it’s simple, but it isn’t exactly easy… But when you become a ‘great English speaker’, you’ll know that you worked hard to get there.
In my opinion, a very powerful first step to taking your English from good to great is to spend some time reflecting and clarifying WHY being a great speaker is important to you. Once you’re armed with a strong and emotionally connected WHY, it suddenly becomes much more of a priority, and thus a lot easier to set clear and inspiring goals, and take the appropriate action to achieve them.
Kim from English with Kim
To take your English from good to great, you need to start thinking about how you can use the language to interact more confidently and communicate more effectively with other people. When your English is good, you often collect vocabulary and grammar concepts in order to express your ideas as clearly as possible. If you want your English to be great, you need to shift your focus from how *you* speak to how you can facilitate communication with others and keep them interested in talking with you.
To do this, start paying attention to the way conversations naturally flow in English. You’ll start to notice that native speakers follow an invisible script or routine that guides the conversation; you need to learn this language. Learning how to express yourself politely, show interest and respect through your words and tone, and react and respond fluently to other people will help you take your English from good to great. An excellent place to start is learning how to ask better questions. Whether you learn to ask more indirect questions, choose better ways to ask for clarification, or practice more interesting, engaging questions in casual conversation, mastering better questions will leave a great impression on your listener.
Patrice Palmer from Teacherpreneur.ca
I have had a 21 year career as an ESL teacher in Canada and Hong Kong. When I think about the students that I have had who have gone from good to great, they did a few things differently from other students. First of all, these students had a “I can do this” attitude. This means that they believed in their abilities to learn English. I have had some students tell me that they were “not good at languages” or that “they can’t learn grammar”. These are excuses. Remember that we all start somewhere. Having a growth mindset (“I can learn this”) as opposed to a fixed mindset (“I can’t learn this”) is key.
The other difference that I have noticed with the students who go from good to great is that they find opportunities to use the language. In Canada, this is easy but if you are learning English as an additional language, it can be more challenging to practice with other English speakers. My advice is to be creative. For example, there are many online tutors now. Get online and practice. Or if you prefer face-to-face, organize your own meet-up where people gather for the sole purpose of speaking English. Learning a new language is hard and it is even harder to go from good to great; however, believe in yourself and practice as much as possible. You will quickly see your own improvement.
In order to take your English from good to great you have to start immersing yourself in the language; communicating with Natives, listening, speaking, reading and writing and thinking in English every day.
And Finally, Me
If you want to take your English from good to great, I first recommend building consistent habits. For example, study English for 30 minutes every day at the same time (before work, after work, etc.). It’s hard in the beginning, but once you have the habit down, it will become almost automatic. If you need extra motivation, make a bet with a close friend or partner. Here is an example: you promise your friend or partner that you will study English 30 minutes every day. Every day that you skip or do not study for 30 minutes – you do not complete your promise – you have to pay your partner $5. The point here is to create motivation; you don’t have to make bets or pay money, but get creative – making your English great takes time, and not every day is easy. So develop habits and stick with it. You got this!
Don’t forget to check out my youTube channel.
First, thanks to all the teachers who shared their advice on how to help your English go from good to great. Don’t forget to check out their websites by clicking their links!
Second, thank you for reading this! It was a long read, and so I have also made this article into a downloadable PDF.
Click here to download the PDF of this post, and save it to your computer.
Third, if you liked this article, share it with at least one friend! You can also share it on Facebook and Twitter.
Fourth, if you have any questions, email me.
Whose advice do you like the most? Feel free to leave a comment in the comment section below.
Until next time!