How to improve my English?

This is part of an effort to pay a debt I’m owing to my relatives and friends. Many often ask me how to improve their English, and no matter how hard I try I know for sure that my answers are not different from what they can find from Google.

Well this time it’s something different, I hope.
Want to improve your English? Go jogging.

I’m serious. Go jogging. In the park, not on the treadmill. And alone.

Go jogging. In the park. And go with no one else, so that you can talk to yourself as much as you like. Whatever you wish. Whichever way you want to. As long as it’s in English (or Tamil or Mandarin, if you want to learn one of these) and not your mother tongue if you happen to have one.

For an easy start you can choose things which you REALLY want to say and things which are not easily shared with others. You can whisper to your spouse, your parents what you wanna say to them. You can scold your dog, or someone who doesn’t please you.  You can give true and bitter advice to others without hurting them (well they never listen anyway.) You can say whatever you want about your company, without feeling the bitterness of dishonesty, or fearing you’ll be fired, or feeling strange eyes upon you if you happen to (honestly) protect the company instead of some individuals.

I’m sure you’ll be more creative than myself about these. Tell me what you will say, OK?

Remember. In English. Spoken but not too loud. Pay attention to your tone and pronunciation. If you don’t know what to say, find out how to say it when you’re back home. If you don’t bother doing this, it means you don’t REALLY want to say it.

I hope in the next post I will be able to explain the secrets behind it. But the fact is that 78% of those who actually practice this feel that their English (or Tamil or Mandarin) improve significantly after several months. For more about statistics, see this.

One Comment

  1. Trung Tu:

    One more thing I’d like to contribute old boy ;), if you don’t mind. Don’t try to translate your native tounge into English because if you can’t find a compatible word, you get stuck and panic. Try to think in English as it gives you the flexibility to exress your thinking in English and then you can transform it into speaking, that’s how I used to learn English.

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