10 ways you can use English in your daily life
Hello English learners!
I hope your English learning journey is going well so far!
But, do you want to take it one step further?
Incorporate English into your daily life! That is the fastest way to fluency!
If you only use English where you are in the classroom, it will take you years to be able to think in English naturally and speak English confidently!
So, today, we will teach you how to make English a part of your daily life and by doing so, fast-track your English learning journey.
So, what are you waiting for? Fasten your seatbelt and let’s begin our English learning adventure ✈️
1. Read English books!
There’s something for everyone!
There are so many genres available at every reading level, so you undoubtedly will be able to find something that you like that’s suitable for your level.
If you still feel intimidated, you can also read a book which you have read the Indonesian translation of. For example, if you’ve read the Indonesian translation of Harry Potter, now you can reread the books in English.
This way, you know what to expect and you might be able to slowly build your vocabulary too!
Also, there is no shame in starting from the very basic stuff! Read children’s books if you want to start from a very basic level!
Remember, it’s never too late to start!
A good resource for finding FREE English books is Project Gutenberg, you can access it here.
For the ultimate reading experience, you can combine both reading and listening to the audio version of the book, so you can learn the correct pronunciation of words too and be even more immersed with the story!
Who knows, you might feel inspired to write after you’ve read several books! Perhaps you can be the next JK Rowling? 👀
2. Listen to English podcast!
Again, you will undoubtedly be able to find something that suits your interest!
Once a niche entertainment, now there are podcasts for every genre under the sun!
Many news broadcasters also have a podcast, such as The BBC and The Economist. These might be particularly useful for those still on elementary level of English as news broadcasters usually use simple, to the point way of speaking.
There are also many podcasts out there dedicated to help you learn English, such as VOA Learning English which read news at a slower pace and uses shorter sentences and Learn English Through Listening, which demonstrates spoken English in everyday situations.
You can listen to podcasts while going about your day, such as listening while you’re on your daily commute or even while doing household chores!
Do this every day and you’d be surprised how much your listening comprehension will improve in just one month’s time!
3. Watch English shows!
With the availability of Netflix, it’s easier than ever to watch foreign shows!
At the time of writing. Netflix features many shows considered ‘classic’ in western pop culture, such as ‘Friends’ and ‘Modern Family’ which you can watch to really immerse yourself with western pop culture and be able to understand people’s references in internet memes.
However, Netflix has also come out with many great shows that they produce themselves. Comedy lovers can watch ‘The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’ a show about a woman who was kept in a bunker since her adolescence in the 90s and now has to navigate through the modern world. iPhone was not a thing when she started being kept in the bunker!
If you’re into gripping mystery but coupled with wholesome friendships, you might be interested in ‘Stranger Things’, a show where a group of friends try to uncover a mysterious experiment after weird things started happening in their town.
Or, if you’re into drama, you can watch ‘The Crown’, a show based on Queen Elizabeth II’s reign.
How will watching TV shows help me learn English, you might ask?
You can start learning English at every level!
You can start watching with Indonesian subtitles or with English subtitles if you already feel confident with your English.
And, when you’re ready for the challenge…
Try watching without subtitles altogether!
This way, you can gradually train yourself to listen and read at the same time, this might be hard at first but you’ll be surprised at how much your reading speed can improve!
4. Join an English speaking community (or five!)
We don’t necessarily mean a community of English learners, even though that’s also a good idea!
Ask yourself, what is your hobby/interest?
No matter how niche, we have no doubt that you’ll be able to find a community of like-minded people on the internet.
From gaming to anime, k-pop, and even gardening, sewing or perhaps woodworking, you’ll be able to find your tribe!
You can try joining Facebook groups, Discord servers, or Twitter communities to talk about the things you like.
Even if you don’t understand English very well, at least you already speak another common language that unites your group (that is, your love of x,y,z) and over time, you can build your confidence and understanding of English and be able to participate more in your community.
If you join a discord server, they usually have a dedicated audio call channel, so not only can you chat with each other in English via traditional message (texting), you can actually speak with each other!
5. Start journaling in English
Well, to put it simply, it’s basically writing a diary.
The great thing about journaling is that you can do it as simply or as creatively as you want!
And for the purpose of learning English, writing a journal can make you more aware of your grammar use, in particular your tenses.
Are you writing in the correct tense? Are you describing a past event? A present event? Your wish for the future?
For the creatives out there, you can make your journal really pretty with printed photos, stickers, illustrations, and using multi-colored pens.
However, if you prefer simplicity, you can even journal on your phone! There are many journaling apps out there and most of them are free and many come with a built-in feature to set a reminder every day so you don’t forget to write your journal.
You can simply write about your day, or, if you want to write more, you can google journaling prompts and you’ll come across some questions to get you started!
6. Listen to English songs
Perhaps most of you are already doing this and if you have indeed been listening to English songs, congrats! You are already in the right direction!
Not only does it teach you listening skills, if you sing along, you also learn pronunciations too!
Some songs are quite straightforward, but there are songs with hidden meanings, unusual choice of phrases, and maybe even a poem-like lyrics! This would allow you to express yourself better!
You will undoubtedly discover new vocabulary and learn different styles of lyric-writing!
Now, that will undoubtedly help you be that much closer to understanding and speaking English like a native!
Not to mention that listening and singing along to songs boost our dopamine, the happy chemical!
Maybe you will discover your inner rock star or perhaps you have a hidden talent in songwriting?
7. Watch English movies
Like watching TV shows, watching movies will definitely help you improve your English too!
Through movies, you can observe spoken English in a variety of contexts, from an extremely formal one down to the use of slang!
You will learn the correct pronunciation of words and if you watch the movies with subtitles, you also indirectly train yourself to read fast!
Not only that, watching English movies will also make you that much more immersed with western pop culture!
With limitless genres to choose from, you will undoubtedly find something you like!
Watching English movies is definitely a great, accessible way to expose yourself to English in your daily life! So, go on, go to the cinema, watch a movie on the telly, or stream it from your preferred streaming service! Now you can use learning English as an excuse to learn English for hours on end ;)
8. Watch English speaking YouTuber or YouTube videos narrated in English
YouTube really is a game changer when it comes to creative freedom!
Through YouTube, EVERYONE can upload videos of themselves to be watched from around the world! From high-end production with multi-people teams or ordinary people like you and I just talking about our interests and uploading it to YouTube. It’s truly revolutionary!
Before YouTube, such opportunities were virtually impossible!
So, how does that benefit you as an English learner?
Now, you have access to MILLIONS of videos on your fingertip, for free!
There are countless channels dedicated to learning English on YouTube, which of course you can watch. But if you find them a tad bit boring or if you are already on intermediate or advanced proficiency and want more challenging videos, there are definitely other options to explore!
Here are some channels you can visit:
Perhaps you’ve come across TED-talks?
This channel is where those TED-talks are from!
What is TED-talk?
TED-talk is basically a video to share knowledge, information, and ideas. The speakers are experts in their fields. The videos are insightful and often inspirational. You can find videos from a lot of different topics including science, psychology, technology, business, creativity, self-development, and many more!
What’s great about it is that aside from having English subtitles, most of the videos also have subtitles from other languages, including Indonesian!
Don’t let the difficult to pronounce channel name scare you!
The channel name is derived from a German word, translated to “in a nutshell” – basically explaining what might be considered a difficult topic in a simple manner. Fret not! Even though the channel got its name from a German word, the contents itself are in English!
So, don’t worry! This channel uses accessible, easy to understand words! Not only that, all videos have English subtitles and subtitles in a few other languages. Some videos have Indonesian subtitles!
What is the channel about?
The channel explores the universe, human and humanity, space, biology, medicine, basically anything and everything science with a dash of philosophy thrown in!
Again, don’t let the heavy topic scare you! Kurzgesagt’s narrator’s style of explaining and trademark humor and its interesting style of animation is sure to keep you entertained!
Crash course, as the name suggests, is a learning channel. It covers A LOT of subjects from maths, economics, history, social sciences, media studies, and of course, English! Although in this channel, you won’t learn anything about grammar. Rather, their English subject covers English literature!
You can choose any subjects to boost your understanding of what you learn in school and even just watch something that interests you! Each subjects has an engaging narrator who have relevant degree and experience in their expertise.
The great news? Some videos have Indonesian subtitles! So now you can learn English whilst boosting your grade in other subjects at school. Now that’s what I call a win win!
Arguably the world’s most famous broadcasting company, BBC has a dedicated YouTube channel to help you learn English! This channel is really an all rounder channel too – it helps you with grammar, vocabulary, and speaking!
BBC Learning English uses a variety of different formats and contexts to help you master English easily and effectively. From day to day life to trivia and using crime drama to learn English, BBC Learning English has it all!
BBC Learning English also has a unique segment where they dissect vocabulary featured in news headlines! You can learn English while keeping up to date with current affairs!
9. Interact using English through social media
With the rise of social media, you are no longer confined to only interacting with people you know in real life. Not only can you meet more people, you can also follow social media pages that match your interests. From fashion and beauty, gaming, interior design, technology, and even gardening, you’ll be able to find your tribe!
So, follow these pages and leave comments in English! Reply to other people’s comments too! Who knows, it might be the start of a beautiful friendship!
Also, don’t be shy to post status updates in English too! You’ll get used to writing in English in no time!
10. Find someone you can speak English with daily
This is by far the fastest way to get you confident in speaking English! We know that it’s not always easy to find someone you can speak English with, but there’s always a way! You can ask around to see if you have any friend or family who is also on their English learning journey. Alternatively, you can join an English learning group on the internet which often encourages its members to speak in English regularly.
Better yet, join a reputable English course which allows you to practise your English with expert teachers so you can rest assured that you are speaking English clearly and correctly. Don’t worry, we can help ;)
What do you notice from the tips above?
They are all about finding something YOU enjoy!
This way, you can incorporate English into your daily life seamlessly!
It goes without saying however that consistency is key!
So, pick up one (or ideally all!) of the tips above and do it consistently, and you should be able to see improvement in your English in a reasonably short time!
Of course, those tips are NOT a replacement for a proper English course, but an easy supplement to truly enhance your English learning journey.
However, a proper course would be more helpful for you to truly understand grammar, improve your vocabulary, and have a consistent person to brush up your conversation skills and especially recommended if you are trying to learn English for specific purposes, such as to improve your academic writing or to prepare for an English fluency test like IELTS and TOEFL.
Don’t worry though, we can help you with those ;)
Do you want to speak English with confidence?
Most people lack confidence when they speak English. They are afraid to make mistakes and are embarrassed to speak in front of others.
This is because they have been taught English the wrong way!
Most English courses waste your time and money on useless exercises that don’t bring results. Even worse, they teach you bad habits that are very difficult to unlearn.
As a result, you become confused and lack confidence. This is wrong!
At IELC, we teach English the right way
Our goal is to get you speaking in English with fluency and confidence as fast as possible. We want to give you the skills you need to fulfill your potential!
Our experienced teachers will guide you along every step of the learning process to ensure that you are not wasting your time, money, and energy on useless language exercises & wrong methods.
With our modern campus and technology, we are equipped to provide the best possible courses for children, teens, and adults, including:
We offer our classes in group classes or private classes.
No matter what your goals are, our team will help you achieve these goals by providing you with Indonesia’s best English courses!
Talk to our team today to get your FREE consultation and take your first step towards success.
IELC Managing Director