5 Ways to Keep Up Your English When the Sun is Shining
To learn a language, it’s important to keep practicing, whether there is snow on the ground or the sun is shining! But we’re all human, and sometimes when the sun gets brighter and the days get warmer, the outdoors can feel irresistible. Here are some ways to get the best of both worlds and continue your language improvement outside under the sun.
Read a Book
One of the simplest, yet most pleasurable ways to enjoy the weather is to read a book in the sun. Get comfortable on a bench in the park, a deckchair on the beach, or a towel in your backyard and immerse yourself in a book in English. You can bring a pocket dictionary – or, of course, your phone – to look up words you don’t know, but oftentimes you can guess the meaning based on context, and it’s actually helpful to try to read without looking up every word so you can appreciate the flow of the language and work on understanding unfamiliar words from context. In fact, it doesn't even have to be a book – newspapers, magazines, and addicting gossip columns will all give you a chance to expose yourself to new words!
If you want to be a bit more active, why not visit a local park, nature reserve or public gardens? You can have a stroll in the sun while getting to know your new surroundings. And while you are there, set yourself a challenge to find one thing for each letter of the alphabet. You don’t necessarily need to collect these items, but keep a note so that you don’t lose track. For example, you might find an apple tree, a ball, a caterpillar, and a dog. Keep going until you get to the letter ‘z’. You can play this game on your own, but it is lots of fun if you split up into groups. Whichever group completes the hunt first, wins.
Listen to a Podcast
Take your phone or mp3 player for a jog. Tuning in to your favorite podcast is a great way to learn common English phrases and become familiar with slang terms that you might not learn in formal lessons. If you prefer to listen while enjoying a picnic, or simply lazing in the sun, that’s fine too! You can pick a podcast dedicated to English language learning, or just any podcast that interests you; the important thing is that you hear the language and adapt your listening ear.
Read Road Signs and Maps
Take a day trip to somewhere a little further than you would usually travel. And rather than getting a taxi or using public transport, make your own way there by using a map (in English, of course!) and following road signs. The actual destination might be something as simple as a new café; the actual fun of the exercise is finding your way there. This activity will force you to learn local place names and you’ll be surprised at how quickly you will get to know your way around.
Go Out with a Friend
Spend a day in the sun with a friend, but ban any talk in your native language. For your whole time out, you must converse in English. You can go anywhere you like, too, but you have to keep up the English talk. You’ll be amazed how much more quickly your English improves just by practicing it over a coffee, walking and talking with your friends, or finding any excuse to speak it.
f you happen to be in an English-speaking country, it’s of course much easier to find ways to practice English and you will improve much more quickly just by living every day in the language. Consider studying at one of our schools all over the world to fully immerse yourself. But, even from your home country, any practice is better than none!