There is no shortage of tips about improving English language skills. You can find even 100 tips about it. So, I am not perhaps going to give you more tips. What I am doing in this article is to share my ideas that I have got from trying to teach a group of people for the last two months. I basically used, Facebook, Skype and this website (Search English) and have seen some good improvements.
There are 4 skills- listening, speaking, reading and writing. I would say that there is another important skill that we do not count- the skill of having interest or motivation. If you do not have it then it will become very difficult to move forward. So, I feel that before thinking of the traditional four skills, you should think a lot about how you can make yourself motivated to try to learn English seriously. At the same time, you must think of keeping your interest for a long time.
If you start with a lot of interest but then lose it within a week then you cannot get good result. This is indeed a very big challenge for most learners. In fact, I feel that in my country, the major cause for not being able to be skilled in English is the lack of interest among learners. So, it is important to find out what interests you and what not.
All right, let us come to the traditional four skills now. First of all, try to listen as much as possible. I would recommend listening to conversation of real life people. We have skype conversation every night where very ordinary people join and speak to each other. However, if you do not have access to such facility then I would recommend you to watch English movies. In movies, we can see people speaking in real life scenario. Also, movies are more interesting to watch and listen rather than news.
As for speaking, there is no alternate to speaking the language. Sadly, many people in my country give a lot of effort to try to learn the British or American pronunciation instead of speaking fluently. I am totally against it. Instead, we should focus on speaking as naturally as possible. Fluency is more important than anything else. If you try to speak all the time then sooner or later you will become fluent. Remember that while speaking, your main target must be to make the listener understand what you are saying- not impress them with an artificial accent.
In Bangladeshi educational system, we have to study English as a compulsory subject for 12 years. So, we already have memorized many words and have come in contact of English a lot. Still, we struggle with spoken English because we do not have enough practice.
Now, let us talk about reading and writing. I would advise you to read anything and everything that interests you. Try to be an avid reader, try to enjoy reading and read anything that you like. Read about your favorite singer, actress, player or just anything that gives you the interest to keep on going.
Finally comes writing. Writing is a lonely and boring activity. It is like a torture or punishment to many of us. Again, I strongly suggest writing about any topic that you like. Start with just 5 sentences and add one sentence each day and thus, at the end of the 30thday, you will be able to write at least 35 sentences.
So far, I have not talked anything about grammar and I am sure that almost all of you are wondering when I would shed some light about it.
I feel that first you should become fluent in speaking and writing. Naturally, you will make many mistakes but do not worry. When you feel comfortable in speaking, reading and writing then go for grammar. It should not take more than 3 months to improve your grammar.
Of course, many of you may feel that you do not have so much to give. Well, there is no short cut in life.