5 things to practice every day to improve your English communication skills


(upbeat music)

- Hello everyone and welcome back to English with Lucy.

Today I'm going to talk to you about five things

that you can practise every single day

to improve your English.

Learning a language is like learning

to play a musical instrument,

you can't just pick up a violin

and know how to play it,

or at least I didn't when I learned the violin.

You have to practise a little bit

every singe day,

and over time you will improve

and become fluent.

You can't just practise loads the day before an exam

and expect to be perfect at playing that violin,

it's exactly the same for languages.

The best way to learn a language is to practise

a little bit every single day.

And in this lesson I'm going to give you

five different ways that you can incorporate English,

or any other language,

into your daily life.

I think that quite a few of these

you wouldn't have heard before.

So let's get straight into it.

Number one, and ugh I am so excited to be able to mention,

one of my favourite things to listen to ever on my channel,

my first piece of advice is to follow an audio soap-opera.

What is a soap-opera I hear you ask,

well I shall tell you.

A soap-opera is a daily serial,

or series, dealing with the daily lives

and events of the same group of characters,

normally in the same location.

Most commonly they are on television.

We have lots in the UK like Eastenders,

Coronation Street, Emmerdale,

but I'm recommending you listen to an audio one.

And there's one in particular I would like to recommend.

I really, really recommend a radio soap-opera

by the BBC Radio four,

called The Archers.

The Archers.

The Archers.

It's special for so many reasons,

not least because it is

the longest running drama in history,

it was started in 1950, first aired in 1951,

and also because I think it is absolutely perfect

for English learners.

It follows the daily lives and dramas

of a group of fictional characters

in the fictional countryside village of Ambridge.

Each episode is around 12 to 14 minutes long,

I'm not quite sure exactly how long,

but it's definitely under 15 minutes.

It's spoken in relatively clear English,

in a variety of British accents,

and sometimes not British accents as well,

other accents.

But it's fantastic because the plot summaries

are posted on the BBC website.

I will link all of this below in the description box.

And the great thing about this

is that it deals with daily happenings

which is great for your life too,

current events, routine things,

and you can repeat all of the parts you missed.

It's on every single day apart from Saturday,

they have a rest,

and once a week they condense all of the week's episodes

into one and that's called an omnibus,

and that's around 75 minutes long.

I love listening to The Archers when I go running.

I listen to it every single day

and if I miss one I always catch up.

There is no beginning and there is no finish to the series,

there aren't any seasons.

So it might take you a couple of episodes

to get used to the story lines

and to work out who is who

and to recognise the different voices.

Give it five or six episodes

and you'll feel really included.

It's wonderful because it's free to listen to,

it's beautifully produced,

and there is a huge community of Archers fans.

A lot of them are older,

but a lot of them are younger too.

And if you search hashtag The Archers on Twitter,

big tip here,

you'll see lots of people talking

and discussing the topics of the episode

and maybe you can interact with them.

So I'm going to leave the links

for The Archers episodes

and also the plot summaries in the description box,

and I really hope some of you take up this opportunity

to listen to a daily English audio soap-opera.

10 to 15 minutes every day is definitely gonna help

your listening, it's going to help your pronunciation.

It's just gonna help your general enjoyment as well

'cause it's a great programme.

Right, before I get too passionate,

let's move on to piece of advice number two.

So number two is talk daily with natives.

Now I bet so many of you are thinking

uh I wish, I would love to talk to natives every day,

but I don't know how

and no one seems to want to talk to me.

Well I have a couple of suggestions.

One is paid for and one is free,

and the best thing, in my opinion,

would be a combination of the two.

Italki have very kindly sponsored this part of the video

and mentioning them is absolutely relevant for this point,

especially as they offer

a language exchange partner service,

which I will mention in a second.

But firstly, if you haven't heard of italki before,

they are an online language teacher platform and database.

Both native and non-native teachers

from across the globe can create a profile,

upload their schedules

and then you contact them for lessons.

Brilliantly priced lessons may I add.

You can learn over 100 different languages,

not just English, 24 hours a day, seven days a week

from anywhere in the world,

as long as you have a stable internet connection.

It's so much more affordable

than a traditional language school

or an in-person language teacher.

I tried out italki to learn a little bit of Indonesian

before my holiday to Barley

and I was blown away by my teacher, she was amazing.

She had created these beautiful classes from scratch

and I learned so much with her

and it really, really improved my holiday,

especially as she taught me to say

(foreign language).

So important.

Italki have given me a special offer to pass on to you.

You can get $10 worth of italki credits for free

when you sign up and make your first lesson purchase.

All you have to do is click on the link

in the description box.

Now obviously having a paid for lesson

with a teacher every single day

would be the most amazing way

to learn a language,

but that's not a possibility for everyone.

So I did just want to mention italki's

language exchange partner programme.

The link to this is also in the description box.

Basically you can search for

speakers of the language you are learning,

see if they want to learn your language,

and if so you can contact them

and potentially arrange a language exchange.

So a combination of both paid for classes

and language exchanges would be amazing

because you can take what you learned

and heard in the language exchange

and verify it with your teacher

for an extra layer of security

to make sure that you're not making any mistakes.

Now on to tip number three.

Set yourself a daily word goal.

Learn x amount of words every single day.

This tip is really important because it also links

to tip number four.

I have mentioned this strategy in a previous video,

but I actually have a really important extra layer

to this strategy that I would like to discuss with you.

In order to build your vocabulary quickly,

you need to learn at least one new word per day,

but hopefully more than that.

I've spoken to you before about keeping a word diary

or just a notebook or a list on your phone,

keep it with you all the time

and always be aware wherever you are,

do I know that word in English?

Do I know how to say that in English?

You might see a tree,

do I know how to say that specific

variety of tree in English?

If you don't write it down in your own language

in this book, in this list,

and then at the end of the day,

before you go to sleep,

research all of these words

and translate them into English.

It will help you train your brain

to always be hungry for English.

After a few weeks you will always

be looking for new words that you can learn,

words that you didn't even realise

you didn't know.

Now there is something else that you can do with these words

and this brings me on to point number four.

Write a daily journal with a difference.

Depending on your level,

I would buy a paper journal or diary.

I get so tired in the evening I can't spend

loads and loads of time writing,

so I personally would buy a work week planner

or a homework planner or a study planner

where you've got all seven days across two pages.

In each of those days I would write three

or four sentences about my day

trying to incorporate those words that I learned

in my daily word list,

the words I mentioned in point three.

That way, not only are you learning the new words

and learning what they mean,

you're making sure they're fully integrated into your brain.

And also doing this before you go to sleep

will mean they stick in there even more.

Then you can wake up in the morning,

read what you wrote the night before,

and you've got those words fresh in your head,

ready for the day ahead.

It's honestly such a fabulous technique

because it builds your vocabulary,

it improves your writing skills,

it improves your reading skills,

if you search the pronunciation of the word

it will improve your pronunciation

and your listening skills,

and if you book in sessions with language teachers

you can have them correct you writing.

So every week you can bring them two fresh pages of writing

for them to correct.

Honestly, if you do this every day

it will help you so much.

Right, time for the last point.

Point number five,

the tip is to perform daily translations

of subjects you are interested in.

Now I now a lot of you want to stop translating

and think in English,

however, I think translation forms

a very, very important part of language learning,

especially when it's around something

that you are interested in.

It's really, really good to compare

how things are said in different languages

and translation helps you with that.

In my opinion, the best way to practise your translation

is absolutely free, which is fantastic,

and it's right here on YouTube.

Pick the YouTubers that you really, really like,

the YouTubers that talk about

subjects that you're interested in.

Maybe it's photography,

maybe it's technology,

maybe it's pets,

maybe it's makeup.

You can actually contribute to subtitle translations.

You may have seen that underneath all of my videos

I have a link where I give the opportunity

to contribute subtitle translations.

So I write the subtitles in English

and then you can write them in your own language.

It's amazing because it helps my videos reach

and help a wider audience.

They also get their name displayed under the video

which is really, really cool.

And it helps their translating skills.

You can translate videos from

your native language into English,

that would be a really good way to practise.

But even translating English subtitles

into your own native language

is a really good reading and translation exercise.

I will post a link with more information

on community subtitle translations in the description box.

Right, I have discussed all five points.

I really hope you learned something.

I really hope you try out one of my five recommendations.

Don't forget to check out italki,

the link is in the description box.

You can get $10 worth of italki credits

for free when you make your first lesson purchase.

There are also links to listen to The Archers

and also the information on subtitles.

Don't forget to check out all of my social media,

I've got my Facebook, I've got my Instagram

and I've got my twitter,

and I shall see you soon for another lesson.



Learning a language is like learning a musical


Soap-opera is a drama serial

oh dear.

Right, before I get too passionate let's move on

to episode.

Ha ha ha.

They're an online database and platform

of native blah, blah, blah.

Online language teacher platform.

All you have to do is click on the description

in the link box.

No that was wrong,

dammit, I was doing so well.

(upbeat music)