<p>In the past, students have said to me, “I get good results in class but I really don’t think that my English is getting any better. Why not?”
The answer, in my experience, is simple. You need to practise more. Think about when you learned to drive. You had lessons with an instructor, yes, but you also probably spent a lot of time terrorising your dad, your friends and other willing victims by driving their cars while they sat white-knuckled beside you. It’s the same with English – the lessons give you the foundations but you need to practise, practise, and practise to be able to apply what you learn in class. Below are some easy ways you can do this.
1. English Only
By far the most important factor to your progress is how much time you spend using the language – that’s why Lexis English Byron Bay has an ‘English Only’ policy. Make the most of this rule by speaking in English at breaks and lunchtime and before and after school. When everybody is speaking English as a second language, you don’t need to feel embarrassed.
Come along to GIL which is on every afternoon in Room 1 between 2 and 3 pm. GIIL is a great opportunity to get special attention from our excellent teachers. You can get personalised help and extra practise with any language points you need.
3. Activities and Workshops
Our workshops help with particular skills – for example, Job Club (next one 23/04) offers advice on writing CVs, looking for work and going for interviews. Coffee Lounge (14/04), on the other hand, provides an opportunity to chat to students from other classes about a wide variety of topics. And, of course all our activities also provide an opportunity for you to practise English and have fun at the same time. Check out the activity calendar above for what’s on this month.
4. Homestay and Out & About
Practice makes perfect! So make the most of the opportunity to live with an Aussie family and get to know them – it’s ok to make mistakes, just give it a try. Speaking with native speakers as much as possible is an excellent way to increase your confidence, while listening to native speakers is also a great way to pick up the intonation and pronunciation patterns – so keep your ears open!
5. Real World English
During your stay in Byron you can learn from all different kinds of English language media – movies, music, newspapers and magazines. Try lots of different ways of encountering English, it doesn’t matter if you don’t understand everything – the process will build your confidence and help you on the way to fluency!
Most importantly, don’t worry about what you cannot remember, or cannot yet understand, or cannot yet say. It doesn’t matter. You are learning and improving. The language will gradually become clearer in your brain, but this will happen on a schedule that you cannot control. So enjoy!
So to summarise this week’s Tip – Just make sure you spend enough time with English. That is the greatest guarantee of success.