When learning English, it’s important to practice as often as possible and to keep up with real-world use of the language. To this end, students can use their mobile phones to improve a great deal. Here are some ways to get help from a device that is with them every hour of the day!
Read as much as possible
You can download eBooks to your mobile very easily, so why not try it? Real beginners can try children’s books, as these are easier to read and will help with their rudimentary level of English. As their learning progresses, they can move on to young adult books, and finally to adult literature. It’s a good idea to choose a book that they are familiar with in their own language, too, as this will help comprehension flow more quickly and increase the pace of learning. If eBooks are not preferred, the student could download magazines or newspapers instead to practice with.
Use social media and text
The way that we talk is not necessarily the same as the way that we write. Moreover, most people will use different forms of language, such as slang and abbreviations, when they use social media channels and text messages. It’s a great idea to chat with English-speaking friends this way, or just to read posts if the student does not know anyone to chat with yet. This helps to boost understanding of the way that the language can be used, outside of the classroom rules of grammar and spelling. While the student must learn the correct way to use the language, it’s also important to recognize that not everyone will use it correctly! This could otherwise cause confusion later on.
Use translation apps
A translation app might be seen as cheating, but it can seriously help. When a student does not know the meaning of a word, or how to express themselves on a particular subject, the act of looking it up can be very helpful. Not only do they get to carry on a conversation in the here and now, but it may also stick with them in the long run. Having to physically look something up is a great way to get it into your mind. It’s less bulky than carrying around a dictionary, too, and some apps respond to speech as well as to typed words. A caveat should be that they are not always fully accurate, and it may be necessary to check the translations with peers.
When a student is not able to practice directly with friends and family, fellow students may be their only source of English outside of the lesson. If they do not live nearby, or don’t have time to meet, they can still practice together. A phone call is an excellent way to chat, and allows students to get used to the distortion that a phone line can provide, making it more difficult to interpret words correctly. This is a good way to get into the habit of using English regularly, too. A key stumbling block for many non-native speakers is making the transition to answering the phone in English rather than their own native language, as it is a habit which has been formed over many years!
For students who want to learn English as quickly and accurately as possible, a mobile phone can be a great tool with many uses. By improving their English using a device which is always close to them, they can come on leaps and bounds even in-between lessons.
Emily Burgess is an avid blogger who enjoys writing about all aspects of self-improvement and entrepreneurship. Emily is currently sharing some of her ideas at Course Guru – experts in the field of online education. Personally, she’s a great fan of foreign languages.