Author: David from EF Education First
As a teacher, I’m often asked a question which is very difficult to answer: what can I do to improve my English?
I think that this is a genuinely difficult question, not because I don’t know you can improve, but because it’s a question that can require many complex answers and differs hugely from person to person.
Think of a classmate at school. Did you learn in exactly the same way, at exactly the same speed? Were you equally good at everything?
Some people learn from watching endless TV shows and playing video games. For others, they like to focus on the grammar and understand rules. Other people just prefer to play with language, as though it is a game. Some people try really hard to learn, but go more slowly than others.
However, some things I think are definitely important. To learn a language we need to have a genuine motivation, we need to be engaged and we need to practice.
I’ve lived in Guangzhou now for around two and a half years. Guangzhou people are very kind, so generally I’ve been able to be lazy get by with quite minimal Chinese. These days I can do the following things quite easily:
I can take taxis and have (very)simple conversations with drivers.
I can order food in restaurants.
I can book hotels, and cancel a reservation.
I can buy train tickets and ask about times and dates.