10 Top Tips for keeping you English Active!

  1. Maintaining and Increasing your level of English has to form part of your daily routine.
  2. When you get up in the morning, turn on an English language news channel. The idea is to have it as background “music” while you’re having your breakfast.

Passive learning is the best. You’ll be amazed how your ear       gets used to sounds and how after a few weeks you’ll be understanding more and more.

  1. Every time you travel by plane or train, buy a magazine such as Time, Newsweek, Cosmopolitan..whatever. We recommend magazines because the articles are short,  topical and with lots of photos! In general, magazine articles will hold your attention.  Obviously, reading a book is wonderful  but it’s tough especially when you are tired. How many of you have books gathering dust on your bedside table? Try to catch the general idea.Don’t  look up every word you don’t understand in a dictionary. Only check the new words that are repeated frequently or ones that arouse your curiosity.
  2. Do little mental exercises. Translate ( in your head!) short conversations you have with your work mates. This is a great way to keep the “mechanics” of your grammar alive.
  3. Each week try to watch at least one documentary in English. ( eg. On National Geographic channel).
  4. If you like cinema, try to watch a movie every weekend. As you know, movies are quite challenging.  This is because you don’t hear the international English you are more familiar with. You hear native speakers talking to other native speakers and usually with lots of slang.  Even though it’s difficult, try to watch without subtitles. Obviously, occasionally you may need to rewind some sections to check understanding, using the subtitle option.

Don’t expect to understand everything.  Aim for 15%. Then bit by bit increase this.  Listening is improved through listening practice. After a few weeks you’ll be surprised to discover that you are understanding more and more.

  1. Sign up for every training course that your company offers that is in English. Maybe it’s a course on team-management, IT, time-management, presentation skills….whatever the subject matter is. Even if you know the subject well, go along. It’s a great way to practise your English. Training and workshops offer lots of speaking and listening opportunities. Also there is usually quite a significant social dimension ( coffee-breaks, meals etc.) where you’ll get a chance to meet and network with your international colleagues in a less pressurised environment.
  2. Use English every opportunity you can. Don’t try to avoid situations where you might need it. Language learning is like sport – the more you practise, the more you improve.
  3. Use some of the web links indicated below. Some such as the BBC one are very complete with listening exercises, grammar lessons, reading activities and vocabulary sections. Others are just for Fun.
  4. Watch at least one TED talk per week. You can choose the topic that interests you and of course you always have the option to read the tapescript.ted.com
  5. And of course sign up to some virtual online sessions on www.osullivanspro.com/programas/clases-virtuales/  


And the other sites are:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/learningenglishVery complete learning site.


www.bbc.co.uk          Great news site



lots of games and vocabulary practice


good for quick tests on grammatical points



more for younger learners but still a few good songs etc which can be adapted for adults




good for warmers and fillers…. funnylessons has good and extremely bad jokes!




links site


there for posterity as one of the oldest efl websites!



international herald tribune…. articles come with the possibility of listening practice






good listening site for American English


although a lot of titles in French , still a good site with a variety of activities


international herald tribune…. articles come with the possibility of listening practice