Do you feel that your homework might be more than you can handle? Oh, it is just an illusion. Actually, your brain is playing a bit of a trick on you, trying to get away with as little effort as possible. Don't let it fool you though, your brain is just like one of those devices that “can work faster and better than you thought” - and that's reality, not just some advertisement. All it needs for that is a bit of training. So consider these 10 super-effective ESL exercises to make your brain work better and faster.
ESL Activities that Will Save You
Instead of torturing yourself by repeating the words of a foreign language thoughtlessly like a parrot, you can turn the learning process into an exciting ESL game – you will have greater success and you might even start enjoying the learning. Just take a look at these amazing ESL activities:
- Find (or make) friends who are native speakers of the language you are trying to learn. Communicate with them on a regular basis. You can use Skype, Facebook or Twitter for this purpose. Social networks can connect people from different cultures. However, you should not start your conversation with people you don't know by simply writing bluntly “Add me, because I want to improve my language skills.” Nobody likes the feeling of being used. Aim to truly become their friends and look perhaps for what you can offer in return.
- Make associations to help you learn and remember new words. Every time you have difficulties learning a new word, try to draw parallels with words from your mother tongue or other simple words that you already know. For example, when you try to learn the word “winsome”, which means attractive and appealing, you can think that a “winsome” person “wins some” attention and compliments. Yet, make certain you do not forget what associations you made.
- Play a lottery game with new words. After you make the first attempts to learn new words, write them on flash cards and put all cards in a hat, a bag or on a table. Then choose one card of paper at a time and translate the word written on it. Every time you don't know the meaning of one word, consult the dictionary, put all the cards back into the hat and start your “lottery” ESL activity again.
- Try to sing new words, using different music genres.
- Try to make literary translations of your favorite English songs and sing them.
- Record your voice. Use recording devices when reading English texts or even simply expressing your opinions. If you carefully listen to these records, you will easily detect errors in your speech and quickly learn the materials you read. By the way, this exercise of listening to your own speech for learning something is used even by secret agents.
- Try to use new words frequently. After you learn a new word or a new phrase, start using it whenever possible – in your essays and even daily communication. Just make certain it does not get too annoying to people around you.
- Feel free to use interactive quizzes, which do not take much time, but can significantly improve your language skills.
- Ask your friends or relatives to speak English to you. Even if it would be only “broken English”, language practice in a warm atmosphere can at least unlock your tongue and improve your confidence.
- When learning long lists of similar words, you can choose one of your acquaintances for each word. For example, you can think to yourself that Garret’s smile is gorgeous, and Melanie’s picture is marvelous if you need to learn these two adjectives (note that the names and adjectives chosen start with the same letter.) However, bear in mind that you should better keep these associations to yourself in order not to hurt somebody’s feelings.
Are you ready to upgrade your ESL activities? Be sure that these simple tips can be truly effective to improve your language skills and start using them as soon as possible.