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How to learn English in an International College

Posted 06 March 2014
students speaking English

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Studying at an international college is one of the easiest ways to improve your English. To start with, in your college you will need to communicate and socialise with other students, teachers and staff from different countries and therefore with different first languages. Hence you’ll feel the need to speak English as it is the common language between them all.

Studying at an international college is one of the easiest ways to improve your English. To start with, in your college you will need to communicate and socialise with other students, teachers and staff from different countries and therefore with different first languages. Hence you’ll feel the need to speak English as it is the common language between them all.

Don’t be Shy

You must not be afraid or feel embarrassed if you make mistakes because you learn quicker from your mistakes than from any thing else, I can assure you that because I have experienced it myself in the last year. You should try to speak as much as you can with your friends in English, it is the best practice and you become more fluent and self-confident. ’Don't forget that everyone around you will feel the same way as you and English will not be their mother tongue so you should not be afraid of not speaking correctly to them – you are learning together.

Very Important!

Don’t try to translate directly from your language to English, firstly because there may be expressions that cannot be translated with the same meaning by using the exact translated words. Additionally, the way phrases are constructed in English may also differ from your first language and thus we might not clearly understand what you are trying to say. You should start trying to “think in English” instead of translating. It is also very important to not get stuck on one way of saying something - if you forget how to say a word, just try to say it in a different way instead of spending ages to try to figure out how to say that word; attempt to describe the thing you were trying to say instead.

Support

In an international college, your writing techniques will improve by far as you will have intensive practice in classes, every day. Joining extra-curricular activities will also benefit you and, as I said before, you should speak and hear as much English as you can throughout the day. If Bellerbys College thinks you are not prepared to do your course they will direct you to the ELPP course (English Language Preparation Programme) that will give you the preparation and the English level needed to succeed in your chosen course without language limitations. Furthermore, Bellerbys also offers IELTS express courses on site to prepare students for the IELTS exam so they can get the grade required for university applications.

Some Useful Tips

In order to remember new words and expressions that you learn every day, it is a great idea to create a Vocabulary Notebook, where you register all new things you learn so you can check them regularly and start to use them more often. A great and fun way of improving your vocabulary is to create cards with the new words you learn and write their meaning at the back. This way when you see the word you can try to remember its meaning and say it to a friend or to yourself and then check on the back if you were right or not. The ones you got right put away, the others put back on the pile to do them again until you get them right. This is a very efficient way to widen your vocabulary. You may also want to try to make sentences with those words so you know where to use them.

Have Fun

Finally, don’t forget to have fun, enjoy yourself and never let language constraints stop you from doing anything you want. If you are motivated to learn it will be a quick and pleasing process. I hope you find this helpful!

 

Raquel Oliveira

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