There is no better way to refine your language skills than to live, work and socialise in English. Make the most of your time in London – immersing yourself in the language and culture all around you will allow you to develop your comprehension and language fluency in natural surroundings. Below are a number of ideas of ways you can practise your English skills in and around London.
1. Read everything around you
Try to vary the types of writing that you read. Read the free London newspapers on your way to and from school – there are two papers, the Metro in the morning and the Evening Standard in the evening which have very different reporting styles. Borrow English books and readers from the school reception or take note of the many advertisements in the underground – look carefully at the types of language they use here.
2. Take a museum tour
London has some of the most renowned museums and galleries in the world. Take an audio guide around with you to engage yourself in an activity that improves your listening skills. If you have the time, you could also join a guided tour. Try to ask questions to the guide – this will help you to better retain new information. For museum ideas and information, click here.
3. Go speed dating
This may sounds like a crazy idea, but visiting a speed dating evening is a great way to practise your speaking skills! With just 5 minutes per ‘date’, you will find yourself working on your spontaneous language skills. Here, you’re not focusing on your language accuracy, but rather your ability to think on your feet in English. For more information or to find out when the next event in London is, visit the Original Dating website.
4. Become a food critic
You are bound to visit more restaurants during your stay in the UK than your typical Londoner, so why not make the most of your knowledge? There are a number of websites that ask for public reviews – read through a few reviews paying particular attention to the language and structure they use and then why not have a go at writing one yourself? If you’re interested, visit Square Meal, search for your restaurant and click ‘write a review’.
5. Watch a classic film
There are a number of cinemas in London that offer free screenings of classic films. Don’t be tempted to shy away from the cinema in favour of a subtitled DVD – watching without the subtitles will force your brain to focus on the audio rather than the visual. Don’t worry if you don’t understand every word – just sit back and go with the flow!
6. Download an audio tour of London
A sightseeing trip around London is a must for any visitor to the capital. Whilst a guided tour of London is an obvious way to practise your listening skills, many people prefer the freedom of arranging their own route around the city and taking their own time. So why not download this app from the apple store – it is 100% free and as well as a map of the city centre, offers you 18 recorded tracks of key points of interest for you to listen to at your leisure. The advantage here is that you can also replay the recordings as many times as you need.