English language is widely spoken, and is fast becoming the major connecting thread among people, businesses, and institutions worldwide. English learning websites offer a great opportunity to learners to learn at their own pace, anytime, anywhere in the world.
‘It is spoken at a useful level by some 1.75 billion people – a quarter of the world’s population.’ – 2013, The English Effect, British Council
‘We communicate in English, we negotiate in English, and we sing karaoke in English,’ said Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, Thai politician and former Secretary-General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), at TESOL 2014. It stresses the use of English in diplomacy, commerce, entertainment, media, academia and IT.
‘The economic incentive to learn English is compelling. An increasing number of companies – Nokia, SAP, Samsung and Renault amongst them–have recognised the long-term advantages to productivity and growth that adopting English as a common company language can have. In a 2012 survey by the Economist IntelligenceUnit, 70 per cent of executives said their workforce will need to master English to realise corporate expansion plans, and a quarter said more than 50 per cent of their total workforce would need English ability.’ – 2013, The English Effect, British Council.
With the rise in demand for English language worldwide, and due to lack of adequate accessibility to qualified English language teachers, learners have started exploring online language learning programmes.
There are many websites with English learning courses, and they use different modes of teaching. The question is how to use them to your best advantage.
What is the best way to use online English learning websites to master the language?
Following are five quick tips to effectively use online language learning websites. They can be applied to learning any language online, including English.
Identify your knowledge level
Beginner, intermediate or advanced, which level of online tools will work best for you?
Know the level of knowledge you have of the language. You can take a few online quizzes–vocabulary, grammar, etc.–to gauge this.
You should be honest about your knowledge of the language, so that you are neither easily bored nor too challenged with the learning websites you choose.
Choose a learning platform and theme
Once you have identified the level of your knowledge, explore various online English learning websites to select what suits you best.
Language learning websites use videos, audios, text lessons, books, interactives, quizzes, flashcards, etc. for teaching.
Different websites have different course structures, too.
You may also learn by watching movies, listening to songs, reading news, etc. Pick the themes you like, so that you stay interested through the learning process.
Try and choose one or more websites that work the best for you.
Equip yourself with the right resources
Sharpen your pencils and buy a notepad, if you like to write and learn.
Equip yourself with a headphone and microphone for learning to listen and speak. A lot of language learning websites may require these.
Be connected to study online.
Set a study schedule
Set your study timetable for everyday. Study for at least 30-45 minutes a day.
Study for 10 minutes, take a 5-minute break, and repeat. You can even learn English vocabulary on your mobile phone while you are on the go.
Set short term goals. Assess your learning from time to time. Revise your goals.
Treat yourself for achieving a goal or for small improvements.
Go offline and communicate
Even though there are brilliant resources available online to learn to speak, listen, read and write English or any other language, do interact with people who speak the language fluently.
This will help reiterate the concepts you have learnt.
You can study the body language of the other person to discern if you are speaking correctly or not. Ask questions from the other person, if you feel you have made a mistake.
Observe the tone and pronunciations of the native speakers.
To learn English, communicate with English speakers whenever you get a chance.
We hope you find these tips useful, and add your style to it to formulate the best way to learn English or any other language for yourself.
English language has huge personal and economic value, and with the availability of many brilliant English learning websites, it has become easy for students around the world to learn the language online.
‘If I have to summarise the meaning of the English language in one word then it has to be freedom. Freedom to relate to others, explore new cultures, freedom of information, to do what I want to do for a living and live in a place I love … English has opened my horizons in every sense of the words and I owe who I am today to the ability to speak the language.’ Francisco Rodriguez-Weil, Set and Costume designer, Venezuela