Tips for learning English online instead of in the classroom

Learn English: a DIVERSEcity blog for LINC learners

By Deepika Mehrishi

Lately, many of us have been dealing with the change from face-to-face learning to online classes. While we eagerly wait to get back to a physical classroom, learning remotely seems to be the need of the hour and will likely still be in demand in the future. English language skills can be learned from the comfort of your home with some easy strategies.

Here are five tips to effectively learn English from a distance.

1. Identify what you want to learn. Don’t try to learn it all, but focus on one skill at a time. If you aim to improve your vocabulary, try to learn all forms of the word and maybe learn only five words a week.

For example, let’s talk about a word that’s on everyone’s minds these days — “vaccine.” Other forms of the word are “vaccination” and  “vaccinated.”

Try to use each of the words in short sentences such as:

  • I have been vaccinated
  • We can now register to get a vaccine.
  • Vaccination is important to all of us.

2. Collaborate with friends or other learners. We all like to stay in touch with our friends using social media platforms, so why not use this opportunity to learn English together. Finding a study partner can make remote learning fun and interesting.

Why not make a Facebook or WhatsApp group and call it Learn English. Invite your friends and practice by writing short paras on latest topic such as work from home, COVID 19, post videos of you speaking on a topic and let group members share their thoughts.

3. Listen to the radio. Even if you are busy doing something, playing the radio or listening to talk shows in the background can help you grab some phrases, vocabulary on the go and provide you an environment of English.

For instance, while you cook, listen to a sports show on BBC Radio. Focus on pronunciation, tone of the speaker and new vocabulary. Check out the link here and get started BBC Sounds – Categories – Sport.

4. Get familiar with technology. Learning online might be new to you, but you must be able to use the features of the platform you are using.

For example, if you are using Zoom, make sure you get familiar with its features such as breakout rooms, chat, whiteboard, raising hands, and so on. We suggest you watch a tutorial of the platform. All you need to do is go to the Zoom help centre and look for the Zoom video tutorials.

5. Self-study and self-motivation. If you are learning individually, many self-study online resources can help you improve your English language skills. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Look for self-study online resources such as Learn English Online | British Council
  • Choose the skill you want to improve, for example, reading
  • Complete the reading exercise given and check your answers

6.  Create your personal learning space.  Finding a classroom atmosphere might be a challenge, but if you are enthusiastic about learning, then building a personal learning space that is quiet and comfortable can go a long way in supporting your learning process.

Deepika Mehrishi is a competent ESL professional with more than six years of rich experience in teaching international learners, corporate training and mentoring newly qualified instructors. She has been assisting with the LINC program at DIVERSEcity.