Improving English the fun way

An English improvement post by me is a joke by itself. I often make grammatical mistakes which are caught by the ‘grammar police’ which mostly include my wife and dad. Nevertheless, here I am with my feeble attempt at helping people who are not native English speakers.

Will these tips work for you? I don’t know. But they did work for me.

Improving written communication in English

READ whatever you enjoy

My first advice is to simply READ. Read whatever you are interested in. If you like a particular sport like football then read about it on websites, blogs, books, newspapers and pretty much anything. You will surely come up with some favorites that you can follow regularly.

Practice writing

The second step to write better English is to WRITE. Sounds funny but that is the truth. If we want to learn how to drive a car we have to actually drive it. Reading hundreds of manuals will not be a substitute of doing it practically.

Thus we need to start writing to really improve. Write a journal. Open a blog. Scribble random thoughts on a piece of paper. Submit endless articles to newspapers for the heck of it even though they might never get reprinted.

Read a few good books on writing well

My last advice would be read a few good books on writing well. There is actually a classic called On Writing Well which is considered a must read.

Improving verbal communication in English

Listen to podcasts

For improving your verbal English skills I would recommend that you listen to podcasts. Watching movies or tv channels can work as well. However, I prefer podcasts as they contain no video and thus the entire focus is on the voice.

Once again you can surely find out stuff that interests you. If you are a tech geek then find technology based podcasts. If you like economics try out Econtalk, Freakonomics or Planet Money. If absolutely nothing interests you then definitely try out Radiolab.

Sing along with your favorite songs

You guys caught me here. Singing is not very likely to improve your verbal communication skills. Do it anyways because its fun. At the least, it could boost your confidence a bit.

Practice, practice, practice

Just like the reading part, the key to improving is to practice. Do the age-old recommendation of speaking to your handsome self in front of the mirror. Even better would be to record videos. Practice speaking English with your friends or family if possible. Don’t let go of any chance for public speaking. It does not matter if you completely suck at it. If necessary use a combination of English and your Native language to make it easier in the beginning. You will surely improve with time.

Conclusion

I think that for most Bangladeshis it is the fear that keeps them back. The fear of writing poorly. The fear of making a fool in front of others. If you can conquer your fear then half the battle is won. It is completely okay to be bad at something. It is not okay to give up.

Asif Khan, CFA

Asif Khan is presently a Research Analyst (Financial Sector) for Exotix which is a frontier market focused investment bank. He has more than 6 years of work experience as equity analyst in both buy and sell side roles across Asian frontier markets. Asif is a CFA Charterholder and has a dual major in Finance & Economics from North South University.

5 thoughts on “Improving English the fun way

  1. Another piece of path indicating writing. (y) Well, another book from Bangladesh Named ” Effective Writing Skills for Advanced Learners” published by Rohel Publication is mention-worthy. This one is written by S. M. Zakir Hussain.

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