I don’t sew but my wife does. Making things according to instructions is a great way to practise English. The first link is from my wife and then I looked around from there.
Here are some interesting links for you.
7 tips for preparing for the IELTS Test from Yago.sg
How to read and understand a scientific paper for non-scientists from IFLScience.com
11 tips for learning through newspapers from Linguistadores.com
I’ve talked about having enough study time in a previous post. Sometimes it is easy to feel that you don’t have enough time to read. You have a family, a job, other studies, a social life, etc. All this stops you from having time to read.
One thing I especially agree with is that you can stop reading a book after ten pages and quit it. Sometimes life is just too short for some books. There’s always another day, month or year to try reading it if you feel you must.
Travelling to work is an obvious way to get time to read but how about waiting in line at the post office? Between appointments at work? In the bath?
When you are writing, there are times you consider what is the correct way to say something. It is at this time that a style guide is necessary. They are essential for professional writers and useful for everyone else.
The Economist has a free online style guide.
The Guardian newspaper also has one.
These links are about money and how we talk about it.
Sometimes you aren’t studying English. This is certainly true when you are studying for tests like TOEIC, TOEFL and IELTS you study specialised kinds of English. What you study depends on the test.
TOEIC tests English for business (as well as everyday English).
TOEFL and IELTS test academic English.
The best ways to study for these tests are to read materials similar to the tests’ reading materials and listen to podcasts about relevant topics. For TOEIC, listen to business and news podcasts. For TOEFL and IELTS listen to podcasts about arts, social sciences and science for TOEFL and IELTS.
Sites I recommend for TOEIC:
For TOEFL and IELTS:
- Open Course Ware Consortium
- New Scientist
- Scientific American
- The History Channel
- National Geographic
Take Notes of Grammar and Vocabulary
Don’t forget to take notes of new grammar structures and make word cards for new vocabulary. Remember also to learn whole word families because these tests sometimes test your knowledge of word families. If you study these as you go, it should not be a problem.
Understand Passive Verb Forms
For all these tests you should learn to understand the passive verb form because it is used frequently in formal business English and in academic English.
He improved his English test scores by reading serious news articles and listening to college lectures. Not passive.
His English test scores were improved by reading serious news articles and listening to college lectures. Passive.
The basic construction is:
THING + ‘BE’ verb + ACTION verb (done to the thing) + DETAIL/CONDITION (optional but more common).
For a long-term skill increase you should study different materials anyway. However, to get a higher score in standardised tests such as TOEIC, TOEFL or IELTS, you need to understand the style of their reading and listening materials.