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Fun English Learning Outside the Classroom

Learning a new language can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be boring. When I learned English as a child, I enjoyed discovering the language beyond textbook and grammar exercises. Some of my favourite and most effective ways to learn English are through music, video games, cooking, and the radio. Read on for ideas of how you can use these tools to learn too.

There are plenty of songs written in English all around the world. Playing these improves your listening skills, vocabulary, and pronunciation. Start by choosing songs you like and looking up the lyrics online. Singing along can teach you plenty about word stress and intonation. You should also try watching music videos with the subtitles turned on, which is a great chance to use context clues to decode unknown words.

Many popular video games are in English, and playing them can improve your reading and listening skills. Video games often contain dialogue and text you need to understand to progress through the game. You can also join online gaming communities where you communicate with other players in English. This will give you the opportunity to practise your reading and writing skills under a context that’s fun and engaging!

Cooking is perhaps the most delicious way to learn English. Cooking shows and recipes are often in English, and they can help you learn new vocabulary related to food and cooking. Cooking along with the shows will also help your listening skills, as well as teaching you new words and phrases related to cooking.

If music, gaming, and cooking aren’t your cup of tea, listening to English radio programs might be the ticket to improving your English abilities. Radio programs expose you to different accents and dialects, and paying close attention to these is great for your listening skills. As a bonus, you learn more about the world around you, enriching your knowledge and giving you extra topics to write about for prompts on exams! For ideas of what to listen to, read our article on free listening resources from the BBC.