Blog January 6, 2014 by

St Giles

Small Steps

St Giles San Francisco share some advice on learning English:

Learning a new language is a big goal! It’s important to set small goals every day to help you achieve it. Here are a few ideas of small things you can do every day to achieve your big dream!

• Listen to English for 20 minutes.

-A good way to do this is to find a podcast or download an audiobook. If you like travel, you might like the Rick Steve’s podcasts, which are free. The Harry Potter series is a good audio book for students at many different levels. It’s helpful to listen to native speakers even if you can’t understand every word. You can copy their pronunciation, rhythm, and intonation.

• Write for 15 minutes without stopping. When you finish, find your mistakes and edit!

-You can find 182 writing topics here:

• Speak with someone in English for 30 minutes.

• A great website is . It has a large community of people learning many different languages. You can participate in a language exchange there. Some of our teachers enjoy using this site to practice their German, Turkish, Italian, and Spanish! Of course, if you have already studied at St Giles you have plenty of international friends you can Skype!

• Read for 30 minutes.

-It’s important to read something you are interested in. You don’t have to look up every word you don’t know in the dictionary. Try understanding new words using the story. Of course, remember to write down any new words you learn.

-Some recommendations:

Do you like action and adventure? You should read The Hunger Games series. (This series is best for upper-intermediate students)

Do you like nature? You should read Island of the Blue Dolphin. (This books is best for intermediate students)

Do you like stories about friendship? You should read Onion John. (This book is best for pre-intermediate students.)

Do you like stories about animals and family? You should read It’s like this Cat. (This book is good for pre-intermediate students.)

Do you like scary stories? You should read any book from the Goosebumps series. (This series is best for intermediate students.)

• Learn new vocabulary for 20 minutes.

-Do you have to travel by train or bus every day? It’s easy to study vocabulary while going to work or school. Try to write a sentence for every vocabulary word so you can learn the meaning of new words and how to use them. That’s very important! You can even get a flashcard app for your phone and hear the pronunciation of new words you practice with headphones.

Practicing English for 15-30 minutes a day on your own is a good way to make your big dream of learning English come true!

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao Tzu