Tips for learning online

Welcome to this blog post which looks at tips for learning online. (Words with an * are explained at the end of the post under ‘Vocabulary Check’)

  1. Little and often.

It is better to study* for 10 minutes a day, every day than to study for 70 minutes one day a week.  Studying once a week will help a little but studying everyday will help you remember much more.  We can forget up to 80 % of new words only 24 hours after learning them! 

We can forget new things very quickly.  The red line shows that after six days nearly everything we learned is forgotten.  If we revise* on day two then we remember about a quarter (1/4) after six days.  If we revise on day three then we remember about a half (1/2) etc.

A good idea is to learn something new Monday to Friday then at the weekend, Saturday and Sunday, revise.  Every day, before going to sleep quickly read through the new language you have learnt.  Your brain thinks about the last thing you did before sleep. This also helps you to remember better.

  1. What do you want to learn this week?

Think about what you want to learn.  Is it 5 or 10 new words a day or a new grammatical structure e.g. past perfect or conditionals?  Or do you want to learn language for business e.g. making telephone calls or making appointments?  Plan* your language learning.

  1. How do you learn?

Some people are visual learners – they learn by seeing.  Some people learn better by listening or reading or doing.  Which kind of learner are you?  Below is a link to a website that can help you find out.

  1. What interests you?

It is much easier to learn something that is interesting to you.  Do you like football, cookery, films, sport etc.* Look for information on your favourite* hobbies* and learn about them in English.

Lots of English teachers also post videos on the internet explaining* English grammar and new vocabulary.  This is a great way to learn free English.   For students wanting lessons there are many, many English teachers on the internet offering lessons (including me!).  Some charge * very little.  Some people often have little or no qualifications* or experience but give students the opportunity to talk with a native speaker.  Other teachers charge more if they have more experience and qualifications and offer specialist help such as business English or help with grammar or exams.

You can also read newspapers from English-speaking countries or read websites such as the BBC which has news stories from around the world and stories on science, technology, business, movies and art.  Some you can try are:

The British Broadcasting Corporation:      

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation: 

United States of America Today magazine

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation    

There are lots of different ways to learn English.  Search the internet and find what ways interest you.  But remember, practice, practice, practice and, most importantly, have fun!

Vocabulary Check

To study:  To learn. Usually used for higher education.  ‘She’s studying at Leeds University’.

To revise: To read again your work to improve* your understanding of your work.

To improve: Make better

To plan: To think about how you are going to do something, e.g. plan a party (you need to think about how many people, how much food/drink, where the party will be etc)

Etc. Short for Et cetera, Latin for ‘and the rest’.  Used at the end of a list when list is too long to write everything.

Favourite: The thing you like the most e.g. Apples are my favourite fruit.

Hobbies: Something you like to do in your free time.

To explain: To help someone understand something better.

To charge (for something): To ask for money for a service (e.g. my teacher charges £25 per lesson) or for a product (e.g. This baker charges too much for bread).

Qualifications: Papers from a university, school or college to show a student has studied and passed their exams.

Thank you for reading my tips for learning online. Why not try,

Giving Advice: Learn English Vocabulary

Questions with DO: Learn English Grammar

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