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ENGLISH classes near you: at home, at work, or online

English classes near you: at home, at work, or online

Any immigrant living in the US knows that it’s not easy to adapt to life here without speaking English. Even if you can speak your native language with family members and friends who are also living in the country, unless you work on improving your skills, you won’t be able to find a job that’s actually well-paid, and it will be very hard to socialize with people outside your own community. Because of that, if you’re tired of feeling like a second-class citizen, and you want to enjoy your life in the United States to the fullest, the smartest thing you can do this year is to take your language skills to the next level and reach your whole potential. There are plenty of ways of doing this, but the best one is to start a language course, as having a language teacher help you improve your grammar and your pronunciation will help you achieve the fluency you want in close to no time. However, there are also things you can do on your own to improve your English in your free time. Don’t believe us? Here’s a quick guide that will help you take your skills to the next level in the comfort of your own home.

Tips to Improve your American English

There’s no need to get rid of your accent when speaking in English, but you do have to make sure that you speak in a way that’s understandable if you want to socialize with locals and get better jobs. If you want to sound more like an American, take a look at these useful tips to improve your pronunciation.

Copy the Experts

The first thing you should do to improve your accent is to immerse yourself in the language as much as possible and listen to native speakers talking every day. You can do this in many ways, like listening to podcasts, watching YouTube channels, or enjoying your favorite American TV shows on Netflix. Whatever you do, make sure you are listening to native speakers, and if you live in a place where people have a very particular American accent like the south or New York, and you want to sound more like them, try to watch interviews of famous people who have that accent and mimic the way they talk in your free time. To make sure you’re getting it right, you can always record yourself and play it back while listening to the original audio to see how similar or how different you sound. Although you might feel ridiculous at first, copying the way native speakers speak will have a real positive impact on your accent in the long run, so try to have fun with it!

Pay Attention to Intonation and Word Stress

Instead of focusing on particular sounds, in the beginning it’s really useful to try to copy the intonation American people have when speaking. In case you don’t know, intonation is the way the voice rises and falls when speaking a particular language, and depending on which languages you already speak, you might be used to a completely different rhythm when talking, which might get in the way of locals understanding what you say. On top of this, you might also have noticed that when building a sentence, Americans tend to pronounce certain words clearer and louder. This is known as word stress, and although it might seem like something that’s not important, getting this right can absolutely help others understand what you’re trying to say.

Find a Language Partner

There’s no point in spending hours and hours studying English if you don’t put your skills to the test in an actual conversation. That’s why it’s so important that you find at least one language partner you can talk to every week. If you can, you should find a native speaker or at least an advanced learner, so that they can correct your mistakes and give you useful feedback to improve your pronunciation. If you don’t know anybody, you can always go to language exchange events in the city or town you live in and make new friends.

Useful American Idioms You Should Know

Native speakers use idiomatic expressions all the time, and it can sometimes be hard for foreigners to understand the meaning of these phrases, as they don’t really make sense if you translate them literally. To help you out, here are some of the most popular American idioms you might hear when watching television, listening to the radio or talking with locals.

Idiomatic Expressions Meaning Examples
It’s not rocket science This idiom is used to say that something is not complicated, or that you don’t need to make things more complicated than they need to be. All you need to do to lose weight is eat less and move more, it’s not rocket science.
A blessing in disguise A situation or thing that you thought would be a problem but ended up being something beneficial. Losing my phone ended up being a blessing in disguise… I’m much more productive now.
Speak of the devil This expression is used when you are talking about someone, and they show up unexpectedly. Well, speak of the devil, here you are! We were just talking about you.
Call it a day To stop working for the day and relax. You look tired Will, maybe you should call it a day.
Hang in there You say this phrase to someone when they are going through a rough time, or they are trying to achieve something difficult, and you don’t want them to give up. Hang in there, honey! Things will get better.

As useful as this short guide might be, if you really want to improve your English skills and master the language as fast as possible, contact us at Listen & Learn, and we’ll help you achieve all your goals. We offer all kinds of language courses that are completely flexible and personalized to our student's needs and requirements, so don’t waste any more time and make the first step to become bilingual today.


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