Taking English lessons online is a great way to improve your English and to motivate you to keep learning. You can study in your own time from the comfort of your home and have 1-on-1 lessons made just for you.
Not only do I teach English online, I also take lessons in other languages that I’m learning every week. After years of experience, I’ve created a list of 10 ways to get the most of your online English lessons.
1. Warm Up Before THe Lesson
Do you ever feel lost at the start of the lesson?
Sometimes it takes a long time to “warm up” and get used to speaking and listening to English.
If you really want to make the most out of your English lessons I recommend spending some time before each lesson practicing reading and speaking out loud or do some listening exercises.
Once the lesson actually begins you will feel prepared and ready to talk right away!
2. Set Learning Goals With Your Teacher
What you learn in your lessons is up to you. What is most important for you?
Writing business emails?
Do you want to learn English for travel? Or for work?
Be clear on your goals and let your teacher know what you would like to focus on. Together you can set goals for the future. A good teacher will help you establish this goal in the first lesson. Once you are clear on your English goals English you can work harder to reach it.
3. Write Down New Words
Many students choose to take notes in the lesson – this is a really good idea!
The downside is that it can cause you to miss things or it can slow down the lesson.
If they don't do it already, ask your teacher if they can write down the notes for you. Any new words or sentences can be written in a document or in Skype for you to review after the lessons. This way you save a lot of time and can focus more on the lesson.
4. Study New Words Between Lessons
One of the best things you can do to continue improving is to study between your lessons too. Every day if possible!
Having one lesson a week is better than nothing, but it will only help you so much. You are likely to forget things quickly if you are not reviewing them in your spare time.
I recommend using flashcards (like Anki or Memrise) to practice the words you learnt in the lesson. It’s also important to create some sentences using the new vocabulary. It will be much easier to remember the sentences than just words on their own.
With a flashcard app you can study on your phone any time of the day!
5. Create A Cheat Sheet
Many learners find it useful to create a “cheat sheet”.
This can be a word document where you write the new words and phrases you’ve learnt and want to practice using.
Even though they are written down, using these phrases in your lessons can help them stick in your memory. Perhaps the first time you will use your cheat sheet to say the sentence and next time it will be stuck in your memory.
Another benefit of this is that your teacher can give you feedback and let you know if you’re using the phrase correctly.
6. Don't Be Afraid To Make Mistakes
Worrying about making mistakes can stop you from improving quickly – trust me I’ve had this too!
Spend less time thinking about the grammar structure and correct pronunciation and just have fun being creative with the language. Think about it, that’s how you learnt your native language as a baby right?
Now, I’m not saying that grammar and pronunciation isn’t important. But you shouldn’t let it stop you from talking. You can ask the teacher to correct your mistakes but the grammar will come naturally over time.
7. Ask Your Teacher To Slow Down
I remember my first ever language class.
The teacher spoke very quickly and I was too nervous to tell them I didn’t understand.
Don’t be afraid to ask them to slow down. Sometimes teachers just don’t realise and sometimes they get nervous themselves!
Ask your teacher to slow down their English or repeat sentences. They will be happy to help you and probably write it down for you as well.
8. Get Creative!
Rather than just writing down a new word, it’s important to get creative with English.
Use your new words to create a short story and try sharing it online. Somewhere like Lang8 is a great place to write your stories and get feedback from native speakers.
See how many sentences you can make with the new words you learn! Making them relevant to your own life would be even better.
9. Ask For Homework
Most of us can find 10 minutes a week to do some homework right?
There’s no harm in asking the teacher for some homework so you can practice what you learnt in the class.
You can go over the answers in your next class and see how well you did.
10. Have Fun!
One of the most important things is to remember to have fun!
If you’re having fun then the learning will come naturally.
You don’t want your lessons to feel like a chore. Your mind will be more open to new information when you are enjoying what you’re doing.
Try to find the joy in learning new words. As your English improves you are opening up millions of potential conversations with people all over the world! Isn’t that exciting?
What was your favourite tip from this list? Are there any tips that you are going to try and implement into your lessons? Let me know in the comments below!
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