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10 Ways to Practice Your English Skills for Free

by Travis Drageset Sep 14, 2015

Now that you have some English comprehension under your belt , you know what they say…practice, practice, practice! Whether it’s in between your English lessons, in addition to the English program you’re learning with, or after completing a course, the best way to make the most of your hard earned investment is to immerse yourself in the language. If you don’t plan to move to an English-speaking country, or not yet anyway, you can do this in bits and pieces, whenever you have 5 minutes, 10 minutes, or enough time to catch a movie. If you’re already spending time in a country where English is the primary language, unless you’re constantly engaged in English conversation, you’ll still need to practice!

Here are 10 ways you can practice your English skills for free:

1. Podcasts

There are many podcasts out there that are made especially for ESL or EFL learners.

English-learning podcast examples: Podcasts in English, Language is Culture and English Class 101.

2. Videos

You can practice your English comprehension by watching any old YouTube video, but there are a lot of English instructors making videos designed to assist you with listening comprehension, pronunciation and grammar.

A few of my favorites: Fluency MC, Rachel’s English and ESL Basics.

3. Apps

Of course, there are thousands of free English apps just a click away. When you want to get a bit more advanced, most have inexpensive upgrade options.

If the choices are overwhelming, you might want to try these: Rosetta Stone, FluentU, Rocket Languages.

4. Music

Do you like any English songs? Do you follow any British, American or Australian artists or bands? If so, you’re probably already singing along to a few tunes. Keep it up! Studies have shown that learning anything to music increases your learning speed. And listening to current recordings also helps you learn phrases and proper slang usage, and it keeps your head in the language.

5. Exercises

You can find thousands of free English exercises online. English teachers post them on their sites as a service to new students.

6. Games

Test your vocabulary and grammar with online English games like ESL Games Plus, Games to Learn English, Classroom Aid or any of the hundreds of English game sites.

7. Films and TV shows

If you’re watching an English film on Netflix, or if you’re watching a film in a theatre, turn off – or try to ignore – the subtitles. You’ll be amazed by how much you understand!

8. Move to an English-speaking country.

Of course, moving to an English-speaking country is not free (or even cheap), but if you’re able to do it, the world will be your classroom. Once there, try your best to speak only in English, even when hanging out with friends who speak your native language.

9. Read English newspapers.

This is an old trick that works. Try to read first the headlines, then a few paragraphs of an article. Look up the words you don’t know. You’ll find that you’re doing this less and less in a relatively short time.

10. Switch your phone and social media accounts to English.

Go ahead, take the plunge. What better place to start than a familiar, friendly environment?

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