If you didn’t get the score you wanted on the test, don’t feel discouraged. To make sure you feel 100% ready to take our TEFL course and become an amazing English teacher, we’d recommend brushing up on your English skills first. It’s important to have a good grasp of English before completing a TEFL Course as our tutors will be assessing your work when you submit your assignments.
The main areas to work on are the four language skills: speaking, reading, writing, and listening. To help you on your way, we’ve listed some of the key ways that you can improve these, keep reading to find out more!
Practice having conversations with native speakers
Practicing your conversational English skills with a native speaker will help boost your self-confidence and speaking abilities. Not only will you improve your English pronunciation, but you’ll also expand your vocabulary. Plus, you can even pick up some idiomatic phrases to make you sound more fluent – winner! Having regular conversations will help speed up your learning process which means you’ll be ready to enrol onto a TEFL Course in no time!
Learn English phrases as opposed to just individual words
As tempting as it may be to learn key words and vocabulary, you should try to focus more on phrases. Learning set phrases in English is a fantastic way to understand sentence structure and grammar. This is essential for non-native speakers as it allows you to see real-life examples of these complex issues. Not only will you learn subjects, objects, and adjectives in English, but you’ll also learn how to conjugate verbs correctly – amazing!
Record yourself speaking to identify any mistakes you make
Want to sound more fluent but keep making mistakes, then why not record yourself? As daunting as it may be to listen to your own voice, recording yourself speaking is a great way to improve your English. From pronunciation and intonation to grammatical errors, you’ll soon be able to spot key areas that you need to focus on – go you!
Read books that interest you
Believe it or not, improving your English can actually be pretty fun! Reading books, magazines, and articles that interest you is a fantastic way to boost your skills. Being engaged and enjoying learning is all part of the improvement process, so take it in your stride!
Ask yourself questions about what you’re reading
Asking questions about what you’re reading is essential for your development. Whether you create chapter summaries, character analysis, or a list of vocabulary that you’ve learned, you’ll soon improve your language skills. Understanding large chunks of written information can be a pretty tricky skill so don’t be discouraged if it takes a while – you’ve got this!
Try to increase your reading speed as you become more confident
Becoming a confident reader in English is a great way to improve your language skills as it means you can absorb large chunks of information easily. Increasing your speed will not only help with your reading skills but it will also help boost your self-esteem and make getting through your TEFL Course a lot easier! By practicing a little every day, you’ll soon be able to skim read texts and pick out key pieces of information.
Always check your spelling
It might sound pretty obvious, but it’s something we’re all guilty of doing. When submitting assignments and sending emails you need to make sure that your spelling is spot on. There’s nothing more off-putting than reading a text which is full of mistakes so always double-check your work. You’re going to be an English teacher after all so practice what you preach!
Use Grammarly to help identify mistakes
We’re all human so don’t be afraid to make mistakes! All you need to do now is learn from them. Even native speakers need help identifying grammatical errors so don’t worry if you’re in the same boat. One of the best ways to overcome this is by using Grammarly on your computer. It can help identify punctuation and spelling mistakes as well as inappropriate colloquialisms. Give it a go if you haven’t already!
Brush up on your grammar
Whether it’s the future continuous, past simple, or prepositions you struggle with it’s really important to brush up on your grammar. Make sure you spend a bit of time each day going over the basics before you move onto something harder. For useful grammatical explanations and breakdowns check out our downloadable lesson plans online.
Watch films and TV series in English
The ultimate way to improve your English is by watching films and tv series in English. Not only can you hear authentic accents, but you can also improve your listening skills. By adding subtitles, you can develop your reading skills and identify correct forms of spelling, grammar, and verb conjugations – easy!
Listen to podcasts
Listening to podcasts is another great way to improve your listening skills and it can be pretty fun too! Whether you’re interested in conspiracy theories, news updates, or comedy podcasts there’s something for everyone.
Practice listening to different accents
Whether it’s South African, American, or British English, it’s useful to understand all types of accents. The best way to do this is by listening to films, music, podcasts, and videos from around the world. With millions of English speakers across the globe, try and listen to as many native speakers as possible. By doing so, you’ll become an English language pro in no time!
If you’d like to go that one step further to identify what your level is, we recommend the free EF English test. This will give you an idea of what your strengths are along with specific areas that you need to work on.