Learning from Home

Updated: Mar 24, 2020

Tips and tricks to make the most of your study time

Learning doesn't end when you leave the classroom. With all levels of government mandating social distancing, students need to be creative with their language learning at home. Here are some tips from your Adult Language and Learning teaching team to make the most of your time at home:

1) Make English a routine - You know the expression....."use it or lose it". Try to listen, speak, read, and write in English every day. Try doing some routine tasks (like writing a shopping list or sending a greeting card) in English.

2) Practice with a partner - You don't need a native English speaker to practice your conversation! Talk with your family members, friends, or roommates in English every day. It might feel strange at first, but set an "English only" time period, and stick to it! You will motivate each other, and get some great practice.

3) No partner? No problem! - You can still practice listening and speaking when you are alone. Turn on the radio or TV and train your ear to listen to English at a normal speed. It's ok if you don't understand everything! Read aloud to practice your pronunciation. You can even record your voice and listen back to improve your fluency.

4) Find your interests - Textbooks and study materials are great, but too much can get a little boring. Think about what you like to do -Cooking? Sports? Fashion? Nature? Then head to the internet, watch a documentary, or grab a magazine. This is a great way to learn new vocabulary that you might not see in a textbook!

5) Read, read, read - Reading is a great way to practice your pronunciation, build your vocabulary, improve your spelling, and more! If you have young children at home, read stories to them every day -this is great for you AND for your children.

6) Start a journal - Writing about what you know is an excellent place to begin. Spend some time each night to write about your day. What did you do? Who did you see? What did you eat? What was happening in the world today? A journal is also a wonderful place to write about gratitude - what are you thankful for in your life? What are your hopes and dreams for the future?

7) Have some fun - Do you love to sing? Turn up the music and sing along to your favourite English hits. Crossword puzzles, word searches, and word scrambles are excellent ways to relax and practice vocabulary at the same time. Many websites (including those we have listed in our Useful Links section) offer games and activities for English language learners to practice from home.

Remember -there is no "right way" to study English from home! The important thing to remember is that you must practice a little bit....every....day. Learning a new language is like exercising your muscles -if you miss a few days (or weeks) of exercise, you are going to be very sore when you return to the gym!

What tips do you have for learning from home? What is your favourite way to practice English outside of school? Leave your suggestions in the comments below!