Seb brought some ideas up in his post but none of these are new for me.
To learn new words is not unimportant but the only way to improve it is to speak it.
I agree. That’s why I’m looking for every chance to practise it. You can’t force your colleagues into speaking English. Furthermore you can’t be sure that their English is worse than yours. I made the experience that lots of people don’t have the heart to speak English although they were able to. In my case it wasn’t much different. I hid my blog a long time but then I realised that I had to publish it to make efforts in learning English. The key is to not have fear. Since my blog is public I improved my English a lot. I still make a lot of mistakes that I don’t care about at the moment because my motto is “Don’t care about grammar rules or mistakes. Just speak!”. Of course I can’t neglect the grammar rules but this will be the next step. First I want to enlarge my vocabulary and to get more self-confident while speaking it.
Back to the vocabulary. In Luxembourg you have to learn up to four foreign languages. English is the most unimportant language there so it’s rarely used in everyday life. All learnt stuff is for the birds!
One way is to go on language holiday.
You think it gets expensive? Not at all. On Monday I’m travelling to Sweden. The price for the flight ticket in one direction is only 23.75 € (fees included!) . You just need to inform you about cheap tickets from time to time
Pay attention if you plan to travel with some friends. If you really want to improve your English you should travel alone. Thus you’re forced to just speak English.
Using services like skype to communicate in English.
That’s why I’m blogging. I hoped to get a couple of comments from people correcting my English a little bit or just discussions about the topic. It didn’t work. I’m sure it’s not that different with the use of skype. It’s just another medium.
Talk to native English speakers that are trying to learn your language.
This idea is not new. At university you can join Int Club. They organise language exchange courses several times per year. One time you speak your language and another time your partner’s one.
A fundamental vocabulary is important and my One Word A Day plugin isn’t just neat. Not only difficult words are published by this service. For instance I learnt words like outfox, erudite, freshman, flabbergasted and many more that allows me to express myself much better.
The development on this plugin isn’t stopped. I’m going to implement a quiz system to test the learnt words (is this sentence correct?). From the installation time on each word is cached. If Paul allows me to publish the quiz system everyone can benefit from it.
Each time I’m writing posts I’m looking for English words here. Furthermore I can listen to it. So One Word A Day is not the only way to enlarge my vocabulary. On past Saturday I took part of the guided tour organised by ISGS. Almost only English was spoken.