How to be a good language learner
The following information is from a Manitoba Publication. To access the complete document click on Practice English on Your Own.
Organize your time
Make a detailed schedule of your week and book some study time into your schedule. If possible, plan to study at the time of day when you work best.
- Be sure to give yourself short breaks and reward yourself when you’ve studied well.
- Make your own study schedule. Make a chart of the 7 days of the week (along the top) and the hours of the day, from about 6 a.m. until midnight (along the left side). Use a new chart for each week. In your chart, write down all the things you have to do, such as work, classes, meals, picking up your children, or special events. Schedule in some study time each day. Don’t forget to schedule in a little exercise and free time too! Try to find a balance, as much as possible, between study, work, family and recreation. Carry your schedule with you, so you don’t forget your activities and study time. You can buy a Journal or Day timer that allows you to schedule for up to a year. Most working Canadians carry one of these.
Find a good place to study
Work in a quiet environment at a table or desk that has enough room for everything you will need, such as: a textbook, a dictionary, a notebook and pens, pencils and highlighters.
Find a partner (or a few)
- Sometimes it helps to study English with someone else. You can ask each other questions and quiz each other. Discussing what you have read with your study partner will help you clarify your thinking.
How do you learn best?
When you know how you learn, you can choose learning techniques that will help you to study better
Learning by listening:
Some people are able to remember things better if they hear information. They enjoy reading aloud or studying with others, listening to recorded books or information, or listening to class presentations.
Learning by seeing:
Some people remember what they see and prefer written instructions. They like visual sources of information such as videos or the internet. They learn better when they see charts and diagrams, posters, flashcards or textbooks with pictures.
Learning by doing:
Some people learn better if they do a task themselves. They are “hands on” learners. They understand directions best if they write them down. They remember what they learn if they draw pictures and diagrams, make models, solve puzzles, participate in an activity and use their hands.
For more tips on learning English, click on Practice English on Your Own.
The last word…
On-line: There are lots of resources on-line. To check out some of them, go to For more information.
Most Public Libraries in Canada have a good collection of English as a Second Language books, tapes, videos and CDs. If your local library does not have what you are looking for, they can help you search the list of books owned by the library system and they will bring it to you. You will also be able to access the Internet through your library. All of these services are free.
Click here for: How well do you use English?
To go to the next part, click here: 3. English for Living in Canada