How to Improve Your English in 2022: 50 Superb Tips for All Kinds of Learners
What if you could improve your English by 1% every day?
That might not sound too impressive, but it adds up.
1% every day would mean you’d be 37 times better by the end of the year.
Improving in English is a gradual process where you get a little better day after day. Eventually you will look back and be surprised at how far you’ve come!
Of course, it helps if you’re having fun along the way.
To liven up your English learning, we’ve compiled 50 creative tips for becoming more fluent this year.
Since it’s 2022, we’ve taken full advantage of technology here, from Zoom hangouts and TikTok trends to apps so smart they talk back to you like they’re human.
The tips as a whole also tackle all four of the main language skills: listening, reading, writing, and speaking.
Pick your favorites from the list below, and try them out!
- Tips for Speaking English
- Tips for Listening to English
- Tips for English Vocabulary
- Tips for English Grammar
- Tips for Reading in English
- Tips for Writing in English
- Tips for Going Digital with English
- Tips for Getting Fluent in English
Tips for Speaking English
1. Consider your native language.
Get together with other English learners from different parts of the world, and you’ll find that not everyone finds the same English sounds difficult. Sounds like “th” and “r” are difficult for most English learners, but your native language has a major impact on your pronunciation.
Try looking up the most common pronunciation mistakes made by speakers of your native language. Use that knowledge to help you practice your own articulation!
2. Keep an audio diary in English.
The only way to get comfortable with talking in English is to do it constantly, even if it’s just to yourself!
It might feel odd at first, but you can turn this into a habit by keeping an audio diary. Record yourself on your phone describing your day, how you’re feeling, or what your future plans are in English. Then you can even listen back on your recording and notice what you did well and what you can still work on.
What’s convenient about this is there’s no pressure—you’re free to pause and repeat and take as much time as you like.
3. Pay attention to word stress.
Word stress is one of the most important parts of English pronunciation. Every English word has a syllable that’s the most stressed or emphasized. For example, “des-sert” and “de-sert” look and almost sound alike–except for the difference in word stress.
Whenever you learn a new word, always check the word stress in the dictionary. You can also listen closely to where native speakers are placing the emphasis.
4. Don’t forget the “schwa” sound.
You might have noticed that sometimes vowels in English are pronounced as “uh,” such as in “the” (thuh), “again” (uh-gen), and “reason” (ree-zuhn).
That’s the “schwa” sound! It’s the most common sound in the English language, but it’s also among the easiest to forget.
The “schwa” appears in most unstressed syllables (and the majority of words), so keep it in mind when you’re pronouncing a word.
5. Be aware of linking.
In English, words aren’t pronounced in a disconnected way. Sometimes one word flows into another (“leave at” sounds like leavat, and “no idea” sounds like nohwidea). Native speakers do this a lot!
There are specific rules for linking, so it won’t work for every word. Still, including it correctly in your speech will make your English smoother and more natural. The best way to learn linking is to listen to how native English speakers say things and which words tend to run into the next.
6. Learn to speak English from TV.
Netflix is extremely popular among English learners because watching TV series can be an awesome way to practice your English speaking (not to mention entertaining).
Pick a scene from whatever you’re watching, then pause it line by line while repeating what the characters said exactly. Try to not just match the words but also the intonation and speed!
7. Talk to other English speakers regularly.
Self-studying is just one part of the equation—you’ll have to make time to talk to other English speakers too.
Even if you’re not in an English-speaking area, this has become a lot easier to do with apps like iTalki and Go Correct. You can attend conversation clubs and language exchanges on Zoom or in your area too.
Tips for Listening to English
8. Hear out different kinds of accents.
English is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. Even if we just look at native-speaking areas, there’s a wide variety of accents!
Most English learners use the American or British accent as their base. Once you’re comfortable with one of those, hone your listening comprehension even more by exposing yourself to other accents.
9. Learn about homophones.
Homophones are English words that sound alike but have different meanings. Some examples would be:
- Eye – I
- Hear – Here
- Ate – Eight
You won’t be able to know which word it is just by listening–you’ll have to look at the context of the sentence! A handy trick is to go through a list of common homophones so you’ll recognize them when you hear them.
10. Immerse in pop culture.
Part of learning English is getting to know the culture. In fact, English pop culture is everywhere, and it’s enjoyable so you won’t even feel like you’re studying.
With FluentU alone, you can already explore TV series, movies, and music videos—all with detailed translations. Pop culture is a great source for modern, everyday English. This includes casual expressions that might not translate literally, but are key to speaking like a native.
11. Watch bite-sized videos.
If you already scroll through your social media feed pretty often, take advantage of it by watching bite-sized videos in English! TikTok is a useful platform for this because their videos are catchy and short, lasting for a maximum of 15 seconds.
Two of my favorite English TikTok channels are Andrea Holm English and Let’s Speak English. For viral videos (which are usually funny), search under the #learnenglish hashtag on TikTok.
12. Pair podcasts with transcripts.
Podcasts make for amazing English listening practice. Although they might seem intimidating, most of the top podcasts have word-for-word transcripts.
On your first round, practice simply listening to a section of the podcast. Then play it all again while looking at the transcript. Listen closely to the words that you couldn’t understand the first time around!
13. Do a 30-day listening challenge.
I’m guilty of playing one episode of a podcast and then forgetting all about it afterwards, even if I enjoyed it.
What worked for me was doing a 30-day listening challenge, where I’d focus on a single podcast or Youtube channel for a month and listen to it every day.
This helps with building momentum. After all, with some podcasts for learning English, the episodes are meant to be played in sequence because the difficulty increases with each episode!
14. Adjust the speed of your audio.
You can probably relate to being overwhelmed with how fast English sounds a lot of times. A way to overcome this is to slow down your speed when listening to English videos or podcasts online.
If you’re barely making out the words, hit pause and play around with the speed of the audio. I like to start with 0.75 speed and go from there.
Tips for English Vocabulary
15. Be mindful of the context.
Vocabulary lists can be awesome for reviewing and preparing for English tests, but learning words by themselves—without context—can lead to misunderstandings.
Luckily, most online dictionaries include sentences for each word so you can see how it’s used. Another hack is looking the word up on Google Images. The results might not be what you were expecting!
16. Use an English to English dictionary.
Thinking in English is key to becoming fluent in the language. You can speed up the process by turning to an English-English dictionary. Word definitions will be in English, so you’ll be cutting out any extra translating in your head.
I’d recommend the Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries—it uses simple language, includes multiple example sentences, and even includes the word origin.
17. Space out your reviews.
There’s a trick to remembering English vocabulary effectively: spaced repetition.
With spaced repetition, you review words at increasing intervals. For example, after you learn a new word, you might review it after a day. Your next review would then be in a week, then two weeks, and so on.
No need to keep track of this manually—there are flashcard apps like Anki and Memrise that make reviewing automatic!
18. Upgrade your browser extensions.
How often do you use web browsers like Chrome or Safari? If you’ve lost count, then you might want to experiment with browser extensions for expanding your vocabulary.
Some Chrome extensions such as Google Dictionary allow you to highlight any word online, and the meaning of the word will appear right away. There are also extensions that flash a new English word every time you open a tab.
19. Make up sentences.
When you learn a new English word, sometimes you might be able to remember its meaning, but you don’t use it in conversation. The word hasn’t made it to your active vocabulary yet and it doesn’t come to mind when you speak or write.
To make a word more memorable, think of everyday situations where you’re likely to use the word. Then come up with at least three sentences based on those!
Tips for English Grammar
20. Choose helpful grammar references.
While you can pick up grammar just from listening and reading a lot of English, sometimes you’ll still have to read up on the rules. It’s handy to have a trusty grammar reference or two that you can always consult.
For online references, Your Dictionary and EnglishClub are rather informative and convenient. If you prefer a physical book, English Grammar in Use and Practical English Usage are considered classics among English learners.
21. Make it stick with grammar exercises.
Have you ever read about a grammar rule—then forgotten all about it the next day? That’s because to get it to stick in your mind, you’ll have to practice actually applying it yourself. Grammar exercises are invaluable for this.
Most grammar textbooks and references include grammar exercises. In fact, whatever grammar rule you’re hoping to master, you’ll find tons of exercises and quizzes online about it!
22. Get to know the articles.
Articles are everywhere in English, and it’s easy to mix them up.
There are only three articles in English (“a,” “an,” and “the”). “The” talks about a specific noun, while “a” and “an” are non-specific.
If your native language doesn’t have similar articles, you can get more familiar with these by doing exercises like this one.
23. Remember the top irregular verbs.
When you’re still getting the hang of English, there’s a lot of memorization involved, and irregular verbs are the perfect example of this.
Most verbs in English follow a predictable pattern when they change tenses, but irregular verbs break away from that. There isn’t really any way to remember which verbs are irregular other than memorization, so find a way that works best for you to commit them to memory.
You don’t have to know them all right away, though. To start off, focus on the first 25 irregular verbs because these are the most important.
24. Learn about the most common mistakes.
To improve your grammar, knowing about the most common grammar mistakes is a must.
These include subject-verb agreement—for example, saying “he smile” or “they is” instead of the grammatically correct “he smiles” or “they are.” Other common mistakes would be:
- Your vs. You’re
- I vs. Me
- Fewer vs. Less
Even native speakers make grammar mistakes, so set improvement as your goal rather than perfection.
Tips for Reading in English
25. Read what interests you.
To be motivated with reading English, you have to be interested in what you’re reading.
If textbook reading passages are making you fall asleep, don’t be afraid to branch out! Look for reading material that’s engaging and compatible with your level of English fluency.
Novels with simple language such as “Harry Potter” are a top choice. For something short and sweet, check out comics or even children’s books.
26. Add some variety.
The more that you read in English, the better you’ll get at it—and the more choices you’ll have for reading material. As you get better at reading, aim for variety so you’ll get exposed to diverse ways of using the English language.
Aside from books, delve into blogs, magazines, and even social media posts by top publications!
27. Pause and study the grammar.
One mode of reading is called intensive reading, where you carefully analyze the words and phrases that you encounter.
For every sentence that you read, try to understand its structure. What’s the verb tense involved, and why are the words arranged in this way? You might also jot down new words so you can study them later.
28. Practice extensive reading.
Even thirty minutes of intensive reading needs a lot of focus, so balance it out with extensive reading. This is when you read for fun. Instead of stopping at every sentence, you simply read without pausing while letting the meaning come naturally to you.
The most important words will be repeated over and over, so it’s a type of informal drill that conditions your mind to understand English.
29. Take advantage of parallel translation.
Here’s a huge advantage of technology: it saves you from having to flip pages repeatedly to check the meaning or translation of a word.
Parallel translation apps make reading in English much more effortless. With these apps you can click on any sentence or paragraph in a book and you’ll see a translation right away in your native language. No more page flipping or app switching needed!
30. Read along with an audiobook.
One risk when you read in English is that you might be pronouncing the words wrong in your head. You can get around this by using a book together with its partner audiobook.
Read a paragraph first from the book on its own, then play back that section in the audiobook.
As you read more and hear the same words repeatedly, you’ll absorb the right way to pronounce them.
Tips for Writing in English
31. Receive feedback.
Writing might be something that you do alone, but it really helps to receive feedback—especially when you’re learning English. Aside from spotting spelling and grammar mistakes, other people can point out if any of your sentences sound awkward or unnatural.
There are apps like Go Correct where you can connect with English teachers. You can also post your writing online and ask English speakers to make comments!
31. Participate in a writing streak.
If you’re hoping for an extra push with writing, take on a writing streak. The idea is to write every day so you can maintain your “streak.” Skip a day, and it gets broken.
A Reddit forum called r/WriteStreakEN was created exactly for this, with native speakers making corrections on your writing. Impressively, some people have streaks lasting for as long as a year.
32. Check your grammar.
When you write anything in English, you can make it more polished by doing a basic grammar check on your own.
Go to an online grammar checker like Grammarly or Writer, and paste your writing there.
The grammar checker will give you a neat list of potential grammar and spelling errors in your writing. You’ll get suggestions for how to fix them.
34. Find your voice online.
You don’t have to write a full-blown essay right away in English. You can start small—maybe even as small as a few words or a sentence at a time!
Social media is a great way to do this. Start following accounts in English, then leave comments, even if it’s as simple as “That’s so cool!” or “Can relate!” From there, build up to longer posts and maybe even join in discussion forums.
35. Send messages in English.
If you’re looking for something that’s more interactive, reach out to people online and send them direct messages in English.
This can be a one-time thing—you can message people that you admire on social media and strike up a short conversation with them.
On the other hand, you might do a more long-lasting language exchange with a native English speaker (and help them learn your native language too!).
36. Join online English writing courses.
What if you’re hoping to improve a specific part of your writing? There are tons of free online courses for all sorts of writing topics, from intermediate grammar points to business writing in English.
Coursera and EdX both have hundreds of writing courses taught by top universities. This master list from Class Central rounds up more English writing courses from all over the internet.
Tips for Going Digital with English
37. Expand your social media feed.
It can be tricky to squeeze in time to practice English, but you can make it a natural part of your day with the help of social media!
Start following social media accounts in English that are focused on your interests. Personally, I also follow accounts that are specifically about the English language, such as @tofluency and @phrasalidiomatic on Instagram.
38. Post about learning English.
Aside from making your social media feed more multilingual, go one step further and post about your English learning journey. You can talk about English movies or TV series you like, mention your progress, or simply share any interesting ideas or experiences you’ve picked up along the way.
This can bring up a nice sense of community. Other English learners might follow your account, or you might even have acquaintances who’ll be able to relate!
39. Join online communities.
No matter where you are in the world, as long as you have internet, you can already connect right away with native speakers and other English learners.
Try to join at least one online community about learning English. On Discord alone, you’ll find several servers for practicing English and for language exchanges.
Alternatively, hop into any of the online English practice events on Meetup!
40. Have a blast with multiplayer games.
Gaming isn’t just for entertainment—did you know you can also use it to learn English?
Multiplayer games like League of Legends, Minecraft, and Fortnite often involve heavy teamwork with people around the world. More often than not, the language common to everyone is English.
Aside from your listening skills, your reading and writing skills get a workout too because you’ll have to type messages to other users.
41. Start conversations with AI.
For those times when you don’t have access to a conversation partner, you can turn to your phone or computer and have a chat with AI.
Practice saying simple sentences to Google Assistant, Siri, or any other AI app that can recognize voices. (Try asking about Siri’s favorite color or getting Google Assistant to check the news).
You can even carry out long text conversations with AI bots like Replika.
42. Do word puzzles.
Test out your vocabulary with word puzzles! These often involve forming words out of random letters, filling in the blanks, or even guessing English phrases based on hints.
Scrabble is a classic, along with Boggle, Hangman, and crosswords. For a more relaxed game where you don’t have to think of words from scratch, you can explore Word Search (available for Android and Apple).
43. Gamify your learning.
Do you turn to your phone when you’re waiting in line or commuting?
Squeeze in some English practice by downloading mobile apps for learning English such as Duolingo.
Most of these apps turn learning into a game to motivate English learners, meaning they offer bite-sized lessons, points, and levels that you have to maintain. You can get some practice in with even just a quick five-minute session!
44. Change your device language.
Moving to an English-speaking country isn’t always doable, but you can edge out of your comfort zone in other ways.
For one, you can change your phone’s language to English. Most phones allow you to choose between US and UK English at the minimum.
It’s also possible to switch the display language of popular websites such as Facebook and Twitter.
Tips for Getting Fluent in English
45. Form your own study method.
There’s an endless amount of study methods for learning English, and most of them do work—but you have to select which ones suit you the best.
Every person has a different learning style. Do you prefer a step-by-step approach, or would you rather jump in? Do you love reading books, or are you more of a podcast person?
Experiment with all of these tips and tactics, and prioritize what clicks with you.
46. Set aside time regularly.
You’ll achieve the best results with consistent practice (rather than cramming it all in one day of the week!).
Life can get surprisingly hectic, but you can turn learning English into a microhabit. Microhabits are habits that take so little effort that you can squeeze them in even on your busiest days!
For improving your English, this might mean reviewing at least one word or committing to two minutes of practice every day.
47. Pay attention to formal vs. informal.
When you speak English to your friends, you’ll definitely use phrases and expressions that you wouldn’t say in a business meeting.
English has varying levels of formality, and it’s important to know the differences between casual and formal English.
For example, you might tell a friend, “Wanna hang out later?” On the other hand, in a work setting, you’d probably say, “Would you be available to meet later?” instead.
48. Challenge yourself with tests.
Tests might not be all that entertaining, but they’re useful to take every now and then so you can gauge your level of English proficiency.
It doesn’t even have to be an official test like the IELTS or the TOEFL. You can take free tests and quizzes online. There are also more specialized tests that will drill you separately on grammar, vocabulary, and listening.
49. Get out of your comfort zone.
Learning English is all about getting outside of your comfort zone, which can be daunting, but rewarding!
Put yourself in situations where you’ll have no choice but to speak in English. For activities that are more daring, you can even do spoken word, improvisation, or public speaking.
This applies to vocabulary as well! You might want to expand your vocabulary by learning more specialized terms in niches like food (“appetizer”) or technology (“machine learning”).
50. Practice all four language skills.
Among the four language skills (listening, reading, writing, and speaking), you’ll most likely have areas that you don’t focus on as much compared to the others.
In any case, make sure that you have space for all four of the skills in your study routine. Each skill affects the others, and you’ll improve faster with a well-rounded approach.
To make the most out of this list, select at least a couple of tips from each section, then test them out and keep what works. You’ll end up with an English learning tactic that’s uniquely effective for you.
Before you know it, you’ll be improving naturally—even 1% worth of progress each day will get you far over the long run!