There are many ways in which you can improve your English; below I’d like to share some of my favourite tips with you:
- Get a dictionary for fashion vocabulary, preferably a visual one like the following which we use for this course:
Find out more on fashionary.org
- Keep e.g. a pocketsize notebook Keep a pocket-sized notebook to record new vocabulary, along with its pronunciation, frequent collocations and an example sentence to remind you in which contexts to use it. Look at this frequently in order to help you memorize what you have learned, e.g. while you’re on the bus.
- You can also do the same by saving new vocabulary on Google translator. This has the added benefit that you will have a sound file available to check the pronunciation:
Translate a word or phrase from Spanish to English and click on the star icon in the English translation box to save it to your personal “phrasebook”.
Whenever you want to consult your phrasebook click on the star icon above the English translation box and you will find all the previously saved vocabulary on the right-hand side (see image below).
Simply click on the English words or phrases to listen to their pronunciation.
- Read as many fashion-related books, magazines, websites and blogs as you can – it’s an easy and fun way to learn, memorize and see new vocabulary in context.
- Make the most of the many fashion channels and videos available on YouTube.
- If you need to improve your grammar, you can buy a self-study book like the following. There’s an initial level test you can do and correct yourself in order to establish which topics you will need to study.
Available from bookshops on and offline.
- For any other area you need help in, let me know and I’ll be happy to point you in the right direction, be it for additional study material or otherwise.
- Last but not least: stay motivated! You’ll probably feel very motivated to do extra studies and homework right now, but how are you going to maintain your initial enthusiasm? Here are some tips to help you along:
- Be realistic and as specific as possible about your goals. Create a study plan if necessary: think carefully about how much time you actually have and when. This will give you a better idea of how much you can expect to achieve within a certain period of time.
A study plan could look something like this:
- Watch YouTube fashion videos for 10 minutes while having breakfast Monday to Friday.
- Read an article on one of your favourite websites during your lunch break Mon-Fri.
- Reserve half an hour on Tuesday and Thursday evening to do coursework and/or some additional studies, such as a chapter from a grammar self-study book.
- Do a 30-minute revision of what you have learned during the week every Sunday afternoon.
P.S. Revision will be key to your success! Especially since you are studying in a non-English-speaking country, which will mean that you have fewer opportunities to practise what you have learned and are therefore more likely to forget it quickly.
- Focus on what you have learned, instead of the knowledge you lack. We often feel discouraged when we think of all the things we don’t know, especially when we compare ourselves to other students who might have a higher level than us. Instead, it would be far more helpful to remind ourselves of what we have learned every once in a while and try to apply the same wherever we can.
- Don’t be shy! Not speaking, especially in the safe environment of your class, only because you’re afraid of making mistakes is a missed opportunity to advance. Nobody’s perfect, so don’t worry and go for it.
- Experiment! Try applying your newly acquired knowledge, whenever you can, even if you might have doubts over whether you are using e.g. new vocabulary using new vocabulary, expressions or structures in the right contexts. If you’ll get it wrong If you get it wrong- don’t worry! We’re here to help you.
- Didn’t stick to your goals or study plan? Don’t throw the towel Don’t throw in the towel! We’ve all been there and it’s not the end. The important thing is to get “back on your horse” and keep going!