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  • Chris Wylie

Ten Great Ways to Improve Your English During a Pandemic



I know there are a lot of people who like to travel to learn new languages. After all, what could be better than learning English on the sunny beaches of San Diego? Or the sunny beaches of Sydney? Or the foggy beaches of Brighton? But sometimes, travel isn’t possible; for example, when a tiny little Coronavirus shuts down airports around the world.


Don’t worry, though. Just because you can’t get out of the country, or maybe even your house, it doesn’t mean you have to stop learning English! Here are 10 great ways to learn English during a pandemic.


  1. Join a class. No one is going to school right now, but we can still attend class online. There are many schools and private teachers who have switched to teaching online. You can find group classes that help with speaking, or private classes to focus on something special. My school has switched to teaching online until the quarantine has ended, and I love it. Skills: Speaking, Listening, Reading, Writing.

  2. Read a book. This one is good even when there isn’t a pandemic. But, since we are locked inside, we all have time to enjoy a good book. Pick a topic that is interesting to you. And try to pick a book good for your level. Leave a comment if you need help finding a book for you. Skill: reading.

  3. Write a friend. One of the hardest things to learn alone is English writing. But there are still things you can do to keep in practise. One way is to write a friend in English. Maybe it is someone in your family who is studying English, too. Or maybe it is that friend you met on your travels. Wouldn’t it be great to get in contact with them again and practice your English at the same time! Skill: writing.

  4. Start a video group chat. There are so many ways for us to connect online. One great way is to use one of the many video chat services that have appeared during the pandemic. A popular one, one which I use with my family, is Zoom. It is free, easy to use, and it allows you to connect to others to improve your English. Skill: Speaking.

  5. Listen to music. Everyone loves music. That is why listening to songs is a great way to improve your English. You can learn vocabulary, improve your pronunciation, and you can even pick up a little grammar. But what can take your learning to the next level is if you sing along! Skills: listening, speaking (if you sing, too).

  6. Watch videos. And there are so many videos to choose from. Movies and TV are great for our learning because we can hear different people speak different kinds of English. We can learn new vocabulary. And videos tend to use the less formal style of English that many students want to learn. Quick tip: turn the captions on so that you can practice reading as well as listening. Skills: Listening, speaking.

  7. Use online ESL websites. There is almost nothing you cannot find online, and that includes English lessons. There are so many websites that exist to help students improve their English skills. You can find learning tasks that are perfect for your level. Many sites offer grammar tips, vocabulary lists, and listening tasks. One I recommend is, of course, this one, ChrisinEnglish.com. But because I like to be fair, I will also mention DavesESLcafe.com and Flo-joe.co.uk. Skill: Reading, grammar, listening.

  8. Play games in English. Learning English is hard, but it doesn’t have to be hard work. There are many games we can play that will help us improve our language skills. Many English learning websites, this one included, have a games section. But they are not just games. They are fun activities that will improve your English while you have fun and challenge yourself. But not all games are online. You can also break out an English language board game to have learning fun with your friends and family. Skills: Reading, listening, speaking.

  9. Learn something else in English. I am sure that English is not the only thing that is interesting to you. Maybe you have a passion for cooking. Perhaps you want to learn computer coding. You might even want to learn how to fix a car! Whatever your interest and aims, by studying your new subject in English you can gain the knowledge you seek and improve your English at the same time. Like the idiom says, it’s like hitting two birds with one stone! Skill: Reading, listening.

  10. Ask a friend to teach you. Don’t forget your friends. When they need help, you give it. When they need advice, there you are. So you shouldn’t be surprised to learn that your friends will be there for you, too. If you have a question about English, ask your friend who has studied it. You will learn something new, and you will give them a chance to practice their English, as well. Skills: Speaking, grammar, listening, writing.

Yes, the world has been locked down. But that doesn’t mean our dreams and goals and plans should be locked down, too. There are still many ways you can reach your English goals by adopting any or all of these suggestions. With enough practice, you, too will soon be speaking with Chris in English.


Please leave a comment or question. It is also a great way to practice your English. CW


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