How to Learn English: 6 Effective Ways to Learn English Quickly

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Because of its popularity, there are a lot of resources available to help you learn English. What’s difficult is sorting through the options to find the best ones. This article will help you find quality resources for English language learning.

Every person has a different learning style. Whether you prefer learning with a more traditional method like textbooks or prefer a more self-directed approach like watching YouTube videos, this guide will show you how to learn English quickly and effectively.

two buses in London

As one of the most spoken languages in the world, speaking English is a necessary skill. Many people learn English for better job opportunities, travel, or for family and friends. Some want to learn for personal interests, like watching movies without subtitles, listening to popular music, or gaming.

It has become such a global language. Over 1.452 billion people speak English as a first or second language. There’s no denying that speaking English can open a lot of doors!

How to Learn English: Follow These Steps to Become Fluent Fast!

As a former English as a Second Language teacher, students often asked me what was the best way for them to improve their English outside of class. I wish there was a magical answer, but the truth is that the answer is different for everybody. Choosing the best tool depends on your learning style and interests.

The most effective way to learn English is to use a variety of resources. While a book or language app is good for learning vocabulary and grammar, finding an online tutor can help you improve your speaking, and listening to podcasts can help with understanding. By finding a few different ways to practice, your English will improve more quickly.

To help you get started, these are my recommendations for how to learn English fluently and quickly.

1. Use the Best English Apps

There are tons of language apps available. Some offer a complete course while others help develop specific areas, such as increasing vocabulary or helping with pronunciation. Three of the best apps you can use to learn English are Rocket English, Babbel, and Pimsleur. These are well-known names in the language learning industry and have high-quality content that will help you improve all areas of English.

Commitment: Low
Price: Low-Medium
Convenience: High

Rocket English is the best overall app to learn English. It has detailed lessons that walk you through important vocabulary and grammar step by step. Rocket focuses on speaking and understanding, and each lesson features a conversation between two native English speakers. There are also practice activities that accompany each lesson. You can try Rocket English for free to see if you like it.

Professional linguists designed Babbel’s English course. It’s the best English learning app for beginners because it teaches all English skills, like speaking, listening, reading, and writing. The lessons are interactive and teach useful everyday language. Babbel offers a few lessons for free so you can try them to see if you enjoy using the app. You can also read more about it in this Babbel review.

Pimsleur is an excellent choice if you want to improve your speaking and pronunciation. The audio lessons are useful for people who want to learn on the go. Pimsleur’s focus is on getting you conversational quickly. It doesn’t include much grammar, reading, or writing, but you start speaking English from your first lesson. You can read more in this Pimsleur review, or try it out with a 7-day free trial.

2. Take an Online English Course

English courses are perfect for learners that prefer to have a set path to follow. While there is less flexibility, it simplifies the learning process because you know exactly what you need to study next and each new lesson builds on what you have already learned. The British Council, Gymglish, and Coursera all provide top-notch online English courses that are easy to follow.

Commitment: High
Price: Medium-High
Convenience: Medium

The British Council is a widely-renowned organization that focuses on promoting the English language and culture worldwide. Their English Online course is a good combination of self-study and teacher-led classes. You have access to independent study activities, and when you are ready, you can sign up for a group or private class led by highly qualified teachers. There are many classes every day so you can choose a time that fits your schedule. Take a look at the English Online website to learn more.

Gymglish provides a unique way to learn English. Instead of logging into an app or platform, they deliver the lessons directly to your email. The lessons are short, only 10-15 minutes to complete, and they focus on a wide variety of topics. Gymglish uses stories and humor to make learning English fun. The price is also quite reasonable. You can try Gymglish for free for 7 days.

Coursera is an online platform that has courses in a wide variety of subjects, including courses that teach English. Unlike similar platforms, most Coursera courses are associated with universities so you know they are high quality. You can take some courses for free, or take a paid one if you want an official certificate. Based on student reviews, the best English course on Coursera is English for Career Development from the University of Pennsylvania. The course has over 1.5 million students enrolled and its rating is 4.8/5. To learn more, check out this review or start learning English with Coursera today!

3. Find an Online English Tutor

Speaking is one of the most important areas to develop if you want to become fluent in English. An online tutor can help you get comfortable speaking. There are many platforms that offer online English classes, but the quality can vary. It’s important to be careful when you choose a platform. Lingoda, italki, and Preply are well-known platforms that have thousands of teachers that are eager to teach you.

Commitment: Medium
Price: Medium-High
Convenience: Medium

Lingoda is an online language school that hires highly-qualified English teachers. You can choose between group classes for a more traditional language class experience or take private lessons. They also offer General English and Business English classes. The classes focus on conversation and follow a structured curriculum that will help you achieve the results you are looking for. You can try an English class for free with Lingoda or learn more about it in this review.

italki is a massive online platform that can connect you with an English tutor. There are tons of filters so you can find a tutor that’s a good fit for you. You can search by location, availability, price, and more. You can also read teacher reviews from past students to see if they enjoyed taking class with a specific teacher. Because italki tutors set their own price, you can find one that fits your budget. Since there are so many English tutors on italki, the prices are competitive. Italki offers discounted trial lessons so you can test out a few teachers. Read more about it in this italki review or visit the italki website to find a tutor today!

Preply is very similar to italki. It’s another large platform that lets you search for an English teacher with different criteria. It’s important to read student reviews to see if you are getting a quality teacher. Preply also offers a Happiness Guarantee. If you aren’t happy with your trial lesson, you can take another trial class for free until you find a teacher that you like. If you’re interested, learn more about it in this Preply review or check out the Preply website.

4. Study with High-Quality English Books

People have been learning languages with books for hundreds of years, so you know it’s effective. With a book, there are no distractions like incoming messages or flashy ads. And some people just love the feel of an actual book. Below you’ll find some excellent resources if studying with a book is your preferred method.

Commitment: Low
Price: Medium
Convenience: Medium

Practical English Usage is a reference book that is best for advanced English learners or those preparing for a certification test. It’s divided into 2 parts: grammar and vocabulary. It provides detailed grammar descriptions of topics that students often struggle with. The second part is dedicated to the nuances of certain vocabulary words. Many students use the book to study for the TEFL or CELTA exam among others.

Collocations are words that are often grouped together. Sometimes there is no rule as to why it is said that way, but it just sounds “right.” For example, someone can “burst into tears.” Taken literally, it doesn’t make sense, but it’s a common expression that is used. English Collocations in Use teaches phrases like this one in a fun and interesting way. Collocations are some of the best phrases you can learn if you want to sound like a native speaker. It’s also an excellent resource for students preparing for the Cambridge or IELTS exam.

Learning English for Dummies is the best one for beginners or low intermediate users. It starts at the beginning and teaches English vocabulary and grammar to help you get around in everyday situations. There are also pronunciation tips available as well as common, useful phrases. This book is a great choice if you want to learn at your own pace or if you are preparing to travel to an English-speaking country.

5. Watch English YouTube Videos

Let’s be honest, we all watch YouTube videos. But with the channels listed below, you can spend your time on this popular website improving your English! Watching videos is a great way to improve your listening and understanding. You’ll hear how native speakers actually speak the language, and many of them are fun and interesting to watch.

Commitment: Low
Price: Low
Convenience: High

english with lucy homepage

Lucy is one of the most popular YouTube English teachers. Most of her videos are under 15 minutes and cover interesting topics like common idioms and different ways to say “you’re welcome.” You can search her many videos to find a video that looks interesting to you and learn about British English and culture.

Easy English is created by Mitch and Isi. They interview people around Britain about different topics. The videos are entertaining and it’s a great way to hear what native speakers sound like in a natural environment. They have new videos every week, so there’s always a lot of new content.

The BBC Learning English channel has tons of diverse videos. They have live English classes every Monday, as well as news stories and videos that will help improve your vocabulary. They upload a new video every day so you’ll always have something to watch.

6. Listen to English Podcasts

Podcasts are another great way to improve your listening and pronunciation. They are convenient for people that have busy lifestyles because you can listen anytime and anywhere. It’s a passive way to learn, so you can complete other tasks. I like to listen to podcasts when I walk to the store, and others listen at the gym or before going to bed.

Commitment: Low
Price: Low
Convenience: High

EnglishClass101 app homepage

EnglishClass101 is a highly-developed resource. It includes tons of study resources on its platform, but the star feature is the podcasts. You can listen to podcasts that will teach you English, including grammar, vocabulary, and speaking, or listen to podcasts about cultural topics that are completely in English. EnglishClass101 offers some of its content for free, including new lessons weekly. The paid subscription is fairly inexpensive too. You can read more about it in this review or try it for free with a 7-day trial.

The British Council has produced a series of podcasts for CEFR level A2 and B1 learners. They are designed to help with understanding and comprehension in daily activities. Each podcast is quite extensive, usually about 30 minutes long, and comes with a series of practice activities to check for understanding. Best of all, it’s free, so you can get started listening today!

As the name implies, these podcasts are short and can be completed in 6 minutes. Each one focuses on an interesting topic, like “Life in the Modern Office” and “Discoveries of the Deep Sea.” Because some topics deal with complicated grammar or vocabulary, these podcasts are best for intermediate or advanced learners. You can download the podcasts to listen offline as well as download a transcript so you can read what is being said if you have any confusion. Try it for free to see if you like it.

How to Learn English Fast: Tips and Tricks

The perfect English language learning resource doesn’t exist. They all have their strong points, but it’s impossible to cover every area of learning. That’s why it’s a good idea to use more than one. 

For example, a language app can teach you grammar and vocabulary, but to practice listening and speaking, taking classes with an online tutor can help you improve a lot more in these areas. As with learning any new language, consistency is key. Studying a little bit every day is the best way to see constant improvement and retain new information over time.

How to Learn English: Final Thoughts

I hope this list can help you find a resource or two that is right for you. Whatever your language learning goals, with dedication and consistent practice, you’ll be speaking English like a pro in no time! If you have any additional resources that you like to use to study English, let us know in the comments!

How to Learn English: FAQ

According to the BBC, it takes 360 hours to learn English at a conversational level. It can take up to 600 hours to learn English at an advanced level.

To learn English quickly, you’ll need to find an excellent resource or two to help you. The key to learning English quickly is to study as much as you can each day using multiple methods. For example, you can learn vocabulary with an app, study grammar with a book, and improve your comprehension quickly by watching YouTube videos or listening to podcasts for an hour per day.

Language apps are one of the best ways to start learning English on your own. They teach the basics of the language, like grammar and vocabulary. Another option is to sign-up for an online course or take private lessons with an online teacher.

English is not a hard language to learn. It’s an Indo-European language, so it is similar to languages like German, Spanish, and French. It might be more difficult to learn for speakers of languages that have significant linguistic differences from English, such as Chinese, Arabic, and Korean.

To learn English fluently you will need to practice all skills related to language learning, such as reading, writing, speaking, and listening. To achieve this, it’s best to use a variety of different resources, like apps, courses, books, and talking to native speakers. 

There are many free English resources available, but some are better than others. You can use an app like Duolingo or EnglishClass101. There are also YouTube channels and podcasts that are available for free. Messaging platforms like Tandem and HelloTalk can connect you with an English language exchange partner too.

Kelsey Wetherbee

Kelsey Wetherbee

Kelsey is a language enthusiast that wants to help others on their linguistic journeys. As a former ESL teacher, and foreign language learner herself, she hopes her experiences can benefit others and help them learn more effectively. She loves to travel and enjoys meeting people from all over the world.

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