5 ideas to keep learning English outside the classroom this summer

Summer 2020, a most unusual one, but that is not to say that we should let it slip through our fingers. Every moment counts and more so than ever. We have come to realise that nothing is certain, and life as we knew it can change overnight.

So many sweeping changes, but I am going to speak about the one that my blog is devoted to English learning. Don’t let it stop!

Our plans to travel abroad to English speaking countries have been, for the most part, put on hold this year. I encourage you to try and find alternative engaging ways to keep your English in check. Here are five ideas to get you started. For more on this subject, you can read last summer’s post:  here

Read a travel book

The Road to Little Dribbling: More Notes From a Small Island (Bryson), Bryson, BMy recommendation: “The road to little dribbling” by Bill Bryson * (for fans of the UK).

Other travel books (to US, Australia, Europe) by him here (scroll down a bit to find the travel writing section).

Bill Bryson’s humorous style is thoroughly entertaining and his books are full of interesting facts related to the places he visits. The road to little dribbling has whetted my appetite for checking out some of them in future travels to the UK, whenever that happens

* If you, like many, are mystified by the title, have a look at this chat where some ideas are suggested. Which one do you buy?

Make a summer bucket list*

The expression bucket list originates from the phrase to kick the bucket, which means to die. A bucket list is a compilation of what you would like to experience in your life.

A summer bucket list is a modest version of it and only encompasses the summer.

All you need is put pen to paper and write down a list with everything you wish to accomplish this summer. In English but not necessarily about learning English.  Here are some ideas:

  • Sleep outdoors without a tent
  • Take a dip in a mountain lake
  • Read at least one book in each of the languages I know
  • Get in touch with friends I haven’t seen in a while
  • Learn something new
  • Paint the doors white
  • Etc…

A follow-up to this could be to write a paragraph in English about each of the experiences you have ticked. This could make for great speaking when you go back to class in September and are asked about your summer.

Learn a recipe (or more)

My recommendation: Chicken Tikka Masala

This spicy Indian dish is wildly popular in the UK. Give it a try if you like experimenting with different flavours in the kitchen. A few years back, finding some of the condiments in this recipe in a small city like Vitoria would have been mission impossible but not any more. Yippee! Video here. 

Subscribe to a youtube channel 

My recommendation: Learn English With TV Series

In some of their videos, you are presented with a scene of a popular series that is scrutunised in order to learn expressions, phrasal verbs, pronunciation, etc. It is entertaining and instructive. An added bonus is that it might also serve as a springboard to watching the whole episodes or even the series.

As a way to get you started, I suggest having a go at this video analysing a scene from Friends: The test, good for a laugh too. Much more dramatic, this scene from the series The morning show is brilliantly broken down into useful language bites. 


Find a language exchange partner

My recommendation: My language exchange

In case you are not familiar with this concept, having a language partner implies both practising your target language and teaching your native language to your partner in equal parts. Once you have found the right person that makes a good match with you, it will be a natural way to develop your language learning as well as forming a new friendship. 

Check out this article for more ideas: https://www.inspiringgirls.info/post/teaching-integrity

For tips on how to make your exchange successful, you can watch this.




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