Learn English NYC – How to best develop your language skills

2010 January 19

Learning English in New York City is an important task for any non-native English speaker. From job hunting to ordering at an everyday restaurant, English is ubiquitous throughout the city. But what’s the best practices for learning English, and most importantly how’s the best way of learning the nuances of the language?

As some language learners might have already figured out, language learning software and textbooks can only develop your English skills so far. To get pronunciation correctly, there’s no replacement for human interaction, and preferably a private teacher for English lessons. A private teacher also helps motivate and drive a student to develop language skills within a specific time frame. Also it’s preferable to find someone who you pay, reason being is when language teachers get paid they feel it’s their job and will put effort in accordingly to teach you well.

To supplement learning English in NYC, go to networking events. In some instances, some of the best events are centered around your native culture, so people that go to these events will be more interested in meeting you and also having patience when speaking with a non-native speaker for an extended period of time. In fact when I lived in Japan, the best spot to meet friends and develop language skills was at “English Speaking Club.” You might think developing Japanese skills at English Speaking Club sounds counter-intuitive, but most Japanese people that went there were more interested in meeting Americans than speaking English. In fact most were happy to speak at least some of the time in Japanese, just so they could communicate with you. The same situation exists at language speaking clubs throughout New York City, in fact the language of choice at most of them will probably still be English.

Also use media as a language resource for learning English. Take advantage of resources such as television, movies, and newspapers. Watching and keeping up with the  latest drama is not only good language practice but also a great conversation starter. Also from my perspective I’m always interested to hear what people from other cultures think of American dramas, and American news events.

In short, to learn English in New York City a student most be self-motivated through keeping up with local media, and at the same time be willing to spend some money for language instruction. For some, this is their only chance to learn English before going back to their native countries and cultures, so take advantage of learning English while you still can! And good luck.

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