Best Free Apps to Learn English in Your Free Time!

Best Free Apps to Learn English in Your Free Time!

Unfortunately 1 or 2 hours of classes is not enough to fully learn a language (however it does certainly help!.) To truly make the most of your English classes you need to be practicing your English every day. ‘Little and Often’ is the philosophy that we live by when it comes to practicing outside of class. This means only studying for around 5-10 minutes but every day!

Mobile phone apps are a great way to make sure that you stick to your language learning goals as they offer a quick convenient language fix. Ideal for those that struggle to find the motivation to study English every day. In this blog post we thought that we would share with you some of our favourite free language learning apps!

An app that needs no introduction, Duolingo is the world’s most popular language learning app and for good reason! The app manages to be both fun and addictive with it’s ‘gamified’ approach to language learning.

Duolingo consists of a mixture of quick vocabulary and grammar exercises along with some brief lessons which explain each concept.

The app is great for learning new vocabulary and brushing up on your grammar abilities. The app tracks your daily progress and rewards you for completing new lessons and milestones.

You can download it here

Grammarly is a writing assistant which highlights spelling and grammatical mistakes when you are typing in English.

Not only does it simply correct your English however, it also offers up an explanations meaning that you are much less likely to make the same mistake again!

If that wasn’t enough Grammarly also detects your tone so you don’t have to worry about sending an informal professional email again!

You can download it here

The BBC Learning English app compiles the best of their online lessons in one place.

No matter if you want to improve your grammar, your vocabulary or even your pronunciation, the app has something for everyone.

One of the great features of this app is the mini daily lesson, which only takes a few minutes!

You can download the app here

Learn English using your favourite songs! Music is a great way to learn English and this app is a great resource. The app is great for improving your listening skills as you fill in the gaps to the lyrics of your favourite songs.

You can download it here.

Babbel is a great app for those who are just getting started with English and are looking to acquire some basic conversation skills.

The app teaches users by completing and repeating different phrases. The lessons are divided into real world topics so you will be able to apply what you have learnt in the real world.

Babbel also allows you to track your progress using a custom goal system where you can set goals which will track your progress.

You can download it here.

Struggling with your grammar? Then this could well be the app for you!

The app has games and lessons on a variety of different topics for all levels meaning that it is suitable for everyone.

The app allows you to test yourself so that you can track your progress.

You can download it here.

How to Stick to Your English Learning New Years Resolutions

How to Stick to Your English Learning New Years Resolutions

New years resolutions are notoriously difficult to stick to. A year is a long time to commit to anything and language learning is no exception! That said, a new years resolution can also provide you with a fantastic opportunity to get inspired and achieve your goals.

Check out these tips to ensure that you are on the right track to achieve your 2020 goals.

1. Choose a sensible resolution

Firstly you need a goal to shoot for. Maybe start by thinking about the things you can do well in English and things that you need help with. A key thing to remember is that little and often is the most effective way to study.

It’s best to Choose something that you can measure, for example: this year I want to spend 5 mins listening to English podcasts a day. Once you have decided on your resolution, make sure that you write it down, some people even find signing a contract with themselves helps them stick to their objectives.

2. Don’t put yourself under too much pressure

Remember, New year’s day is just another day and January is just another month! Don’t put too much of an emphasis on it being a brand new start. It’s very easy to get ahead of yourself in the beginning and demanding too much from yourself. Instead, think of your new year’s resolution as a catalyst for change in the long term rather than a brand new start.

3. Ensure that you aren’t choosing the same resolutions every year

This one is especially important if you have had trouble keeping resolutions in the past!

Make sure you choose something realistic. Start small and achievable, for example if you want to start watching more tv series in English, you could start by watching 1 episode per week.

Another key thing to remember is to make sure your goals are compatible with your lifestyle. If you work long hours and are likely to be tired after work it might be best to do your English studying in the morning while you are fresh before work.

4. Don’t be afraid to make more resolutions

Following on from this, If things are going well and you feel good about other aspects of your language progress why not take on an additional resolution as well.

Using the same example as the previous point, if your resolution was to watch more tv series in English and you are finding this easy and unchallenging then why not graduate to watching whole entire films instead?

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Ofterta!

5. Regularly review your resolution

On the other hand, if you find that you aren’t sticking to your resolution you need to ask yourself why? It could be that you are too busy, or that you were to unrealistic with your objectives in the first place. Remember, making a minor adjustment could be the key to successfully completing your objectives or just giving up completely.

6. Find somebody to support you and keep you focused on your goal

This could be anybody, a family member, partner, friend etc.. Or even better find someone else who is learning English and tackle your resolutions together! This way you will be less likely to give up on your objectives as it would mean disappointing somebody else.

7. Don’t lose motivation.

Instead of thinking about how much effort you are putting into your new years resolution, think of the benefits you are receiving.

To further motivate yourself you could even reward yourself to stay motivated! This could be a great excuse for you to splurge on that holiday to London you’ve always wanted to do. Treats are always much better enjoyed when they have been earnt!

8. Don’t stop at 2021

If things are going well why stop? Now that you have made space in your life why not keep it up throughout 2021 and beyond!

When to use Present Perfect vs Past Simple

When to Use the Present Perfect vs The Past Simple

In today’s blog post we are going to be looking at when to use the present perfect and when to use the past simple. This can be quite confusing for some as we tend to use both tenses to talk about events in the past.

 

 

The Past Simple

We use the past simple when we talk about specific events that have happened in the past. Usually you would use the past simple tense when the specific time of the event is important to the story or requested. For example:

  • John went to London last year.
  • Kate visited Barcelona in March.
  • Mary met Mike when she was at school.

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The Present Perfect

We use the present perfect when the exact time of the event is unimportant to the story or if the event is unfinished in the present. For example:

  • John has been to London twice this year
  • Kate has visited Barcelona 10 times.
  • Mary and Mike have been friends since they were at school.

 

I hope that you found this blog post helpful, if you have any questions leave a comment below!

How to use Hope & Wish

How to use Hope & Wish

In today’s blog post we are going to be discussing the difference between using wish and hope and how we actually use these words.

A lot of non native speakers mix up these words as hope and wish have very similar meanings. We usually use these words to express a want or a desire for something in particular.

 

So how do we use Hope and Wish?

We use hope to express a desire for something that is possible to happen, for example:

  • I hope it is sunny later on.

We use wish to express a desire for something that is impossible or very unlikely to happen, for example:

  • I wish it was sunnier in England

When using hope, we often use it in the present simple form, for example:

  • I hope I have enough time to get to work.

Using Wish however can be a bit trickier as there are a few ways that we can use it. Such as the past simple:

  • I wish I had a big house.
  • I wish we didn’t have to work today.
  • I wish that you lived closer to my house.

We can also use it with the second conditional.

  • I wish the neighbors would be quiet!
  • I wish you wouldn’t smoke so much.
  • I wish John wouldn’t eat all the chocolate.

And even the past perfect!:

  • I wish that I had studied harder at school.
  • I wish that I hadn’t eaten so much yesterday!
  • I wish that the train had arrived on time.

I hope that you found this post helpful, if you have any further questions leave a comment below!

5 Quick Tips To Make the Most of Your English Classes

5 Quick Tips to Make the Most of Your English Classes

In today’s blog post we are going to look at some ways that we can really make the most of our English classes. Unfortunately 1 or 2 hours of English class a week is not enough to fully learn a language. However, there are plenty of things that you can do to really maximize your learning in class!

1. Set Yourself Realistic Goals

This is an important one as having something to work towards can really motivate you. That said, it  is very easy to lose focus and drop English completely when you don’t hit your targets. This is why you should ensure that your targets are manageable.

There are plenty of things that you can work towards, for example: “I would like to have a full conversation with somebody in English” or “I would like to be able to watch a film from start to finish in English” or even something simple like “I would like to make an effort to speak English every day.”

2. Watch English Series and Films in Their Original Language

This is an easy one to do as, most likely, you will have access to Netflix or another streaming service. If this is not the case Youtube is another great resource for this.

My recommendation would be to start with something with short episodes like Friends or The Simpsons. If you find that you are really struggling to follow along, try putting on subtitles (in English!). Once you find that you can comfortably sit through an entire episode, move onto something with longer episodes.

… And finally once you can handle that, feel free to jump into some films!

3. Embrace Your Mistakes

One key thing you need to learn a new language is patience and the ability to learn to love your mistakes. This can be quite difficult as it is very easy to feel embarrassed and demoralized whenever you make an error. However, it is important to realize that these mistakes are a necessary part of the process.

Essentially making mistakes is a good thing because they provide you with the opportunity to learn.

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Oferta

4. Regularly Review Vocabulary

Simply Put, you need to make an effort to review whatever vocabulary you have learnt in class each week.

There are plenty of things you can do for this: stick post its with the new vocabulary around the house or get a friend/family member to quiz you. Perhaps the best thing you can do is make an effort to actually use and incorporate these words into your daily life.

5. Listen, Listen, Listen!

This is another easy one as chances are you already probably listen to a fair amount of English music. With bands like The Beatles, Queen and The Police, there are no shortage of bands that you can listen to. To take it a step further you can also download the Lyrics Training app. This app allows you to fill in the lyrics of popular songs providing you with a fun way to learn new vocabulary.

Another thing you can do is listen to podcasts. At Teachify we actually create our own weekly podcasts which review the recent vocabulary and subjects we have studied in class. There are also plenty of great free podcasts which you can listen as well, such as bbc 6 minute English and British Council’s Learn English podcast.

 I hope that you found these tips helpful, if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment below!