The daily English classes are the most important part of your time in Dublin and knowing how to use these lessons to the fullest can make your experience here even more enriching. By trying to squeeze all the knowledge you can from your lecturers and incorporating it into your new routine in Dublin, you will further improve your familiarity with the language. Actually, this is not that hard when you’re surrounded by English native speakers. So let’s find out how you can be the best English learner possible.

Set the main goals for your time abroad

During your time studying abroad, your main goal is to learn English but setting smaller and specific goals will help you stay focused and motivated during the learning process. To me, what really worked was deciding to take a proficiency English test by the end of my exchange study. That made me attend the classes regularly as I was preparing to get the highest grades in the exam. However, smaller steps can also help you, such as mastering how to perfectly sing your favorites English songs, watching movies and series without subtitles or simply reading books.

Just make sure to understand why it is so important to take your English classes seriously and how it can benefit your life after this experience has finished.

Recognize that learning is your responsibility

Your English teacher has an essential role in your learning process and you should respect his time and effort to pass on their knowledge. Still, the main responsibility for actually developing is only yours. Once you understand that, it will be obvious how increasing your attention level and even your posture influences your learning ability. Being one hundred percent present during lessons makes it easier to absorb the new material and improve your skills in a shorter time. It is also important to ask questions during classes and to strive to talk only in English.

Focus on synonyms and expanding your vocabulary

If someone asks me what they should put their efforts on – vocabulary or grammar, I’d recommend vocabulary 100% of the time. First, you should quickly expand your vocabulary as much as possible. You can’t do that during classes as there is not enough time and material. Reading in your free time is the quickest shortcut to enrich your word-stock and while doing it you will learn some grammar as well.

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Why am I advising you that? Because it is easier to understand the lexical logic once you have the words to build your sentences. You can learn perfect grammar but if you don’t know the words to say what you want to say, it is essentially useless. It is expected that your grammar won’t be great while you are learning the language. However, knowing enough words to express yourself, people will still understand you well.

You can use a few lifehacks to remain motivated with this task and advance quickly. A good one is to pay close attention to the words you use most often and find synonyms for them. Look for those in your books, in the dicitionary or during classes, in the lessons taught by your teacher. Then start using the new words in conversations with colleagues, teachers and people outside of school. Write down in your notebook whenever you discover a new word and watch your English vocabulary growing in no time.

Use daily situations out of school in your learning process

Try to use lessons from your class in your daily routine. For example, if you’re training reported speech, you should try telling some stories about your day and situations that you’ve been to, to your flatmates or friends. Another good tip it’s trying to apply the new words that you are learning in classes in your work, casual talks, or formal talks such as job interviews. Every week, decide on some of the new words added to your vocabulary and insert them in as many phrases and situations as possible. If you’re a foreign student living in Dublin right now, there’s plenty of places to go and chat with people you meet. So don’t wait, go out and experiment with what you have learned, make some new friends and make the Irish experience even more worthwhile.

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Invest time in the school’s Extra activities to further refine your English

Try some of the Extra classes that Erin School offers. They will help you solidify your knowledge in a more relaxed and fun environment. You can also invest time in other activities and hobbies that will advance your using of the language. Some choices are practicing a sport on your free time, reading books in English, going to free workshops about topics that you like (there are many options in Dublin), or anything else that you can think about. By doing those things you will also be connecting with people with similar interests as you.

Author: Juliana Hansen