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Reading in English:

  • If you ONLY read your course materials, you will never develop a full and rich understanding of English.  Without a deeper understanding of English, you will not totally understand your course materials.  Make certain you find time to read many different types of material in English: blogs, articles, magazines, comics, social media, novels, newspapers… 
  • When you read, try to guess the unknown words from context.  Do NOT stop to look up words in a dictionary; simply guess.  If you miss a word, you will still understand the general topic.  Over time you will begin to understand more and more words.

Listening to English:

  • Listen to the news online or on the radio.  Try to listen without visual support.  Read corresponding newspaper articles to better develop your understanding of the topic.
  • Watch English shows, particularly talk shows, game shows, and sitcoms. These will give you experience with conversational styles and simple idioms.
  • Watch the local news.  Try to understand some of the local issues.
  • Listen to podcasts and watch TED Talks.  These are usually very well presented and very interesting.

Speaking English:

  • When listening to shows, news, or movies, try to repeat any of the words or sentences you find interesting out loud; try to copy the intonation of the words and the pronunciation of the sounds.
  • Make study groups with people who do not speak your first language.
  • Try to find a roommate who cannot speak your first language.
  • Join Toast Masters.
  • Join “Talk Times”.
  • Join some Concordia clubs - not just ones involving your own culture.
  • Volunteer your time to help others a few hours a week: contact the LIVE Centre, Concordia’s volunteer centre, (this is also EXCELLENT to help you build your CV).
  • Record yourself speaking English, listen, and work on your pronunciation.

Writing in English:

  • Practice “free writing” in order to improve your fluency:  simply write about any topic in English for 10 minutes per day.  Do not stop to read what you are writing, do not correct any errors; simply write.  You will notice that you will be able to write more and more over time.

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