Achieving a more advanced level of English takes time and practice. Whether you are an ESL learner that feels like you’ve plateaued, or a beginner that needs some recommendations on how to advance in ESL, here are some suggestions to improve.

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Ways to Learn Advanced English

From English Sherpa, 2016.

1. Read in English

Read, and read a lot! If you want to learn advanced English, you need to learn how to read well. Read articles, books, fiction, non-fiction, short stories, novels, or whatever it is that interests you.

While you read, find 5-10 words that you aren’t familiar with in the text and highlight these words. Then, find the definitions of these words and add them to your vocabulary notebook.

2. Keep a Vocabulary Notebook

Keep a small notebook with you to write down new vocabulary words. Divide it into grammar sections (e.g., nouns, adjectives, and verbs) or topics (e.g., clothes, food, and weather). It’s a great way to learn advanced English words you didn’t know before.

Write down new words you learn, whether in class, when reading, or when having a conversation with a native English speaker. Review the words every day on your commute to work, before a conversation, or before you go to bed.

3. Speak as Much as You Can

Communicate in English as much as possible. Speaking helps build fluency and confidence. If you are taking English classes, make friends with your classmates and arrange coffee dates so that you can practice English outside of class. If you know any native English speakers, practice with them too.

4. Listen to Native Speakers

While knowing how to hold a conversation in English is key to advancing, being able to listen actively and understand what the speaker is saying is also extremely important. You can’t have a conversation if you don’t know what the person is saying.

The great thing about listening is that you can do it online. Watch television shows, YouTube videos, or news reports to practice your listening comprehension skills.

5. Write in a Journal

Learn advanced English simply by writing in a journal. If you want to improve your English level, write for 10 minutes every day and analyze your progress after one or two months. Check for errors you’ve made, see where you can improve, or change sentences and include words you’ve recently learned.

You might also want to spend some time writing in online forums, chats, or blogs. Writing in order to communicate helps you improve your overall English skills.