A Canadian expat that has been living abroad in Asia since 2003, Carrie moved from China to Taiwan in 2006 to teach English as a Second Language. Today, she and her husband are co-owners of Reach To Teach Recruiting . Carrie also works as a freelance travel writer and photographer, providing regular content to several publishing companies and travel publications in Asia and North America. Follow Carrie on Google+ or on Twitter @globetrotteri.

34 responses to “10 Things You Can Do To Improve Your English”

  1. Nomadic Matt

    but me speak english good!! I no need to emprove!

  2. cfimages

    Good points. I guess they apply equally to any language not just English – I know there are a few points there that I should pay more attention to in regards to learning Chinese. At least point 2 is easy to do here (although half the time people in my city speak Taiwanese).

  3. Stevo

    Hi Carrie: Craig stole my comment.

    What helps me in improving my Chinese is translating everything I want to say, in my head, even during an English conversation, into Chinese. It keeps that knowledge fresh and in the forefront.

  4. Mark H

    Also practise with a native speaker whenever you can. In my travels, I have been surprised how many people ask to chat for a few minutes so they “can practise their English”. Since most travellers like to meet and spend time with the locals, it seems like a fair exchange. I get to learn more about the country I am in and they get to practice their English.

    Maybe Nomadic Matt is a good target!

  5. Krzysztof

    My problems are tenses and a couple of things which you can see when you read my comments. I’ll never speak English like a native. It will be great if people understand what I talk about. I started to comment your blog because I wanted to practise my language skill. I often analize my comments and talk to myself: “Gosh! I do stupid mistakes. What a shame.” But I try not to be discouraged. I’m glad that I have your support.
    I’m glad that I don’t have to learn Chinese. English isn’t as difficult as Chinese.

  6. kim

    Seems like everybody here is studying a language! (Except for Matt, he mastered English already :D). I’ve just started learning some basic Japanese for an upcoming trip with the help of some audio CDs (writing is a whole other thing), the tips you provide definitely sound good to me! (though I’ll probably use roman characters for my flashcards).
    My native language is Dutch (well, the Flemish variety to be precise). It is sometimes referred to as a ‘throat disease’ by my British colleagues :). The upside is that we don’t have to much difficulty mastering foreign accents. And both English and German are close to my language, so they’re easier to learn.
    For writing, the thing that has helped me most is reading. The more you read in the language, the more you automatically recognize the correct spelling and usage of the words.
    And if I may add, Krzysztof, judging from your name I’m guessing you’re Polish? Your English is pretty good!

  7. Krzysztof

    Thank you Kim :) I thought that English is your native language.
    Yes, that’s true I’m Polish. I’ve been learning English since 5 years. Writing isn’t as difficult as speaking for me. In first case if I don’t know something I can always use a dictionary but I’m trying to write without it. I possibly check my text at the end. Speaking is more difficult. Sometimes it’s hard to overcome a fear. My idea to solve this problem is talking to myself. It helps.

  8. Farra

    Yes, this is a good advice!!
    After a year ago go back from Canada, I began to miss reading and writing in English, so I decided to blogging with English and buy books (now I’m reading penguin books because they’re still easy to read. I remember reading Oxford books which I really like that unavailable in my country, therefore I bought penguin ). Yesterday, I went to bookstore, I looked for other books with English, I have plans to buy them, not penguin anymore, I think. Really I miss going to public library in Canada, so I can save my account/allowance. Hiks hiks … In my country, I usually wrap with plastic cover after buying, write down when, where, how much I bought, reading, and then I keep them neatly for my nephews, or even my children someday, who knows. Hehehe.

    I’m addicted to learning and collecting English idiom. Really like playing on words for my blog. Hehehe.

    I read your blog not just for fun, but learning how you write in English because I know you’re ESL teacher. Smile.

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  10. Kim

    I wouldn’t say I actually *speak* all those languages :). Dutch is my first language. Belgium is a bilingual (well, officially trilingual) country so we learn French from elementary school all the way through college. I speak French but not well enough to my taste (I still keep mixing male and female forms). I also had 2 years of German (which is Belgium’s third language) in high school but the lessons stopped when we started verbs & tenses. I do understand it pretty well since it’s close to Dutch. And I probably have to thank my mom’s love of the soap “Neighbours” for my English :) she used to watch it when I was very young and I guess I picked it up there. Then I had English in high school for 5 years, in college for 3 years, and now I use it every day for work. I just started Japanese for my upcoming trip, but those are only basic sentenses so far (“Where is Shinjuku station?”, “It’s nice weather isn’t it?”).

    I’m not sure about Canada, do you learn French in school there too, or maybe only in certain parts of the country that speak French?

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  12. Steven

    hi carrie,
    it’s been nice chatting with you, and i just read the article “10 things youo can do to improve your english”, i will follow the tips all the time. ……next time, i would like you to meet my wife whose name is carrie, too. ha ha

  13. Cristina

    Hi Carrie,

    Thanks for stopping by our site and adding us to your list (!!).
    I actually found you through Google Reader. It’s been a pleasure to read it everyday.

    As you could see, we’re both Brazilians, English is our second language and we still have a lot to learn.
    These tips are great, thanks!!

    When we started the site, it was mainly in Portuguese and we weren’t sure about doing it in English too or not. I was only convinced when a Kiwi friend said “I don’t care if your English will be perfect or not, I just want to be able to read what’s happening!”.. and sometimes this same friend says that he likes our writings, even when they are not exactly how he would put the words, because it makes them more personal.

    When I saw our link in your Travel Blogs List, I took it as compliment and it’s a great incentive for me to keep writing in English. :)

    BTW, you’re on our list too, I think our friends will love your site as much as I do.

  14. Wangdi

    Dear Carrie,
    Thank you very much for your advised of 10 things to improve English.
    It’s incredible. Always I am online to learn English but it’s hard to improve. My English is very very poor. I wish and I would love to meet you in Taiwan if you are in Taiwan.

  15. Fatima

    Hi Carrie,
    I wish you every success and really i glad to read these tips and i hope you will more share to improve English with us
    Good luck

  16. pinky

    Learning a language is not a difficult task well all its need is practice practice and practice
    well with these three golden words u can improve ur English . yES My friends no need to frustate Read a lot .listen a lot ,speak a lot and write a lot ,the more u will do these things u will be familiar with this language .


    Mail me ur views


  17. Teaching English Overseas, part 5 | Nomadic Matt's Travel Site

    [...] ELT News- Same as the rest. International School Society- Information about international schools. 10 Things to Improve Your English 20 Great ESL tips Why Teach English Abroad Job Boards Find ESL Jobs Teaching English Abroad-ESL Job [...]

  18. Edward J. Yoon

    Very helpful to me.

  19. October8

    Thank you very much! I’m from spain, and I’m learning english, But I considerate that I have to improve a lot…
    I didn’t know how I can improve it, but it’s so useful.

  20. Jude

    Hi Carrie
    Am so much inpress about your comments but the truth is anytime i want to learn i fill very lazy and anytime i set an alarm to wake up at down to learn, the moment i take a book to read the i fall asleep. but i know my english is very bad. What should i do i realy want to inprove my english.

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