Episode 5: 9 Tips for English Self-Study

Transcript of the Episode: 


Main Intro: Welcome to the English for Everyone ESL Podcast! I’m your host, Caren Hayden, and I’m here to help you improve your English.




Ep intro: Hi everyone! In this week’s episode, you will learn 9 different ways you should be studying English on your own. I will share various techniques and resources that will improve your self-study skills. Stay tuned!




Whether you are living in an English-speaking country or not, you should be studying English on your own as well.


Even if you are in an ESL class or are immersed in English as a worker in the U.S., self-study is essential to improving your language skills. You have already started on the right path by listening to this podcast. Here are 9 other ways you can develop your at-home study skills.

  1. First of all, set a specific time goal of how much you will devote to your language study per day, and stick to it! Commit to a small amount of study every day, no matter what. Use “hidden moments” throughout your day to study – like waiting for a doctor’s appointment or a meeting, or while you’re drinking your coffee every morning, or while you’re doing the dishes. You can actually do a lot to improve your English in these short moments during your day.

  2. Another way you can practice English at home is by talking to yourself. Be a narrator in your own life. This may sound silly to you, and your family might think you’ve lost your marbles, but if you don’t have anyone else to speak to in English, talking to yourself is always an option. You need to hear yourself say English words out loud in order for them to become more natural.  You need to practice speaking in any way you can in order to improve your fluency. Try talking to yourself about what you’re doing in the morning. Or, say out loud what your goals are for the day. Maybe recite your grocery list.

  3. You can use apps on your phone, like Duolingo, to practice English in your spare time. There are several free apps that can help you improve your English. Duolingo is just the one that I use to improve my German, but they also have an English setting. Instead of checking Facebook or Instagram during some down time, devote 5-10 minutes to improving your English by completing a few modules on an app. Some other popular English-learning apps are Fluent U and Grammar Up.

  4. In addition, listen to the news at least 5 minutes every day. I recommend the hourly news summary from NPR (National Public Radio). You can find a link to this program on the English for Everyone ESL Podcast website. Basically, the hourly new summary is a 5-minute summary that updates every hour. There are no transcripts available, so it really does test your listening comprehension. There are other news sites specifically aimed at English language learners, and you can find those links on the show website.

  5. I’m sure many of you already do this, but be sure to watch TV shows and movies in English. Find a show to binge-watch on Netflix or YouTube.  Binge-watching means to watch many episodes of a series all in one sitting.

  6. Read something, anything, in English every day. Read an article in the newspaper or online, or get interested in a novel series that you can read every night before bed. It doesn’t matter what you read, just read something in English every day.

  7. Try writing a daily journal in English. Some ideas for journals are: responding to a famous quote, describing what you did during the day, or writing down your goals for the future.

  8. Keep a set of flashcards with you at all times – it can be paper or digital. Once you have mastered the words, get rid of those cards. Add to your flashcard collection whenever you learn a new word.

  9. Finally, join an online discussion group that will help you practice English (even if it’s only online) with other people. You can find groups on Facebook or other websites that match your interests or hobbies.


While learning English by interacting with native speakers (or just people) is the best way to improve your language, you should still be supplementing this type of learning with personal study time on your own.


How do you study English at home? Do you have some favorite apps or YouTube shows that really help you improve your English? Let me know!


Main Outro: Well, that’s it for today everyone. Thank you again for listening to the English for Everyone ESL Podcast! Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes. You can find the transcript for today’s show and more information about today’s episode on the show website: www.englishforeveryonepod.com. [Stay tuned for the slower version of today’s podcast.]




(same script)


Bye Bye!


Music is Where’s My Jetpack by Computer Music All-Stars found on www.freemusicarchive.org