Learning English doesn't always require a classroom. I'm a big advocate of learning as you live. What does that mean? Learning as you live means that you find moments to study during your everyday activities. It could be singing a song in English as you get ready for the day, reading a comic book on the train, or even writing your grocery list in English. Here are five fun and simple activities you can try today:
Pretend you are giving a speech on your favorite book. Set a timer for three minutes. Speak aloud for the full three minutes without any breaks in your speech. The most important thing to do is to keep talking, even if you're not sure of a word. If you can't think of anything to say then simply fill the time by repeating a word you know i.e. "apple" until you find the right words to express yourself. This builds confidence and helps to reduce hesitations in your speech.
Try elocution exercises and tongue twisters. Say the phrases out loud as fast as you can and watch your pronunciation improve. You can search Youtube for "elocution exercises" if you want to see them in action. Here's one to get you started, "The thirty-three thieves thought that they thrilled the throne throughout Thursday."
To learn more complex sentence structures, try reading a book in English that you have already read in your native language. This will help you to get comfortable with longer, more descriptive, sentence structures.
To improve your listening skills, try watching a movie or listening to a podcast in English. Take note of the transitions in each conversation. How do you know a new subject has been introduced? What words indicated this transition? The radio show www.thisamericanlife.org is a good one to try. It will also expose you to a lot of different American dialects.
Translate a joke from your native language to English. Try sharing the joke with an English speaking friend to see if they laugh. This exercise is a little challenging but it's also a very fun way to learn.
As you can see, all of the exercises above can be done on the go. Learning in the classroom is incredibly important to improving your English, but that doesn't mean you can't learn (and have a little fun) practicing outside of the classroom too.