The process of learning English is like being a baby again. As part of that, you will learn new sounds (maybe even a whole new alphabet), new words for things you’ve known forever, and you’ll re-learn how to count.
The truth is learning English takes a lot of efforts. It would be nice if we could program another language into our brains in a similar fashion, but that isn’t the case. I can tell you that it doesn’t have to be that way – as long as you have the right strategy to make a list of positive words from A to Z.
You don’t have to be an expert to improve your English skills. Here are 15 tips you can follow today to improve your skills.
What is the English Beginner Level?
A Common European Framework of Reference for Languages was developed by the Council of Europe to make language learning more systematic. For beginning English speakers, the CEFR is an excellent tool for determining your language level.
The CEFR has six levels in total. There are three types of learners that these match:
- Basic User: Levels A1 and A2
- Independent User: Levels B1 and B2
- Proficient User: Levels C1 and C2
A1 and A2 are the levels you should focus on if you are a beginner in learning English.
#1 CEFR Level
It is normal to be able to do certain basic things at the CEFR A1 level after studying English for a few weeks or months.
- Hello and introduce others: You are capable of saying hello and introducing yourself.
- Describe yourself briefly: You can tell me about yourself. The height, the color of your eyes, the length of your hair, and other basic information about yourself can be provided. Other people can also be described in general terms.
- Provide information about your family: Tell about your parents, your siblings, and if they are older or younger than you. If you have children, you can tell me how old they are, and whether you are married or not.
- In restaurants or markets, you can order meals or purchase food to support survival or travel. There are hostels and hotels where you can stay. There are also plane and train tickets available, as well as bus tickets. You know enough English at the A1 level to ensure your needs are met in terms of food, shelter, and transportation.
- Talk about very basic topics with people who speak English slowly: You can have simple conversations about very basic topics if they speak English slowly. Talking about the weather feels natural to you. Comment on the world around you in your everyday life.
#2 CEFR Level A2
English is no longer a completely new language when you reach the A2 level of the CEFR.
It’s becoming easier for you to understand and use harder words in English. Topics can be discussed in more depth.
- Simple idiomatic expressions: You are starting to use simple English sayings and idioms at A2. If you need time or ideas, others can “pitch in,” as well. You know it’s time to study when you hear “hit the books.” When you hear “a far cry,” you know that something really is different from another.
- Talk about routine tasks: You can talk about routine tasks you perform on a regular basis, such as your job or hobbies.
- Share your personal history: Explain where you came from and where you’ve lived. It is possible to describe your educational background and work history. Your family can now be discussed in more detail as well.
- You know basic English verb tenses to discuss the past, present, and future. Whether you are speaking about last year, last week, or yesterday, you use verbs correctly. Whether it’s what’s happening now or what’s going to happen in a few days or months, you can describe it clearly.
- You understand prepositions much better at the A2 level than you did at the beginning of your English learning journey. When you speak, you know how to use the correct prepositions. The fact that you put your coffee on the table in the morning and that you start working at nine o’clock tells you that you are responsible for yourself.
Despite my claim that there is no magic method for learning English, if we imagined such a thing, the internet would probably come closest to being a magic pill or program.