The classroom environment brings you a great learning opportunity, especially if you join a private English language school. You get to learn English in a small group of students and follow a carefully planned curriculum tailored to your needs and English level.
Yet, even in such a student-focused setting, you’re not actively learning at all times. You can always maximize the English knowledge you get in class. From learning how to learn to mastering the art of note-taking, there’s a great number of ways you can enrich your in-class English learning experience.
Discover your learning style
First things first, do you know what learning style suits you the most? Are you a type of learner who benefits the most from discussions and teacher’s oral explanations? Or, do you understand the rules of English better when you write them down?
Discovering your learning preferences will help you use this to your advantage and enhance your learning experience. Here are a few English-learning tips for different styles:
- Visual learners benefit from pictures, flashcards, and visualizations. If you’re one of them, you might want to draw vocabulary words, create lists, or visualize the explanations of your teacher.
- Auditory learners prefer listening to instructions and explanations. In this case, you can learn English better if you carefully listen to your instructor and participate in listening and conversation activities.
- Kinesthetic or tactile learners learn by doing and using different objects. What does this mean for your English learning? You should write or type down notes, join role-playing activities, and use classroom objects during your lessons. You can also ask your teacher to give demonstrations or explanations in class.
Don’t hesitate to ask questions
Another great way to boost your English knowledge and enhance your learning in class is to simply ask questions. You shouldn’t be afraid to ask your teacher for clarification or further explanation on the subject matter you don’t understand or that interests you. This way, you’ll be able to stay engaged and active during your lessons.
Of course, you shouldn’t keep interrupting your instructor. Make sure to ask relevant questions and at the right time. Stay mindful of other students and your teacher, maintaining the classroom dynamic.
Take brief mental breaks
The average attention span is typically around 20 minutes, so it’s only natural that your mind starts to wander during a long lesson. So, if you notice that you can stay completely focused for 30 minutes and then start to lose interest, take a small mental break for about a minute.
By giving yourself a break, you will be able to refocus your attention on your English lesson and prevent your mind from completely wandering off. Of course, how frequently you need to take breaks and for how long depends on your attention span.
Learn how to take notes
Note-taking is highly beneficial and can help you enhance your learning of English immensely, especially if you’re a kinesthetic type of learner who prefers doing something with their hands. Additionally, by taking notes, you will stay alert during your English class, organize new information, and create a record that you can use outside the classroom.
However, you need to find an effective way to take notes. Writing everything down word for word can be exhausting. Additionally, you may not even actively take in everything your teacher says because you’re too focused on writing down every single word.
Instead, try some of the following note-taking tips:
- Use colors to emphasize certain pieces of information, such as new vocabulary or grammatical structures.
- Use boxes or charts to categorize your notes or accentuate the differences between tenses in English.
- Use bullet points to outline the most important topics of your lesson that will trigger your memory while revising.
Take full advantage of available resources
A well-equipped English language school will give you access to a variety of resources, including dictionaries, additional exercises, books in English, worksheets, etc. So, why not use them?
If you want to fully understand a new word, ask your teacher to use a dictionary where you can see explanations, examples, and synonyms. If you’ve just learned a new type of grammatical structure and want some extra practice, your teacher will gladly provide you with additional materials.
Most importantly, join the right class
All of these tips won’t help you enhance your English learning experience if you don’t feel comfortable in your class or with your instructor. Additionally, you need to sign up for an English course that suits your level of knowledge. So, make sure to explore your options and choose the right type of course.
Ultimately, your personal learning style and preferences, as well as your classroom environment, will present you with a range of options to optimize your English learning in class. The most important thing is to discover what suits you the most and seek the support of your teacher when needed.