What can I do to develop my English over the Summer?

What can I do to develop my English over the Summer?Often students and parents wonder what they can do to develop and expand their English language skills over the summer. For many of our students English is not their first language and even though they have acquired, practiced, and advanced their skills throughout the school year, it is not a good idea to leave for the summer without a plan to help solidify those skills. In this article you will find some strategies and tips that can help improve your English over the summer month.

There are several ways to improve your fluency and pronunciation. Of course, practice speaking English whenever possible. One way to do this is to speak with fluent English speakers and engage in conversations with friends and family. This can be done face to face or with the help Skype and cell phones. But also, do not forget television and movies. This is a fun way to engage with the English language and hearing good pronunciation will help your own.

Another source that can help improve our speaking skills as well as expose us to a different and more formal way of speaking, is to listen to news podcasts and news video clips online or on the television. There is a large variety of news organizations on the internet to chose from. Get into the habit reading and listening to the news once a day for 10-15 minutes.

Reading a large variety of English texts and publications is a proven way to expand your vocabulary and practice identifying the important aspects inn any given text. Novels and other fiction engage us on many levels and help us train our interpretation, comprehension and reflections skills. It is, however, also very important to read non-fiction texts such as newspapers, websites, magazines, biographies, historical books and scientific texts. They require a somewhat different approach and expose their readers to diverse writing styles and a more academic vocabulary. It is a good idea for students to inquire about next year’s reading list from their teachers and get the audio-books or translations if available. This can help students prepare for coming challenges. Another little tip to help language acquisition: set the internet settings of popular sites such as Google, Yahoo, Skype and Facebook to English.

It is also a good idea to keep a journal. Record your thoughts and responses to the different readings.  In addition to that, there is a large variety of workbooks available — such as Introduction to Academic Writing and  Writing Academic English both by Alice Oshima and Ann Hogue— that review grammar rules, paragraph writing, essay organization and many other aspects of good writing.

Hopefully, some of these suggestion will prove helpful and effective. Just choosing one or two of the strategies and tips will prove to be beneficial to the development and extension of English language skills.

To read more stories about Shekou International School visit their website: www.sis.org.cn/why-choose-sis

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The Contributor

Shekou International School was established in 1988. It is dedicated to meeting the diverse educational needs of the expatriate community. SIS is an international school with an American- based curriculum. The school is governed by International Schools Services (ISS) of Princeton, New Jersey.

We offer a rigorous academic program to meet parents' high expectations. We have state-of-the-art facilities and cater to learners from nursery through high school. A rich mix of academics, athletics, and activities delivered by a world-class faculty ensure maximum learning for students.

The Elementary School and Nursery campuses are located in our Mountainside and Parkside buildings, in the beautiful Jing Shan residential area. Middle and high school classes are housed in our Bayside campus, which is adjacent to the Coastal Rose Garden residential complex.

Our high school offers a rigorous college preparatory program. SIS is an International Baccalaureate World School currently offering the IB diploma program to grade 11 students. The program will begin for grade 12 students in August 2011.

The language of instruction is English for all classes, with the exception of proficiency- leveled Mandarin classes. Additionally, SIS offers the French National Curriculum in grades K-5 in which the language of instruction in academic subjects is French.

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