Why to learn English?
Today English is the most spoken language in the world and it is getting more important every single day. It's not surprising that more and more people are learning this language and want to improve their English skills.
I was one of them and five years ago I decided to spent a year abroad in the States. One reason, but not the main one, was to improve my English skills. Although I have been already studying English for about five years at school there was still a lot to improve. My English was not that perfect back then and during my time in the States my English improved quite a lot and it got better every single day. Living in a English speaking surrounding helped my English skills a lot and today I can speak it fluently.
Best way to learn English
As I already mentioned the best way to learn English if you spend some time in an English speaking country. Only if you actually have the chance to use your English it will improve. Especially by having a conversation with English speaking people your skills get better. The more you speak the better it gets. And do not be shy in making mistakes. It is just normal that your English won't be perfect in the beginning. Use your skills you already have and the more you use it the fewer mistakes you will make.
Countries to go
I was a little bit surprised that so many people want to spend some time in the United Kingdom. It might be because many people from the United States participated in that survey too. Because from my perspective most of the students want to spend some time in the States.
I already spent two years (2007/2008 and 2010/2011) there and I really enjoyed it. If I were you I would definitely go to the U.S. Just to make sure, the main reason why I spent some time in the United States of America was not because they speak English there. I just wanted to get to know that country better and live the american way of living. So keep in mind, do not just go the States because you want to improve your English. If you do not like the country you go, you won't have much fun there.
Seriously, it really does not matter which English speaking country you choose, your English will get better in every country. Rather choose a country you want to get know better and where you can imagine living there for a while than just choosing the States because everyone tells you to.
And do not think that spending some time in an English speaking country will improve your English. If you don't put effort in it, your English won't get much better. If you are not trying to speak English it won't get better by itself. Don't be afraid in using your English and talking to people there. Everyone makes mistakes and it' normal that your English won't be perfect in the beginning. I can tell you, my English wasn't good either in the beginning but the more you speak the better it gets and the fewer mistakes you make. So just use the English skills you already have and you will see, it will get better.
From my point of view of spending over two years in the United States I really can assure that living in an English speaking country will improve your English. By how much it is up to you. If you do not use your English they won't improve much.
Ways to keep your English skills
Even I still try to improve my English skills today. I watch a lot of English series or movies and I pretty much understand everything. Today I cannot watch German movies anymore because I am used to the actually English voices which makes it even more authentic. For example I watch the American TV series such as "How I met your mother" or "The Big Bang theory" but also "The Daily Show".
And earlier I could not really understand English musics songs because some of the texts were just to fast to understand quite well. But today I do not have a big problem in understanding English songs.
So as you see, there a plenty of opportunity to keep your English skills. Maybe you do not understand everything in the movie or series they are talking about but the more you watch the more you get the main idea. Do not be disappointed if you only get parts of the movies. Even I do not understand everything all the time. And there is always a way to look it up. Use a dictionary or the internet, it will help you understanding songs or series.
But you need to remind yourself that by just watching English series or movies your English won't improve by much. I don't say it easy but if you are eager to learn you will have success. It is just a matter of motivation and how much you really want it.
It is for sure that you won't speak English fluently from one day to the other. I gets better bit by bit. It is an ongoing process. You need to be patient and willing to learn because only then your English will improve. If you do not put enough effort in it, your english won't improve much. Today you have so many possibilities to use and practice your English. You just need to use them. Don't say you don't know how to improve your English.
The most effective way is to spend some time in an English speaking country.
I hope you got my main idea behind this text and I am sorry for the grammar and English mistakes I made. Even I still make mistakes. And thanks for reading. I know it was a lot ;)
Infographic via the KIC Blog.