Five Fun Ways to Learn English Without Opening a Textbook

What if you could learn English and have fun without studying textbooks? That would be great right? I mean, I technically learnt English (along with around 400 million other people) without consciously studying it.

There is a time and a place for grammar, vocabulary and writing books, but you shouldn’t use them all of the time. You probably shouldn’t be doing grammar quizzes or vocabulary tests all the time either. You’ll get bored and lose your motivation to learn English.

Sometimes you just need to use English in new ways to enjoy it again (and make some friends in the process). Yes, you might be doing a degree at university, but you should also take some time off from all the difficult stuff.

So, here are five fun ways to learn and practice English without opening a text book!

Watch tutorials or video-bloggers on YouTube

Everyone uses YouTube. It’s one of the most visited sites on the internet, and it’s a great learning tool.

While there are a lot of decent English teaching videos on there, I suggest that you skip these completely for now. Instead, choose to watch videos about things that interest you. For example, you could watch recipe videos, make-up tutorials, or film reviews. There are also a number of long (40minute +) documentaries on YouTube if you’re feeling really enthusiastic.

Pros:

  • It’s free.
  • There are videos about virtually any topic: find something fun!
  • A huge range of accents.
  • There are some really great YouTube channels out there.

Cons:

  • There are also some really bad channels.
  • People may use offensive language.
  • You might get addicted to YouTube and stop working.

Read online reviews

Here I am saying read online reviews, not trust them! But seriously, if you want to buy something, like a book or a movie, why not check out the reviews for it in English. You can either try amazon.com, amazon.co.uk, or just internet search for the product + review.

Pros:

  • It might influence your decision to buy something.
  • You can learn a variety of different language structures, such as summary writing and giving reasons.
  • It’s free.

Cons:

  • Language may not be accurate (but that could be said for online gaming and YouTube videos).
  • You might not know the English name for the product.
  • The product might not be sold outside of your country.

Play online games (with voice chat)

If you enjoy playing computer games, chances are you already own a computer, PlayStation, Xbox, or something similar. Choose to join in an English speaking party the next time you play your favourite games online.

Pros:

  • You’re anonymous, so you don’t need to feel self conscious about making mistakes.
  • Playing on the same team as people will result in a lot of discussion.
  • You can learn a wide variety of expressions such as making requests and giving.
  • It can be a lot of fun.

Cons:

  • You might pick up some bad slang.
  • If you’re not interested in games, you’re not going to enjoy this.
fun

Now you can tell people you spent 8 hours studying English instead of playing games

Follow people on Twitter

Twitter is a great way to keep up-to-date on world news. You can follow famous people to see what they are talking about. You can also join conversations by tweeting. I use Twitter sometimes, so Tweet me.

Pros:

  • It’s free to use.
  • People tweet very often.
  • Tweets are very short pieces of text, so you can use twitter at any time.
  • It’s a good place to catch up on recent news.

Cons:

  • It can be hard finding people to follow.
  • Some people don’t like the short posts on Twitter.
  • Language may not be really accurate.

Join English speaking Facebook Groups

Facebook groups are currently one of the most interactive places on the internet. By joining a Facebook group, such as the English For Study one, you can take parts in discussions, answer questions, ask for help, and much more. You probably already do this in your own language, so join and English one and practice!

Pros:

  • It’s a great place to have a discussion.
  • There are groups for almost every interest.
  • You can block people who you don’t want to talk to.
  • You can join and leave groups at any time for free.

Cons:

  • Some groups may be inactive.
  • It can be hard to find a good group to join.

Your Turn!

There you have it; Five ways that you can practice English without opening a textbook (though, you will still probably need those textbooks, so don’t burn them yet!)

Do you have use any fun ways to learn English? Share them in the comments below!

 

About the Author Sam

Sam is the founder and creator of English For Study. He's also lecturer in EAP/Academic English. Apart from making Academic English easy, he likes learning languages, lifting weights and eating good food.

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