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How to improve your English for university

by on October 20, 2020 | Top Stories

How to improve your English for university - StudyMalaysia.com

If you’re getting ready for college or university, you might want to put in some extra time and effort into brushing up on your English language skills which include reading, writing, listening, pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary.

Being proficient in academic English doesn’t just help you understand your coursework material more easily, a good command of English and a wide vocabulary will help you tremendously as you’ll be expected to write essays and deliver presentations when you’re at college or university. It’s essential that you’re able to connect ideas and demonstrate your thoughts on paper clearly and persuasively.

Here are some ways to start giving your English language skills a boost:


Read topics that interests you

It’s easier to stick to a book when it’s about something that piques your interests. Whether you enjoy reading memoirs, thrillers or science fiction, reading will help you increase your vocabulary and familiarise you with good sentence structure.

Vary your reading material—besides books, you can also read articles from newspapers or journals. Start with your favourite topics—sport, travel, film, food or fashion—and expand your reading scope each week.


Watch movies

If you prefer watching movies or TV series, then watch your favourite English programmes with the subtitles turned on. This will allow you to read along and help you get used to how words are pronounced. Make a note of words you do not understand and check out its meaning.

Schedule some time to watch TED Talks. Besides learning something new from the talks, you can also pick up ways to deliver an effective presentation.


Practise and learn online

There are lots of resources available online. Try these for a start!

  1. Learning English
  2. BBC Learning English
  3. Learn English by the British Council
  4. English Grammar
  5. Grammar Bytes!

Understand academic writing

You are likely to encounter different types of writing while at college or university. Why not get a head start by using these resources to explore what academic writing is about.

  1. Purdue Online Writing Lab
  2. Harvard College Writing Center
  3. University of Melbourne Academic Skills Resources

Set goals

Whatever method you choose to learn English, it’s important to set a goal. For example, make it a goal to practise 10-15 minutes daily. Learning a little but regularly is often more effective than intensive study carried out once a month.

You might even want to download an English language learning app that can help you identify your proficiency level and guide you in achieving the next level.

Are you looking for an English language proficiency test?

Try Linguaskill by Cambridge.

Malaysian students applying to Malaysian colleges and universities from now until 31 December 2020 will be eligible to receive a partial sponsorship to sit for the Cambridge Linguaskill English competency test.

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